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Global Engineering Leader

Global Engineering Leader Achieves Cost Savings and Productivity Gains with Unified Knowledge Platform

This US-based frontrunner in global engineering services simplified access to 1.6+ million industry standards and 100+ million trusted technical publications from authoritative sources by relying on a single platform. This enabled the company to reduce costs and reduce the 30% of time that engineers typically spend on R&D.

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Challenge

  • Consolidate and streamline access to standards information and analysis
  • Give engineers the opportunity to spend less time on basic research and more time on higher value analysis
  • Maintain or extend market leadership position among engineering services providers

Solution

IHS Product Design with IHS Standards Expert® and IHS Knowledge Collections

Results

  • Simplified access to 1.6+ million industry standards and more than 100 million additional trusted technical publications from authoritative sources via a single platform
  • Reduced costs by eliminating need for an alternative legacy system and gaining leverage in contracting with a single provider
  • Increased productivity by accelerating research – helping reduce the 30% of R&D time that engineers typically spend duplicating work previously done
  • Minimized risk of lost time and rework – or even legal liability -- by providing quick access to patent information
  • Enhanced the company’s ability to attract and retain outstanding engineering talent

Global Engineering Firm Lowers Costs, Raises Productivity

This US-based frontrunner in global engineering services continually strives to exceed customer expectations as well as industry standards by leveraging the very best human and technical resources. For decades, it has delivered engineering expertise for many of the world’s most successful water, transportation, environmental, energy/power, and infrastructure projects. With tens of thousands of employees serving a diverse portfolio of clients on six continents, its leadership team understood that their company could only deliver best-in-class consulting, design, operations and program management if it attracted and nurtured superior engineering talent and provided those top professionals with leading-edge tools.

Historically, however, its engineers faced a major challenge. They spent a great deal of time looking for relevant, reliable and up-to-date industry standards information using multiple sources, including various internet search engines. Often, the problem was compounded when company engineers had to search farther afield for expert analysis in ancillary publications in order to understand how standards should be applied. Company strategists realized that they needed to make a change in order to maintain or extend the firm’s leadership position in ultra-competitive global markets.

Establishing Clear Goals, Selecting a Partner

The Technical Director for the company’s Center for Excellence headed up the project team. An engineer by background, he was an acknowledged thought- leader regarding information content and services for the company’s engineers. His team’s objective was to simplify and standardize the company’s technical information infrastructure. Rather than having busy engineers use one system to look up a specific industry standard and then go to other systems – or, worse, internet search engines – to search for related documentation, they wanted a consolidated solution from a single vendor that could provide access to trusted information from authoritative sources.

This unified approach would boost efficiency by enabling engineers to find the data and analysis they needed faster so they can get more done and focus on higher value work. This would not only improve the engineers’ performance but also improve job satisfaction. Most importantly, a consolidated technical information management system would help the company drive operational excellence, delivering even higher value to clients with projects that ensure world- class quality, safety and sustainability.

The Technical Director and his project team turned quickly to a trusted partner, IHS. With support from their Chief Technology Officer and Chief Financial Officer, the team chose IHS because they had relied on an IHS standards subscription (and other solutions) for years and already had a strong relationship with IHS industry and technical experts.

Millennials expect to have information at their fingertips and good young engineers are always in demand. If they don’t have the right tools, they look for a place that gives them a better opportunity for success.

Implementing a Leading-Edge Solution

When the global engineering company’s project team outlined their objectives, IHS experts proposed implementing a new consolidated solution called IHS Knowledge Collections. IHS Knowledge Collections would continue to leverage the strength of the company’s current subscription to the market-leading IHS Standards Expert, which provides easy access to more than 1.6 million industry standards.

In addition, the new IHS solution would also offer integrated access to a wealth of other essential engineering publications, including journal articles, conference proceedings, technical manuals, patents and more. Within this vast array of content – which IHS was continuing to build out and soon included more than 100 million documents – engineers could now quickly find the specific information they needed because the new IHS solution also included a user- friendly interface powered by patented question- answer search technology.

The engineering company made the bold decision to implement IHS Knowledge Collections and get out ahead of competitors with a new innovation.

Starting Fast and Making an Impact

By partnering closely with IHS experts, who provided extensive consulting and training, the company was able to accelerate deployment and get its engineers up to speed quickly on the new consolidated platform. Soon the engineering company’s project team and leadership began seeing positive results.

Global Engineering Leader

The first benefit was cost savings. By eliminating the need for an alternative legacy system (or disparate web browsers) and bringing together multiple resources on one unified platform from one provider, the company was able to both save money and simplify contracting.

Productivity gains were even more significant. Early results indicate that IHS Knowledge Collections promotes substantial efficiencies – helping companies reduce the 30 percent of R&D time that engineers typically spend duplicating work and research that has already been done.1 This company’s engineers can now quickly pull up timely, consistent standards data along with expert analysis to explain how a given standard applies to their project.

As a leading developer of engineering innovations, this company also welcomed the opportunity to use IHS Knowledge Collection to minimize potential patent issues. IHS makes it easy to search for applicable patents – reducing the risk of duplicated effort as well as legal complications.

Gaining Momentum for the Future

By implementing IHS Knowledge Collections, this global engineering leader has positioned itself for continued success. In addition to its other gains, this company has also made itself more appealing to its most vital asset – top engineering talent. As one industry expert said, “Millennials expect to have information at their fingertips, and good young engineers are always in demand. If they don’t have the right tools, they look for a place that gives them a better opportunity for success.”

Today, this premier engineering services firm continues to partner with IHS. Its engineers are not only increasing their use of the new platform but also offering valuable input to IHS developers as they continue to build out new content and functionality for the future.

1 http://www.ihs.com/pdfs/IHS-Goldfire-Platform-Whitepaper (PDF, 689 KB)

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