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Toronto-based SKYGRiD Construction was founded in 2011 by four partners, each of whom had been with large firms prior. The founders created SKYGRiD because they wanted to be part of a flatter, more agile organization that would enable them to be closer to projects and provide great customer service.
Customers have responded! SKYGRiD is now a 125-person firm that has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies as well as one of the best places to work in Canada.
SKYGRiD provides construction management and project management services and works primarily on high-rise residential buildings and commercial projects such as office buildings. The majority of their work is in Toronto, though they maintain a small presence in Calgary.
2019 was a year of rapid growth for SKYGRiD, and they expect significant growth in 2020. By the end of the current year, the firm will be nearly twice as big as it was going into 2018.
The rapid growth in headcount is due to the increasing number of projects the firm has been able to secure.
While the rapid growth is certainly exciting, it also has presented challenges, including resource management. “We’re growing and recognize the importance of using a resource tracking system,” says Grace Paladino, Director of Human Resources at SKYGRiD.
In the past, SKYGRiD had monthly planning meetings to review workforce management issues. During the meeting, Paladino and her colleagues would take notes. By the time the next meeting came around, the calendar was very likely to have changed, and the notes were outdated.
“Things change quite frequently in construction,” says Paladino. She cites start dates and scope changes as examples. “To get the most out of our budget, we need to know when we need to recruit someone to staff a job.”
Sometimes you don’t realize you need something until it is right in front of you.
And so it was with a workforce planning tool. SKYGRiD prides itself on its openness to technology but found that when it demoed some workforce planning tools they were not user-friendly.
However, they were quickly sold on Bridgit Bench. The fact that Bridgit Bench is user-friendly is just one of the plusses that SKYGRiD appreciates about the resource management tool.
Because project changes can be easily tracked in Bridgit Bench, there’s no more need for notes. It also helps SKYGRiD recognize what’s happening in real-time and what will be happening in the future. This allows the company to be strategic in their resource planning. “We can coordinate employees based on their experience in order to make a great project team,” says Paladino.
“Bridgit Bench gives us a clearer picture of what projects are coming up, what’s ending, who is where and what position they are serving in. It houses everything in one area and gives us a point of reference.”
Besides being helpful in resource planning, Paladino thinks Bridgit Bench helps keep people accountable. Everything that occurs “is on the screen in black and white.”
In addition, the workforce management tool has helped when it comes to recruiting, which Paladino states is continuing to grow this year because of an increase in projects. “Because we have greater clarity about what stage in the project we are on and when resources will be available for another project, we can be confident regarding recruitment decisions.”
Any time a new tool is put in place, user buy-in must be considered. The transition was made simpler with Bridgit Bench because it is user-friendly and easy to navigate, according to Paladino.
“Bridgit Bench presents well on the screen, and it’s easy to determine where and when resources are needed,” says Paladino.
With the rapid expansion of SKYGRiD, Paladino is very busy. If a question comes up regarding the best use of Bridgit Bench, she reaches out to the company, and they get back to her quickly. The busy human resources director appreciates the service.
As SKYGRiD Construction strives to stick by its initial goal of being agile and offering great customer service, the company needs the right amount of resources in place. With Bridgit Bench serving as a reliable workforce management tool, SKYGRiD can utilize its workforce to the fullest and remain a place where people want to work.