Trimble Viewpoint Customer Success Story: Widening The Widow Maker
7 Minute Read
January 27, 2021
In 2019, B&D submitted an estimate for framing a bathroom in the New Mexico State Fairgrounds Dairy Barn. The State Fair was quickly approaching so B&D only had three months to finish the project. Accustomed to tight turnarounds, this seemed within reach until B&D learned that it would need to excavate 380 linear feet, install new plumbing and trench 80 feet to the nearest natural gas line to supply gas for two 10-ton HVAC units.
“The newly defined scope was monumental in comparison to our original proposal,” Mueller said. “Although the cost of the project increased 418 percent, the timeline stayed the same, so we had more work to do, in the same amount of time.”
It wasn’t long before Mueller had another curveball: the concrete, framing and general contractors had withdrawn from the project, leaving his team with no drawings. “We needed the drawings to apply for permits and without them, the project was on a crash course to fail,” he said. “We sprang into action and hired an engineering firm to create the drawings but the delay in obtaining the permits condensed the project schedule by two months, leaving us just 30 days to get the job done.”
Completing this project successfully would require collaboration, communication and accurate information sharing between the office and field. ViewpointOne, a connected suite of construction solutions for managing financials, projects, resources and people, equipped the entire team at B&D to streamline work in the field, make real-time decisions based on accurate information and keep the project on track.
With the condensed timeline, Mueller realized that his employees might get burned out. “When you push a crew to work faster, you increase the potential for accidents,” he said. B&D developed a project safety plan and held daily meetings to reinforce procedures and identify safety issues. The information was tracked in ViewpointOne, where on-site workers could access up-to-date safety information from their tablets or mobile devices. “Being able to communicate across the entire job site, almost instantly, kept our workers informed and safe.”
As the project progressed, the team needed careful coordination to plan the process of tying the existing gas line into the Dairy Barn’s new HVAC system. “Coordinating the natural gas shut down was one of the most challenging tasks we’ve ever faced,” Mueller said. “There were a lot of moving parts. ViewpointOne helped us capture, track and share critical information as we coordinated with multiple entities to plan the work.”
The gas line ran the entire length of the facility and was tied into other buildings, meaning B&D had to install a gas tap that would divert some of the gas to the Dairy Barn. With the State Fair preparation happening at the same time, it had to consider the safety of both B&D’s crew members and nearby State Fair workers.
A gas shutdown of this size would typically take an hour to complete. B&D divided its crew into three groups: traffic control, meter shutdown and gas tap. “As soon as traffic was stopped near the meter releasing gas, we began sawing the gas line,” Mueller said. “In 30 minutes, we successfully installed the gas tap and reactivated the meter.”
Despite the chaos and multitude of changes to navigate, B&D completed the Dairy Barn project in just 25 days. “ViewpointOne brought better communication, seamless collaboration, profitability and speed to this project,” Mueller said. “We couldn’t have worked efficiently and safely in such a short period of time without it.”
For decades, B&D relied on old-fashioned pen and paper to track critical project and business information. The cloud wasn’t even invented until five years after the company was founded. Today, Mueller says he can’t imagine why a contractor would keep using manual processes and disconnected systems instead of the cloud.
“Contractors who are afraid of the cloud and construction technology are going to get left behind,” he said. “Going after bigger jobs and increasing profitability require your entire organization to have access to accurate real-time data. Without it, I don’t see how contractors can guarantee on-time delivery, within budget, and compete as projects continue to grow in both size and complexity.”
7 Minute Read
January 27, 2021
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