At Bridgit, we’re always looking for ways to better understand our customers and what effective workforce management looks like for them. In fact, we’re kind of obsessed with it. It’s one of the main reasons Bridgit Bench is the leading workforce intelligence solution in construction today. We put our customers and their problems first, and then work backwards from there to deliver features and updates that solve for them.
The best part is when we can not only meet the expectations our customers put forward, but also find new ways to approach their problems and deliver upgrades that exceed those expectations.
A lot of our research and information gathering is forward looking. What feature do we add next? What filters do our customers need most? How can we help our customers turn their workforce data into a competitive advantage?
Sometimes, though, we like to take a look back at where it all began for our customers. What were their pains with workforce management? Why did they purchase Bridgit Bench? How do they measure success when it comes to workforce management?
We recently surveyed our customers, including several contractors on the current ENR 400 list, to answer some of those questions. Since we know the pains of effective workforce planning aren’t exclusive to any single GC, we wanted to share the results of our survey. Our hope is that every GC can see that not only are they not alone in their struggle to manage their team allocations effectively, but that there are solutions that can help them improve this process in the long run.
What were our customers’ biggest pain points before Bridgit Bench?
The most common pain point that our customers identified was poor data management, accounting for 50% of all responses. What exactly do they consider poor data management? Well, there’s a number of factors they pointed to:
- Data is segmented, often living in multiple tools and spreadsheets
- Segmented data often leads to stale and inaccurate information
- Maintaining their data requires manual entry that can be extremely cumbersome
Poor data management also translated into difficulties being agile in decision making, making changes to workforce allocations, and making it nearly impossible to facilitate between teams, departments, or offices.
This created a vicious cycle where poor, unmanageable data prevented our customers from being able to visualize their information in a meaningful way – they couldn’t easily identify where their people were or what their needs were in the coming months. That lack of visibility hindered their ability to make strategic decisions regarding their people, leading to reactive hiring and staffing, and stifled growth.
Why did they purchase Bridgit Bench?
No need to beat around the bush here. These are, in order, the top 5 reasons our customers said they purchased Bridgit Bench.
1. Workforce visibility
Full workforce visibility means not only do our customers know where their people are and where they’re going, but also having historical project information, certification, skills, and general experience in one centralized location.
2. Long term project planning
Bridgit Bench provides a 5 year look-ahead at the project pipeline, including project pursuits and opportunities. This helps our customers to easily visualize what’s coming down the pipeline, run scenarios to include specific pursuits, and better understand how their team is being utilized in the coming months and years.
3. Ease of use
Being able to customize Bridgit Bench to our customers’ specific needs makes sorting and filtering through people and projects simple. Custom permission groups and real time updates help to put the information in the hands of the people that need it most, while smart suggestions for project allocations help ensure the right people are being allocated to projects.
4. Recruitment forecasting
With an ongoing labor shortage, finding the right people takes time and energy. Accurate forecasting helps our customers stay proactive with recruitment efforts and avoid late crew build-up.
5. Pursuit management
Bridgit Bench helps our customers creating RFPs to better understand who they should be including in their proposal (based on availability, experience, skills, etc.) and helps to ensure the proposed project team is available when the job is awarded.
The common thread through these reasons is improving their business operations. Ease of use is the exception to that thread, but isn’t surprising given their workforce data was nearly impossible to manage effectively using spreadsheet-driven systems.
What does successful workforce management look like for our customers now?
Knowing the reasons that our customers bought Bridgit Bench in the first place, it should come as no surprise that the number one indicator of successful workforce management is improving overall business operations, specifically:
- Workforce visibility – Knowing where their people are at any given time, where they’re going next, and having visibility of the workforce from an enterprise level
- Recruitment forecasting – Understanding project demand well in advance to make informed recruitment strategies.
- Resource management – Having the information they need to make sure they have the right people on the right projects and, most importantly, at the right time.
The second biggest indicator of success is improved data management. Our customers want their data to tell a story that helps them improve their business operations, mentioned above, which in turn helps improve their decision making.
So how does Bridgit Bench help our customers achieve success?
Our goal is to help our customers move from the vicious cycle we talked about earlier, to what we like to call the “Bridgit Cycle”. We offer a platform (Bridgit Bench) for accurate, consolidated data that’s easy to access, visualize, and share with the larger team.
This provides our customers with a source of truth they can rely on to better understand their workforce, project, and business needs. This source of truth, in turn, helps our customers move from a reactive approach to having a proactive, people-first approach, which helps to lower attrition rates and focus on organizational growth.
When does it make the most sense to transition to a workforce intelligence solution?
This is a question we get asked quite frequently. We built Bridgit Bench for general contractors to take the headache out of organizing an effective workforce strategy, regardless of how big they are or how many projects they build. If you’re unsure if it’s a headache, ask the person in your organization that’s tasked with workforce management if they look forward to it or if they could use a little support.
Obviously we’re biased. We think every GC should be using Bridgit Bench to help with managing their workforce effectively, but we think David Ieroncig, VP of Construction at Broccolini said it best:
“If you are an organization where one person is keeping tabs on who is where and what they’re doing, and that person is inclined to produce an Excel table, that’s when you should consider looking at Bridgit Bench. The better you control your people and your own capacity, the more you give your company an opportunity to grow. Getting on board early is the right answer.”
David Ieroncig, VP Construction at Broccolini
Read Broccolini’s full case study.