This article is written about Docstream and Snagstream, the forerunners and the solid foundation that now forms Prostream. The components of the products are the same and are supplemented in Prostream with extra product features. The piece below gives a good picture of the essence of Docstream and Snagstream, as well as that of Prostream.
In the twenty years that we have been making smart software for construction, quite a few interesting parties have already passed the review to get started with Prostream (or predecessors Docstream and Snagstream). We are not only proud of that, we can also learn a lot from it. That is why we contacted Dries Claes from Heylen Warehouses (from Belgium) to find out what smart collaboration looks like for them.
Heylen Warehouses: a real project manager
“Heylen Warehouses invests in logistics and semi-industrial real estate,” Claes begins. “We develop it, we build it and we manage it. As a result, we have unique long-term customer relationships. If you would call us a project developer – in the Dutch sense of the word – then we aren’t exactly that, because we actually build it too. We have a much closer relationship with all contractors then you would normally expect. And when we talk about digitization, it is very important that we can find everything in the system, should challenges arise later on. Then we know exactly what we did in the construction process.”
Digitization starts with a document management app
We are talking about document management system Docstream and quality control system Snagstream, which are now bundled in Prostream and have been used by Heylen for years. “And we are still happy with that,” says Claes. “The main reason for this is that we work with a large number of external parties. In our projects we work with one or at most two of our own people, which means that our own people only upload 2% of all documents in the Docstream environment itself. We can easily give everyone access to the the document they need for their job – not to everything – and in this way we maintain control over the complex structure of countless contractors, partners and internal employees within various projects.
A major advantage is that everyone can always quickly find the necessary documents, but then the software must be clear enough that everyone can quickly find their way. Fortunately, that is the case.
Put your bricks on it
“In addition, we also give our subcontractors a lot of responsibility,” he continues. “For example, a bricklayer has to put ‘his own bricks’ on Docstream or Prostream. Suppose that someone then needs the documents of that mason and they are not on it, then we say: “you know where to find each other. So everyone has a responsibility. A major advantage is that everyone can always quickly find the necessary documents, but then the software must be clear enough that everyone can quickly find their way. Fortunately, that is the case with Docstream.”
Advantages over Dropbox
When asked how that went before the Prostream era, Claes answers: Before this we worked with Dropbox. And with that we encountered quite a few problems. For example, there was no option for version control and you could not assign user rights. If an architect wanted to share something with us that not everyone was allowed to touch, then a separate Dropbox had to be opened which was time consuming. In the end you were left with so many Dropboxes that you lost the overview. As a result, we quickly saw the need to manage it ourselves within one documentation system.
Share large files with whoever you want
“One feature we use a lot is the delivery or message function,” he says. “Suppose I want to send a large file to someone who may or may not work in Docstream, then that is possible. It is very flexible and has great advantages compared to, for example, WeTransfer. The link you send is valid forever, until you determine that it should expire within a certain timeframe. You just have to make sure the document is on Docstream and that makes it even better than the paid version of WeTransfer.”
Your quality control system on your mobile phone
Now Heylen Warehouses not only works with Docstream, but also with quality system Snagstream. “We do the Snagstream rounds with that,” says Claes. “We know that everyone is busy working all day, but as a result, points are forgotten here and there. We then walk around the yard and register on the iPad with a photo and location indication where something still needs to be solved. This is convenient and ensures easy follow-up for both the project team and the contractor, who knows exactly where to be on the site. What also happens regularly is that we are working on something completely different and then still see an area for improvement. Then I grab my iPhone and take a photo that I put on Snagstream. Then the problem can be solved quickly. And when that point has been resolved, the contractor can also quickly register it on Snagstream. That way you keep everything together.”
This article is based on a conversation with Dries Claes about our expertise in construction. Fortunately, Prostream focuses on all industries where processes take place and can be applied very generically.
Featured photo is by: Jeroen Verrecht, with permissions from Heylen Warehouses