Running heavy civil and infrastructure construction projects from planning to completion comes with multiple factors and layers of risk that have to be proactively managed in order to keep projects on track and ultimately to earn a profit. Below, learn more about how HCSS integrated solutions for estimating, project management, digital plans, and safety management – HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Plans, and HCSS Safety – can help you catch issues sooner and protect profitability.
The first thing you can do to protect your profitability is to fill your job pipeline by winning more jobs. Bidding has become more competitive over time, and some barriers to entry that might have limited companies from wanting to compete are beginning to diminish. As a small or large company that owns HeavyBid, if you want the work, HeavyBid will give you the opportunity to submit a highly competitive estimate.
But first, you must find out where you are spending the most amount of time on repetitive tasks (time = money), and train your department to use HeavyBid to automate those tasks. By letting the machines work for you, you save manpower to do the creative part of winning more projects.
Give Quantities Meaning in HeavyJob
Once you have automated your bid process, and you have won the jobs you want, you need to let estimators know how they are doing. Creating budgets from activities, exporting that same information to accounting, and verifying that crews can keep up with or surpass the estimated productivity will give you the edge you need to improve every estimate and confidently measure your margin of profit.
HeavyJob’s most basic and powerful risk protection feature is keeping track of quantities. As mentioned before, these quantities can provide the HeavyBid estimator with labor production costs based on the crews’ actual performance. Facts will always beat even the most careful guess in a battle for profit.
While the job is in progress, reporting quantities daily will give the engineers and supervisors the information to make decisions that could increase production, provide better tools, and schedule material delivery better. Combined with a detailed diary entry, the record of the quantity placed on the job can also help paint a picture of everything the foreman experienced that day. Any unexpected conditions will help inform the estimator to know how the crew operates with different variables.
Here are a couple of customer stories for inspiration with training in the field:
- Ideas for Successful Training in the Field, the COMANCO Way
- Paving the Way for Change With Silver Star Construction
HCSS Plans Can Make Your Quantities Count
Whether you are billing your owner, ordering materials, or planning out tomorrow, you have to know how much progress your crews are making. Not writing it down will cost you money, and that loss will compound every day that you do not write it down.
If your foreman is really good at eyeballing quantities, that is a good start. But you can use HCSS Plans with HeavyJob to measure accurate quantities, and provide HeavyJob with the calculation results. These numbers can also be copied to the diary notes, and a simple screenshot of annotated plans can be attached. Marking the quantity performed each day can also help you in conversations when there is an argument over quantities with the owner. Daily documentation in plans will show incremental and measured job progress over time, which can strengthen your case.
This HCSS Academy Course on using HCSS Plans in the field can help you with the calculation tools available in Plans including the use of location services to provide more accuracy.
Building a Safety Culture in Construction is Priority #1
One of the quickest paths to failure in the construction industry is to ignore or not pay attention to the infinite hazards that exist on the job site. The best way to protect the company is to make sure the people that work for the company are protected. Not only is it good for every human being working on the job site, having a good safety culture will also protect innocent bystanders and passersby.
If you are already using HeavyJob in the field, then your foremen can use the same app to access the best safety tool already available to them (HCSS Safety). Your crew is already on record for your timecard, so that makes recording who is present at your daily meetings instant. You can use the camera on the iPad to record photographic evidence of who was present if signatures are not possible, and the Safety app within HCSS Field has hundreds of safety discussions designed to bring awareness to any topic. If you are missing a conversation topic, you can easily create it on your own.
If you do not have access to the Safety App yet, many HCSS clients find that HCSS Plans can be used to store and document their company’s safety program. There are ways to keep track of your documents in groups, make annotations to your safety documents, and share them with ease. Either way that you do it, we want to help you make safety a priority. Engaging the HCSS Community is always a good idea if you are looking for creative ways to use the software that are being implemented today.
Here are 2 articles to help you focus and improve your safety culture.
Your Friendly Support
If you cannot find what you are looking for, give us a call. We are always here to offer friendly help. You can ask us a basic how-to question, or brainstorm with us to solve a complex business problem you have encountered. If we don’t have the answer right away, we will do the work to give you a proper response. No question is too small or large. If you are the quiet type and need to explore things on your own, there are three support resources I recommend: The HCSS Community, HCSS Help Library, and the HCSS Academy.
Let us know how you are using HeavyBid, HeavyJob, Safety and Plans in your company in the comments below. If you have more questions about how these products interact, Click Here to learn more, and feel free to ask as many questions as you want.