Video handovers – the future of project delivery?
In March 2020, Agilité Solutions’ history was made – we successfully delivered our first ever virtual client handover. With most of Europe in Coronavirus lockdown, the team completed a turnkey project for The Instant Group against all the odds – and handed over the space using the power of Zoom. Agilité project executive Douglas Deptula looks back at the assignment…
When the Swiss border began to close on March 14, we were just 13 days away from the project completion date we’d agreed with the client. As such, the pressure was on to not only ensure the scheme of works was finished – but to find a virtual way of obtaining client approval too.
When government sanctions commenced, the 520m² office fit-out in Zürich, Switzerland was in the process of being decorated while awaiting the delivery and installation of furniture, fixtures and fittings. However, as some of the products – and indeed specialist manpower – were coming from outside of Switzerland, this resulted in a significant amount of time being spent communicating with border control and customs in order to ensure the completion date of March 27 could be met.
A digital project delivery
Luckily, a robust supply chain and open lines of communication with all parties meant the project was completed on time – but the next challenge was the approvals process. The task was to find the most suitable – and safest – method to enable both the client and end-user to review the development, and sign off the works.
It’s natural that people want to see the physical finish of a project prior to approval, and interact with the environment in order to really appreciate the newly-created ‘look and feel’ of the space. So, with the uncertainty surrounding cross-border travel and social distancing still very much a factor, we took the decision to trial a Zoom delivery of the project work. Being able to see and ask questions during a digital tour proved vital in instilling a high level of confidence that the space was completed, and expectations met.
A successful sign off
On the day of the handover, all workers – aside from cleaning staff – vacated the site. A single representative from Agilité Solutions, The Instant Group and Aspen Insurance were given access to walk through the space – with everyone else joining via video conference. The walkthrough went without a hitch, and as such the project was signed-off on time, and within budget.
John Williams, Head of Marketing at The Instant Group said: “I can safely say that The Instant Group was completely blown away with the digital handover. Our entire team and the end user were incredibly impressed by the lengths Agilité Solutions went to, in order to provide the opportunity to really share the essence of the space – and so passionately and comprehensively too.”
Kirsty Shearer, development director added: “Although the approvals process went without a hitch – so much so that we recently had a virtual project kick off with another client – it’s unlikely that this will become the norm.
“There’s nothing quite like physically seeing, touching, and exploring a new environment, but for the moment, being able to do something on video is better that not being able to do it at all.”
To find out more about this six-week office relocation scheme, read the full project report here.