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Sainsbury's picks BIW


24 May 2002 
Sainsbury’s Property Company, the property arm of leading UK retailer Sainsbury’s, has agreed a three-year, £1.5 million deal with BIW Technologies, the collaboration web services provider. Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s most experienced users of collaborative technology, will employ the BIW Information Channel collaboration web service on all existing and future projects, until 2005.

Ian Coull, board director for J Sainsbury plc says: “Good management of the design, construction and delivery phases of our stores is essential, but we also recognise the need for an information system that can be accessed live throughout the operational life of each of our facilities. We researched the market and selected BIW, who impressed us, particularly with regard to managerial and technical issues.”

Sainsbury’s was one of the first client organisations in the UK construction industry to employ web-based collaboration systems to speed up the design and delivery of new projects. It used an early version of BIW Information Channel, for its new Clapham store in south west London, in 1998. Since then, it has adopted BIW’s system as its standard communication platform to deliver over 400 UK projects.

“Since Sainsbury’s innovative decision to use our technology nearly four years ago, scores of other major UK clients have followed suit,” says BIW chief executive Colin Smith. “However, Sainsbury’s is the UK’s most experienced client organisation in terms of its adoption of collaborative working principles and technology during the pre-build and build phases of a project. We already have over 1600 users from some 400 companies in the Sainsbury’s supply chain alone.

“Sainsbury’s is also stimulating considerable research and development activity aimed at ensuring BIW’s web services provide effective whole-life information support for its facilities.”

More information from:

  • Paul Wilkinson, BIW Technologies: 0845 1300 800 (mobile 07788 445920)
  • Tina Christou, Sainsbury’s Property Company – 020 7695 7571

Notes to editors

  • Project collaboration services from BIW Technologies ( were first employed in 1998 on UK construction projects for Sainsbury. The customer list now includes Capital One Bank, housebuilder Crest Nicholson, Marks & Spencer, Manchester Airport, the Ministry of Defence, Ikea, the Welsh Development Agency, Asda, the Wellcome Trust, Kajima and developer Garbe. As the technology is adopted by each client’s supply chain, growth of the BIW Information Channel user base has accelerated, with 6206 users being added in the 12 months up to 30 September 2001, compared with 2018 added in the previous 12 months.
  • At 19 May 2002, the total number of users of BIW Information Channel stood at 14,320, from 1938 companies, working on almost 700 projects worth in excess of £6 billion.
  • BIW Information Channel is a sophisticated web-based supply chain integration technology, originally designed specifically for construction projects. Each client is provided with a unique, project-specific website created around a knowledge database. Using this, all data can be made available to every project team member – from the earliest concepts and specification, through detailed design, buildability studies, pre-fabrication, construction, maintenance, operation and improvement to the eventual demolition or dismantling of the facility.
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