In 2015, the province of Quebec created a new organization to support community healthcare needs. Today, key regions in Quebec have a CISSS or CIUSSS that ensures accessibility, continuity, and quality of wellbeing and social services for people in their immediate vicinity. This case study highlights how the CISSS in Abitibi-Témiscamingue chose Aidi to help them take the stress and financial unpredictability out of managing the construction projects that they oversee.
Recent operational changes within the CISSS and CIUSSS system have led to some shifts in how the infrastructure and assets of the health network are handled. Suddenly, the Abitibi-Témiscamingue CISSS found themselves in need of new construction management processes, at the risk of being completely overwhelmed with work.
As of 2019, a small team of five individuals is responsible for managing all the major projects within their geographic territory, and balancing a budget of $15M annually. Plus, they were responsible for supporting several local teams who rely on their guidance. It was clear that the Abitibi-Témiscamingue CISSS needed another way to keep tabs on their construction projects, which include maintenance, functional renovations (which are often complex in clinical environments), and large-scale projects such as the construction of a new cancer center.
Before signing on with Aidi, each member of the team at the Abitibi CISSS worked with their own Excel spreadsheet, communicating about progress made on construction projects via email. A specific team member was responsible for compiling information from various Excel spreadsheets and manually turning it into reports, which were also in Excel format, or sometimes Microsoft Word. This process was tedious and prone to errors, and with the shifts within the CISSS internal structure, it became critical to find a better way of doing things.
The main issue that the Abitibi CISSS team faced was how to monitor construction project progress across the entire territory. Another was that it was difficult to keep a close enough eye on financing of construction projects. For example, on several occasions, the team found out at the last minute that the financing plan needed to be modified, as a budget had been unexpectedly exhausted. Finally, the team never felt confident about their contingency plan estimates. There was always a sense of arbitrariness to the process, which didn't exactly instill confidence that a project would go smoothly. The team was always surprised to find out that the contingency funds had to be tapped into (not an ideal scenario by any means).
Realizing that they needed to find a better way of managing their construction projects, the CISSS evaluated three construction project management platforms. Ultimately, they chose Aidi for a couple of reasons.
The first was our specialization in managing construction projects. At Aidi, we're constantly adding new features to our platform when we perceive that our clients have a need for them - or when they're requested, of course! Two powerful functionalities that we've recently added to the platform (and that our clients have found immensely useful) are the Building Site Directive Module and Payment Request module. The Building Site Directive module helps everyone stay up to speed regarding change orders on a construction site, and the Payment Request module effortlessly streamlines the process of suppliers requesting payment, and payments being approved and issued.
The second reason that the Abitibi CISSS chose Aidi was the price of the platform, and the fact that Aidi offers an unlimited number of licenses and projects, without any additional costs incurred. This kind of structure eliminates the stress of trying to determine whether or not a specific project or supplier should be managed within the Aidi platform due to lack of budget. All of an organization's projects get a serious helping hand from Aidi.
Aidi officially went live at the Abitibi CISSS' office in February 2020, after the impressive results of the Proof of Concept we worked on with their team. The first phase was the integration of the CISSS' major renovation, expansion, and new construction projects into the Aidi software. Then we moved on to the integration of functional renovation projects.
From the very beginning of Aidi's implementation within Abitibi's CISSS, the financial stresses of the organization began to be eliminated. Aidi asks you to establish an implementation budget for each project - a required step if you want to produce purchase orders within the software. By requiring managers to plan and estimate projects in advance, funding for each project is predetermined, and cost overruns become a thing of the past. By managing projects in Aidi, managers can see early on if a project is at risk of running out of funding, and then can make decisions accordingly.
Another advantage of Aidi is the automation of strategic reports in the form of a dashboard. Instead of constantly needing to email one another and manually compiling information into reports, all this happens automatically inside the platform. Managers simply click a button to generate an Excel report centralizing all the information related to a project. These reports can even be automated and produced at a specific time - for example, every Monday morning at 6 AM.
Yet another major plus that Aidi brings to the table is how easily external stakeholders such as architects, contractors, and engineers can monitor the progress of their portions of a project within the software. This feature streamlines the handling of directives and receipts.
Before the Abitibi CISSS started using Aidi, project managers had to oversee these tedious tasks using a combination of verbal communication, email communication, paperwork, and filing. With Aidi, everything is centralized within the platform, displayed in the form of easy-to-read tables. Now the CISSS has much more control over followups, while external partners can focus on what they do best.
Aidi helps the CISSS to significantly simplify its administrative processes, which greatly helps small project teams such as ours - especially because construction is not our core business!
- Francis Luneau, Head of Installation Projects, Abitibi CISSS
The end result
The Abitibi CISSS is thrilled with their decision to move away from manually managing their construction projects and entrust their projects to the Aidi platform. With the Aidi's team's extensive project management experience and passion for training and supporting clients, the integration process went smoothly, and our teams have worked together beautifully from day one.
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