Previous tools: Homegrown solution and spreadsheets
Founded in Lancaster, PA in 1890, Wohlsen Construction Company has been an important part of the fabric, and history, of development in Pennsylvania and its surrounding area for over 130 years. They have an exceptional track record of construction projects across multiple states including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Wohlsen is committed to sustainability and continuous technological improvement, which helps them deliver on a wide range of projects. The key to their success is the Wohlsen Way which emphasizes the development of relationships with clients based on expertise and trust. Wohlsen’s ability to honor their client commitment is why they are consistently listed on the ENR 400 and award winners regionally and nationally.
Ed McCauley, the Vice President of Innovation at Wohlsen, has helped oversee the successful implementation of technology for over 10 years at the company. He understands the difficulty in creating and implementing an in-house solution for workforce planning.
“We had a custom piece of software that we developed over the years designed to meet the needs of each individual operational leader,” said McCauley. “It had so many tentacles in different systems that nobody was really able to understand where they needed to make updates in order to influence what was actually being displayed on the screen. At the end of the day, all the effort that went into that tool resulted in our operations leaders just falling back on Excel and keeping everything in a second source of truth.”
This lack of usability resulted in unreliable data for Wohlsen’s operational leaders.
“If you used that Excel worksheet, you could gain insight into one specific region, but we wouldn’t be able to see what the next region had in terms of availability or capacity,” said McCauley. “It really limited the visibility and scope of our resources, and that resulted in over-hiring and poor utilization of our team members.”
The team at Wohlsen implemented Bridgit Bench in September 2021, tracking about 150 people. Even before implementation, the team was able to recognize Bench’s ease of use.
“[Our team] quickly learned how to navigate the tool. The way it was designed is familiar so anybody who knows how to use a web application can use Bridgit Bench. When it’s easy to use, we reduce the friction and the next thing you know, there’s good data going into it.”
McCauley explained that high-quality data was an immediate boon for their business.
“Fast-forward from last year to this year, our utilization is exceeding what our target metrics are,” said McCauley, who also elaborated on Wohlsen’s ability to collaborate and share resources amongst regional offices. “We have someone here in Pennsylvania that’s supporting a project in Connecticut now, and that’s not something that would’ve traditionally happened. Since we have full organizational insight, we’re able to do that in a far more effective way.”
Forecasting and Scenario Planning
Along with the visibility across the organization, Wohlsen uses Bridgit Bench to get insight into their pursuits, something they weren’t able to do before. They are able to make better business decisions by being strategic about the projects they go after.
“What-if scenarios would cause a lot of complex moves in an Excel spreadsheet,” said McCauley. “In Bridgit Bench, what-if scenarios are easy to put in place. We can see what the impact is, learn on the fly, and make quicker decisions. I think that the speed to the decision that Bench gives us has helped in planning and determining go/no-go scenarios. We can ensure that we have the talent to put on the project to be successful for ourselves and also for the clients.”
“I think that the speed to the decision that Bench gives us has helped in planning and determining go/no-go scenarios. We can ensure that we have the talent to put on the project to be successful for ourselves and also for the clients.”
One of the top priorities for Wohlsen is having a positive experience for their clients and for their own employees. With the strategic advantage that Bridgit Bench helps provide, the confidence in these relationships has grown and created a competitive advantage for them. By utilizing their team more effectively they can grow profitably and ensure they aren’t overstaffing projects.
“Using Bridgit Bench gives us the ability to make sure we’re using our team members, their capacity, and their talent in effective ways.”
Ed McCauley, VP of Innovation, Wohlsen Construction
Their effective planning goes beyond just project management and delivery. They use Bridgit Bench to plan centralized corporate services like 3D coordination, BIM coordination, marketing, and safety management. Doing this helps “make sure that when we decide to go for a project we have every resource we need to make sure that the pursuit, pricing, and execution is successful and safe.”
Working with Bridgit
McCauley appreciates the amount of time and attention Wohlsen gets from Bridgit’s Customer Success team and their commitment to keeping promises.
“The number of conversations that were had around what we needed and what we were interested in seeing, it became incredibly apparent that Bridgit was focused on continuing the development of the software. Bench isn’t just a tool that is here for the moment and won’t make much improvement over time.”
Now Wohlsen is working on streamlining their integrations with Unanet and Procore so that their information is migrated over in a thoughtful way that helps the people in business development and operations planning.
“It’s causing us to look at how we use the CRM and make some better decisions about how we’re tracking the different stages of a project throughout the life cycle. That’s going to get better data that will influence better planning downstream throughout the project.”
Of course, the Bridgit integration team is helping them build those integrations as well as providing documentation and ongoing support. We look forward to helping Wohlsen unleash the full potential of its workforce.