4 Huge Takeaways From Our 2022 Vista User Summit

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The Biggest Construction Technology Enhancements, Real-World User Experiences, and More!

For the second straight week, Trimble Viewpoint construction software users coalesced at a technology summit: This time, more than 2,000 Trimble Vista users were in attendance to network, learn, and grow their skillset at the 2022 Vista User Summit. Much like last week’s Spectrum Summit recap, we’ll run through a few of the major takeaways from our biggest event of the year.

1. The Need for Accurate, Timely Data and Connected Construction Technologies

Connected Construction—from the office to the jobsite and beyond—was a key theme of the 2022 Vista Summit.

People, productivity, and purpose are all a part of Trimble Viewpoint’s vision for the future of connected construction—and the opening keynote highlighted the work we’re already doing each day to help contractors run a better business. That includes the ability to provide accurate, timely, and consistent data in real-time, wherever you are.

“Our purpose is to deliver connected construction management in order to make your jobs easier,” said Rachel Blair Winkler, vice president and general manager of ERP and human capital management solutions. “This goes beyond Vista: It means creating a connected construction platform and automated workflows.”

For many businesses, the challenges are more immense than they’ve been in quite some time. Despite the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, positive signs with contractors’ cash flow, and growing backlogs of construction projects, the headwinds facing contractors are still tough. Labor challenges mean that the industry still needs 650,000 workers to meet 2022 demands alone. Disrupted material supply chains—and associated cost increases—during the pandemic, have made it difficult to ensure accurate job costing and project timelines.

To help offset these challenges, more and more contractors are looking for new ways to work and achieve operational efficiencies. Many are turning to workflow automation and cloud technologies that offer real-time insights, which is what Trimble Construction One is currently delivering to hundreds of thousands of active users of the connected construction platform. Contractors like:

  • North Mechanical, which has used Trimble Construction One to fabricate work on a remote project which saved more than 10% on overhead costs
  • W. Soule, which uses Trimble Construction One to help foster greater organizational efficiencies and relies heavily on the platform to scale projects and processes
  • Concord, which used Trimble Construction One to save $100,000 in staffing and create an additional $200,000 in profit while dramatically reducing reporting and billing times

With lots of work to be done, businesses that have made the move to Trimble Construction One are finding the assistance they need in a tough environment to make business progress and maintain solid growth.

2. Western Specialty Contractors Uses Vista, Viewpoint HR Management to Invest in Its People

Western Specialty Contractors' Shawn Nichoalds (bottom) walks attendees through how his company has streamlined HR and payroll processes.

With employers doing more than ever to compete for workers, it was pretty cool to hear how Shawn Nichoalds and the folks at Western Specialty Contractors were using Vista to make their employee experience even better. The company sought to create a top line Learning Management System (LMS) for its workers.

“We have 30 offices across the U.S. and we want to consistently invest in training with our people so they get better and better,” Nichoalds said. “We want to take our people to the next level.”

Western Speciality Contractors’ third-party LMS harnesses the power of Vista and Viewpoint HR Management to further streamline processes. An employee’s completed training courses are automatically populated into the employee management and compensation dashboards. Those dashboards were built by leveraging connections and API integrations to Vista’s HR modules, and that information is populated and connected through Viewpoint HR Management as well.

But that wasn’t the only way the company was using Vista to achieve greater efficiency and cost savings. Nichoalds went over a few other things that his team had helped implement:

  • Western created a compensation dashboard within Vista that shows employee salary history, performance, training history, and more to help measure things like merit increases and promotions.
  • Using Resource Manager within Vista, they were able to collect data and employee UD tables to create an organizational chart for the company. Supervisors are able to log in and see the pertinent information regarding the people who report to them—titles, compensations, history, etc.—as well as approve merit increases, approve budgets, and more.
  • Western employees are also able to drill-down further into data for their workers, pulling the relevant information together into a single location (salary, salary range percentages, performance reviews, training history, bonus information, etc.).

“It’s a one-stop area for all things with our employee training and development,” Nichoalds said of the new dashboards and data sharing. “This used to be something our HR folks dreaded. Now things like merit increases can be handled in a matter of minutes.

“Our HR department is happy, they’ve saved a week’s worth of time (each month),” he added. “From an IT perspective, I’m happy as well. We’re utilizing the system more and we’re able to deliver and improve efficiency within the HR department, and company-wide.”

Our HR department is happy...we’re able to deliver and improve efficiency within the HR department, and company-wide.

3. Accounts Payable Best Practices Make Bill-Paying Easier

Vista customers' accounts payable processes are being streamlined for quicker, easier processing.

A session covering tips for preventing fraud, streamlining review and approval workflows, and tracking information like PO receipts for accurate audit trails also featured a demo of AP Invoice Review for Vista. Trimble Construction One users already have this in their construction management suite, but it’s now available for both cloud and on-prem Vista users.

AP Invoice Review for Vista allows reviewers to be able to review and approve invoices via web and mobile devices, offers flexibility to facilitate AP workflows anywhere—whether from the jobsite, the cab of a truck, at an off-site event, or at home. Additionally, Vista users can find features like:

  • AP Payment Workfile, which helps contractors take advantage of vendor discounts, early-bird payment pricing, and much more
  • Change management and/or separation of duties features, which include permissions-based workflows that can be managed through Vista
  • Simplified AP Void Payments process with a revamped user interface to allow for easier filtering of payments approved for voided, along with the ability to make corrections, retract entire batch payments, and more
  • Some pretty cool workflow automations when it comes to accounts payable processes

Attendees were also shown the Viewpoint ePayments process, a payment processing tool that has been integrated into Vista. Viewpoint ePayments helps contractors manage their accounts payable processes by digitizing, automating and often reducing them to a single step. The solution provides a single workflow for all supplier, vendor and other payments, authorizing real-time payments through credit card or ACH/EFT processes. Contractors can issue payments with a single click, with full audit trail and accounting integrated into Trimble Viewpoint’s ERP solutions.

Vista users now have protections against fraud and mistakes, new revenue streams from cash back/rebate opportunities via credit card programs, and continuous new vendor enrollment. Vendors are paid faster with Viewpoint ePayments, and have their own portal to receive and review information.

4. Deep Dives into Project Management, Financials and Vista Field Service

Trimble Viewpoint's George Molnar walks attendees through the ProjectSight project management solution.

Vista users had the opportunity to watch a few different deep-dive sessions. These sessions covered topics ranging from project management features and workflows, managing project financials, and improving service management through mobile work orders.These sessions were extraordinarily valuable for users, so we would highly recommend that those who are interested take a look at the 2022 Vista User Summit page to view them on-demand.

George Molnar, principal sales specialist for Viewpoint, walked viewers through project management offerings for Trimble Construction One customers: Team and ProjectSight. Additionally, the demo showcased how easily the technology connects budget, job costing, and other financial data that project managers need directly to the Vista ERP, creating a real-time flow of data and information between the office and field.

Today’s project managers can quickly and easily access the data they need without having to query or run specific reports. This is key for more data-driven project managers that are being asked to manage more of the financial processes of their projects than ever before. They can connect financial data directly to job progress, inventory, field management workflows and more.

In a Vista Field Service deep-dive session (again with a demo from Molnar), attendees got a look at how a mobile-enabled work order management system can be a game changer for contractors’ service management operations. Kylie Willoughby, a business analyst for B&D Industries, discussed her employer’s deployment of the technology to transform their own work order process.

“So many factors come into play on a given day that even your best techs can skip a step every now and then,” said Willoughby. “We’re currently utilizing Field Service forms to ensure that we don’t miss steps anymore. These forms can be assigned by Call Type, Site or Serviceable Item, and can require that the work order cannot be closed until all forms have been submitted to ensure total coverage.” 

Vista Field Service is a mobile work order solution for service contractors that provides service technicians with all the information they need to complete their work for the day, and instantly pushes data about what was completed back to the office, all on their phone.

The solution extends Vista’s service management capabilities to the field, simplifying work orders and technician dispatching. Contractors can bill and get paid quicker with electronic signature capture and fast invoicing, and easily capture labor, equipment and materials cost data from the field.

Plenty More to Learn From On-Demand Vista Summit Sessions

As is typically the case with Viewpoint events, there was too much to cover in a single blog post. Vista users are encouraged to go check out the full list of on-demand sessions available on the Vista Summit registration page.

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Ron is a Content Manager & SEO Strategist for Trimble Viewpoint. A professional writer for more than 10 years, his focus is now on showcasing the benefits of the industry's top connected construction software platform: Trimble Construction One.