Previous tools: Microsoft Excel
Sabre Commercial was founded by Matt Lutz and Todd Reimers back in 2008. Their goal was simple – they wanted to build a client-focused commercial construction company that works with local talent and has a reputation for quality, well-managed projects.
Having completed over one thousand projects in the twelve short years they’ve been in business, and with 90% of those projects coming from repeat clients, it’s clear they’ve ensured that reputation precedes them. Sabre has been recognized three times by Austin Business Journal and by the Austin American-Statesman as one of the best places to work in Austin.
In an effort to better forecast project demands and improve their team’s collaborative efforts, Sabre implemented Bridgit Bench for resource planning to create a more predictive resource strategy and extend access to their larger team.
Since the company was founded in 2008, Sabre had exclusively used Microsoft Excel for their resource management. “It wasn’t that difficult to know which people were on the two projects you had,” explains Todd Reimers, Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Sabre. “You could pretty much do that on the back of a napkin.”
As the company grew and added more team members, the goal became to have those people allocated to projects as much as possible and to minimize those intermediate periods where they are not charging their time to a job. This meant implementing new software that provided insight into team utilization rates and allowed for shared access across multiple departments, like human resources and estimators.
When considering options for improving their resource management, Sabre put a strong focus on tools that were cloud-based, real-time, and easily shareable. On top of wanting to improve collaborative efforts, Sabre also put a focus on tools that would provide insight into their workforce utilization rates and help to better navigate their way through an unpredictable time in the construction market.
These areas of focus ultimately led Sabre to Bridgit Bench, a construction resource management tool built specifically to handle the ever-changing construction industry. Reimers also noted how the tool has made their resource planning more predictive, “The forecasting dashboard improvements provides the true utilization rate – we can look months out and see where the holes are. It also allows us to track time off and plan to effectively backfill those resources when needed. It’s been a really helpful tool.”
“The dashboards and the real-time views are where I find a lot of value. Specifically, the true utilization rate and the ability to shift that timescale over to see who needs work in November or who needs work in December. That is the most useful because it’s a quick snapshot and lets me know where I need to drill up.”
Bridgit Bench is also helping Sabre involve their larger team when it comes to estimating and project bidding. “With estimating, as we’re getting projects my team is looking at bidding, and Bridgit Bench allows them to see who’s available in what timeframe. It’s fitting pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle,” explains Reimers. “It’s a great way to say ‘there is a project that’s coming up – here are the people that are available in that timeframe’ and identifying which of those personnel are a good fit for that type of work.”
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Sabre is also using Bridgit Bench to house their resource planning meetings. They’ve created a system where they go through each project with their project managers and engineers to update how the projects are tracking and if there have been any change orders for time extension. All of those pieces of data help Sabre to determine if they’re delivering projects on time and on budget. If they are falling short of that goal, it helps determine how they can push these projects to completion more rapidly.
“Being able to look out weeks and months ahead helps us plan to go search for the appropriate work, or as we get requests to bid projects that come in, to match with resources and go after them aggressively to match our team’s skill set and availability. That is invaluable. That’s what keeps us driving forward through these uncertain times.”
Todd Reimers, Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Sabre Commercial
Q&A with Sabre Commercial
Since implementing Bridgit Bench, Sabre has improved forecasting project demands and strategizing their project allocations from estimating and bidding through to warranty. Watch the Q&A with Todd from Sabre as he shares the steps behind their resource planning and how they’ve improved their workforce forecasting and collaborative efforts using Bridgit Bench.