Safety and quality have always been top priorities at Ballast Nedam, one of the largest construction and development companies in the Netherlands. But internal processes for quality assurance and compliance were not only time-consuming, but they also yielded insufficient data to better the organization’s processes. The company was not basing its decisions on data, a practice it wanted to change.
Aiming to break new ground as a learning organization, Ballast Nedam implemented K2’s intelligent process automation platform to streamline and automate business processes and ultimately improve safety and quality.
At the FastFWD Worldwide Virtual Event, Mark Den Heijer, ICT Project Consultant at Ballast Nedam, discussed how K2 is helping the company streamline processes, enhance data quality, save time and cut costs.
Improved processes and data will lead to better business outcomes
Ballast Nedam is known for industrializing its construction process using innovative modular concepts to standardize its approach. But when it came to back-end processes around quality and safety, the organization faced many challenges.
- Paper processes were time-consuming and lacked visibility.
- The company relied on dated technologies such as SharePoint 2010.
- Multiple overlapping commercial tools made it difficult to consolidate data and documents.
All of these factors contributed to a lack of data quality and accuracy, meaning the company could not rely on structured data to make important decisions to improve processes for better business outcomes. According to Den Heijer, “We wanted to become a learning organization, to improve our quality and safety procedures based on data instead of a gut feeling.”
Multiple business requirements point to K2
The company set out to find a platform that could improve safety and quality management, helping it to gain valuable insights from integral data. But the solution had to meet multiple business requirements to be considered.
- Structured data capabilities to allow for analysis
- An all-in-one platform
- Tools to interconnect multiple processes
- Mobile, offline availability for those in the field
- Strong integration with line-of-business systems
- Reusability of forms and components
- Custom controls and brokers
- No-code development capabilities
After evaluating several solutions, Ballast Nedam found that K2’s intelligent process automation platform checked off all of these boxes. According to Den Heijer, “In the end, we chose K2 because of its data-first philosophy and the strong integration layer with backend systems. We also found that K2 was a very competitive solution and a good partner because it has been around for two decades and has good user reviews.”
Ballast Nedam’s Q2Field solution built on K2’s platform
K2’s intelligent process automation platform provided the basis for Ballast Nedam’s solution, known internally as Q2Field. This solution digitized paper-based quality checks and safety processes, allowing for significant time savings.
Previously, workers in the field faced challenges filling out paper forms in outdoor construction sites during harsh weather. K2 Technology Alliance Partner InDocs provided offline capabilities for Nintex K2 SmartForms so that employees in the field could complete daily compliance checks or report issues even on a remote job site with limited internet access.
In fact, business users across the organization can create their own forms based on reusable K2 SmartForm components. “We’ve given our end users the power to design their own inspection forms,” says Den Heijer. “The IT team has only built around 15 K2 forms to make this all possible. And from there, end-users have been able to create around 350 different inspection forms all running through the same K2 forms.” This frees up a significant amount of time for the IT team to focus its attention on business requests.
Most importantly, the company has achieved a higher level of data quality. Previously, documents were scanned into SharePoint, producing inaccurate and unstructured data. Today, says Den Heijer, “The quality now is much, much higher because we have digitized data. We try to use as little free text as possible. We use drop-down values, and based on that, we can now start learning. We have good data sets, so we can do analysis and see trends and see where the approaches need to be adjusted or approved.”