During a recent interview with our customer Bas Oomens, Project & Engineering Manager at Pöyry Switzerland Ltd., we were able to learn about the experiences of one of our PIRS power users.

Bas Oomens Pöyry SwitzerlandMr Oomens who was already managing large EPC projects for Pöyry Switzerland Ltd. when PIRS was first introduced shared with us the reasons why Pöyry decided to implement our project based document and correspondence management solution. In addition he also gave as an inside into his personal experiences and his opinions on using specialized document management solutions such as PIRS to support the execution of large EPC projects regarding the role of an owner’s engineer company.

Following you will find an excerpt of the full interview. To review the entire interview, don’t miss to watch the interview recordings in our YouTube channel.

SOBIS: Please introduce your company and its role in EPC projects to our readers.

Bas Oomens: Pöyry is a global engineering consulting network company, which is involved in large energy and infrastructure projects around the globe. We provide consulting services throughout the whole project life cycle from project development, implementation up to commissioning, testing and operations.

SOBIS: What is your position within Pöyry Switzerland Ltd.? What are your main responsibilities within the execution of projects?

Bas Oomens: Within Pöyry I am working for the Energy Business Group, Thermal Power & Renewables. Depending on the project, our role within projects can vary from contractor’s engineer to owner’s engineer where we advise our clients in developing and implementing large, complex power generation projects.

What differentiates me, us  is that from day one I create with my clients a solid basis for a long-term successful project, nothing else. I am the opinion that an effective document management & controlling system, such as PIRS, is key to capital project success.

SOBIS: Prior to introducing PIRS, how did you use to manage your correspondence and documents? Did you use other document management systems? What were the main challenges in efficiently executing your general work processes?

Bas Oomens: The first question is here WHY use a DMS at all? Very simple, I am convinced that effective document management & control is the key to project success. So given the nature of our company and our projects, characterized by size (large amount of info), complexity (many participants & interfacings at different global locations, in our case home office and site), time constraints (on time project delivery resulting in concurrent engineering and design review) there is a need for a common system to avoid disconnected workflows, silo information and to manage & control the large amount of information.

Until 2011 we merely relied on an (own-build) internal document management system, public available ones or those developed by contractors. Most of these systems were database driven, supported by spreadsheets and did require significant manual intervention. Actually, they were more document filing systems than document management & controlling systems. I believe the word controlling should be emphasized here, because it is not only about the mechanics of creating, reviewing, storing and publishing documents and information, but also about creating an environment of transparency and visibility so that the whole project team, owner, consultant and contractor can track the thousands of project-related documents to ensure successful project implementation and eventually handover.

SOBIS: How did you experience the introduction of PIRS?

Bas Oomens: Prior to selecting PIRS we analyzed different options. It was mainly a discussion between build-vs.-buy approach. We found the middle way, thanks to the support of SOBIS, by procuring a purpose-built, commercially available document management & control system, PIRS. This had the great advantage that 80% of the requirements were already provided for in the application and the remaining 20% – customization to accommodate for Pöyry’s design review process – could be achieved by configuration of the application rather than customization of the platform so that the new DMS could be launched within two to three weeks, something which was crucial because our live project, Shoaiba II, had already started.

SOBIS: Did your work processes change since introducing PIRS? And what are the key advantages of using a central correspondence and document management system, such as PIRS?

Bas Oomens: PIRS has changed the way of working in many ways considerably. From the moment we introduced PIRS we could follow the design review process I had in mind for a long time and which is based on clearly defined roles & responsibilities and the usage of experts. Following this process, reflected by the workflow in PIRS, it has highly improved our performance. First thanks to this clearly defined process and having a well-trained professional document controller’s team in Dubai we are able handle a throughput of several thousand documents per months for various projects at the same time so that we are more efficient and effective. PIRS enables us to focus on those aspects that really add value to our client’s projects.

Second, since all information is stored in one systems our global project members, both in the home offices as well as at the site, work on the same basis of information; a truly globally connected team that shares information and which can work on the project for 24 hours / day.

Third, PIRS’s Controlling & Reporting functionalities allow us with very little effort to extract all statistics at any time in order to be informed about the project’s progress and status; a huge advantage for our project management to support our clients in discussions with contractors.

SOBIS: From your personal perspective and experience, would you recommend PIRS?

Bas Oomens: Yes, I’d recommend PIRS for more than 100%. Not only because it is an efficient and effective software, but also because of the SOBIS’ customer orientation; an excellent reliable product, developed and supported by helpful people always looking for improvements.

SOBIS: What is your favorite functionality?

Bas Oomens: The effective search function in combination with automatic numbering system.

SOBIS: Do you wish for any additional features in future PIRS releases?

Bas Oomens: My dream is that we can track the full review history of all document revisions in one comment sheet; a living document growing together with the project.

SOBIS: That would certainly be a great feature. I will make sure to pass your suggestion along to our PIRS product manager.

Thank you Mr. Oomens for taking the time to answer our questions today.