Previous tools: Microsoft Excel, whiteboards
By focusing on a better customer experience, Schimenti Construction Company is helping to redefine the customer service standard across the construction industry, which is backed by an impressive 90+% customer retention rate. They’ve seen an increase of over 130% in annual growth over the past 5 years and have a workforce that consists of over 225 team members and growing. With over $330 million in annual revenue, they are listed on the ENR 400 with offices in New York, California, and Connecticut.
Schimenti takes a relationship and people-driven approach to every build, but managing a team effectively across multiple offices requires constant collaboration, coordination, and the ability to forecast workforce needs accurately. This is where their previous workforce planning solution, Microsoft Excel, continued to let them down.
Daniel Barry is the VP of Operations at Schimenti with over 24 years of experience in the built environment. Having moved over to construction operations from his previous role as a General Superintendent, Barry understands the challenges of managing people using manual processes first-hand.
“We used an Excel spreadsheet to manage our resources, which took a lot of time and didn’t give us the ability to forecast out too far,” said Barry of workforce planning in Excel, “It was really cumbersome, it took longer to do, and you’re not working with a live document all the time. If something changes the spreadsheet has to be updated. If you’re remote, it becomes difficult.”
When it came to sharing resources across multiple offices, Barry wasn’t the only team member at Schimenti that experienced challenges. “Some of the challenges were also with my counterparts on the project management side,” explained Barry, “If someone from the East Coast Connecticut office needed some extra support, he had to get on the phone and start making all these calls and emails, going back and forth.”
Barry and the team at Schimenti began using Bridgit Bench for workforce planning in the summer of 2020 during the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it wasn’t long before the team had completely abandoned their Excel spreadsheets. In fact, the team at Schimenti was so impressed with the value Bridgit Bench was providing that they’ve set up a separate instance for their Precon team.
“Now that we’re using Bridgit Bench, we’re able to assign and track supers out with no limit,” said Barry of the ability to plan long-term strategies, ”We can take a team of supers and project managers and put them on one job after another. Now we can map them out for 18 months, it’s accessible for the whole team, and it helps us make sure people aren’t slotted in the wrong location or someone is overcapacity.”
With offices on the east and west coasts and an ever-shifting project pipeline, the ability to accurately forecast staffing needs was always a challenge before Bridgit Bench. ”When we were doing workforce planning on a whiteboard, in Excel, we couldn’t forecast as much,” said Barry, “We would double-book, or someone would be overworked or over capacity.”
Barry was quick to point out the benefits of having accurate, long-term forecasting with Bridgit Bench. “It shows our capacity in real-time. If you get asked by a board member or an owner, “How are we looking with capacity in two, three months?” Bridgit Bench takes the guesswork out of it,” said Barry, “You can pull up Bridgit Bench and look out two months and see that we’re at 80% capacity with project managers, or we’re going to have three available supers in November.”
Accurate forecasting is also invaluable for business development and estimating teams. “We can share information and they can see what resources we have available and what types of people,” said Barry, “We can be proactive and say ‘In 12 months we’ll have extra people that are very successful in remodels. Let’s go after some more remodels.’”
“Bridgit Bench really paints a picture of what we need to fill these slots with the right people. At Schimenti, we continue to grow, but a big thing we always say is we grow responsibly. Bridgit Bench helps us continue to grow responsibly and give HR the right facts so they know what we need and can go recruit the right people.”
Sharing resources across multiple offices
The team at Schimenti is big on making sure they have enough people to provide their clients with the right experience, which sometimes requires sharing resources across multiple offices. Using manual systems often led to a back and forth between regions and being mindful of time zones differences.
“Now, with Bridgit Bench, everyone’s putting that information in one platform. This helps for multiple reasons; you don’t have to get on the phone or email, you can just pull up Bridgit Bench on your phone or laptop and see where there are available resources,” explained Barry, “Using Bridgit Bench as a live document between all our offices, we’re able to set up our teams for success and they’re ready to go so we can start those jobs right.”
“Bridgit Bench really helps us work smarter, not harder.”
Daniel Barry, VP of Operations at Schimenti Construction Company
Putting a focus on work-life balance
Schimenti’s relationship-driven approach isn’t exclusive to clients. They extend that value to their team as well, which includes taking work-life balance into account when allocating people. Using the workforce utilization reports in Bridgit Bench has helped Schimenti maintain, and improve its people-first approach.
“That’s something that we’ve always been focused on, our people,” explained Barry, “The type of work we do is fast-paced because we’re working with clients that are either retail, hospitality, industrial, or CRE. They’re fast-paced jobs, so people do need a break. People need to have a little vacation in between jobs or in the middle of a job.”
“Bridgit Bench helps us keep a house of information so we know that, ‘Hey, this superintendent on the seventh week of their 12-week project, they’re going to be gone for a week.’ Then, I can start planning ahead so I have the right person and that superintendent, when they’re away with their family for a week, could enjoy themself and not worry if their job is in good hands. We can really strive to make sure everyone has a good work-life balance.”
The team at Bridgit and Schimenti Construction Company both share value in creating a healthy work-life balance for our respective teams. We’re excited to continue working with the Schimenti team and developing the solution they need as they continue to expand their business from coast to coast, and everywhere in between.
See what Bridgit bench can do for you by scheduling a one-on-one walkthrough with one of our workforce planning experts.