Keeping businesses connected with SharePoint
Dardan Security delivers a comprehensive set of security solutions to clients across the UK, protecting both reputations and physical and human assets. The Gold Award for Quality from the National Security Inspectorate and the Approved Contractor status from the Security Industry Authority represent Dardan’s skill and compliance across a variety of security standards, including static guarding and mobile patrol services, screening & vetting, key holding and responsive services and door supervisors.
With a wide range of technical and professional expertise, Dardan is able to deliver security services to a diverse sector of industries from aviation, energy and transport, through to corporate, pharmaceutical, education and retail. Dardan understands that each industry and individual organisation has its own unique set of risks, threats and challenges, which is why they work to deliver solutions that meet clients’ needs and reinforce their values at every step.
Dardan is a growing company, with offices and clients throughout the UK and an expanding workforce that necessitated an online platform for open and fluid communication. With offices ranging in distance from Norwich to Aberdeen and a large number of employees that operate as mobile workers, providing on-site support to clients, any proposed solution needed to be accessible across a variety of locations and devices.
It is the individuals within Dardan that are recognised as providing the intelligence and drive to develop the service offering; therefore a fundamental requirement was to provide these individuals with easy access to the resources and lines of communication to enable them to confidently engage with each other and their clients.
Dardan wanted a medium that would improve efficiencies within its own operation, along with the personal and professional development of its employees. The concept of a number of informative and responsive online sites would bring together teams and individuals at each of Dardan’s locations – from security officers and contracts managers to the senior leadership team; making it easy to share information, create content, find out about company policy and keep abreast of clients’ changing needs.
The first step in implementing a collaborative platform for Dardan, was for Breakwater to sit down with key stakeholders and ascertain the primary objectives of any potential solution. A discussion about an internal site collection needed to be both at management level, but also within each division of the organisation – as different teams would logically have their own unique specifications. It was decided that the platform that would truly offer all of the shared resources Dardan was looking for was SharePoint®.
SharePoint® is an application available through the Office 365 platform and has the capacity to enable Breakwater to create sites that were both easy to use and included all the functionalities to promote a clear exchange of information – whilst always reflecting the Dardan brand.
As the capabilities of SharePoint® are so extensive, and can be tailored to suit any organisation, adding bespoke features to enhance information flow or providing added little extras such as weather widgets or photo galleries – the design process needed to be one that progressed with the thoughts of Dardan’s employees, creating a number of different sites that could flex with new ideas as they arose.
Breakwater worked closely with teams across Dardan to create a collection of custom-made SharePoint® sites that would become an inherent part of employees’ day-to-day operations. In addition to gaining an insight into how Dardan wanted its sites to work, SharePoint® itself offered intelligent know-how – creating responsive content from interactions across the company and drawing on the documents users work on and the people they work with.
Within the new SharePoint® sites, each department has its own homepage including a short introduction and an array of helpful functions including:
– Mileage & expense claims centre
– Facility to log sales enquiries
– Holiday and overtime requests
– Resources & planning area
– Uniform ordering
– Change of personal details
– Site safety reports
– Data library for Quality, Safety, Health & Environment
– Events calendar
– Invoice approval.
The department-level sites were required to be different in terms of the functions and content they contained, but Breakwater worked to ensure the look and feel remained consistent and in keeping with Dardan’s brand values.
In addition to the distinctive, ‘sub-sites’, Breakwater also created a company-wide main site – giving employees access to internal and external news stories, search functionalities and other helpful links to policies, process flowcharts and HR documentation.
As one of the principal aims of this project was to create cohesion across the organisation, fostering a reliable and proficient client service – it was important that Breakwater also created a ‘Client’ focused site. The ‘Client’ site would also be only used internally, but would contain a mine of information to cultivate efficient communication between the employee and the various organisations Dardan works with – features included:
– Client details
– Communication records.
Dardan now have a collection of SharePoint® sites that unite its organisation, an essential communication portal for a growing business with numerous new offices opening across the UK.
Breakwater has worked with Dardan to utilise the intelligent features that SharePoint® has within its make-up, creating a collection of unique departmental sites, client sites and a main site that unites all of these.
The creation of Dardan’s SharePoint® sites has been one that has evolved, and should naturally continue to evolve, as various stakeholders become aware of the features and functions that are available to them and as the technology within SharePoint® itself develops.
Alton Nutile, Head of Commercial & IT at Dardan Security, commented: “Our employees, especially those working in remote areas, constantly told us that they felt ‘out of touch’ with the head office; that we didn’t communicate to them well enough and that when we did open the lines of communication with them, we didn’t keep them informed through the process. The functionality of SharePoint® and how Breakwater have designed it allows us to manage workflows better.
An example here is an annual leave request – historically an employee would submit a paper form, and when it was dealt with eventually, they would see the annual leave appear on their roster. Now, the employee is told at each step where their annual leave request is: firstly it’s with their line manager, then it’s with the rostering department, then it’s approved or rejected, and only then will it appear in their roster. Historically this process involved that paper form being sent from office to office for signatures, which could take many days, and all the way through the employee is unsure whether their day off has been granted or not.
Breakwater took their time to understand the business, learn who was in charge of what process and what forms, design solutions that worked to cater for all stakeholders in that process, and very quickly dealt with tweaks and amendments throughout the project.”
In addition to the collaborative qualities that SharePoint® brings to Dardan’s employee-base, it also delivers other core assets that are simply inherent to the design of this programme; having Office 365 and SharePoint® operate so resourcefully across the organisation now means no data loss whatsoever, strict permission levels and easy content search.
Since the initial launch of Breakwater in 2005, I have always wanted to create a forward-thinking IT Services provider that utilises technology to help underpin the future growth of companies.View my profile >
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