12d Synergy: Quality Assurance Management at Cardno

by | Sep 7, 2020

As a global infrastructure, environmental and social services company, Cardno’s team comprises of 8,000 employees across 85 countries. They provide over 280 services, accumulating a revenue of $1.2 billion (at the time of the 12d Technical Forum 2014).

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The sheer scale of Cardno’s operations presented a number of obstacles – from quality control and managing multiple offices to meeting the strict deadlines of their multi-national projects.

As a result, Cardno were seeking improvements to their key processes and systems which lacked the bullet-proof quality assurance and data management they required.

“As a frustrated manager I could see we needed to make some improvements”
– Dion Mead (Former Survey Manager, Cardno NZ)

Cardno needed a dependable QA solution with full version control and the flexibility of remote access, around the world – and at the 12d Technical Forum 2014 they found just that. Buckle in… This is the story of how Cardno implemented 12d Synergy and in turn, transformed their business!

Watch: 12d Synergy Implementation at Cardno – 2014 12d Technical Forum

Watch how Cardno seamlessly implemented 12d Synergy in New Zealand. 12d Synergy is a Document Management System for those in the AEC industries. You will see Dion Mead the former Survey Manager at Cardno deliver a presentation on how they tested and then implemented the system.

The Nuts and Bolts of Testing a Document Management System (DMS)

Only selected projects were used by Cardno when first implementing and testing the platform. 12d Synergy’s attributes and enforced standards are crucial to an optimised DMS and Cardno took their time to fine tune these with the following features in mind:

Cardno 12d Synergy Folder Structure

Folder Structure:

Cardno took the folder structure from the directory of many Australian offices and used them as a guide, moulding them throughout the testing process. This paved a way for 12d Synergy to operate and create a connected network of offices across New Zealand all working from the same standardised folder structure.


The ethos Cardno followed during the testing was “Rubbish in = Rubbish Out” which essentially meant if they put poor data in, they can only expect poor data at the other end! A system wide attempt to attribute all projects, folders and files was implemented, for example job number, client, location, office etc. This enabled Cardno to harness the power of 12d Synergy’s lightning fast Attribute searching, precise reporting, and quality assurance management.


With 12d Synergy’s ability to create, save and manage file templates, Cardno could guarantee their rigid control procedures were consistently met. Project Templates were set up, enforcing only one of two project types that Cardno works on, single or multi-stage. These templates included folder structures, naming conventions, tasks, and roles. Email templates were also meticulously planned, ensuring quality assurance management across the board, with sign off reminders, task due dates, project details and updates. The major saver here, is the time benefits – there is no need to recreate these each time – they are sitting there waiting, ensuring consistency across all projects.

12d Synergy Cardno Template

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Benefits of 12d Synergy within Cardno

With the nuts and bolts of a powerful DMS, Cardno could roll out the system knowing that their main goal of QA management was completely secure with 12d Synergy.  Any employee of Cardno could step into a project at any time and not be lost, they would understand where they were up to, what was next, and where all their files were. This resulted in a range of time and money saving benefits including:

Quality Assurance Management

Quality Assurance Management

12d Synergy enabled seamless integration between new and existing quality processes. 12d Synergy has the ability to create mandatory reports on tasks, standardise templates across all jobs, store all QA forms and log a complete audit trail – all of which was rolled out across Cardno’s instance of the platform.

Email Management

12d Synergy Email Management

An added extra that Cardno utilised was 12d Synergy’s email management function, which enabled automatic filing of emails to specific projects with an airtight audit trail for future reference. Quality Assurance was also maintained via mandatory descriptions for filed emails, attachments stored and attributed. This all contributed to Cardno creating a platform where every file was centrally stored with a lightning-fast search.

Version Control 12d SynergyVersion Control

Check-in/ Check-out is 12d Synergy’s way of tackling version control, and as Cardno found out it works very well! A complete log of all changes and revisions is held and if a mistake is found or a change of design is implemented, Cardno could roll back to a previous version within a couple clicks.

12d Synergy Work Sharing

Harnessing Top Talent

Over 60% of Cardno’s, 8000 strong workforce (at the time of the implementation), were from outside of Australia. To enable this and to aid in future growth 12d Synergy was the perfect platform facilitating collaboration across the world and allowing anyone with access to seamlessly retrieve, edit and work on their files. Perfect for working remotely, internationally or from the comfort of your own home!

Interested in finding out how 12d Synergy can do the same for your business?

Find out more about document management and quality assurance management in our free eBook

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As a Business Development Representative, Sam helps engineering and construction firms big and small achieve success through digital transformation. Outside the office, Sam is a sports fanatic, die-hard Parramatta Eels fan (we don’t know why) and is a nerd with all things tech.