Lightsout and Cognito switch construction and FM industry lights on

Lightsout and Cognito won the Partner of Excellence Innovation Award, for their CORONA software, from the UK's largest construction firm. It is also used to increase competitiveness in the utilities and FM industries.
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Lightsout and Cognito Switch Construction and FM Industry Lights On with Revolutionary Software

On 26 February, at the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham, Lightsout Computer Services, in conjunction with Cognito won the Partner of Excellence Innovation Award, for their CORONA software, from the managing director of the UK’s largest construction firm, at their annual Excellence Awards Ceremony. CORONA has been taken up by some of the UK’s and the world’s largest organisations in construction, facilities and energy management and is accelerating their competitiveness.

CORONA is thought to be at least three years ahead of its time, and so Lightsout and Cognito are already catching the attention of other business leaders in preparation for the inevitable demand of the economic upturn. It promises to revolutionise efficiency of companies with field-based teams, and is the brainchild of a large team, including Tim Finch of Lightsout in Leicestershire, who has a background in civil engineering and software development.

“I aim to bring working knowledge into the software, so I meet with our client’s schedulers and find out about the type of project-specific challenges they face, in their daily work.  In the construction and facilities maintenance industries, the collective efficiencies that CORONA brings to large organisations add up to enormous cost savings and greater revenue. It is totally scalable and so still brings cost savings to companies as small as 20 employees. By enabling a greater annual throughput of work while reducing manual administration, it improves financial and general management accuracy,” he explained.

This software goes a long way to eliminating the elapsed time between one work gang completing their task, and another starting. Roadworks are bound by government stipulations, but CORONA is programmed to manage these, helping to reduce the inconvenience and cost of overruns. Realtime works information can be shared through a web portal, with other organisations such as local authorities, to avoid misunderstandings surrounding practicalities.

“My civil engineering background drove my passion to create software that would overcome the inconveniences of working out in the field. Few people realise that there are thousands of holes being dug, at any one time, within the boundary of the M25, so cracking utilities maintenance issues throughout London represented a particularly satisfying challenge. It is a dense network of pipes, many installations date back to the Victorians, so you can imagine the unpredictable issues that workman face,” added Tim.

Unexpected pipes or even wartime bombs can be real show-stoppers. The workmen’s handheld devices enable them to take a photograph, which is accompanied by GPS coordinates, a time and date for automated reporting and requesting unforeseen requirements such as specialist skills and grab wagons. If a job has to be aborted, CORONA can be set to notify other personnel who need to authorise stoppage.

On completing a repair, CORONA compares work charges with original purchase orders and can automatically invoice, provided that a human judgement is not required.

The handheld devices are linked to a central system, so live information on every aspect of an organisation is available at all times. Actioning and tracking individuals and teams, rapid quoting tools, full customer records including loss leaders and highly profitable opportunities, stock and purchase management systems among countless other functions come as a commercial godsend to senior managers within complex organisations.

Tim Usher, managing director of Lightsout concluded:

“This prestigious award recognises that CORONA was swiftly implemented and that our technical team has consistently delivered excellent service, in the busy and complex groundworks marketplace.”


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