Claris FileMaker empowers the simultaneous construction of 111 hospitals in Ghana

We sat down with Ebow Anamuah-Mensah, the CTO of IT Consortium – a Ghana-based leading FinTech company – to talk about the role of Claris FileMaker in one of the largest-scale projects in the history of Ghana.
Cathy
9 January 2023 • 5 min
itconsortium

Industry

Technology solutions provider for higher education, financial institutions and government

Challenge

Developing and deploying effective software for the Ghana government to run and monitor the entire life cycle of the concomitant construction of 111 hospitals

Solution

Secure, custom-made, flexible construction management FileMaker application to manage:

  • technical specifications of individual construction sites and inventory;
  • contractor billing and payment automation;
  • global dashboards, progress reports (including photos), risks reports;
  • construction paperwork;
  • scheduling and setup of meetings, attendance records;
  • role-based user access to centralized system.

Benefits

Easy monitoring of government projects awarded to construction companies.

Accurate budget calculation.

Optimized construction time.

Effective paperwork management for 111 construction sites being run simultaneously.

Real-time availability of all reports related to construction processes; work progress traceability for the government.

Streamlined billing/payment processes;

Easy validation of accomplished work thanks to solid data and photos records.

Reduced waiting times for payment.

Continuous system availability, even during additional development and updates. Document conformity to government requirements.

Ambitious in scope?

Ghana, one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. 2020.

To face the unprecedented health crisis during COVID-19, the government of Ghana committed to constructing 111 public hospitals, so the population of each district could benefit from its own health facility. An ambitious project requires reliable partners. An ideal IT partner would need to assist the government with the centralization and management of all tasks and parties involved in this enormous construction project, which would happen simultaneously at 111 sites.

Given the circumstances, fast rollout of such a solution and knowledge of the local ecosystem are particularly of the essence for the success of this venture.

It is possible!

IT Consortium has been in the market for over 20 years, first developing solutions for higher education institutions that made it easy to follow student progress, then expanding their business to the financial sector, providing it with a payment solutions platform. The company obtained ISO-27001 certification to validate their information security management processes, as well as PCI-DSS certification, as an acknowledgement of their data security standards and resources for safe payments worldwide. Today, 2 out of 3 banks in Ghana use their TransFlow® platform to serve their customers.

High work ethics, confidentiality and data security provide IT Consortium clients with peace of mind, letting them focus on their businesses while IT Consortium develops and maintains their IT systems.

Naturally, IT Consortium stepped forward as a very strong candidate for helping the government reach its ambitious goals.

We used FileMaker to build a prototype within 6 weeks to present our solution to the government; it was a straightforward decision.
At first, we considered using FileMaker for prototyping only, and then using another technology for the final solution. But once the prototype was accepted, we decided to use it for the entire project – it did exactly what it was expected to do, and it would have been too costly and taken too long to build the solution using some other technology.

Cyril Amegah, senior back-end developer.

Within 6 months, “Promax” — the system for managing all technical requirements, project management and billing modules — was put into use.

It is relied on by over 1000 users, including contractors, consultants and government employees, distributed all over the country and across 111 construction sites.

Promax - IT Consortium

6
months for setup

111
construction sites

1000
users

Streamlined operations, supervision and progress visibility in real time

Promax - IT Consortium

Promax is designed to eliminate any possible delays in construction thanks to:

  • automatic budget calculation,
  • streamlining of tasks scheduling and resources allocation,
  • anticipation of issues and risks,
  • automated workflows and delivery of powerful data,
  • analysis tools in real time.

As the construction progresses these days, to capture what’s happening across the sites, each of the users has their own access to the system based on their role and hierarchy.

Promax reflects the best solution to an otherwise laborious approach to managing complex projects, and gives project managers an integrated solution. Collected data, along with set workflows, enable a seamless flow of information between contractors, project managers and the government, making it easy to implement change requests without jeopardizing project timelines or budget

Samuel Ewool, an executive director of Buena Vista Homes – one of the construction companies involved in the project.

Contractors access the construction site units they are working on to consult technical specifications (dimensions of the walls, number of doors, windows, and so on) and to indicate the exact activities their personnel has conducted.

Consultants managing the contractors can upload pictures showing the completion of different stages of the project, validate the progress of their work and its conformity to the initial requirements.

The billing and payment process is initiated automatically based on this data and is streamlined to the government office, removing any possibility of mistakes related to cost calculation or the formatting of administrative documents and thus reducing processing times of payment claims from one month to a few days.

Promax - IT Consortium

All available data makes it possible for the government to generate real-time dashboards and per-site or global reports to track construction progress.

Promax - IT Consortium

It happens that contractors and consultants work in locations with no internet connection available. To have everything up to date in the system, all they have to do is input the progress offline using their tablets, usually iPads, or laptops – either Mac or Windows – and then synchronize it in a secure way to the central database once they are back at their hotel rooms, where connection is available.

Flexibility, seamless integration and data security

We’re grateful we used FileMaker, as it’s very easy to implement changes compared to other technologies, thanks to a drag-and-drop feature. Now, changing a layout takes a matter of minutes. Other required updates can be done in real-time and very easily as well, so construction at sites and updates to the system can happen at the same time. We are the magicians now!

Daniel Kwarteng from the development team

According to the IT Consortium team, “FileMaker has it all” due to its flexibility, seamless integration with other technologies and data encryption.

In 2019, IT Consortium received the award for the best FinTech company in Ghana and was rated the 5th best-performing company in the country.

One of the keys to such success? Automating and standardizing lots of in-house processes using FileMaker applications. The team is very enthusiastic about developing new solutions and opening new possibilities. After all, “It’s FileMaker – we can handle it!”, says Cyril.

Feeling inspired?

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