Georgiou is a national building construction, engineering and property development company. It’s a business that specialises in structural concrete and earthworks, building roads and bridges, water infrastructure, marine and port infrastructure, camp and village accommodation, and land development.
Headquartered in Perth, Georgiou has offices in Brisbane, Mackay and Melbourne. However, its staff can be found at resource and construction sites right across the nation. For IT Manager, Andy Rhodes, this has led to mobile information capture becoming an important component of the Company’s IT strategy.
Rhodes explains, “We have approximately 550 computer or smart device users and a few hundred blue collar workers. At any point in time, around 70 per cent of staff with a computer are not based in an office in the traditional sense - they are out in the field somewhere.”
While working on site, employees are frequently required to fill in a variety of paperwork. Rhodes estimates the company maintains around 180 different forms, ranging in purpose from project management, to building and workplace health and safety compliance, to human resources.
In 2012, most forms were still being completed as paper documents. Leave requests and time sheets, for example, were typically printed out, filled in by the remote staff member, then returned to the office where the information would be entered into the appropriate system, actioned and filed.
“We work in a unique industry in that paper forms are the norm. The guys who work for Georgiou, their job is to build things. They are fantastic at building buildings but they aren’t all fantastic at computers,” Rhodes points out.
Some managers would complete their paperwork on site using laptops, but given the surrounding earthworks and construction, it was a far from ideal environment. In addition to the dirt, it could be difficult to walk around an uneven building site, carrying a laptop and trying to enter inspection data.
That’s why, in the last few years, the company equipped many of its staff with iPads and iPhones. Even then however, paper remained a large part of the process with staff printing out their completed forms on return to the office. “Few, if any of the devices, were being used to their full potential. There was always lots of