How GE Johnson Construction Co. increases efficiency and simplifies resource planning processes with Bridgit Bench

How GE Johnson Construction Co. increases efficiency and simplifies resource planning processes with Bridgit Bench

Previous tools: Internally developed solution, Microsoft Excel

Since its founding in 1967, the GE Johnson Construction Company has had the intention of being people and collaboration oriented. This attitude extends to clients and employees and continues to exist today.

“We’re not chasing projects,” says Mike Dennis, Operations Manager for GE Johnson whose primary responsibilities include staffing. “We’re chasing clients, and when we land one we align with, we want to establish a relationship.” Based on the company’s 80% plus repeat clients, the strategy is working.

Clients of GE Johnson, which is headquartered in Colorado Springs, with more offices in Colorado, Wyoming, and Oklahoma, come from multiple industries including health care, mountain resorts, education, and office buildings. Overall, the general contracting company focuses primarily on vertical construction.

THE CHALLENGE

GE Johnson strives to grow in a sustainable fashion by supporting its people, collaborating with them, and enabling them to grow. 

Over the last four years, the company’s revenue has doubled to nearly $800 million while their headcount is approximately 700, with 200 of those resources on the operations side.

Dennis describes the construction industry as resource strapped. “During the last recession, there was high unemployment in construction,” says Dennis. “Many people left the industry and did not return. So, since things ramped back up, we’ve been short-handed on all fronts.”

This has been a constraining factor according to Dennis who says, “We always have more opportunities than we can take on.” It also impacts GE Johnson’s ability to provide quality of service and to grow sustainably.

Both factors mean GE Johnson needs to be more deliberate when it comes to workforce management. Doing so allows them to retain and grow their employees and permits them to take on more projects.

THE SOLUTION

In the past, GE Johnson used an outdated, in-house database to track employees. Dennis says the workforce management tool was ‘clunky’ and did not enable flexibility. The system was also outdated, didn’t function well, and was laborious to use. In addition, the IT department had to continually work on it to keep it operational.

The operations staff knew they needed a change to how they did resource planning. They were considering developing a new workforce planning tool and were open to seeing what was on the market. It was a somewhat reluctant search. “We were concerned about adding another software that our people would have to familiarize themselves with and all that goes along with implementation,” says Dennis. “We didn’t want to overload our staff.”

GE Johnson was using Bridgit Field, a punch list and inspection management platform, before coming across Bridgit Bench. “We had already tried a few systems before Bridgit Bench,” says Johnson. “We found it intuitive, straightforward, and simple to use, so we decided to try it for ourselves,” said Dennis.

GE Johnson saw the system was working well and that Bridgit listened to and responded to requests. During their initial search for a solution, they knew they wanted to use a workforce management tool geared specifically toward the construction industry.

“Because Bridgit Bench is in tune with our industry, it has the level of functionality that we needed, and we didn’t have to adapt it or make it work.”

Mike Dennis, Operations Manager @ GE Johnson

This also meant GE Johnson didn’t need a lot of time for support and they could get the results they sought without a huge effort.

“With the old clunky system, resource management meetings did not progress smoothly.”

Mike Dennis, Operations Manager @ GE Johnson

GE Johnson held a two-hour staffing meeting every Friday afternoon. During this time, they would go through all their projects, but Dennis notes, the old system couldn’t keep up with the pace. At the end of the meeting, everyone would have their own personal notes of what was to happen which were not necessarily the same as other meeting attendees.

An admin would go through their notes, type them up, and send an email to the rest of the team. This would not happen until Tuesday. In the interim, there was uncertainty.

“When we walk out of the workforce planning meeting with Bridgit Bench, everyone is clear on what is happening. The information gets put into Bridgit Bench – it’s the gospel – and we act on it that day.”

Mike Dennis, Operations Manager @ GE Johnson

Resource management has also been simplified. 

“It gives us the ability to quickly analyze where we’re at and the immediacy of where we need people. Our HR group knows what they need to in terms of how many new hires we need and what skills we’re looking for.”

Mike Dennis, Operations Manager @ GE Johnson

Bridgit Bench has helped GE Johnson be more efficient and communicate better. For a company that values relationship building and sustainable growth, these traits are extremely important. So, the new resource management tool is helping GE Johnson accomplish its goals both internally and externally.

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