“Going back a few years, Mike Prus and I were talking about the need to further expand our knowledge base. We knew we were only mastering about 20% of the features in HCSS that we wanted to by looking at how we were using HeavyBid. The folks in the estimating department recognized that we needed to take advantage of automation, and revise our setups to work better for us. What we weren’t clear about was how to tackle that. Did we need retraining? Where do we start?” – David Crawford, Prus Construction.
Prus Construction has been an HCSS user for over 20 years, and like many companies that find a rhythm that works well, it can be uncomfortable to imagine making changes without a plan. What David needed was a collaboration with HCSS to get Prus Construction beyond their partial usage of the software, and to help them develop an adoption process to carry them towards the goal of being more efficient.
Prus met with our Customer Engagement Team a year ago at the User’s Group Meeting in Houston, TX. After hearing what they could offer, the company invited Lewis Frey and Greg Besmehn, seasoned experts in software implementation and growth, to their offices in Ohio to observe what they do.
“It was not invasive. We invited them to see all of our ‘ugliness,’ and we were okay with that. We knew we did a good job at some things, and could always get better at others,” said David. “The biggest difficulty in this process was getting people in the room to talk about how they were struggling. Folks don’t always enjoy the idea of continuous improvement because it signals that if you make things more efficient, I might not still have a job.”
How do you Overcome the fear?
Lewis and Greg have decades of combined on-site experience training every personality type and position. They are empathetic listeners and confident problem solvers that ask the right questions to help people say what they mean. David recalls his experience with the team, “If it were just Mike and I in the room imagining the problems the dispatcher was having, we wouldn’t know where to begin. They helped us formulate the questions we wanted to ask. One-by-one – the dispatcher came into the room, the payroll person came into the room, the estimators and equipment manager, and so on. Greg would talk, and Lewis would translate what was happening in the conversation into problem statements.”
What David discovered was that having Lewis and Greg on site opened up the opportunity to solve their problems, and not just receive a cookie-cutter training that might not apply directly to how they did business. “They listened to our problems, and the difficulties we were having, and they helped us formulate solutions,” said David. “From there, we created problem statements and post-solutions in a list that we prioritized together. Some of these items will be on this list for a long time. But, we have a roadmap of HCSS Assessment Action Items that we can turn to when we are ready for the next change.”
Why Change, Why Now?
David is a Civil Engineer with management training in Lean Six Sigma Discipline. This philosophy focuses on making processes more efficient and consistent while maintaining a high quality of standards. By eliminating inefficiencies caused by delays, errors, and waste, the company can consistently provide better services to its customers. From his perspective, he is always seeking continuous improvement.
“When you hit success in one aspect, what’s next? For me, we want to make our processes and tools as efficient as possible,” says David. “As you begin to turn your timecards in on time, and management no longer has to worry about that – that takes that worry off their plate, and we can go tackle the next thing. So as we can begin to check off these boxes, and get them off our list, that confidence grows, and ultimately it allows time to improve other areas. I think it allows managers and executives to sleep a little better and that makes me feel good.”
“Too often there are folks at companies that thrive off of being firefighters. They might be really good at solving crises for companies, and you may be able to put them in a role where they can just do that,” David explained. “The problem with that internally, when someone thrives on fighting fires, is that they are never looking forward to creating big lists like what we received from Lewis and Greg. With this Action Item List, we are looking to squash potential fires on an annual basis.”
Plan for the Future
“I would recommend the assessment to anyone that has had HCSS products for 5-year range,” says David. “I wouldn’t define it as a company that is struggling. We all might think we are struggling, but all good companies think they’re doing worse than they actually are.”
“This list is for companies looking to do better. Lewis and Greg assured us with the statement: ‘You’re not the only one that struggles with this.’ That was good to know because it was also paired with, ‘Here is the best way to handle it,” says David. “80% of successful companies are doing this, and you can do it however you want, but this is how a successful company would do it. Without question, this list of Action Items works really well. ”
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Our Team is ready to listen to your needs, and translate your goals into actionable items. Our focus is to help you get the most out of your HCSS System, and we promise to show up, ready to work, with our best people, every time.