Improving estimating, field performance tracking and the link between the two

“B2W Estimate and Track have had a profound impact on our company,” says Benson Thoudsanikone, general manager of Kitsaki Projects. The company has close to 200 employees and focuses primarily on utility-based construction projects in Saskatchewan. Kitsaki implemented the B2W Estimate and Track solutions in tandem, with the goals to establish faster, standardized estimating processes that linked field operations and to gain more timely insight into field performance.

Read the Case Study…

 

B2W CASE STUDY
Kitsaki Projects 

Headquarters: La Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada

Work Types: Civil Construction, Vegetation Management, Powerline Construction, Labor Services

B2W Platform: B2W Estimate, B2W Track

Unified Approach Improves Estimating, Field Performance Tracking and the link Between the Two

“B2W Estimate and Track have had a profound impact on our company,” says Benson Thoudsanikone, general manager of Kitsaki Projects. The company has close to 200 employees and focuses primarily on utility-based construction projects in Saskatchewan. Kitsaki implemented the B2W Estimate and Track solutions in tandem, with the goals to establish faster, standardized estimating processes that linked field operations and to gain more timely insight into field performance.

Thoudsanikone says estimating and field tracking go hand in hand, and it made perfect sense to implement both of the B2W elements as a unified solution. Previously, with independent systems, managers at Kitsaki struggled to pinpoint why some jobs were unsuccessful.

“We couldn’t determine whether we were underbidding in the first place, or just not performing as effectively as we projected in the field,” Thoudsanikone explains. “The reality was it was a bit of both. The bidding process was inconsistent from job to job, and we couldn’t really translate bids to the field to make it clear to the foremen and their teams what we bid on and what was expected. The link between Estimate and Track automates that connection.”

Thoudsanikone says economic challenges in the Canadian market are forcing contractors to focus on improving efficiency and productivity through specialized software. Estimators at Kitsaki previously relied on Excel spreadsheets to produce bids, but the process was long and prone to persistent errors.

“What used to take us four days to bid, now takes us less than a few hours with B2W Estimate,” says Thoudsanikone. “If you have errors and you underestimate, you’re behind the eight-ball from the beginning. There’s no way to recover, no matter how efficient or productive you are in the field.”

The team at Kitsaki also previously established its own paper-based process to get better and consistent visibility into productivity, labor and materials in the field. That solution produced incremental improvements, but it quickly became apparent that it was too slow and cumbersome to keep the company competitive over the long-term.

“We were getting data from the field two weeks and sometimes four weeks after the fact, and it’s too late to make project management decisions by then,” recalls Thoudsanikone. With B2W Track, field crews at Kitsaki can complete daily field logs and enter labor hours electronically with instant, accessible data.

With B2W Estimate and Track in place, Kitsaki immediately began to evaluate B2W Maintain for equipment maintenance and B2W Inform for data capture and analysis. “We think it’s better to go with a unified approach from a single supplier rather than piecing together different solutions from different software vendors,” notes Thoudsanikone.

He also has high praise for B2W support and credits their user-friendly interfaces for fast acceptance among his estimating and field teams.

“Our only regret is that we didn’t get started with the B2W Platform sooner,” Thoudsanikone concludes.

Kitsaki Projects is an Aboriginally-owned and operated service provider under the Kitsaki Management Limited Partnership Group of Companies. The group manages economic development activities for the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and includes businesses operating in the transportation, construction, insurance, environmental, hospitality, mining and agriculture sectors.

Greg Norris