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23 March 2017

Portakabin Announces Multi-Million Pound Investment in Cutting Edge Information Technology


Portakabin, the UK's leading modular building specialist, has announced a multi-million pound investment in its IT infrastructure to deliver a transformational digitisation strategy and take its customer experience to a completely new level.

This is the largest investment in information technology since the company was established more than 50 years ago. The new digital vision will give Portakabin customers, staff and supply chain partners the benefit of a single integrated information system across the company, both in the UK and in all its pan-European operations.

Most importantly, this ambitious project will provide a personalised and seamless experience for customers for any Portakabin building or service, and will further enhance customer interactions at every stage - from the very first contact to building design, manufacture, completion and post-handover support.

More than 100 IT specialists from Portakabin and its IT partners - Getronics, Dell Boomi and Microsoft - have been working on the development and implementation of the digital transformation.

The Portakabin investment is in sharp contrast to new research which claims that construction companies are lagging behind when it comes to the utilisation of technological advancements in the work place.

The report 'Building a Technology Advantage - The Global Construction Survey 2016' carried out by KPMG International showed that only 8 per cent of construction companies have been identified as 'cutting edge visionaries' while 64 per cent of contractors were ranked as being 'industry followers' when it comes to technology.  Many lack a clear technology strategy and adopt it in either a piecemeal fashion or not at all.

Commenting on the significant investment by Portakabin, Derek Carter, Chief Executive, said, "Our customers are at the very heart of this transformation project. This is an unprecedented investment in cutting edge technology - for Portakabin, for the modular manufacturing sector and in the wider construction industry. The scale, ambition and complexity of the project will position us very much 'ahead of the curve' for technological advancements to the benefit of all of our customers and partners - in the UK and in Europe."

Dominic Ruscillo, IT Director at Portakabin said, "The advanced business intelligence that the new strategy will generate, will give us even greater insight for our next phase of growth and for the design, manufacture and delivery of fantastic buildings that meet the precise needs of our customers and building users. We are proud that our history of industry-leading innovation is continuing and that information technology is central to the company's business strategy, helping to propagate dynamic new ways of working. We are looking forward to the roll-out of this visionary programme in 2017."

As part of the project, more than two million records were loaded for the UK and Ireland during the transition phase. 450 commercial users will be trained in seven countries in just four weeks for each country.

In addition to facilitating customer interaction and engagement, the new integrated technology infrastructure will:

  • Significantly enhance how Portakabin works with its supply chain partners, harnessing the power of partnership working and data sharing to the benefit of customers
  • Capture more in-depth manufacturing data to generate even greater operational efficiencies and enable closer collaboration with strategic suppliers
  • Provide exceptional levels of business intelligence, reporting on customer and supplier trends and insights in the UK and across Europe to facilitate the growth of the business
  • Extend to human resources - for example, there will be better tracking and management of talent as colleagues progress through promotion, learning and development
  • Deliver new commercial tools which will integrate with customer relationship management systems.

A new Europe-wide network has also been created to connect all Portakabin sites.                       

Portakabin is the market leader in the design and manufacture of modular buildings and advanced off-site construction solutions. It provides buildings for organisations of every size, in any sector, from small independent businesses to the largest private and public organisations.

Portakabin has delivered more than 50 million square feet of building space in the last 50 years. The Group employs over 1,750 people and has operations in seven countries across Europe, with its head office based in York.

For further information about Portakabin, please visit www.portakabin.co.uk.


Note to Editors

Portakabin is a registered trademark which must only be used to refer to modular buildings manufactured by Portakabin. Portakabin is not a generic term.

Portakabin is the market leader in the design and manufacture of modular buildings and advanced off-site construction.

The company provides buildings for hire and sale as well as refurbished buildings and site accommodation solutions for any sized organisation in any sector.

Portakabin employs more than 1,750 people across seven European countries.