UK retail giant selects ICON

Since the late 1990s when Sainsbury’s paved the way with its landmark decision to pilot use of the BIW platform on a new supermarket in Clapham, UK retailers have been keen adopters and users of construction collaboration platforms, and have probably done more than any other sector to popularise their use. And with retail one of the few UK market sectors that hasn’t been totally savaged by the current construction recession, it remains a key target for the collaboration vendors. Any changes in the sector’s adoption of collaboration are, therefore, potentially significant.

A news release posted on BuildingTalk says retailer Waitrose has selected the SaaS-based ICON System to manage its construction information. It says Waitrose “found their usual information management system was becoming unmanageable and unproductive,” before describing how Waitrose scanned the market to find a data control and integration system which would provide the scope and flexibility it needed.”

I had previously associated ICON mainly with the management of an organisation’s design standards (indeed, it won a retail industry award last year for its work in this area with Waitrose), but now ICON claims it “allows the management of construction information during the three key stages of a building’s lifecycle:

  • The design and specification of buildings.
  • The project roll-out of new builds and refurbishments.
  • The ongoing management of built properties (comprising planning, construction, maintenance and disposal).”

This suggests ICON is now going head-to-head with the established vendors of construction collaboration technology platforms, including 4Projects who also claim Waitrose as a client (was 4Projects “becoming unmanageable and unproductive” or a separate design standards system?).

Update (11 March 2009): Another BuildingTalk news release describes how ICON is working with Asda – a customer of collaboration vendor Sarcophagus.

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