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2019 Collaborate Conference in Review
A Great Big ‘Thank You’ From Viewpoint for an Amazing 2019 Collaborate Conference
Now that Viewpoint’s 2019 Collaborate conference has come to a close, we just want to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of our customers, partners, vendors and employees for joining us this year. It was a fantastic conference, chock full of unparalleled learning experiences, networking, skills growth and fun. Each year, Collaborate grows bigger and better — because of you. We’re proud to deliver this experience for our clients every year, along with our dozens of roadshows closer to your neck of the woods, continual thought leadership and educational content, collaborative customer and user groups and much more. We believe in being much more than a software vendor. We strive hard to be your trusted technology partner.
Below is a short 2019 Collaborate review video, as well as highlights from the conference sorted in order by day. We look forward to seeing you next year, so save the date — Sept. 21-24, 2020!
Monday afternoon: Registration at the Marriott and Hilton was in full swing as attendees arrive for the conference.
Highlights of Welcome Reception
Monday evening: With the Viewpoint Collaborate welcome reception was the perfect way for our guests to network before the week of learning ahead. Here are a few images to highlight the networking and professional engagement that attendees have come to enjoy during our annual conference:
Viewpoint Collaborate 2019 Officially Gets Underway
Tuesday morning: Throngs of attendees arrived at the Oregon Convention Center. Viewpoint's registration teams sped folks through the lines to give them plenty of time to grab a bite of breakfast and setting in for the kickoff presentations, including those from Viewpoint CEO Manolis Kotzabasakis, COO Tom McNamara and Chief Product & Strategy Officer Matt Harris.
Digital and Data Transformations, Customer Success and Solving Industry Challenges Highlights of Opening Keynote Sessions
Tuesday morning: This morning's opening keynote sessions at Viewpoint's 2019 Collaborate conference centered around digital and data transformations, how technology is helping contractors work smarter and celebrating Viewpoint client success.
Viewpoint Chief Operating Officer Tom McNamara kicked things off by welcoming more than 2,000 attendees to the conference, noting that more than 50 percent of attendees were repeat attendees, and at least three clients have attended all nice years of Collaborate conferences. He also highlighted a number of new highlights for the Collaborate, including the new September dates, the innovative Tech Talks highlighting Viewpoint and Trimble technologies and how many more clients are participating in the conference as speakers and session panelists.
Viewpoint CEO Manolis Kotzabasakis noted that construction has been booming (the industry is expected to grow from $10.7 trillion in 2017 to more than $12.7 trillion by 2022). But many challenges remain. Among them; skyrocketing materials costs, an ongoing labor shortage and contractors modernizing operations to keep pace with demands.
He spoke of Viewpoint's own technology transformation and how the company has positioned itself to help contractors modernize through its Office-Team-Field vision of integrating technologies and the work the company has done around ViewpointOne — leveraging the cloud to boost connectivity and collaboration across construction projects, while providing clients with a single source of construction data truth that is easier to use and easier for contractors to own/license.
Already more than 30 percent of clients have made the move to ViewpointOne and/or cloud-based software, Kotzabasakis said. Attendees were shown a couple of examples of client success with ViewpointOne through quick use videos with Great Basin Industrial and electrical contractor Hatzel & Buehler.
Trimble CFO Rob Painter spoke briefly about the expanded Trimble ecosystem of products and services and how Viewpoint, acquired by the company just over a year ago, fits in and where current and future integration paths are leading.
“These businesses have really come together nicely over the course of the past 12 months,” Painter said. “We’re all in on Viewpoint.
Like Viewpoint, Trimble draws on 40-plus years of construction industry expertise. The company focuses on integrating work processes across the entire value chain and project lifecycle for key stakeholders, leveraging the company’s broad and deep expertise. Trimble’s Constructible Process centers around integrated workflows for construction with a focus on delivering the right data to the right person at the right time.
Trimble and Viewpoint share a similar vision, Painter noted. And the companies have been investing heavily in integration of products. Some of the areas where significant integration work has advanced between Trimble and Viewpoint include telematics, estimating, drawings management, equipment management and data analytics.
Both Painter and Kotzabasakis noted their companies’ deep commitment to staying ahead of the latest technology trends, including cybersecurity. “We have a special group working on the latest innovations around this and through that hard work, I believe we’re able to deliver the industry’s most secure construction management platform today,” Kotzabasakis said.
Kotzabasakis highlighted key areas of customer success, partnerships and ongoing support over the past year. Among them: the creation of a new customer portal, which will be available to clients soon, as well as the new Viewpoint Academy for both advanced learning and refresher courses on Viewpoint technologies. Kotzabasakis also noted significant improvements in response times to client support issues (20 Percent improvement in average times) and resolution times for client issues (a 45 percent improvement).
Viewpoint Chief Product and Strategy Officer Matt Harris took attendees through a journey of product innovations and updates that have occurred over the past year. Contractors are already in the midst of digital transformations and the next technology waves center around data transformations and transformative customer experiences to make using technology seamless for the end user.
Harris detailed the advancements made with the ViewpointOne offering in the last year, including partnering with Microsoft to leverage its Azure platform to provide stronger, more secure cloud environment experiences. Among other product highlights:
· Faster, more efficient workflows for Spectrum, as well as single sign on and revamped user interfaces to better tie the ERP into ViewpointOne
· The addition of expense management tools to Viewpoint HR Management that the more than 200,000 employee users now utilizing can add receipts, log expenses and more
· Working on a new artificial intelligence bot within Viewpoint Team that will allow users to perform daily logs with speech to text tools on mobile devices, having the entered data intuitively segmented to the fields needed automatically
Additionally, Harris noted that Viewpoint Field Management now has more than 27,500 users. “The real-time information we provide back to the people that need it most is what we call a ‘data smart’ application,” Harris said. “It’s connecting the field and the back office seamlessly.”
Harris unveiled Viewpoint Analytics to attendees, noting that the solution is currently entering a beta test phase with clients. “We’re very excited about what we can do with data. By leveraging data and building predictive models, we can not only improve the things we’re doing today, we can better forecast for the future.”
He noted that Viewpoint established its Viewpoint Data Science Center of Excellence in Seattle and a data science advisory group with customers. Viewpoint has also partnered with the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) to include the organization’s financial benchmarks within Viewpoint Analytics. CFMA President Stuart Binstock spoke about this partnership:
“Benchmarking is one of the most critical pieces of information we provide to our members,” Binstock said. “More than 1,000 of our members take part and it’s a tremendous tool for them to see how their operations match up with the rest of the industry.”
Harris noted that Viewpoint also created a partnership project with Microsoft and client Garney Construction aimed at leveraging data analytics to help address the challenges around profit fade in the construction industry.
Raghu Ramakrishnan, chief technology officer for data and the Azure platform addressed the audience about how data collection and algorithms are changing the way the world works. “Microsoft is an inherently data-driven company,” he said. “And we’re really excited to partner with Viewpoint to help drive how data is being used in construction.”
Tuesday afternoon: As the afternoon sessions kicked off, attendees were treated to a special session on the importance of safety in construction. Encore Electric, a Viewpoint and Trimble client, was honored with the Grand Award at the 2019 Construction Safety Excellence Awards (CSEA) presented by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and sponsored by Willis Towers Watson. The company’s ongoing safety principles and best practices have caught the attention of industry peers and organizations over the years.
Marlin Linder, Encore co-founder and current vice president and Jack Cain, the company’s health and safety director, shared their company’s story with Collaborate attendees. Linder shared stories of tragic safety incidents that occurred with his previous organization, even despite its good safety record and company culture. To amend this, he reached out and hired 13-year Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) veteran Jack Cain. When Encore was formed a few years later, Cain and many others came over with Linder and the new company forged ahead with a robust commitment to safety.
“We developed a safety culture where we stopped playing the blame game,” Cain said, noting that at Encore, reporting a safety incident or violation is looked at as a way to improve rather than a way to assign fault. “We were determined to become transparent as an organization.
Linder asked senior leadership in the room to reconsider how their approach their safety plans, safety walks on projects and more, noting that if they “don’t walk the talk” when they see safety incidents occur, their teams are going to be less inclined to follow rigid safety practices of their own. Cain added that companies should also be investing in safety programs.
“Yes, safety programs cost money,” Cain said. “But how much money could it cost your organization if you don’t? I can assure you that a safety incident can wind up a lot more than what a safety program would.”
Check out the blog that Linder and Cain authored for Viewpoint: Winning with Safety.
Moving to the Cloud: Viewpoint Clients Tell All!
Tuesday afternoon: Moving to the cloud isn't always an easy decision. So, three Viewpoint customers presented their reasoning for moving to the cloud and their experiences since making the change during Viewpoint's "Why Customers Moved to the Cloud" afternoon session:
Karen Lawhead, Director of Finance and Control from Alterman Inc. enjoys the ability to have access to data without having to be in the office.
Dustin Fisher, Software Engineer at Pan Pacific Mechanical said be was pleasantly surprised that by moving to the cloud, his team doesn't have to worry about making any updates. "The vendor (Viewpoint) takes care of updates; saving time and headaches," he said.
John Paist, Director of Process Innovation at MDU Resources Group, Inc. mentioned how much time the IT team at MDU Resource has saved. Now, IT can concentrate on other important aspects instead of updates and troubleshooting. Those "other important aspects" include gathering and analyzing important organizational data.
Executive Panel Dives into Customer Q&A
Tuesday afternoon: During the Viewpoint Executive Panel Viewpoint’s CEO Manolis Kotzabasakis, COO Tom McNamara, Chief Product & Strategy Officer Matt Harris and Trimble’s CFO, Rob Painter, answered some common questions by Viewpoint customers.
Questions ranged from, what is it like working at Viewpoint to more challenging questions about how products will be supported. The general consensus from all panelists regarding being a part of the Viewpoint and Trimble family is that collaboration and curiosity is what makes different segments within Trimble work together for greater integrations. Painter provided some insight into future growth, “we work backward from the end game results and then identify the gaps we need to fill to improve the construction lifecycle.”
“We want you to feel 100% confident that you have the best technology in the world around office, team and field," said Kotzabasakis
There were numerous questions around what the plan is to support various existing technology solutions as the customer base grows and an emphasis is being placed on ViewpointOne. Each Viewpoint executive had a response to how innovation will continue and existing technology will be supported.
Harris responded to the question about continued innovation with, “we have completely reworked products to ensure the platforms work for years to come.”
Viewpoint COO Tom McNamara addressed customer support noting that while response times have improved significantly and Viewpoint has created a number of new customer resources, there was still work to do. “We are working closely as a team to address challenges. We want to solve each issue for each individual customer because we know our software is mission-critical to your business. We are not perfect but we are putting weight behind this issue by implementing a dedicated customer success team.”
Women to Lead the Next Wave of Construction Professionals
Tuesday afternoon: In highly anticipated Women In Construction session, Viewpoint senior product manager Betsie Hoyt was joined by Patsy Dunn, CFO of Grow Construction; Angie Simon, president of Western Allied Mechanical; and Laurie Kendall, president of ABC Pacific Northwest Chapter to discuss the role of women in the construction industry.
The session focused on how diversity improves business and techniques for increasing diversity in the workplace.
Panelists noted that while the pay disparity between women and men in construction is less than in other industries, the fact remains that in an industry with a severe shortage of skilled workers, women still make up less than 10% of the construction workforce. This presents an opportunity for the industry to close the skills gap by recruiting and retaining women, but there are still barriers to women entering the construction industry, including an overall culture that is often unfavorable to women.
Based on data from Trimble’s employee base, women who manage groups have balanced teams at every function - engineering, product management, sales, marketing, finance and more. This means that getting women into more positions of management will continue to create better balance.
A common theme among panelists and session attendees was the importance of finding a community of peers - other women in similar roles - and the importance of finding supporters.
“For every hater, there’s a supporter, you just have to find them,” said Dunn. “You may have a board member who thinks you don’t know what you’re doing, but you probably have one who thinks that you do. Find that person. Seek out the supporters, and hold on to the people who believe in you.”
The importance of nurturing young women considering careers in construction was also a common theme, with substantial discussion around mentoring programs, rotational programs that give young women a closer look at a wider variety of construction roles, and working closely with girls in high schools to expose them to the benefits of a career in construction.
Life is Magic: Jon Dorenbos Shines as Wednesday Keynote
Wednesday morning: Jon Dorenbos is no stranger to tragedy. At the too-young age of 12, what he knew as a happy childhood, growing up in the Seattle suburb of Woodinville, Wash. was shattered when his father murdered his mother. Years of therapy followed. But so too did inspiration.
At age 13, while staying with his aunt, he discovered a passion for magic. He began following television magician Bill Malone, and later was mentored by a friend of his aunt — also a magician. Soon, he was turning sleight of hand into therapy of his own. Dorenbos found solace in card-based magic tricks and the inspiration needed to never give up when the chips were down.
Dorenbos shared his story with Viewpoint attendees Wednesday morning as the featured keynote. He mixed his heartfelt story with fascinating card and visual tricks that wowed the audience. “I was 12 years old, dealing with issues that no 12-year-old should ever have to deal with,” Dorenbos said. “By 13, after I had discovered magic, it was the distraction I needed to find myself. I would go home, light a candle, put on Yanni and practice with by 52 friends.”
He spoke of his 13-year NFL career as a long snapper for the Philadelphia Eagles (and briefly for the New Orleans Saints). He talked about developing positive attitudes and fostering a true sense of teamwork to overcome challenges. He spoke of how being different or finding different approaches to work and family needs should be celebrated rather than scorned. And he spoke of developing yourself into your own brand.
“The name on the back of my jersey when I played — that’s what defined me and what I did defined by name brand,” Dorenbos said. “If you complain all the time and pass the blame, then that’s how you’ll be remembered. If you make sacrifices and do what it takes to help the team succeed, then that’s what will be remembered.”
He spoke of finding motivation in distractions. For instance, if a cell phone rings during his act, or a glass breaks, rather than getting upset or annoyed about it, he uses those instances to allow him to refocus and perform better.
At age 37, just days after being traded from the Eagles to the New Orleans Saints, Dorenbos was diagnosed with a heart defect. “The doctor called me and said, ‘are you sitting down?’ … I said ‘sure.’ He told me that I wouldn’t play football anymore, that I shouldn’t run, I shouldn’t even laugh or sneeze. I needed emergency heart surgery within 24 hours.”
In fact, it took 48 hours, but Dorenbos was admitted and had the necessary surgery, spending weeks in hospital recovering. But he remained positive and used that as a tool to help him grow … and even forgive. He recently reconciled with his father (who was imprisoned for 13 years for the murder and who Dorenbos hadn’t spoken with in years after.
As part of his keynote, Dorenbros brought members of the audience on stage and included them in a number of his tricks. “This is about much more than magic,” he said. “It’s about you and finding your own inspirations.”
Do You Know How Cool Vista Is?
Wednesday afternoon: More than 300 registrants learned how they can leverage Vista in ways they never even knew they could during a jam packed session, “Top 10 Coolest Things You Can Do in Vista.” So, what’s so cool? Did you know you can create a template for general conditions, copy the template and use it over and over again for various jobs? From payroll to mechanical templates, our Viewpoint Vista experts demonstrated how several templates can be used to save time. What about the “copy” feature? You can copy information from one project to another; making the system work for you instead of having to remember and build information from scratch. There’s so much more that was covered as well, but those are just a couple highlights.
Leveraging Technology to Recruit and Retain Younger Professionals
Wednesday afternoon: We had a great panel of construction professionals participate in a discussion on how the construction industry must find ways to attract and retain more talent. Trimble’s Michelle Frye lead the conversation with Michael Bellaman, president and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors, Steven Drouin, director of IT services with Interstate Electrical Services Corp., Angie Simon, president of Western Allied Mechanical and Ed Rojek, director of marketing with Tradesmen International.
Each panelist came to the discussion with some valuable insight and best practices. Each agreed that the industry as a whole must come together to collectively work towards changing the story of what a career in construction actually looks like.
Drouin discussed how Interstate Electrical Services Corp. has adopted lean methodswhich includes a 150,000 sq. ft. facility that employees 75 people to pre-fabricate large parts of projects in house. The method not only streamlines the process of getting a near finished product to the high-skilled folks working in the field but also attracts a different workforce. He also said that many of the employees who started in the pre-fab shop have gone on to an apprenticeship, which is an incredible way to fill the high-skill electrician gap.
Simon said that the construction industry needs a mindset change in how they hire and talk about what careers look like in construction. She also talked about how technology and lean methods create increased opportunities to reduce waste. The younger generation wants to make a difference and how great is that message is to attract young talent.
“51% of our U.S. population is women. We need to get more women into careers in construction.” - Angie Simon, president of Western Allied Mechanical
Bellaman continued to emphasize the importance of messaging to the younger generation. “Construction is no longer a tape measure and blueprints industry, it is lasers, BIM and robotics; that’s the vision we need to deliver,” said Bellaman.
Rojek gave perspective from a staffing agency perspective, “We have moved from 82% overflow rate down to 78%, for us that decrease is significant.” He encourages contractors to make sure their staffing partners are a part of the planning sessions to build-in a greater lead time.
A Game of Jeopardy to Boost ProContractor Knowledge
Wednesday afternoon: After lunch, a game of Jeopardy was played to help ProContractor customers learn the software’s top 20 capabilities. ProContractor experts, Michelle Butler and Jennifer Strand, dressed up in Jeopardy garb and encouraged attendees to answer capability questions in true Jeopardy fashion. The game answered questions about how to use filters, employee set-up and how to edit and customize reports. Fake cash was given to attendees who participated, and so was a wealth of knowledge about ProContractor.
Getting Intelligent When it Comes to Business Intelligence
Wednesday afternoon: How do you make better use of the construction data you have and find the data you are looking for quicker, in formats that are relevant to you? During a late afternoon session, Spectrum users learned more about Spectrum Business Intelligence and how data analytics can help them find and utilize pertinent information.
Organizations that use BI realized 10% more profitability compared to those who don’t adopt any data transformation solution.
Since security is a hot topic, especially in connection with data breaches, restrictions can be added and permissions can be assigned or taken away. Not everyone needs access to every report. Payroll, for example, should only be restricted to certain personnel.
Attendees of this packed house session came away with more knowledge about how BI can help them work smarter and realize more productivity, while better planning future projects and business plans.
Digging Deep into Cybersecurity
Wednesday afternoon: Viewpoint Information Security Officer Mike Dooley and Information Security Analyst Shawn Neibaur took attendees through a deep dive into cybersecurity best practices. They showed some of the latest tactics being used with phishing, vishing, baiting and rubber duckies to educate the audience on common cyber attack tactics.
Dooley and Neibaur drove home a valuable point by posing a question to the audience, “how many of you have neglected to relinquish system access to former employees?” Numerous hands went up throughout the room. “This is a very common misstep and one that can be avoided by simply creating a process tied to payroll. One of the first things to cease is payroll and access to the system should be correlated.”
The Viewpoint duo gave some suggestions for implementing a cybersecurity protocol:
- Build a security culture
- Identify access management
- Perform vulnerability assessment
- Craft an encryption policy and enforce it
- Deploy a reputable intrusion detection solution
- Block drive by downloads
- Comprehensive and regular patching
- Baseline and monitor insider behavior
- Backup and encrypt your critical data
Here are just a few of the measures Viewpoint has taken to streamline and enhance its own cybersecurity efforts to give clients peace of mind:
Continuous cloud monitoring
- Centralized user management
- Security operation center
- Log aggregation
Cloud auditing and alerting
- Cloud auditing and alerting
- SOC II Azure and AWS
- Amazon Cloud Watch
- Amazon Guard Duty
- Azure Security Center
Both the Viewpoint representatives emphasized the need to have an incident response team clearly identified to own that responsibility and a mechanism to communicate outside the network. There are numerous simple steps that can be taken to help prevent cyber security attacks.
Key Construction Trends Focus of Media Panel
Wednesday afternoon: During our Emerging Trends in the Construction Industry session, we had a panel of top construction editors talk about the hot topics in construction and a glimpse into the future. Lauren Pinch, editor and chief of Construction Executive, Kristy Domboski, editorial services for CFMA Building Profits, Don Marsh, editor and chief with Concrete Products and Elizabeth Manning, editor of Construction Business Owner provided some valuable insights into the state of the construction industry and the issues and trends contractors should be watching.
The session covered a wide variety of topics and hot-button issues ranging from the ongoing labor shortage to women in construction to new technologies to recession proofing your company and special industry causes. A common thread that seemed to find its way into almost every conversation was the adoption of technology to address many of the challenges construction companies face on a daily basis.
Some highlights from the session:
· The panel agreed that there is undoubtedly a recession coming. “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when,’” Manning said. Several quoted industry economists as noting that business indicators still seemed strong for construction for at least the next couple of years, but that by 2022 a recession could be in full swing.
· Contractors should be prepping for any possible recession by future-proofing their organizations as best they can now. That includes modernization and setting up internal plans for dealing with downturns. “Make sure you’re communicating with your financial institutions, your insurance providers, lenders, clients and vendors to have a solid plan in place for moving your business forward,” Domboski noted.
· Tax reform in recent years, while a mixed bag for many, has largely resulted in net wins for contractors. Marsh pointed to special opportunity zones created under new tax rules that are driving economic investment and development, driving more business for contractors.
· Productivity is a huge area of concern for these publications’ audiences, with more and more seeking informative articles on how to best improve in this area. They want to know how best to eliminate manual processes...they’re looking for a single source of (data) truth. They want to get real-time snapshots of the jobsite and their projects and achieve greater efficiency with less paper,” Pinch said.
· The labor shortage continues to be an issue and contractors are looking at new ways to appeal to younger generations of workers, including modernizing with technology to attract tech-minded professionals and mentoring younger workers to provide skill-based career paths. “The younger generations of workers want to feel a sense of purpose,” Manning said. Pinch added that good salaries and a sense of involvement by leadership in key decisions also plays a part. “You can be under 30 and be an executive in construction,” Pinch said. “The industry needs to be promoting these stories.”
· Emerging technologies like business intelligence, robotics, drones, AI and more are all driving positive change in the industry. And while contractors are not necessarily at risk if they’re not adopting all of these technologies now, the benefits are there for them, as contractors that have moved to the cloud will point out, the panel noted.
· The construction industry has rallied around a number of worthwhile causes in recent years, including safety, tackling addition and driving better mental health. Domboski noted that construction had the highest rate of suicide and the CFMA has created its own program designed to bring awareness to mental health and suicide prevention.
The panel concluded that over the next few years, contractors will be increasing planning out projects and business models farther in advance, adopting even more technology and driving internal changes to boost productivity.
Viewpoint Celebrates Six Noteworthy Customer Success Stories with ‘Viewpoint Construction Awards’ and ‘Best Company to Work For Awards’
Thursday morning: Viewpoint is excited to announce the winners of our 2019 Viewpoint Construction Awards featuring the most collaborative, challenging and innovative projects of the year. The awards are designed to celebrate the project success of Viewpoint customers and to highlight the unique ways construction firms are leveraging technology to improve operations.
Nearly 30 companies submitted projects for consideration this year. Ultimately, three companies stood out and were recognized in winners in their category:
Most Collaborative: Encore Electric – Gaylord of the Rockies Hotel and Resort – Aurora, CO.
A large-scale, three-year project involving more than 200 specialty contractors. Emphasis on safety, morale, and collaboration among the 1,700 craftspeople kept teams working cohesively to overcome challenges and meet project delivery goals.
Most Challenging: Caldwell Marine International (division of JAG Companies) – Boston Harbor Submarine Cable Project – Boston, MA.
Installed three miles of submarine cable across Boston Harbor. On-site crew communicated with out-of-state headquarter offices using Viewpoint software to seamlessly integrate financial and project management data. Key functions of Viewpoint’s Vista software include approving invoices, tracking equipment, writing purchase orders and subcontracts, and billing the owners of the job.
Most Innovative: Pan Pacific Mechanical – BOTS and Natural Language Processing – Fountain Valley, CA.
The project entailed the development of technology to identify valuable information from everyday speech and carry out actions based on the information. Functions of Viewpoint software enabled retrieval of valuable project information based on verbal cues.
Viewpoint also introduced a brand-new award contest for clients this year, the 2019 Best Construction Companies to Work for Awards. Winners were selected from 268 submissions based on how well companies scored in regard to retention rates, benefits offered, value statements and availability of employee self-service technology solutions aimed at keeping valued and tenured employees.
The winner and finalists are as follows:
Winner – Adolfson & Peterson Construction – selected for many reasons including supplemental programs such as community service opportunities and continued education programs. The company’s high employee retention rates are a testament to the benefits, new technology and overall work-life balance they provide for their employees, making it the #1 best construction company to work for in 2019.
Finalist – Duggan Contracting Services – selected because of their high retention rate, their overall positive and supportive work environment and the innovative ways they are working to attract new talent.
The labor shortage is a significant challenge facing the construction industry, and Viewpoint strives to be a resource for the next generation of construction professionals by recognizing great work from within their client portfolio. With an aging workforce and the battle to attract and retain talent, companies are actively adopting measures to improve traditional and non-traditional benefits, while also providing greater transparency.
“A full 80 percent of construction firms were looking to add headcount in 2019, but are now having issues meeting project deadlines due to lack of skilled labor – we hear the pain of this from customers every day,” said Tom McNamara, Viewpoint’s chief operating officer. “We think it’s important to celebrate those taking extra measures to be the best places to work; it was great to see how many companies are leveraging technology to enable employees to self-serve, with complete transparency into benefits, time-off and training records.”
Driving Customer Success
Thursday morning: Customer success was the focus of Thursday’s opening general session, as a series of presentations showed Viewpoint’s commitment to delivering better customer experiences as their trusted technology partner.
Viewpoint COO Tom McNamara pointed to a multi-pronged customer success initiative, which featured new training and educational tools for customers, a new and improved customer portal on the way, enhancements to support and professional services capabilities, more than 30 educational road shows across the United States, the 5,000-plus member collaborative Viewpoint Network and much more.
“We want to create an environment where you have greater leverage and a greater return in your software investment,” McNamara said. “This drives a greater return for your business.”
Amy Ward, who has led the customer success initiative at Viewpoint, took the stage to dive a little deeper into Viewpoint’s work in this arena. She noted that the company has created a number of customer success managers to work directly with clients, learn their needs and find real-world solutions. “Customer success to us is about your success,” Ward said. “It’s about how we, as a partner, can help get you there.”
She too touted the new customer portal, which she said will greatly enhance customers’ experiences and better fulfill needs. The portal will feature a knowledge base of articles and interactive media to help customers learn and answer key questions, as well as areas to submit feedback and log support issues. Between this and the Viewpoint Network, Viewpoint clients have a complete collaborative learning and support community. “We’ve created learning paths based on your specific role and specific ERP,” she said.
Kim Kelley, Viewpoint’s vice president of customer support, also spoke about the significant improvements made to response (20% reduction) and resolution (45% reduction) times. “We are walking in your shoes to follow your journey and how you are using our products to achieve success,” she said. “We continue to increase the overall satisfaction rate on customer service, and we hope to achieve a 95% overall satisfaction rate by December of 2019.
Leveraging Viewpoint Team to Improve Project Setup and Production
Thursday afternoon: Attendees of Viewpoint’s Team and Field track learned how to set up projects quickly and efficiently in Viewpoint Team. From sorting document types to creating customer cover sheets, project managers learned how to excel (without using spreadsheets) by using best practices to optimize their organization’s projects. Viewpoint Team expert, Sam Schwartz, gave session attendees a detailed look into Team and demonstrated how to use features such as permissions and reviews. He also announced what the future holds for Team - there are many updates coming soon including many that customers requested.
Winners of Viewpoint Passport Prizes
Thursday afternoon: We’re pleased to say that our Passport Contest was a huge success. Hundreds of attendees completed their passport challenges in visiting exhibitors and Viewpoint booths and were entered to win one of nine amazing prizes.
A large crowd gathered in the exhibit hall where the prize winners were announced just after lunch on Thursday. Here is a complete list of the winners:
- $100 Amazon Gift Card (sponsored by Insight Software): Roosevelt Schultz-Cook, Anderson Burton Construction
- $100 Starbucks Gift Card (sponsored by Trimble): Billy Scrimpshire, Progressive Pipeline
- $100 Starbucks Gift Card (sponsored by Viewpoint): Gretta Rose, Beltline Electric
- Apple AirPods (sponsored by VP Apps): Kristin Drake, Electricom
- Apple AirPods (sponsored by Mobile Solutions): Blake Templeton, Ridgemont
- Apple iPod (sponsored by Viewpoint): Alan Barton, The Raymond Group
- Bose Headphones (sponsored by B2W): Steve Heiser, Scott Construction
- Ring Doorbell (sponsored by Prophix): Andrew Cowan, REF-CHEM
- Apple Watch (sponsored by Viewpoint Business Forms): Janaye Schmitt, Gaylor, Inc.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.
Lightning Talks: 10 Minutes of Quick Knowledge by Viewpoint Partners and Vendors
Thursday afternoon: Thursday afternoon featured two rounds of Lightning Talks, quick, 10-minute sessions jam packed with informative product tips, demonstrations, knowledge and more for attendees. These lightning talks were designed to give Viewpoint product users a little beyond the elevator pitch to learn about the wide array of products, services and technology advantages our stable of partners and vendors provide.
Viewpoint Chalk Wall: Sharing What You Want to Build Better
Thursday afternoon: With the conference now winding down, we wanted to share a quick image of a few thoughts attendees shared on our chalk wall. The theme was, "What Do You Want to Build Better" and your answered ranged from a better world to tacos!
Scenes From Our Closing Customer Appreciation Party
Thursday evening: Viewpoint's Customer Appreciation Party was the perfect opportunity to kick back or cut loose after nearly a week of learning and networking. From drinks with new friends to tasty culinary offerings with Portland flair to dancing to our live band, attendees really enjoyed the hospitality at the Portland Hilton. Here are a few shots of this always popular event: