WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT DEVELOPING A KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM
Tribus Digital and construction company, Willmott Dixon, are delighted to have been shortlisted for a UK Digital Excellence Award. When tech people get it right, and when their solutions work seamlessly, it’s not uncommon for all the hard work to be taken for granted. Nominations like this shine a light on our unsung digital heroes.
“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a UX Digital Excellence Award for the Knowledge Hub. It is testament to the truly innovative work we deliver for Willmott Dixon, which is driving forward the whole construction industry.”
Adam Spry, Director at Tribus Digital
A platform to simplify work-winning
The Knowledge Hub is a web-based platform providing the latest, detailed knowledge and supporting evidence about Willmott Dixon’s work across a range of key subject areas. It brings together business-wide data sets, customer testimonials approved for use, and other supporting information, signed off by experts in the business.
Why it was needed
Willmott Dixon has 87 people working in six bid teams across the country, writing around 224 bids each year. Before the Knowledge Hub, they spent an estimated 60% of their time researching information/evidence. While every bid is tailored to the customer, much of the information/evidence used is common to many of the bids. And local experts spent around 30% of their time providing repeat information. The process was inefficient.
How we developed it
Tribus worked with Willmott Dixon to create a ground-breaking, first-to-market platform. The Knowledge Hub, developed using a Laravel framework and a Statamic CMS, provides integrated real-time data, customer testimonials and supporting evidence about their approach to a wide variety of topics: a one-stop-shop for their work-winning community.
One year after the launch of the Knowledge Hub, in a survey of Willmott Dixon’s bid teams:
- 94% said it improved efficiency
- 100% said it improved bid accuracy
- 75% said it reduced no. of systems they went to for data
- 75% said it improved stress levels/wellbeing
What people said
“It’s just so useful to have all this business-wide knowledge all on one platform, there’s content in there that I never knew the business did.”
Bid Manager, Willmott Dixon
“What Knowledge Hub brings… is leading us to consistently high scoring – and fundamentally winnable – bids.”
Senior Bid Coordinator, Willmott Dixon
“Of the many in-house libraries of bid content I’ve seen, Willmott Dixon’s Knowledge Hub is by far the best.”
Jon Williams, MD of the award-winning bidding agency, Strategic Proposals.
What we learned
Getting it right first time: Willmott Dixon was working to a tight budget and this was a complicated platform that needed to be intuitive and easy to search. So scoping out the brief thoroughly was really important: we couldn’t afford any expensive mistakes during development. Tribus invested the time upfront to help Willmott Dixon identify what they needed, and together we tested many approaches before we started coding.
Good relationships are key: Tribus and Willmott Dixon have worked together since 2016 – we understand each other’s businesses – aims, aspirations and pain points and, there’s been give and take on both sides which has really helped when we’ve hit obstacles.
Communication is vital: We’ve kept in touch regularly and worked hard to keep each other informed, with a no surprises approach.
Baseline activity before launch: It’s really important that the client gathers data on the problem that the digital solution is trying to solve, so you can demonstrate a real ‘before and after’. Just before they launched the Knowledge Hub, Willmott Dixon ran a survey to put some figures against how much time they spent researching information, and then ran the same survey a year later. Because Willmott Dixon’s team had quantitative data to demonstrate the incredible difference the Knowledge Hub made, they were able to secure further funding from the business to extend the platform still further.
Useful beyond its original scope: If a solution is planned well, and is simple to use, then don’t be surprised if it gets used by more people than expected. Though designed for bid teams, the analytics show that the Knowledge Hub is proving a valuable resource for teams from across Willmott Dixon – from construction managers to apprentices, and much more – as a source of information about the business’s people, processes and tools.
Launched in 2016 and named as Europe’s fastest growing companies by the Financial Times 2022, Tribus Digital is a team of passionate specialists driving digital transformation for some of the world’s leading companies. They’ve won a raft of awards for the way they’ve harnessed digital, people, creativity and cutting-edge technology to transform their clients’ businesses.
Founded in 1852, Willmott Dixon is a British, family-owned business, named the UK’s top workplace in the 2022 Best Big Company to Work For list. Its approach to sustainable development has been recognise by a Kings Award for Promoting Opportunity. They’ve held a Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development since 2014.
Tribus and Willmott Dixon have worked together for over ten years, designing and engineering multiple award-winning, industry leading business process transformation applications which are currently saving Willmott Dixon c. £1m per annum.