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Partek is a solutions-focused company, with a vision to become South Australia's commercial builder of choice. Starting out as a small fit-out refurbishment company in 1988, the company has since transformed into a $50+ million business working across general construction, office fit-outs, and building refurbishments for both private and public clients in a range of sectors. Many are repeat clients, a reflection of Partek’s commitment to excellence aesthetically, creatively and functionally in all its projects, and to delivering within budget.

Partek’s diverse clients include St Michael’s College, SA Care, Catholic Education South Australia and Surf Life Saving South Australia. No matter who the client, Partek brings passion, enthusiasm and a genuine desire to exceed expectations. The company recently adopted the HammerTech platform, and shares with us a view from the office, and from the workplace, of how the transition is going.

VIEW FROM THE OFFICE

 A forward-thinking, solutions-focused culture drives success

Partek project manager Jarrod Braley has been with the company six years, and over that time has witnessed the importance of the firm’s ethos to achieving its goals. “We have a vibrant culture generating a strong morale amongst our team,” Jarrod explains. “Adopting this attitude alongside our sustained technical expertise and management capabilities ensures we maintain a forward-thinking and solution-focused outcome for our clients.”

Partek has been careful to stay active across a range of sectors, recognising the very competitive environment in which it operates. The company has a broad client base across health and education, commercial and industrial, and government/defence. “Operating in a small competitive market space, it is important for a business of our size not to be overzealous in committing to one sector,” Jarrod says. “This enables us to service and deliver all prospective clients, current and future.”

Ease of use held strong appeal

When looking to introduce a new HSEQ system to its business, Partek looked at a number of different platforms but in the end found HammerTech to be the best suited to its operations. “We wanted an efficient, streamlined solution that would enable all Work Health & Safety systems to be optimised in one location,” Jarrod explains. “The HammerTech platform is easy to use, easily accessible and ensures we will be at the forefront of safety across our sites.”

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Never compromise on safety

Partek’s complete commitment to safety was a strong driver in choosing the HammerTech platform, he adds. “We have a strong mindset that safety is a non-negotiable. HammerTech offered a platform focused on Work Health & Safety. Many of the other available platforms integrate WHS as one component and therefore were not as encompassing as the HammerTech platform.”

“The advice and assistance received from HammerTech enabled us to adopt our already operational WHS system into an easily adaptable solution through simple training and online discussions. This enabled us to be setup and operating with minimal change to our current systems.”

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Easy transition, with strong support

Implementing the HammerTech platform has gone smoothly, assisted by ongoing support. “The process was relatively quick from our end as a smaller organisation,” Jarrod says, noting that Partek appreciated the online helpdesks, support guides and the hotline for urgent queries. “HammerTech did the initial documentation upload, which was then followed by in-person training, both in the office and on site.”

Real-time view enables streamlined operations

 

Digital transformation is offering significant benefits to Partek as it continues to evolve to meet client needs. It enables a much clearer overview of what is happening on particular projects, and ensures accountability across all operations. “Having the software available digitally in lieu of the hardcopy predecessor ensures we are always operating live,” Jarrod points out.

From head office to site office, the real-time updates enable everyone to view what is happening on our sites at any given time. The system has further benefit to our subcontractors and suppliers who can streamline many of the traditionally perceived ‘mundane tasks’ such as inductions, SWMS and permits. Everything can be done in the palm of your hand which ensures accountability amongst everyone and ensures we are on top of our safety at any given time.

Downtime minimised, enabling greater efficiencies

Jarrod says the introduction of the HammerTech platform resulted in immediate efficiencies. “The biggest enhancements correlate directly to our Site Teams, where they can minimise downtimes on items such as inductions, permits, and SWMS review. Subcontractors can undertake many of these live and/or well in advance of arriving on site.”

The platform also allows tasks to be done remotely, meaning fewer site visits are needed by the office staff. “Our office-based staff are able to review daily site diaries and updates to monitor site progress and ensure that WHS requirements are being adhered to, which often could not be done previously unless they were actually onsite in person.”

Jarrod adds that there are still further benefits Partek hopes to harness through the platform. “As we grow in its use, we can see further benefit in the generation of high-level-reporting with automatically generated data being pulled into easy-to-read format. Once all subcontractors are used to the new platform and other builders within the state come onboard (which we understand a number are), it will get easier for all moving forward.”

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“We are not structured with large onsite teams as some of the larger tier companies are, so we see vast potential in streamlining many of the day-to-day site processes of induction, permits, SWMS and so on, This will ensure our Site Managers can focus on delivering high quality projects whilst knowing all the WHS requirements are met for their given projects.”

Jarrod also believes the software and its reporting capabilities will become increasingly helpful as usage increases and the number of projects on HammerTech multiplies.

The more data that is in the system, and therefore can be taken out and shown as high-level, graphic reports, the more it will enhance operational reporting. The often lengthy task of collating the previous hard copy systems, will be reduced and hence the data correlated, and subsequently presented will be live and more accurate.

VIEW FROM THE JOBSITE

Coffee, then HammerTech

Site manager Joe Prater pretty much starts the day with HammerTech – after his coffee of course. Having been with Partek four years, he’s established a solid daily routine, and the HammerTech platform has slotted into it well. His day begins something like this: “Arrive, coffee, open laptop, launch HammerTech/Outlook, read yesterday’s notes, plan for day ahead….”

Then there are inductions to take care of, emails to respond to, trades to sort out, and the inevitable problem solving that is part of the daily work of a site manager. Throughout the day, Joe says he is entering information into the HammerTech platform between walking the site, checking on progress, and taking care of any issues.

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A place for everything, and everything in its place

The introduction of the HammerTech platform has sped up induction times and introduced a range of efficiencies, but a big improvement lies with the storage and accessibility of important information, Joe says, noting he previously had to grapple with numerous lever arch folders, paper galore, and information sprinkled across different computer files. “Our WHS system was spread over numerous areas which entailed having folders saved to our desktop with required forms, permits, etc.  Having a paper-based diary always posed the issue of having important information misplaced.” There are significant benefits also from being able to conduct all aspects of the company’s WHS system on the go, he adds, whether that be in the site office, out on site, during lunch or even at home in the evening.

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Workplace efficiencies as tasks are split

The platform also allows appropriate delegation, with the comfort all the information will be accessible on the platform. “I can have contractors take responsibility for certain aspects of their day (permits, equipment, etc) allowing me to focus on site related activity.  Induction time has halved, and I know all aspects of my project’s WHS criteria is stored in the one place.”

Joe struggles to point to one module that is being used more than others, noting he is drawing on almost all of them. “Site Diary, Workers On Site, HSEQ Inspections, Incidents, Equipment Inductions, Meetings, Bulletins, SWMS, Employers, Permits…  Maintaining up to date records for our projects is vital in enabling us to be compliant from both a WHS and QA standpoint, as well as produce a safe working environment for our workers.”

Familiarity with the platform enhances its usefulness

Partek is investing time ensuring staff and contractors understand the HammerTech platform so they can get the most of it. “Introducing a new system has had its challenges as any new workplace system does, but slowly implementing new modules as we become more familiar with HammerTech is proving to be beneficial,” Joe explains. “Our contractors are becoming more acquainted with the software and as more builders move to a digital-based WHS system this will become the norm moving forward.” Partek has set up training masterclasses to assist with the learning process. “We sit down as a group every couple of months and run through different aspects of HammerTech to help more Site Managers become familiar with different areas and capabilities HammerTech has to offer.”

In the end it’s about safety and quality

“HammerTech is almost like an accountability partner, triggering me to keep up to date with record keeping, photos, inductions, SWMS, etc,” Joe says. This ensures the things that matter don’t get overlooked. “Safety and quality are at the forefront of any project with Partek,” Joe says. “We pride ourselves on providing a safe and secure site for our trades each day and delivering the highest quality product to our clients come Handover day.  It is with this ethos Partek strive to be SA’s Commercial Builder of Choice.”

You can learn more about Partek here.