For about three decades, Pavecon has been delivering top-of-the-line asphalt and concrete services. Today, Pavecon is an industry leader, operating four companies and nine divisions, serving multiple states throughout the U.S. with concrete and asphalt services include concrete paving, asphalt paving, concrete, and asphalt repair, and full preventive pavement maintenance.
When it comes to embracing technology, the construction industry often finds itself lagging behind many other markets. Physical paperwork and Excel spreadsheets dominate the back-office landscape while foremen handpick crews and struggle to manually fill out required forms as they recall a week’s worth of information. Pavecon’s process was no exception.
Although Pavecon achieved astounding growth, they were still relying on a pen, paper, and recall process to run the business; the accounting department was manually scanning 1,000 timesheets for payroll; thousands of jobs were being scheduled on magnetic whiteboards; and information was printed, stapled to additional forms, and hand-keyed into separate data systems.
“Our clients are evolving, but the construction industry is not evolving as quickly,” says Daniel Kilman, president, Pavecon. “The foremen were scheduling crew members, ordering the concrete or asphalt, and reserving the needed equipment all in manual, pen and paper format. Pavecon needed to improve the process and create a solid platform to evolve the company into the next business phase.”
To improve data gathering from on-site locations through the back-office processing, Pavecon turned to Sparkhound to optimize workflows through a complete digital transformation.
According to Kilman, Sparkhound focused on how the new digital programs would function inside the specific Pavecon environment. “You can have the best processing program in the world but it may not work for us,” Kilman says. “We need to stay completely focused on what serves the ultimate need of our Pavecon economy, as well as serving the needs of our employees. Sparkhound took this seriously.”
To lay the foundation for Pavecon’s digital journey, Sparkhound selected a complete Microsoft support environment, including Office 365, SharePoint, Azure SQL database, Active Directory, as well as Power BI for business analytics and PowerApps to create Mobile Apps that run on Android, iOS, and Windows platforms.
Once the Microsoft foundation was in place, Sparkhound began a process to systematically roll out new, digital services supported by mobile devices and smartphones. The services include:
- Integrity Payroll system. This one-touch approach removes 13 additional payroll processing steps—per employee. Now in one click, the entire process is executed to fulfillment.
- The A-level program. This program automates the job-rating process. In the past, three Pavecon participants from leadership, production, and sales would fill out paper-form surveys to rate hard and soft-skill performances. With an average of 5,000 jobs and six cost codes per job, the information would amount to 15,000 to 20,000 pieces of paper to process per year.
- The CVC (Customer Value Creation) Scheduling System. This digital scheduling and logistics program will help Pavecon evaluate their employees’ impact on customers, by simplifying data gathering to on-location, mobile device input. Automating the process will give the company instant feedback from customers located across several states.
- User interfaces that include simple “slider” or “wheel” options for data input make it easy for workers to engage with the new systems, taking a proposal or evaluation process from several weeks to complete—down to a few hours.
The prior paper trail of submitting a document to the foreman and hoping he or she fills it out and returns to the supervisor has been entirely automated. Now, employees interact with apps on smart devices to rate a particular piece of equipment or confirm their participation in a required “morning huddle.” All information is instantly sent to the cloud/database where it can be combined with additional data, to create what Kilman refers to as a “bird’s-eye view of the company.” In addition, the digital transition has enabled the company to:
- Strengthen its community by capturing data that displays an employee’s true company and team value.
- Analyze multiple data sources to discover opportunities to create more value in the business.
- Stay at the forefront of the construction industry by continuing the digital journey.
“Sparkhound has provided us with a solid platform that prepares Pavecon for future growth. Whether it is a new division, a brick-and-mortar location, or helping capture additional market share, there are all kinds of ways to look at a growing company and now we can leverage the best systems to help us do this,” Kilman concludes.
for more information
Sparkhound is a leading digital solutions firm providing trusted implementation of cloud services, custom applications, advanced analytics, and managed enterprise services. For more, visit www.sparkhound.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, November 2019
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