NEW PROJECT management and control software will allow Hyder Consulting to reduce engineering staff on infrastructure schemes by up to 15%, the company claimed this week.
The database system, known as Omnis, is used to replicate project information on a worldwide basis, transmit large amounts of data and electronically control the design approvals process.
It was developed by Hyder for 'under £200,000' as part of its £18M contract to design, manage and supervise the Sham Shui Po section of Hong Kong's West Rail.
Package manager Hugo Axel-Berg said the Omnis software improved efficiency by allowing engineers in different offices to access the same information. 'We would expect that on the projects where we are using Omnis we should be able to reduce the head count by 10-15%,' he added.
The West Rail project required 7,000 drawings and 500 reports to be produced in less than a year by staff in 11 offices worldwide.
The system is being used on eight Hyder projects and is expected to become standard in the next 18 months.
Hyder Consulting managing director Tim Wade said the software would allow better use to be made of design engineers at 'low cost centres' such as Thailand. But he insisted it would not mean job losses in the UK.
'If as a consultant you can offer a price advantage then you maintain employment rather than destroy it,' he said.