Alutiiq, headquartered in Anchorage, AK, was 5 weeks into the company’s first big civil job. They needed to jump in head first using job management software in order to track labor, equipment and materials, and get control of costs in a quick and accurate way. The goal was to train on HeavyJob Field entry and reporting software one week and have their foremen go live the following week. With total dedication from all team members, goal setting across the board and planning at the HCSS campus, they pulled off an unprecedented two-week implementation and the results were outstanding.
Wally Forbes, Concrete Superintendent at Alutiiq, says he is not one to rush new technology and had to rely on the confidence from others on how valuable this tool would be. “I held a certain amount of disbelief on how HeavyJob could make my life any better,” said Forbes.
“Prior to the implementation of HeavyJob, it could take me 1-2 hours per day to track and log the days progress, deliveries, invoices, labor costs, etc. into spreadsheets. Once we started using HeavyJob, all of these things could be accomplished in 5 to 10 minutes per day and in a much more accurate, reliable way,” continued Forbes. “Any time you can save that much effort, you want to learn more so you can find other areas to do the same thing. As a doubter, I was quickly impressed with what HeavyJob could do. I never would have believed that anyone could track a job on a daily basis with such ease.”
Getting a team away from the office and onto the same page to design the process and work flow is a crucial part of the success, which happens at the HCSS campus during the implementation planning. Planning starts with the basics such as time card entry and moves into more complex processes such as work flow and data movement across the company.
Buddy Low, Josh Schafer and Brad Ledgerwood were Alutiiq’s team members that attended the implementation and in turn became the point persons that returned to the field and office to train the foremen and other staff how to use the software. HCSS also followed up by sending Lewis Frey, now Implementation Manager, to train with the company on-site for 3 days. This visit by one of HCSS’s implementation specialists teaches the managers how to manage the system as well as continued training for the crews on the jobsite.
So how was their implementation done so fast with such exceptional results? “We had lots of meetings” said Low, Project Manager. “Our team would meet every day for lessons learned from the day prior in reporting. We had a $20 million dollar project in the start-up phase and not a lot of time to go slow or the project would have steam rolled us. HCSS was great at walking us through every step.”
Implementing while the job was in progress also proved to be a huge factor in the success of their implementation. “At the time of implementation, we only had one foreman onsite who was responsible for tracking roughly 10-15 workers, 5-10 pieces of equipment and received materials daily,” said Schafer, Quality Control Systems Manager.
“Prior to getting him up and running, I needed to get the system up to date with information back to our project start date,” continued Schafer. “By implementation time, the project had been in progress for about 5 weeks. There wasn’t a ton of work as it was early in the project, but it was still enough for me to learn how to enter time for craft and equipment, track daily material deliveries and make some mistakes. Mistakes make things stick (in the head) and I made a bunch of them, so it prepared me to not only know how to use the system accurately, but also to teach it,” continued Schafer. “It was a great opportunity to really learn how to use the system, trouble shoot problems and get our staff up to speed.”
“I think that it was implemented so quickly because we superintendents were given no choice,” said Wally Forbes. “Although I may not have been pleased about it at the time, I can see now that jumping in with both feet was the right way to go. The short time for implementation goes to the way in which we were taught to use it,” he continued. After Low and Schafer returned from their classes, “they did an excellent job of showing why and how we should use the program. I think this is a direct reflection not only on Buddy and Josh, but on HCSS for providing everything our guys needed to get us rolling. There were lots of questions (and mistakes) but between them and HCSS the answers always came in a timely manner,” said Forbes.
“I guess to sum things up,” continued Forbes, “I am an old dog. But this new trick has saved time, money and stress for me. It is a program that I would recommend to almost anyone, regardless of the size of their company.”
And one word of advice from Buddy Low to other customers looking to do the same? “Jump.”