CPM - next-generation contractor turns to ProjectSight for efficient, scalable project management

Using ProjectSight

Download the PDF

About the company

One way to identify a great construction company is to look at the projects it puts up. Another way is to look at how it goes about building its own business.

Jake Williams is focused on both. Since stepping into his father’s shoes as president of CPM Construction Planning and Management in 2019, Williams has brought a rigorous engineering mindset to managing his company and its projects. With an emphasis on attracting and developing the right people, establishing clear and detailed processes, being selective when it comes to technology and strategic about the jobs CPM takes on, his approach has delivered impressive and – more importantly – sustainable growth for this Indianapolis-area contractor.

Building discipline and expertise

Williams embodies the evolution of construction project management as a professional discipline in recent decades. A licensed professional engineer, he earned a construction engineering degree from Purdue University while working three internships for Hunt Construction Group, learning the ropes on large, complex projects such as Lucas Oil Stadium. After graduating from Purdue, he went to work for Hunt as a project manager in Texas and West Virginia before returning to Indiana in 2009.

Williams spent the next 10 years applying the best practices he had learned in school and on the job to what at the time was his family’s $35 million construction company. Founded by his father in 1980, CPM was frequently cited by the Indiana Business Journal as one of the area’s leading construction firms, but Williams knew they could do even better. And they have – today CPM has more than doubled in size and is known throughout the state and beyond for well-planned and well-executed work that overcomes tough and unexpected challenges without breaking budgets or schedules.


CPM’s success stems from a legacy of hard work and a determination to problem-solve, discovering ways to build difficult projects others might shy away from. It excelled at winning bids and doing great work for its clients, but by the time Williams took over from his father, CPM needed to get its own house in order to continue growing profitably and without burning out its employees.

Technology would be an important part of the equation, but getting the right people on board, the right processes in place, and pursuing the right projects had to come first. Williams started by developing new processes for everything from RFIs and submittals to project team meeting minutes. He also overhauled back-office functions including sales, HR and IT.

Putting first things first

"We wouldn't get value out of an investment in technology if the people on our team didn’t take ownership, be unaccountable and use it. So instead, we next focused on building the team and attracting the right clientele." Williams invested time in creating a company culture and hiring the people who would support the company's longterm growth goals.

"Getting the team in order was a long process," he says. "There was a lot of change on our journey to building a leadership team. From estimating to operations to finance, it took multiple cycles to find the right people. For us, it was all about adapting and overcoming challenges with personnel before making a big technology investment."

With the right team in place, the focus shifted to ensuring CPM clients aligned with the company's culture and sustainable growth strategy. "Across the board, it was important to make sure that we were excited about the projects we took on versus taking any job offered to us," he says. “We turned down jobs that didn’t fit so that we could focus on building our strengths and keeping our overhead down.”


"We spent a lot of time laying this groundwork, and when it felt solid, we were ready to invest in technology,” William says. Over the years, he had used a variety of software ranging from small, boutique providers to Procore and many in between. He even tried using almost nothing but Microsoft products for a few years. These experiences made him skeptical and even suspicious about the costs and benefits of technology.

“People build buildings, not computers,” Williams says. “Construction operating systems don’t need to be complicated. I’m a rock and chisel kind of person. I think technology can sometimes make us dumber, faster.”


ProjectSight provided the end-to-end project management CPM was looking for and the flexibility to configure the software and make changes on the fly.

“We got really good support during our implementation and we were able to start customizing right away,” Williams says. "I can take an entire module and create what I want from it. We needed easy access to reports that align with our business requirements instead of being tied to standardized reporting that doesn’t provide the insight we need to make decisions. With our ability to customize ProjectSight, we have created reports that cut through the noise, giving us the information we need to spot red flags and make decisions quickly."

Customizing quickly and easily

For example, CPM customized ProjectSight's field management module to align with the company’s internal process of tracking defined milestones across all jobs. "We reworked an existing ProjectSight report to indicate at a glance when milestones are met and flag those behind schedule,” Williams says. “From our dashboard, I can quickly see where work is falling behind and make adjustments to get it back on track."

CPM also set up ProjectSight to send automatic notifications to superintendents when work on a job hasn't started by 8 a.m. – “almost like a time card” – and automated daily logs are also helping CPM keep projects on schedule. “I like that the system doesn’t overwhelm with notifications, whereas my experience with Procore is that you get assigned something, and then you just get meaningless email after email, and you end up turning them all off and not using it.”

Scaling efficiently and sustainably

With ProjectSight supporting their company – and not the other way around – CPM has been able to exceed its sustainable growth targets. “Our first year, after we rolled out ProjectSight, we were structured to do $60 million and we did $80 million – without hiring another person. A lot of contractors these days are doing more work than what they are structured for, but this system is giving me the ability to do it without burning people out or having things fall through the cracks.”

For Williams, ProjectSight has enabled him to pursue his strategy for making CPM the company he wants to be. “I look at this tool as another manager. We’re really using it to combat the availability and performance issues of the labor force. I told my team that even if we can’t afford to find any more A-players, this tool will still help us manage those people to success. It wasn’t overpriced and it’s helped us create a sustainable growth pattern regardless of market conditions and labor conditions.”

Loading map...
Download the PDF
Back to Success Stories Main Page