Achen-Gardner knows exactly how important technology is to their business.
The Arizona-based heavy civil general contractor, which specializes in wet utility, roadway, and highway construction, has fully invested in the future by turning to HCSS software to manage nearly every aspect of the business over the past 20 years.
They started with HCSS HeavyBid to streamline estimating and manage bid day. HeavyJob followed as the natural next step as a project management software.
“HCSS products have certainly created a lot better efficiency,” Vice President and General Manager Kevin Nunez said. “HeavyBid was easy to implement because we had estimators who were already computer savvy. Once we got past the little challenges in implementing the other products, it just opened up a whole new reality as far as what you can do and how quick you can see it.”
Achen-Gardner also implemented Equipment360 to help the shop stay on track of maintenance, and The Dispatcher helps Field Operations Manager John Broderick manage fleets and crews.
“I schedule all the crews and equipment needs, and our equipment manager fills those needs,” Broderick said. “I manage all the crews and move them around in The Dispatcher so ownership can see who is where on any given day.”
Broderick said he ditched the notepads, whiteboard, and magnets he had previously used to keep track of crews and equipment. The Dispatcher’s similar features made it easy to quickly learn and understand the software.
“It’s so much quicker now—it’s a big timesaver,” Broderick said. “All my grading crews and underground crews are color-coded.”
Achen-Gardner also implemented FuelerPlus, HCSS Safety and HCSS GPS. Nunez said the safety management software, which integrates with HeavyJob, felt like the natural next step.
He said they’ve also been converting all their old third-party GPS equipment to the HCSS GPS hardware and software because it integrates with HeavyJob, The Dispatcher, Equipment360, and FuelerPlus.
“We’ve had GPS in our fleet for a long time,” he said. “We needed to switch the modules out, so we just decided to go ahead and fully integrate into the HCSS system.”
In two decades of riding the cutting edge of construction technology, Achen-Gardner has had a few road bumps, mainly getting everyone comfortable with using computers.
Before HeavyBid and HeavyJob, project and activity requirements were tracked on paper, and time cards were handwritten and turned into the office.
“Now we can keep all that information in one area so we don’t have to dig through files two years later,” Broderick said. “The process is just streamlined—the administrative time, the correctness, the oversight. We get more accurate and timely reporting on utilization and costs.”