Evolution of information architecture for an enterprise intranet

Harkins Builders is a diversified design-build and general contractor active in the construction of commercial and multi-family residential developments as well as rehabilitation and historic renovation projects. They differentiate themselves from other firms with the Harkins Method, their approach to the estimating process. In order to deliver on their promise the organization needs good tools to manage and analyze information throughout the entire delivery process. Designed Simplicity has successfully provided 4 comprehensive solutions for the evolving business needs of the organization across nearly a decade of the relationship. Each subsequent solution has built upon the groundwork established from previous efforts to compound the return-on-investment for their IT initiatives.

SubFAX Estimating Portal

The first realization of this was the SubFAX Estimating Portal built in 2001. This custom web application replaced a COTS package that they had outgrown while gather the necessary additional data to help the department analyze the information and make better business decisions. This effort was initiated with a single department’s business requirements but would prove to be useful to the entire organization.

BidNET Enterprise Intranet

After approximately 4 years the estimating department outgrew the SubFAX solution and requested a new version of the application. The extensive information gathered over the lifespan of the application was used to streamline and enhance the functionality for additional time and costs savings. The organization realized the success of the first effort and decided to incorporate 3 other department’s business processes into the new application which resulted in the corporate wide BidNET Enterprise Intranet. This massive development effort was successfully delivered by a single programmer by leveraging the DesignedNet Framework.

EquipDB Asset Manager

Once the efficiency of a single data repository was understood by the organization, additional modules were requested to both leverage existing features and add new functionality to the intranet. The EquipDB Asset Manager and the Corporate Portfolio Website were developed to support the needs of their respective departments. Across all of these projects, the entire software development process was outsourced as the internal IT department did not have the resources to manage the projects directly.

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