Previous tools: Microsoft Excel
Founded in 1969, Rogers-O’Brien Construction (RO) has established itself as a leading general contractor in Texas. For more than five decades, RO has provided a wide range of preconstruction and construction management services while cultivating a team-centered environment built on honesty and trust.
They currently rank no. 155 on the Engineering News Record (ENR) list of the top 400 national contractors, where they’ve consistently ranked for over 20 years.
With four offices across Texas, Rogers-O’Brien’s controlled growth approach has resulted in over $2 billion in construction volume over the past five years.
For years, RO has managed their resources using a combination of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. “We had three separate spreadsheets, managed by three different operations leaders, among four different regions,” explains Todd Wynne, Chief Innovation Officer at RO. “We were struggling with our workforce management before we found Bridgit Bench.”
As they continued to grow their business to service the greater Texas area, Wynne knew that “by digitally transforming how we manage our workforce planning, we would see a decrease in manual workflows and an increase in time saved.”
Johnathon Grammer, Director of Operational Excellence at RO, went into more detail:
“We were going through a big growth period. The level of effort required to manage our resources was growing exponentially and that Excel spreadsheet wasn’t cutting it anymore. We were able to do some rough projections of teams and look at availability, but when those numbers started to grow at the bottom of the spreadsheet the details got harder to remember. Not just for the individual doing the planning, but the communication between teams became really difficult. How do we convey who we have and who we don’t have available to our business development teams, our marketing teams, and our HR teams?”
Keeping their approach to controlled growth in mind, RO began evaluating resource management software that could provide value beyond their Dallas HQ and help centralize resource planning across their offices. On top of that, RO wanted a solution that could scale with their organization as it continues to grow.
Because resource management software is considered a greenfield solution in construction (new to the industry), RO started evaluating options with a very straightforward approach: they were looking to automate workflows and reduce the time spent managing their spreadsheets across their four offices. They also wanted a solution that could easily scale alongside their growth.
“There is a new dawn of workforce management, combining historical and situational data with experience. Bridgit Bench is your foundation to the future.”
When introduced to Bridgit Bench, the team at RO was impressed by the forward-looking, data-driven approach to resource management. “We knew immediately that when we start using Bridgit Bench, we would be gaining huge business value,” Wynne explained of his first impressions of Bridgit Bench.
“Bridgit Bench has helped us gain a high-level understanding of our resource needs,” Wynne explained further. “It also helps us forecast future project needs, and speed up resource planning meetings through a single construction workforce intelligence solution.”
Strategic pursuit planning
One of the biggest benefits Bridgit Bench provided for RO was to forecast resources for project pursuits. Johnathon Grammer explains:
“We’ve turned a new leaf. It’s amazing. The ability to do scenario planning has been incredibly useful. We’ve got allocated resources on awarded projects and then we have all these “what if” projects. We gauge project pursuits off their chances of winning. Are we going to win it or will somebody else? And then is it even going to be built? If those two criteria meet that threshold, then we’re able to consider that something that we need to start seriously allocating potential resources to.
It really allows us to think through multiple scenarios. Where before it was really tough to think about it at that granular level when you’re thinking 12, 20, and 24 months out. It’s become much more streamlined and it’s much more accessible.”
“Because of effective planning, we can probably get a few more projects than we typically would’ve because it’s a huge risk when resources are your biggest limitation… we can make those bets now because in workforce planning meetings they’re covering much of the topics they should have been covering when they weren’t able to. “
Ease of use and implementation
After becoming familiar with Bridgit Bench in their Dallas headquarters, RO has seamlessly rolled it out across their remaining offices in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. Though implementing software across four offices can be a tall order, Johnathon Grammer, Director of Quality at RO reassures that “the ease of use and intuitive nature of Bridgit Bench makes implementation and support almost a hands-off process.”
He expands on Bridgit’s ease of use and how it can help build the confidence to make “bigger bets” on projects:
“Bridgit Bench is so user-friendly. It puts information in front of you in such a consumable manner that you can place a bigger bet. The other piece of it is that the people managing that process struggled with the technical aspect of Excel. Bench is extremely user-friendly. There are no formulas you have to figure out. It’s easy for them to do what they need to do.”
By consolidating workforce and project data from all four offices, RO now has greater insight into their overall workforce strategy and can better manage their growth with forward-looking insights. “Bridgit Bench has empowered us with intelligent pursuits,” says Wynne. “Now, we can maximize our team’s efforts in developing the right pursuits.”
Better business decisions
One of the biggest benefits of using Bridgit Bench has been the ripple effect it caused by having accurate data in workforce meetings. Johnathon Grammer explains:
“It was the same meeting we had before when it was Excel spreadsheets. What has changed is, it was always an hour meeting, it was always once a week, and they used to spend the entire hour trying to figure out that Excel spreadsheet and place those what-if scenarios with limited insight. Now they’re able to spend about 15 minutes going through the “what-if” scenario, and then they spend about 45 minutes talking about the existing projects, issues, and needs. It’s bought us back 45 minutes with some very expensive resources.
Because of effective planning, we can probably get a few more projects than we typically would’ve because it’s a huge risk when resources are your biggest limitation. You typically don’t place some of those bets because you get worried, you get scared about what that looks like. But we can make those bets now because in workforce planning meetings they’re covering much of the topics they should have been covering when they weren’t able to.”
“Bridgit Bench gets down to understanding, organizing, and optimizing your workforce. If you’re not using it, you might be leaving money on the table, or unintendedly leaving it on the bench.”
Todd Wynne, Chief Innovation Officer at Rogers-O’Brien
Now, RO’s resource plan is streamlined, digital, and integrated with its existing CRM solution using the Bridgit Bench API. As a top user, RO also regularly leverages Bridgit Bench features like project and people Gantt views, multi-account views, and the iOS and Android mobile apps.
RO is also actively helping Bridgit by providing valuable feedback. “The team at Bridgit does a fantastic job of taking our feedback and putting it into their pipeline of development, continuously delivering enhancements to us with a strong feedback loop and value to both companies,” says Grammer.
How has Bridgit Bench been received across the organization? Wynne put it simply. “I’m never going back. I go into Bridgit Bench every single day”.
Advancing Construction Operational Excellence
Mallorie Brodie, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Bridgit, joined Todd Wynne, Chief Innovation Officer at RO, at Advancing Construction Operational Excellence 2021 for a session on “Maximizing Resource Planning to Drive Operational Efficiency and Workforce Effectiveness.”
The 30-minute session covered:
- Reflecting on 2020: Assess industry organizational inefficiencies and discover where to prioritize operational excellence in the future
- Strategic insight from Rogers-O’Brien into how to optimize construction workforce planning across organizations to enhance business and project results
- Looking forward to 2021: Overview of operations trends in construction