FlowStudy Summary

23 Processes Including:

  • Purchase Order Requests
  • Project Induction
  • Wage Staff Timesheet
  • Bitumen Plant Sample for Testing
  • Permit to Dig

The Pain Points:

  • Took too long to complete on-site processes
  • Manual error with paper-based processes
  • Siloed sites were an obstacle to data-driven strategies
  • Underused applications are a missed opportunity

The Benefits:

  • Saves time for different teams
  • Increased process efficiency with integrated workflows
  • Enhanced governance and productivity
  • Data-centric reporting
  • Enhanced client perception fuelling growth
  • Clean audit trail

The Next Steps:

Downer’s Transport & Infrastructure Team sees real potential to use FlowForma on a wider scale, following proven results on many projects.

Making On-Site Work Processes Simple and Efficient

The Challenge

Downer is a leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand. With over 30,000 employees working out of 120 locations, the company’s work involves maintaining and renewing vital infrastructure assets.

Cameron Hyndman, National Digital Engineering Lead in Downer’s Transport & Infrastructure team, is managing the digital project to improve processes for the team’s construction sites. To put data collection and analysis at the centre of the business, he wanted to remove excess paperwork and capture data effectively in construction and other parts of the business.

When Downer began their digital process automation journey with FlowForma, the plan was to fight the ‘war on paper’, moving to more data-driven methodology while increasing efficiency.

Cam’s team tested many tools using their most complex process: the Permit to Dig, which when automated would combine digital forms with GIS (Geographic Information System) to reduce the risk of a service strike. A solution was needed that could integrate and enhance existing tools and include subcontractors in a variety of public-facing processes.

“When we compared the tools offered in the market, it was one-sided, FlowForma won the whole match,” says Cameron. FlowForma Process Automation proved to be the perfect fit, a no code solution that was easy to use while being adept at integration with different systems for sophisticated workflows.

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The Solution

Downer’s Transport & Infrastructure team uses FlowForma Process Automation to push information to a connected workforce via handheld devices, giving people using it the information they need, when they need it, and enabling them to make decisions more quickly. As well as automating time-consuming processes, it allows the business to collect insights to inform future strategies.

A Permit to Dig flow was one of the first to be developed. Before FlowForma Process Automation, an engineer would have to fill out a paper form with utility drawings that had to be reviewed by multiple different people before sign-off allowed the dig to commence. Now, a digital form is integrated with the team’s survey and mapping applications, making light work of defining and visualizing the area of the dig.

The most used flow is the Automated Purchase Order process, which digitalized over 4,500 PO requests.

“Once people start using a product like FlowForma, the thought of going back to the legacy approach is a big motivator to digitalize. The stories go back to our senior leadership team which helps to get everyone on the same page and demonstrate the impact across the entire enterprise,” says Cameron.

The “project induction” FlowForma process has been well received on particular contracts where there was no such system previously. The project induction process includes a QR code to scan by a new site team member and leverages FlowForma Engage so the user doesn’t need to be set up on the system.

Another goal was to be able to upload project photos and enter project metadata to achieve much better site visualizations. The Photo Uploader solution neatly integrates FlowForma Process Automation with Power Automate and GIS. Images and metadata data are pushed through SharePoint where an ArcGIS platform uses AI to geolocate photos across the project and tag them with descriptive names.

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The Outcome

The use of FlowForma Process Automation has simplified construction site management and improved health and safety while advancing the team’s digital transformation strategy. “The time spent on admin tasks has been reduced significantly. Our site staff, finance, and survey teams have been relieved from a lot of mundane mandatory but time-consuming work.” says Cameron. “Everyone is working smarter consistently, so the quality of documentation has been enhanced considerably, which was much needed.”

Downer has now automated 23 processes with the dynamic functionality in FlowForma Process Automation allowing flows to span integrated applications.

The uptake of FlowForma Process Automation was seamless, “We’ve had great feedback on short videos that we have created for the induction process,” says Cameron. He explains that there are so many different groups that benefit from FlowForma. Internally, it empowers the digital site teams to gain more autonomy, and it also helps wider employees to gain visibility of what other departments are doing, an essential insight for such a large organization. He also shares how their clients are impressed that they are pushing ahead with technology, and it is imperative that they stay ‘ahead of the game’, with new ways of working, and FlowForma helps them to achieve this.

Hyndman praised the simplicity of process builds and how employees with no coding skills can create their digital workflows in an hour or less. “Empowering our teams to build their own processes has encouraged tool adoption. Individuals across different teams are hungry to digitalize more because the tool is so straightforward to use, and fosters an innovative culture,” he said.

With over 200 FlowForma users within Downer’s Transport & Infrastructure team, the tool is now being used on more legacy projects. Hins Zhang, GIS and Automation Lead at Downer explains that “FlowForma gives us a lot of flexibility, you can make it as complex as you want but it also has great off-the-shelf options. Users can pretty much do anything they want it to.”

To date, the team have automated 23 processes using FlowForma Process Automation and have saved over 3,350 development hours in doing so.

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Customer Feedback

Cameron Circle Blue Gradient

Cameron Hyndman

National Digital Engineering Lead,

Empowering our teams to build their own processes has encouraged tool adoption. Individuals across different teams are hungry to digitalize more because the tool is so straightforward to use and fosters an innovative culture. FlowForma Process Automation gives us a lot of flexibility, you can make it as complex as you want but it also has great off-the-shelf options. Users can pretty much do anything they want it to.