McNicholas Construction is a service provider with wide experience of working in the utilities, communications, renewables and rail markets.

The company has been helping develop and maintain the UK’s infrastructure since the late 1940s.

It deploys a range of professional disciplines in civil engineering, construction, mechanical and electrical engineering, information technology and general management. The company has a proven track record of effectively delivering diverse projects and services to a broad base of clients. It works closely with its clients, handling projects either on a traditional contract basis or through full partnering agreements.

The Challenge
McNicholas Construction has major bases in London, Southampton, Glasgow and Belfast. It also has 15-20 smaller project offices in the UK at any one time, as well as 1000 direct staff and 600 IT users.

McNicholas had several goals when choosing to work with Aspire. These were:

  • Realising incremental cost savings
  • Improving resilience across the existing infrastructure
  • Introducing a defined set of managed and monitored SLAs
  • Implementing best practice across the organisation
  • Providing IT strategy and recommending business-enhancing technologies

Solution Delivered
Aspire designed a unique service agreement for McNicholas Construction which took into account the company objectives and put in place measures to ensure they were successfully achieved.

The Results
Over the two years the project specification changed but Aspire proved themselves to be more than able to adapt to the new requirements, proving to the client their willingness and flexibility.

Aspire delivered significant cost savings, both from within the IT budget and from other areas of the business. They also identified supplier relationships where additional savings could be made. The company negotiated new and improved contracts which provided the same or greater service levels at a reduced cost.

An inventive approach to making savings was also identified by the Aspire team. This approach, at the same time, provided an improved and expanded IT solution. The firm’s day-to-day IT provision was completely outsourced to Aspire and a number of McNicholas Construction employees were then transferred to their London office.

This strategy resulted in a 30 per cent reduction in IT costs and a 50 per cent reduction in head count for the company.

McNicholas Construction recognised its IT services were a growing and crucial part of their overall business. They knew out-sourcing the delivery would result in a deeper breadth of knowledge and greater cover than trying to build this specialism in-house.

Aspire are viewed as partners and an extension of the McNicholas IT team; they ensured this approach worked by designing a tailored and flexible solution focused on right sizing, fit, quality and price.

Further improvements
When Aspire became involved, IT services at the firm were typically available and reliable for 75% of the time. This figure has increased to 99.99%.

By ensuring McNicholas Construction is client led, process driven and IT enabled Aspire has transformed how the company approached its IT strategy. From a backdrop of small computer rooms across multiple sites it has developed a highly resilient business application platform delivered on demand in a private cloud-based environment.

The remaining members of the IT team at McNicholas Construction have benefitted as they are no longer involved in day to day IT activities. They’re instead able to focus on business improvement projects, streamlining and adding value.

The organisation has benefitted from a radical transformation of its IT infrastructure and services. This is without any business disruption and with the risks managed by Aspire.

The company is now able to mobilise large contracts very quickly using a high bandwidth network and in an applications on demand environment. The infrastructure also enables McNicholas Construction to deploy industry leading Causeway applications across the business with ease.

The aims and objectives of the two year partnership were achieved ahead of time and on cost neutral basis. Because of this, the client then signed a further three year contract before the previous one had expired.

To discuss your IT project, call Aspire on 0330 124 2700