Since Austin Bridge and Road’s 2013 implementation of HeavyJob, their foremen have been able to contribute meaningful change in keeping their job costs within budget.
“The most important feature to us was productivity,” says Allen Hall, Director of Project Controls at Austin Bridge and Road. “We used to have to wait a week before we could get productivity. Now we are able to get it on a daily basis. The foreman level is responsible for the time card which includes providing time and quantity.”
However, getting to this point of reporting was not met without challenge. One of the benefits of getting real-time information from HeavyJob is the ability to quickly spot job anomalies. HeavyJob was showing Austin Bridge & Road that their foremen, who had not previously been required to report quantities, were reporting job productivities that were not consistent. They met with all of their foremen, and tested them to establish a baseline measurement of their mathematic understanding. Many did not pass, and they found a need for training. Allen and his team came up with a one-day class for all foremen to cover basic construction mathematics. They taught tricks like making comparisons of jobsite measurements to household items, and gave useful jobsite formulas. They tested once again, and their foremen passed with flying colors.
Allen said, “One of the things we realized in order to truly help our foremen was that we had to start thinking outside of HeavyJob. It may be something simple like learning how to write better or getting used to the technology. It comes down to that person accepting and understand the iPad, how to work through the device, how to use the program, and eventually that gets us to productivity and quantity tracking. In training, we show them how to take photos, how to attach photos to emails, and how to use their email application.”
Allen cautions, “Don’t take all the things that you know for granted in an electronic device. Others may not have the same exposure to technology. We make sure that we share that with them, get them comfortable with the tools, and that is what allows us to improve what is entered into HeavyJob.”
They further reinforced their training by providing their foremen with an easy portal on every iPad to download apps that would improve the foremen’s lives (i.e. weather app, calculators, health trackers, productivity, etc.). They also have online storage of documents, cheat sheets, and self-training material that all new foremen have access to (including that original foreman test).
“We are an employee-owned company, and we want to allow our employee-owners/foremen to be more involved. We have grown as a company, and we get advice from our foremen on how we can improve,” says Allen. “2018 was our 5-year anniversary using HeavyJob and the 100-year anniversary of our company. For me, and my opinion – HCSS has allowed us, as a company, to set our foremen at a higher level in the industry. They are years ahead of their counterparts at other companies who are not using HeavyJob, and are still in that paper product era.”
Austin Bridge and Road did a fantastic job of analyzing their needs and making the right amount of adjustment and training. HCSS is committed to helping our customers be successful and find solutions to help further company goals. HCSS Academy was created so that we could help reduce onboarding time for new employees, provide high-level and in-depth training on new releases, and to improve usage of current employees with refresher courses and extensive training. The Academy is a Free resource, and we encourage you to sign up and give us feedback if there are ways we can improve it.
Learn more about how foremen can benefit from HCSS software.