Find out how the ARCO/Murray team used punch software to save time and increase subcontractor engagement by 80%.
For ARCO/Murray, customer service is the number one priority. “We’re really a customer service focused company through construction,” says Kyle Darnell, Divisional Manager of Senior Living and Multi-Family Group at ARCO.
Darnell has been with the company for the last 12 years. After graduating from Missouri University of Science and Technology, he began his career as an intern. Darnell worked his way up from project manager roles, and now manages project managers that work on senior living and multi-family projects across the United States. What he’s most passionate about is helping his customers achieve success, no matter the region or market.
This means they need to run their projects and site teams like a well-oiled machine.
Getting ahead of project burnout
In 2015, ARCO/Murray completed a total of 1,500 units. In 2016, the total number of completed units had increased by almost 50%. Despite the growth the business has achieved in the last few years, the company still prides itself on being a single-sourced project management company.
Multi-family and senior living projects, for example, are often large and complex buildings that require a variety of approvals from different stakeholders. “A couple of our senior living customers are detail orientated. You’re dealing with different state agencies, state approvals, and Medicare approvals all the time,” explains Darnell. For these types of projects, “you end up walking twice as many final inspections as you would on a commercial or retail job. With the quantity of units and number of square feet alone, it takes a team of people just to do the project closeout process.”
ARCO/Murray’s project managers oversee every part of the process from conception and estimating, to handing the keys over to their customer, “so there isn’t another team that comes in for closeout, and there’s isn’t another team that comes in for submittals. It’s just single-sourced project management,” explains Darnell.
For these reasons, the punch list process was taking ARCO/Murray’s team far too much time and effort. “While the subcontractors are wrapping up a project that they’re probably a little burnt out on, the field staff may be exhausted from being onsite for 12 to 18 months. Then you realize, the punch list is dragging on for much longer than it should.”
Saving project closeout time with punch software
ARCO/Murray’s team needed a solution that would streamline the punch list process and automate a lot of the tasks that were slowing them down. However, unlike many other construction companies, they had tried its hand at many of the construction software solutions on the market.
“There’s all these different tools out there that you see people trying and having different experiences with, and I feel we had tried them all,” explains Darnell. They found themselves trying one software solution after the other to see which one worked best for their needs. “We had heard some good reviews about the Bridgit Closeout app,” he says. “Instantly after using it on one project, the feedback from the field staff was: ‘Yup, this is it. We’ve tried all these other ones. This is it.’ Then it spread to two or three other projects almost immediately.”
Even if your field team is on top of getting the work done, they might still need help in the documentation process. For example, much of the common frustrations on the jobsite come from failing to document completed work, or noting the timing of completion and if it was approved. This challenge is one the ARCO/Murray team can relate to. Although ARCO’s site staff might have provided verbal approval, there wasn’t always a physical signoff. “The documentation didn’t happen as much as it should, until we started using Bridgit Closeout,” says Darnell.
Increasing subcontractor engagement by 80%
A 9.5 million dollar senior living facility was the last project ARCO used Bridgit Closeout for. According to Darnell, they had around “80% participation on using the app in the field” from his subcontractors. “That instantly told us that the software is easy enough that a field person will use it and can use it,” he says. “I can’t even accurately quantify how many hours we’ve saved in just documenting and communicating everything out to everyone – it’s the best by far.”
For example, “we can expect the project closeout time for a 60,000 square foot senior living facility to take about a month,” says Darnell. Having lingering issues that drag on because no one is paying attention to them is to be expected on most jobsites. But for this project, ARCO closed out in two weeks. “Bridgit Closeout cut the time in half – plus hours and hours of time saved in documenting and communicating with the trades.”
One-size-fits all isn’t always the right fit
ARCO/Murray prides itself on delivering single-sourced project management for its customers, but that doesn’t mean they require a full-service software solution. “There are a lot of programs out there. A lot of them try to be the one-all, be-all for the construction industry which can be annoying if they don’t do it correctly. You have all these different big software products that are trying to do everything. Sometimes different tools are better at different things, so you end up using two or three different software products,” explains Darnell. This is something he can accept.
“It was interesting to work with a software that said: ‘We’re going to do punch lists and we’re going to focus on being the best. We’ll help set up everything, and make it easy and customizable for the project team.”
Whether you’re hoping to support the gaps in your existing full-service system or considering a punch list software solution for the first time, make sure to shop around and do your research. In the meantime, check out this free demo and learn more about how a point software solution might be the answer you’ve been looking for.