Heavy construction employees tend to be competitive by nature, and a growing number of managers are using performance data to turn that trait into performance improvements.
Relying on tools like B2W Track and B2W Inform, allows them to capture data electronically and use it to populate timely reports and dashboards, which are easy to produce and extremely valuable as motivators in the field.
“These visual learning tools are very beneficial, especially in the field,” says John Casella, co-owner and vice president at Casella Construction in Vermont, where B2W dashboards give employees high-level snapshots of live data that they can also drill down into when details are needed. “Seeing at a glance where you stand and where you need to be is a motivator that drives efficiency and performance,” according to Casella.
Eric Sellman, a vice president and general manager at M.A. Mortenson Company, says an unexpected benefit of using B2W Track in the field is that it has a void that superintendents were always asking for but that his company struggled to provide previously: daily performance tracking.
“With Track, on the next morning following the previous day’s work, right in the construction trailer, the project manager, super, foreman and field engineer can all get together and look at actual dollars and cents compared to the estimate,” Sellman explains. “This is really a good motivator, because, if they’re ahead of the estimate or budget, the numbers are green, and if they’re behind, the numbers are red. That visual management cue is kind of an unexpected benefit that our superintendents have really embraced.”
At Bluebird Contracting Services and its parent the Trotter & Morton Group of Companies, several divisions use B2W Track field logs to drive a similar, simple dashboard (like the one below) to track labor hours for produced quantities per job or per foreman. Green indicates the hours are less then estimated. Red indicates the hours are more than estimated. Yellow indicates incomplete data or the fact that there were no labor hours or quantities expected on that day for that particular job.
David Leberton, a superintendent at Barriere Construction in Louisiana, concurs that getting field performance data daily and being able to compare it to what was budgeted is like getting a mini P&L statement well in advance of the full financial report.
“That’s huge for us to know where we are on a daily basis,” says Leberton. “Before, with paper, we had to wait at least a week, so you’re a week behind on trying to figure out ‘where did we go wrong, what are we not doing?’. Now, we see the next day. We know where we are and how we are we going to get better the next day instead of a week from now.”
Using the data capture and analysis advantages of the B2W Platform, these contractors and many others are turning the competitiveness of their crews into a competitive advantage for their companies.