New Internet Service for the CDM Community
11 September 2000
Managing CDM will now be cheaper and easier than before with the launch of an Internet based 'pay-as-you-go' service. For as little as £1 per day project teams and clients can set up easily accessible documentation and keep up to date with the latest changes to a project. cdmUK.com is a new e-commerce service launched by Ai Solutions, it is based on six years experience with their highly successful CDM ToolKit 2000, a PC based CDM document management system. cdmUK.com enables clients, architects, planning supervisors and contractors, of both small and large projects, to keep all the relevant information in one place providing easy access across the team. It also helps clients find planning supervisors. Ai Solutions has teamed up with Mouchel, a large engineering consultancy and expert in CDM, to support and manage this service.
The aim is to provide a communication interface between members of project teams, including clients and contractors, together with extensive knowledge bases to help users find their way through the regulations. Once logged on, a user can select from four principal options:
- Ask cdmUK. A search engine which is backed up by a knowledge base on all aspects of the CDM regulations and how to comply with them;
- CDM ToolKit Online. A project based document management system;
- CDM DocUstore. A long term storage facility for CDM documents including the health and safety file; and,
- CDM Services. A link to providers of planning supervisory services who meet qualification criteria set down by cdmUK.com. Clients will be able to use this to find planning supervisors whilst for those offering such services it provides a valuable marketing tool.
'Ask cdmUK' helps users identify whether the regulations apply on a project. Also, it helps them to clarify the duties of each role under the regulations and assists with creating the Form 10 Notice of Project as well as the pre-tender health and safety plan.
Templates for these documents and the health and safety file are in Microsoft Word, and can be modified to suit the needs of each project.
The documents are set up and stored on the cdmUK.com server and members of the project team can download and edit them off-line. Once they have been amended they are sent back to the server. Other documents, such as minutes of project meetings and drawings, can also be checked into the system and downloaded. Confidentiality is protected through a system of security passes. This enables project leaders to control who has access to the project information, and who can alter documents or merely read them.
Through CDM ToolKit Online, users can access documents via a menu that lists the projects they have access to. A bulletin board enables team members to post urgent information. The system also holds contact details on all project team members in an updateable database. A library will also be available for organisations to store their key documents in.
cdmUK.com benefits from an extensive knowledge base that Ai Solutions has been developing since it first launched the CDM ToolKit on floppy disk in 1995. The knowledge base provides much advice on roles, responsibilities and subjects such as risk management, for example taking users through a risk assessment step by step. It is regularly updated, thus being of immediate benefit to users of the service.
When the project has finished, all of the documents can be stored on the cdmUK.com server indefinitely. This provides ready accessibility to the information and removes the need for physical storage space that can create not only a physical storage problem, but become increasing costly with time, particularly on larger projects.
Tariffs for using the service are structured so that the more it is used the cheaper it becomes. For occasional users, organisations are charged £1 per page to access Ask cdmUK, and for CDM ToolKit Online, it is £1 per project, per day, per user. However, organisations wishing to commit to long term usage are offered discounted rates per month and per year. Long-term storage in DocUstore will be even cheaper.
This service is easy to use, and management of the project information over the web will enhance communication enabling everyone to retrieve the information whether they are in their office or out on site. With the government proposing to tighten up the penalties for flouting the CDM regulations, all those involved in CDM including Clients will benefit from the greater communication potential that such a system as this offers.
For further details see
http://www.cdmUK.com or contact Ai Solutions on 01525 850 080
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Alastair Blyth is an architect, consultant and writer specialising in briefing and building performance. He writes for the construction industry press and was an editor on the Architects' Journal with special responsibility for the architectural practice section. He now runs a research-based consultancy advising construction clients on briefing, building performance and project team performance.
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