Webinar recap: Jeff Olafson from Gardon Construction

Webinar recap: Jeff Olafson from Gardon Construction

Sean Erjavec, Chief Revenue Officer at Bridgit, had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Olafson, the CEO of Operations from Winnipeg-based Gardon Construction. We’ve summarized the conversation below, but if you’d like to catch the full webinar recording, you can watch the recap here: Webinar recap: Jeff Olafson from Gardon Construction.

Quick facts about Jeff Olafson:

  • CEO of Operations, AKA “Firefighter,” at Gardon Construction – a 50 person, family-owned general contracting and design-build company in Winnipeg

  • Has been in the construction industry for 28 years

  • Director-at-Large on the Winnipeg Construction Association Board

  • Advisory Chair for Construction Safety Association of Manitoba

How did he get to where he is today?

  • At age of 18, Jeff knew that construction was the industry he wanted to go into and was given the opportunity by his father-in-law, who owned a contracting business at the time

  • After working in the industry for several years, he developed a real passion for construction – which has led him to where he is today

What is a ‘day in the life’ as a CEO of Operations?

Although every day is different, here are some of the top things Jeff works on in a day:

  • Managing contract reviews

  • Managing all resource and labor scheduling based on what the site supervisors need

  • Assisting with project management

  • Driving business development

  • Volunteering with the Winnipeg Construction Association and the Construction Safety Association

What was his resource planning process before Bridgit Bench? 

Small to medium sized company leaders need to wear multiple hats, and it can become a tedious and overwhelming process when you don’t have the right tools to get the job done.

  • At Gardon Construction, the resource management process has evolved from Chalkboard → Whiteboard → Microsoft Excel → Microsoft Project → Bridgit Bench

  • Multiple team members would jump in with the best of intentions and start updating old files, but it was impossible to have an audit trail and maintain the Excel formulas – all of this created major frustrations and re-work

Workforce planning is easier when your tools are speaking the same language

Bridgit Bench integrates with the leading construction software including Procore and Autodesk Construction Cloud.

Check out our full integration lineup

What does he like about Bridgit Bench?

“When I first saw Bridgit Bench, I knew this was the tool we had been looking for. It gives us information we never had before.”

Here are some of Jeff’s favourite Bench capabilities:

  • Real-time view of the resource plan

  • Single source of truth and version control

  • Uses it as a lightweight HR tool as he is able to track employees, their experiences, and their skills

  • Indicators around shortages or surpluses of work that help increase forecasting ability

  • Resource demand visualizations

“In my opinion, technology plays a big role in construction companies – my investment in technology has increased 10x and I have not seen a reduction in my profits. It is helping us better establish our process, better deliver our projects and move this company in a positive direction.”

– Jeff Olafson, CEO of Operations at Gardon Construction

Lauren Lake

Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more.

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