United Utilities Case Study – Pipeline Construction
United Utilities is expected to save £189,000 and 4,000 man-hours per year during the delivery of its 100km West Cumbria pipeline – after commissioning a customised digital evidence platform from Leeds SaaS firm, eviFile.
Rolled out in 2018, eviFile’s assurance technology is bolstering efficiencies across the £300 million West Cumbria water supplies project – reducing the need for site visits by 20% thanks to real-time data capture. The project was completed early in 2021 and hand back is now fully finalised.
Providing United Utilities with immediate insights to keep the programme on track and provide future analysis, the software – which reduces disputes and rework via real-time task remediation – is expected to translate into project-wide financial savings over the course of the five-year scheme, while also meeting Ofwat’s regulatory requirements.
Elaborating on the project background, eviFile’s managing director, Luke Allen, explained: “Since the project began, United Utilities has been using eviFile data for hundreds of live evidence packs at any one time. The company shares the reports directly with Ofwat to demonstrate that the regulator’s Outcome Delivery Incentives (ODIs) have been met, as well as the Environment Agency and Drinking Water Inspectorate.
“It’s extremely rewarding to see the immediate impact we’ve had on United Utilities’ West Cumbria pipeline project. We know that when reporting is done manually and retrospectively, the data can be poor quality, takes significant resource and erodes confidence from regulators. eviFile offers a better way of doing things.
“We can make a complete evidence pack within four seconds – which could take months using traditional methods. Our digital evidence can’t be tampered with which also helps utility companies, contractors and regulators all avoid costly legal disputes.”
Commenting on the technology, head of construction services at United Utilities, William Eyre, added: “We’re very driven to improve the visibility of the health of our projects – and eviFile is the tool to do it. We now have a much more efficient, accurate and secure way of reporting on progress of construction against our delivery schedule and on key issues like environment, quality and health and safety.
“Introducing this technology has brought benefits across the whole project supply chain, for contractors, field operatives, project managers, stakeholders and regulators. Despite the challenges posed by Covid, we expect the project to be completed on time, in 2022.”
Once complete, the 100km pipeline will link West Cumbria’s Thirlmere reservoir with the rest of the region’s water network, to bring a more reliable and sustainable supply to West Cumbria by 2022.
eviFile’s growing presence in the marketplace – as an agile digitised workflow solution – is already having a positive impact on overhead projects in rail, critical infrastructure pipelines, and non-destructive testing in the power sector. Clients include major contractors and service providers such as VolkerRail, Network Rail, SPL, United Utilities, and Drax.
- 20% reduction in site visits through real-time data capture
- 50% time saving in the completion of hand back files to the regulator
- Circa 4,000 hours saved annually on streamlined data collection
- Digital assurance construction data reducing disputes (average dispute cost: £26m)
- Reducing rework tasks to 10% – from industry average of 25% through real-time remediation