John Wise started Wise Construction in 1984 when he was a carpenter. Soon, at the request of a client, he was serving as a general contractor. And the rest, as they say, is history.
So, what’s been the key to this success story? Unobtrusiveness.
Wise Construction, which distinguishes itself through exceptional client service, hands-on approach, accessibility and high level of client service, specializes in working in occupied spaces. The company, which focuses on life sciences, healthcare, biotech, R&D facilities, and education, takes its slogan – we work around you – seriously.
“We’re a highly specialized contractor, and that’s where our value is,” says Eric Libby, a Project Executive with Wise Construction whose responsibilities include supervising talent within the organization. “We understand the complexities of working in occupied environments and recognize our job is to give people space and stay out of their way.”
A great majority of Wise Construction’s work takes place within a 15-mile radius in Boston.
Part of that is by design. “Our goal is to get clients, get into their facilities and then never leave,” says Libby. The continued presence is because these clients have millions of square feet of space and multiple facilities, and they are constantly in need. “Our objective is to build trust with our clients, so they never have to call another contractor.”
Establishing this type of long-term relationship requires investing time and energy into new clients and then providing a level of service that is top-notch. That means having the right personnel to staff projects. Doing so with Wise Construction’s previous resource management tool was a difficult chore.
Wise Construction was relying on three systems to help them with workforce management. One tracked projects, a second tracked manpower, and a third tracked field personnel. While Libby notes they were “fairly in-depth spreadsheets,” the system as a whole was not satisfactory.
“It was super tedious to update each spreadsheet and do an analysis of one in conjunction with another and projecting future work was very difficult,” says Libby. “The overall process [of resource planning] was time-consuming.”
Something had to change as the system was clunky and outdated. “We knew we needed to do something,” says Libby. Wise Construction was familiar with Bridgit because they had been using the punch list and inspection management tool, Bridgit Field. Through this, they became familiar with Bridgit Bench, a workforce management tool, and decided to give it a try.
Bridgit Bench has enabled Wise Construction to see where the gaps are in terms of workforce planning. “We’re typically running about 80 jobs at a time of different sizes, and we’re constantly having to move pieces around,” says Libby.
“With Bridgit Bench, we can see where gaps are and manage resources and manpower efficiently.”
Just how much more efficient has resource planning become for Wise Construction? Well, reviewing pertinent resource planning information now takes about an hour whereas before it took 4 to 5 times that amount of time.
“Now, we can quickly and concisely check workloads, demands, and where employees will have peaks and valleys,” says Libby.
At Wise Construction’s weekly executive-level meetings, at which point they review where they are from an operations standpoint, Bridgit Bench has helped. “It gives us a quick executive-level summary that we can share with the owners,” says Libby.
“We can determine with 100% certainty if we have sufficient personnel, whereas before it was based on a feeling.”
Eric Libby, Project Executive at Wise Construction
The certainty regarding workforce planning helps Wise Construction with hiring decisions. It also helps them with capacity planning and in being forward thinking as they can project what will happen months down the line – whether they need to hire or push for more business.
The Wise Construction team was able to quickly adapt to Bridgit Bench and appreciates its simplicity and user-friendliness. “It’s clear and concise and we can find relevant information in one place at one time,” says Libby. “Bridgit Bench is user-friendly in that we can easily filter what we want to review and sort it in multiple ways.”
With Bridgit Bench, Wise Construction is better positioned to move forward. As the company takes on new jobs and clients, resource management will become more important as they hire more people to fill more jobs.
Careful and thought-out workforce planning is important for every business. For Wise Construction which strives to distinguish itself through exceptional client service, having the right resources in place at all times can help create a long-lasting relationship.