A Need for Accountability
Westphal & Company, an electrical and technologies contractor based out of Madison, Wisconsin, was searching for a way to hold project managers accountable while empowering them to make labor management decisions.
Westphal has a unique corporate structure for a construction tech company. The contractor doesn’t have a general superintendent that schedules and manages labor. Instead, it relies on project managers to monitor projects across 15 states.
But project managers don’t often manage labor directly and those managers needed an effective way to account for supply and demand. They were relying on shared spreadsheets and email; but the number of people involved in maintaining those spreadsheets had made the scheduling process cumbersome.
Westphal needed a transparent, digital platform that could paint a clearer picture of project costs and strengthen the connection between the office and the field.
Integration with Viewpoint
Westphal & Company integrated LaborChart with Viewpoint to align its labor and financial numbers. The synced platforms meant that Westphal wouldn’t have to manually enter labor information twice and could start to dig into the true costs of projects.
By automating employee information via a digital platform, Westphal cut down on potential data entry mistakes and had real-time information on new hires the instant they were onboarded.
“Our people are always accurate,” Director of Construction Kyle Sutter says. “It makes my life a lot easier.”
Continual Process Improvement
Westphal introduces new project managers to LaborChart with a series of trainings that cover labor scheduling and resource profiles. Each of the project managers’ projects is color coded so scheduling and job costing data can be easily analyzed.
As new features are added to the platform, Westphal works directly with project managers to make sure they are realizing efficiencies and have a better understanding of the available labor pool.
Westphal & Company was able to eliminate weekly labor meetings and replace them with a monthly meeting, which is typically done in under 30 minutes. That extra time was then used for forecasting and personnel decisions. LaborChart became part of Westphal’s DNA, making it easier to understand current project needs in comparison to historical projects. Closer tracking of job sites has led to Westphal saving the equivalent of two journeymen annually.
Right Person, Right Job
With LaborChart, project managers can know job assignments and transparently communicate needs and available resources without sending a single e-mail. The skill level and availability of laborers is available in real-time, so project managers can move workers based on changing circumstances and let teams know via text messaging.
“I make my decisions on where people are going through LaborChart,” Sutter says. “It’s how we know people are getting to the best spots.”