It wasn’t all that long ago, but Bobby Asbury of Leander Construction, Inc. can tell you about the “old” days-and old ways-of construction project management at his company. As the senior project manager at Leander he can tell you how being mired down in the processes can take valuable time away from overseeing the actual work.
Leander, a Midwestern-based provider of civil construction services, primarily for water treatment and wastewater plants, runs some very large, very complex projects. These projects typically involve a lot of moving parts-from vast equipment and fleet tasks, to managing layers of subcontractors and suppliers, to communicating vital updates and changes to all project team members.
Laboring Through Manual Processes
Yet, he and his team were relying on mostly manual methods like spreadsheets, Word documents and email to track and manage projects-a significant productivity time suck that has now been corrected since he implemented Viewpoint Team project management and collaboration software. Asbury describes these challenges and how Leander was able to overcome them during a recent Viewpoint Team webinar.
“When it came to submittal management, there have been many times in the past where I’ve done a submittal and forgot to turn it in-or maybe I set it up in an email and I got sidetracked and forgot to send it-but there’s nothing to tell me I didn’t send it out,” Asbury said. “I had a very colorful submittal log that was cost-coded based on what stage they were in. It was really the only way to track and look at these things. But you’re reliant on that physical update every time something moves through the path-and not everyone sees that. The only person who could see that was me until I updated the log and sent it out to everyone, which is very time consuming.”
Asbury said he faced the same problems with RFIs, project logs and other documentation. And communicating project updates and changes to everyone on the team was another challenge-data had to be manually pulled, formatted to fit the end recipient and then physically sent each time. It wound up taking most of Asbury’s time, just to keep the basic projects tasks on track.
Full Project Visibility and Management in Real Time
When Leander heard about Viewpoint Team, the company was quick to sign up.
Viewpoint Team seamlessly connects project managers, back office staff, owners, architects, subcontractors, vendor and suppliers-everyone that might be involved in a project-through a cloud-based collaborative solution that delivers project data from one source of information in real time. Whether managing submittals, transmittals, RFIs, issues, project notes, daily logs, or other project documentation, Viewpoint Team features a configurable folder structure with unlimited file storage to host and collaboratively share construction documents and versioning control ensures everyone is working from the latest information. Users can share folder links, allowing recipients to log directly into the Viewpoint Team platform.
“Team is very easy to navigate,” Asbury said. “I have many vendors and suppliers on our projects and just the other day, I had one that one of my PMs tell me (one of our vendors) would never use it. I helped set the project up for him, and when the guy called me, it took me five to 10 minutes to walk him through it. He was just amazed how easy it was to access and navigate, and all the items he needed were right there in front of him.”
Unlike standalone project management solutions, Viewpoint Team is integrated out of the box throughout the Vista ERP platform. Users enjoy increased project visibility and can drilling down into processes or workflows to see where ball-in-court responsibilities currently lie. It allows users to log in, immediately see what things need attention and tap directly into processes or tasks to address them.
Construction Productivity Boost
Asbury said that since implementing Viewpoint Team, Leander has seen a significant boost in productivity – especially with regard to submittals and RFIs.
We have so many items to cover, as most projects do,” he said. “With Viewpoint Team, we can manage it all in real time. For things like submittals there’s no double-handling. You pull it in, review the submittal, make your cover sheet, insert it into the PDF you’re reviewing, upload it and send it off to the engineer for review, or send it back to the vendor. You know where everything is at and when it’s due.”
Having a cloud-based, collaborative project management solution in place is reducing project risks, like not getting requisitions on crucial long lead time on pieces equipment in time, which if delayed can impact multiple other areas of the project. Keeping things moving fluidly on projects means a reduction in costly delays and ultimately a healthier bottom line.
“Time is money, so any time saved is money,” Asbury said. “We have reduced steps we have to take and less redundancy on our projects. It lets us concentrate on the project and how they are doing.”
Read more about Leander’s collaboration success with Viewpoint Team.