With the help of SurePact, Aurukun Shire Council is collaborating with QBuild to improve construction deliveries for remote communities.
Aurukun Shire Council is a small Council that can be found in Far North Queensland. It includes much of the traditional country of Wik, Wik Way and Kugu peoples.
The Council works together with external contractors, such as QBuild, the leading provider of construction and strategic building maintenance services for the Queensland Government, to manage the maintenance and installation of community infrastructure.
Specifically, Aurukun Shire Council and QBuild work together on projects for the Department of Housing, ranging from low-scale vacant maintenances through to entire housing rebuilds.
QBuild is the principal for all works undertaken in Aurukun on government assets. There are approximately 200 houses in Aurukun that QBuild are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of.
As a non-rate payer-based community, 77 per cent of the Council’s revenue is provided by Commonwealth and State Government funding bodies. Any overrun must be paid for by either reducing future activity or applying for further funding. On the other hand, any savings the Council makes to its bottom line can be redirected to additional projects for the local community.
The Council identified very labour-intensive processes in regards to organising, tracking and delivering its various projects.
Prior to integrating SurePact into its business, millions of dollars in grants, projects and contracts were being managed through multiple and very large spreadsheets, emails and files on a group drive.
QBuild was also finding pain points in its lack of live information, reporting and document transparency and variation tracking.
“Our processes involve many steps,” Aurukun Shire Council Technical Services Officer Anne Boundy says, “and how we were managing those steps previously meant deliveries were being slowed down due to the amount of data we were trying to manage.
Before integrating SurePact, the Council relied heavily on personnel to coordinate and share information, which created gaps in recording and approval processes.
“We recognised that we needed to streamline our project deliveries to track all of our activity in one secure location that could be safely and securely accessed by external contractors,” she says.
Due to these concerns, the Council sought a software that would enable them to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
In July 2019, Aurukun Shire Council implemented SurePact’s project management and contract delivery software.
Within the SurePact system, the Council and QBuild are able to collaborate. Information can be entered virtually with an internet-connected device in the field, with built-in analytics and real-time reporting dashboards available at all times to those with access, ensuring full accessibility and visibility.
“All QBuild upgrades are recorded and tracked in SurePact, from the initial receipt of the tender documents through to completion. These include projects that start from as low as $25k to $150k, depending on the amount of work involved,” Boundy says.
“With SurePact we are able to keep track of and manage everything each delivery needs securely in one place, and can give appropriate access to everyone involved, providing accessibility and creating time and resource savings.
“QBuild can follow all the steps as we go, and have access to all the documentation. This means everyone is on the same page and QBuild gets the full picture of their contract with Aurukun Shire Council.”
QBuild Senior Supervisor Shane Hopkins says this transparency is crucial to their operations.
“SurePact provides us with variation and documentation management, ensures all information on all projects is on hand, stores all background/history information with completion dates and allows for all parties to be involved in data entry for each stage of the works,” he says.
Both Aurukun Shire Council and QBuild have seen significant benefits from using SurePact to collaborate, including enhanced accessibility, transparency, communication and variation management.
“QBuild are notified when our quote is closing to our subcontractors, the documents are available for viewing by all parties involved and notifications of each stage are advised through the Governance Log,” Boundy says. “Although l only deal with the first stage of sending out the tender for quoting, l am able to inform both QBuild and our building supervisor that the tender has been received and is being actioned through SurePact.
“This helps resolve the discrepancies between project/contract costs between financial systems and the Project Manager’s own records. The data is live, which means all reports are current at time of running and the document library helps streamline the QBuild requirements.
“Each contract is conveniently stored under the financial year’s projects, assisting with our yearly reporting on the quantity of value of each contract under them.”
SurePact is able to deliver transparency to the Council and QBuild, allowing everyone to see what stage the works are at upfront.
“Every party has a complete view of the contract works from beginning to end within SurePact,” Boundy says. “QBuild has access to progress photos and completion documentation in realtime.
“Through Council’s involvement in SurePact, and with QBuild’s enthusiasm, we can foresee a total project/contract program being used by both parties moving forward.”
For QBuild specifically, Hopkins recognises that SurePact is a very useful tool for all parties involved with the works in Aurukun.
“SurePact is saving me time overall, and I have found communication between the Council and contractors has improved,” Hopkins says.
By streamlining and simplifying the process of collaboration, SurePact has transformed the way Aurukun Shire Council and QBuild deliver projects.