Sisk: Building Ireland’s Architectural Heritage
Sisk is an innovative, international construction and engineering company with over 160 years of experience in the industry, playing an important role in Ireland’s architectural heritage by delivering some of its iconic buildings, including Cork City Hall, Dundrum Town Centre, Aviva Stadium and Croke Park to name but a few.
Founded in 1859 by John Sisk in Cork, the company has grown into one of Ireland’s largest contractors, with offices in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, Waterford and Portlaoise. The first UK office was opened in St Albans in 1984, and operations have expanded to include locations in Birmingham, Warrington and Bristol. Projects in mainland Europe see Sisk operating in Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and Denmark.
Care, Integrity and Excellence
Since its founding, Sisk has built a reputation for successfully delivering large, complex, multidisciplinary construction projects, with a business focus on safe delivery for clients and their workforce, a fair and open way of working and a commitment to delivering the very best outcomes for all its stakeholders.
Sisk delivers innovative projects across a broad spectrum of sectors, including commercial, healthcare, transport and infrastructure, residential and sport and leisure, among many, many more. Innovation remains at the core of Sisk’s approach to construction, and the business is always looking at how new technology and techniques can enhance their productivity, results and working environment.
An Innovative Approach to Applications for Payment
When the UK Construction Act introduced a more defined framework for Applications for Payment, along with a re-tooled dispute resolution process for swift adjudications in the event of payment disputes, it placed additional administrative pressures on contractors.
The revamped process can be confusing, implementing new milestones within the application timeline that require timely and accurate information to be delivered as part of the process. Failure to do so can lead to exposure to the risk of inaccurate applications being submitted, payments being delayed or adjudications in the event of disagreement.
As part of their innovative outlook towards construction, and the emphasis the business places on the fair treatment of their supply chain, Sisk wanted to address the revamped process with a technology solution that would help their team manage the increased administration involved in application management and de-risk the process for the business, but could also add value to all stakeholders in the process and underpin their commitment to prompt payment of their supply chain.
Managing our subcontractor payment process in a sustainable and transparent manner is important to us at Sisk. WebContractor has become an important tool in enabling us to do this in a way which is clear for our supply chain and project teams
The Sisk and WebContractor Partnership
Sisk started working with WebContractor initially in their UK business, using the platform to streamline and digitise the administration and management of subcontractor Applications for Payment and deliver a robust framework that complied with the UK Construction Act.
WebContractor’s automated workflows, processes and reminders are all designed to help the Sisk team progress applications on time and in line with UK law, minimise the admin and chasing involved, and ensure accurate and complete information so that payments can be made promptly.
Sisk now has clear visibility of applications across their UK operations, with configurable levels of authorisation to ensure project costs are correctly signed-off and in line with budgets. The finance team can accurately and confidently predict cash flow requirements using a suite of reporting tools and notifications that track application costs as they move towards payment.
The Irish Rollout
After the successful launch of WebContractor within the UK business, the benefits of a digital approach to application management became clear to the senior leadership team at Sisk, and the decision was taken to roll out the solution in Ireland.
The payment claim requirements of Ireland’s Construction Contracts Act differ from its UK equivalent, but digitising the process, with integration into Sisk’s ERP system, still presented a valuable opportunity to introduce a more streamlined and efficient way of working, with benefits to both the business and subcontractor community.
Localisation of the currency and terminology within the WebContractor platform has been coupled with more extensive enhancements to the valuation schedule functionality to ensure compliance with the 30-day deadline between a valid subcontractor claim and payment, as set out in the Construction Contracts Act.
Finally, a full set of notification templates were created that are fully localised to comply with Irish law and create a platform that is completely tailored to support Sisk, and other Irish contractors, in delivering an efficient, robust payment claims process that is compliant with the Construction Contracts Act.
Following the successful implementation of WebContractor in the UK we felt the platform was also best placed to help us manage the requirements of the Construction Contracts Act in Ireland. This has allowed us to build on the learnings from the UK rollout and resulted in improvements to our payment processes in Ireland.
WebContractor Training and Support
WebContractor is now used across the whole Sisk Irish operating unit, with hundreds of users from a range of roles regularly using the platform to manage subcontractor applications across Ireland and the UK.
To ensure the system delivered value and benefits for users as quickly as possible, the rollout was supported by an extensive programme of training conducted by the WebContractor project management, onboarding and support teams.
An initial four-month trial for a sample of projects ensured all settings were configured and calibrated correctly for the Sisk team, with the opportunity for feedback to optimise the experience. Following the initial trial, the WebContractor team worked closely with Sisk to complete the full rollout across the business, loading over a dozen in-flight projects to the platform, delivering detailed training sessions for all users, producing training videos and sending customised onboarding packs to those subcontractors invited to use the solution by Sisk.
WebContractor now supports the Sisk group in the UK and Ireland with a subcontractor application platform fully integrated into their ERP, tailored to each market's legislation, payment cadence and terminology, that delivers a compliant, streamlined and optimised experience for their business and supply chain users.
WebContractor worked with Sisk to deliver:
- A robust platform to manage subcontractor applications
- A fully localised platform for the UK and Irish construction markets
- Dedicated onboarding and ongoing support
The rollout in Ireland has been a success with WebContractor working closely with us to ensure a smooth landing both technically and in the training of our project teams. We see this as an important step as we continue to improve our commercial processes and procedures to the benefit of both Sisk and the supply chain.