A Patchwork Workforce Management Solution
Performance Contracting, Inc. is the largest drywall contractor, and 13th largest specialty contractor, in the United States. PCI, based in Lenexa, Kansas, has built a strong foundation thanks to smart systems that allow more than 60 offices around the country to operate independently.
Operations had been searching for a workforce management platform that could improve forecasting and the quality of life for the superintendents in the field. The variety of labor scheduling techniques -- Excel, pen and paper, magnetic whiteboards -- employed by superintendents and managers made it a challenge when it came time to assess labor costs across the entire company.
PCI wanted a comprehensive solution that didn’t constrain its individual branches. And that’s when the idea of using LaborChart came from one of their Performance Contracting, Inc., branches in Grandview, Missouri.
“This was an initiative that came from one of our branches,” Eric Gove, Division Controller at Performance Contracting says, “It was our team, saying, ‘Hey, we need to do this.”
PCI sent out a survey to project managers and 95% said they needed the workforce management tools provided by LaborChart. The positive response and successful blueprint provided by the Grandview office made LaborChart a priority for a business that has been transitioning to large-scale, digital solutions.
“We set up LaborChart based on what information is best for our superintendent to do his job,” Gove says.
Integrate LaborChart with Microsoft Dynamics AX
By integrating LaborChart with Microsoft Dynamics AX, PCI was able to ensure that information was standardized and up-to-date. LaborChart’s cloud-based platform was robust enough to support contractors across a range of commercial and industrial projects, while LaborChart’s custom fields gave the branches enough flexibility to maintain their autonomy.
PCI worked in tandem with LaborChart to develop a training series for branches. The technical training team devised step-by-step documents and videos that were tailored to the specific responsibilities of each position. A tiered roll-out gave insight into how teams used LaborChart’s platform and let early adopters sell the concept to other branches as they came online.
The ability to send out alerts has been a critical feature for connecting the office and the field.
“With COVID-19, we needed the technology to communicate better because everybody was remote,” Gove says. “LaborChart helped with communication.”
PCI was able to communicate directly and immediately with team members about how the company was responding to COVID-19. Project managers in Arizona have also used alerts to issue heat advisories and give real-time change orders.
With LaborChart, superintendents and foremen have been freed from the merry-go-round of phone calls and e-mails that had been attached to labor scheduling. The cab of their truck has become a mobile office with easy access to key information. The Gantt chart gives insight into project totals. The map feature lets superintendents quickly understand where people live in relation to a project site, which is critical for scheduling labor in major metropolitan areas.
LaborChart has been a valuable tool for monthly forecasting. It provides a top-line view of past projects and what’s in the pipeline. PCI now has a clearer picture of labor costs. The ability to improve daily and realize project efficiencies has been exciting for Gove.
“We have a little over 100 superintendents in the field,” Gove says. “And when they each start saving a couple hours a day on labor scheduling, it rolls up to some big dollars pretty quickly.”