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Cardno delights clients and reduces engagement time from 3 meetings to 1 using InfraWorks

by Michael Collins, Customer Success Manager and Heather Howe, Marketing Editor on April 15, 2019


Cardno is a global infrastructure, environmental, and social development company, united under a shared mission to deliver exceptional professional services that improve physical and social environments to make a difference in people’s lives. Cardno understands the value of building close, long-term client relationships and is continually seeking ways of delivering more value as well as improved communication and collaboration with clients. This strategy is key to fulfilling the company mission while meeting performance targets and delivering returns to shareholders.

During one particular client engagement, Cardno recognized the need for broad, strategic changes across its organization. The project proposal that was a catalyst for change involved a pipeline of work with a land developer that Cardno identified as at risk of being lost to the competition. With multiple stakeholders involved in this large urban development project, the team needed a solution that would streamline communication and impress the client. Using Autodesk® InfraWorks® software, Cardno quickly developed 3D models with compelling visualizations that easily communicated design intent to all parties involved. As a result, Cardno reduced the engagement process to a single walkthrough of the model – impressing the client, winning work, and creating a template for success on future projects.


Before leveraging key Autodesk solutions, Cardno was working on a proposal for an urban development project south of Sydney, New South Wales. Acknowledging the possibility of competitors winning the proposal, the Cardno team looked for key areas of work that could be improved to set itself apart from other firms. Cardno faced a challenge that is common to urban development projects: communicating the design across a broad group of stakeholders, including local council, community members, and the developer. Cardno knew it needed to resolve this issue and delight its client on the current project to ensure success in future stages. The project team saw an opportunity to apply innovative technology uses to this problem and engaged with Cardno’s Enterprise Technical Services group to get results.


The team chose to develop a data-rich, 3D model of the project using InfraWorks. This technology enabled the development of compelling visualizations, fly-throughs, and live navigation which greatly enhanced Cardno’s ability to clearly communicate design intent. Blair Cheyne, Cardno’s Global Manager of Enterprise Technical Services, noted that clients, councils, and the general public often have a limited ability to read and understand 2D engineering design drawings. Using interactive 3D models allowed Cardno to easily get all stakeholders on the same page. The strategic partnership with Autodesk was an important part of enabling Cardno to be successful in its enterprise-wide implementation of InfraWorks.


The result for Cardno and the developer was a streamlining of the engagement process. According to Cheyne, “What may have taken two or three stakeholder engagement meetings was reduced down to a single walkthrough. Our client was thrilled.” Although Cardno previously had the capability to produce these visualizations, leveraging InfraWorks allowed the team to do so cost effectively while quickly responding to changes in the design.

“We can now easily produce these outputs as a by-product of the design process, rather than spending a lot of time on a single pretty picture that is obsolete the moment the design changes.”

- Blair Cheyne, Global Manager of Enterprise Technical Services, Cardno

After the initial success, Cardno made this approach common practice across its business and advanced the use of InfraWorks as part of broader adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) capabilities. Cardno’s clients see incredible benefits through this approach. The models and visualizations are used on the council website for community consultation. These new capabilities have also allowed Cardno to create inexpensive and immersive Virtual Reality (VR) models for clients. The models developed by Cardno are also used for informing cost estimation and understanding coordination issues at an early stage.

Technology use is only one aspect of a successful project, but Cardno is confident that its innovative, client-oriented approach is a key differentiator, helping them win repeat business and attract new clients.

“Our Enterprise Business Agreement with Autodesk has shifted that relationship to a level where Autodesk helps us through the whole journey, from laying the foundations to determining workflows and procedures and providing technical support, the level of service has been fantastic. Cardno’s ETS team supports business units across the globe and it’s important that we have the backing of our software vendors not just for reactive support but also to deliver on our strategy and contribute to thought leadership.”

- Blair Cheyne, Global Manager of Enterprise Technical Services, Cardno

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