The world of engineering today would be completely unrecognisable to someone just twenty years ago: In a generation we have gone from drafting desks and slide rules to CAD modelling, virtual reality and the Internet. These days, digital engineering is the new norm – and often comes with inflated predictions about performance, ease of use and accountability that it can’t live up to. That’s why we at Spencer Group insist on using the latest digital tools to supplement a solid foundation of traditional engineering skill, not to replace it.
We’re not interested in change for its own sake, and we don’t make promises we can’t deliver – we simply equip our engineers with the latest technology and let their years of training and experience do the rest. Our in-house design team have been pioneering the latest in 3D and 4D modelling techniques, our project management has integrated the unique SOS system that maximises access and transparency for our clients, and our XER Schedule Toolkit enables clients to view and track project schedules and costs at any time.
We believe that digital technology should make engineering easier and augment existing skills, not make it harder or replace expertise, so we’ve prioritised digital systems that increase our ability to work cooperatively and transparently with our clients over quick fixes and automation. From the start, we utilise 3D design to bring a project to life as much as possible for our clients – allowing them to realise a design in detail, so they can make informed decisions and spot potential flaws before they happen. This is part of our ‘right first time’ approach that eliminates waste and inefficiency by spotting mistakes and opportunities on the drawing board.
But our approach to digital engineering doesn’t stop there, and it’s not just for show. After a project breaks ground, we work with our design team and our clients to continually re-visit and update the design around the changing realities of the project – always working to maximise its buildability and cost effectiveness. Alongside this, our clients also have full access to information about the project, from full documentation to the latest daily progress and costs, via our bespoke SOS and XER software. This level of transparency enables us to work as collaboratively as possible with the entire supply chain, and helps us make decisions informed by the latest information.
The technology that underpins our digital work is changing all the time, and we are constantly looking for new ways to use it in order to improve our own work, and our clients’ experience of it. From advances in Building Information Modelling (BIM) to the increasing capability of drones to assist with design and mapping, new solutions grow and change every day – but the underlying principles remain the same: achieving the extraordinary through exceptional engineering.