- Improved project delivery and decreased cycle times
- Ability for both internal employees and external project partners to access content securely from any international location or device
Since 1983 Harris Grant has been creating extraordinary audio visual environments. From studios to live performance arenas, they breathe life into exhibit and entertainment spaces, blending the latest generation technology with world-class design and styling.
The company's work encompasses the design of recording studios, cinemas, theatres and public buildings through to the installation of entertainment, control security and communication systems in some of the world's most lavish super yachts. It also undertakes the creation of home theatres and recording studios for individuals.
Whether it is a private studio, large-scale public installation or film and broadcast facility, every Harris Grant project is unique. The scope and diversity of the projects it undertakes means the company works in close partnership with a wide range of specialist contractors and suppliers around the world – from architects and interior designers to technicians, integration specialists and other third parties.
Headquartered in the UK, the company's highly experienced project teams serve a client base that spans Eurasia, the Americas and Europe.
The complexity and scale of the projects it undertakes means Harris Grant can be engaged in projects with a duration time of up to five years, involving teams that constantly flex to incorporate a range of internal and external participants.
With international operations strengthening, Harris Grant needed an enterprise content management system that would give specialists at multiple project sites secure external access to project records. Making seamless collaboration across the business a reality.
"We were operating a shared file system on a server with PPN access but it was easy for users to create work arounds. As a result, maintaining control of each discrete project phase was a challenge," confirms Neil Grant, Managing Director.
"We needed a centralised document management structure that was easy to secure, could accommodate our business processes and would support cross-functional collaboration between internal business groups as well as suppliers, specialist contractors and customers," he continues.
Using Alfresco, Harris Grant has been able to integrate document management with its custom-built IBM Notes/Domino CRM system to manage its interlinked operations; from initial bid response to project initiation and customer support.
Today its 16-strong staff base has access to tens of thousands of documents, all of which are version controlled and managed through defined and centrally controlled workflows that ensure project integrity and deliver comprehensive visibility to project assignees.
Personnel based at locations around the world have secure access to a clearly defined set of project documents and collaboration tools. Teams can be instantly flexed and scaled, with access rights being assigned and centrally managed by project leads. On its busiest projects, Harris Grant’s Alfresco system has managed up to 40 concurrent users.
Budgets and proposals developed by the purchasing department can be seamlessly shared with engineering design teams, and versioned throughout a project’s lifecycle to support the discrete delivery, commissioning and installation phases.
Even better, Harris Grant has the ability to archive project documentation, giving pre and post sales technical support personnel instant access to historic resources and specifications. Metadata powered queries have made instant search and document retrieval simplicity itself.
Harris Grant worked with two Alfresco integration partners. Zaizi undertook the initial six month implementation before handing on the baton to Ixxus who today is responsible for the ongoing development and support of the platform.
"We had a steep learning curve getting to grips with ECM,” confirms Neil Grant. "As a small company, with no IT department, we had to learn the intricacies of structuring our data and processes to enable pain free collaboration for our teams. Alfresco gave us the no nonsense answers we were looking for and, with the help of their integration partners, we’ve come a long way."
Today Alfresco powers collaboration for teams located around the world, delivering secure access to mission critical documents.
"We’re now able to manage each and every project in a structured manner from start to finish, the end result of which is improved project delivery and decreased cycle times,” confirms Neil Grant.
Improved information sharing has ushered in an era of enhanced collaboration between internal teams, external partners and stakeholders, enabling Harris Grant to combine technical prowess and creativity with peerless execution to help customers realise their personal and commercial ambitions.
"Today everyone, no matter where they are based, has access to a familiar and reassuring interface that contributes to a sense of community and workplace efficiency," continues Grant. "Alfresco helps us operate in a highly professional manner and interact with globally recognised brands in a highly effective way."
For the future, the company is looking to establish a repository that will give its clients access to their technical information and specifications. Utilising this powerful aspect of Alfresco will give Harris Grant additional credos with its customers and boost its market leading partnership capabilities.