Previous tools: Microsoft Excel
Broccolini, based in Montreal, Quebec, is one of the leading providers of construction, development, and real estate services in Canada. The company has a rich history in Canada having been founded in 1949 by Donato Broccolini, who stressed the importance of honesty, integrity, perseverance, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Perhaps the most significant value Donato lived by was the importance of developing lasting relationships with both customers and collaborators.
A lot has changed since 1949, but the company still holds true to their founder’s people-first mindset. Today, 3 generations of Broccolinis run the business. While headquartered in Montreal, Broccolini has offices in Toronto and Ottawa. They’ve expanded their services from general contracting to include real estate and development, construction management, turn-key, and sustainable building.
David Ieroncig, VP of Construction at Broccolini, has been with the company for 24 years and has seen the company grow from a team of 40 to a team of just under 500 across three districts. While the company continued to grow and expand its services, workforce management was still being housed in a series of Excel spreadsheets. “It was a challenge,” said Ieroncig of his experience with Excel. “Everybody came to the table with their own Excel charts and bar charts. There was a lot of mental math going on and not a lot of alignment on moving resources around. We needed to make sure that everybody was firing on all cylinders and being utilized to their full extent.”
It wasn’t only a misalignment on moving resources that led the team at Broccolini to start searching for a better solution, it was also a lack of accurate workforce forecasting into the coming months and years. The need to assess their bandwidth and capacity to take on more work drove the need for a new platform – one that could help analyze their business, and more importantly, their people.
Looking to move away from their spreadsheets, Broccolini signed with Bridgit in 2019 to help manage their resources and use their workforce data more effectively. The senior leadership team at Broccolini felt they needed a common, centralized workforce management platform. As engineers and technicians, Broccolini is very pragmatic in their approach. They appreciated that Bridgit Bench was highly visual and could help manage the ebbs and flows of a fluid industry like construction.
Broccolini was also pragmatic in their approach to introducing Bridgit Bench, initially only launching the platform in their Montreal office. Ieroncig was the first to champion Bridgit Bench and immediately saw the benefit of a platform that could foster collaboration and alignment across the organization.
Ieroncig became an advocate of expanding the usage of Bridgit Bench at Broccolini. “Today, our construction teams in different districts are using Bridgit Bench,” explains Ieroncig, “HR is on it. Our health and safety team is managing their people on it. We also have an emerging department in BIM and we’re currently working on onboarding our real estate and estimation teams as well.”
“Projects are all different. The consultants are different. The weather’s different. The budget’s different. There’s all types of constraints. When we have the leaders putting together the right team and have a platform which allows them to choose the proper roster at every level, that’s when magic happens.”
On top of improving collaboration and alignment across the organization, Ieroncig is also quick to point out other key benefits of Bridgit Bench:
- Building stronger project teams
With such a wide array of services that Broccolini provides, resource allocation requires determining the suitability of specific resources as opposed to taking a one size fits all approach. “What makes a person suitable for a project? It’s the client interface. It’s the asset type expertise,” explains Ieroncig. “Every time we’re given an opportunity for a project, we consider all of those parameters. Choosing the right superintendent or general superintendent is really, for us, the most important factor to kick off putting together a proper team.”
Having project leaders assemble their roster has also helped break down silos at Broccolini. “It’s become a communal effort,” says Ieroncig of their resource strategy. “We understand who’s going where, and no single project leader decides their own staff. We do it all together for the greater good of the project and the greater good of the organization. It really fosters collaboration and alignment in the end.”
- Forecasting team bandwidth
Along with building stronger project teams, the team at Broccolini also uses Bridgit Bench to better understand their team’s capacity to take on future work. “For us, it’s really understanding our bandwidth,” explains Ieroncig. “Bridgit Bench has become a tool for us to sit down with our real estate group and see what our capacities are, while also understanding what our recruitment needs would be for the short, medium, and long-term.”
- Improved workforce planning meetings
Broccolini empowers their project leaders to balance resource allocations on their respective projects. Essentially, the director or senior project leader becomes the CEO of their project. Having a centralized workforce management platform has allowed Ieroncig and the leadership team at Broccolini to easily review company-wide resource allocations during workforce planning meetings.
“We’ve compartmentalized our calendar to be able to sit down with every project director or senior project leader and review what’s happening on their respective projects directly in Bridgit Bench,” explains Ieroncig. “Having recurring meetings every week really keeps us in tune with what’s happening with the resources, whether it’s a short or long-term project.”
What’s next for Broccolini?
Because of the easy-to-use nature of Bridgit Bench, the team at Broccolini plans to continue expanding the usage within their larger team. The analytics and digestible visualizations can be beneficial to more than just the leadership and operations teams and Broccolini sees potential with Bridgit Bench across every department.
“We see a lot of potential with Bridgit Bench. There’s a lot of us here that are analytical and we love data. Now we can understand who we have on board, what they can do, what they’re already good at, and how we can develop their careers. There’s a lot of opportunity with Bridgit Bench. We’re continuously working with it and deriving new purposes for it beyond just resource management.”
David Ieroncig, VP Construction at Broccolini
When should organizations start thinking about Bridgit Bench? Ieroncig summed it up 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,” says Ieroncig. “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.”