Improving Business Processes: The O'Shea Builders Case Study
O’Shea Builders is one of the oldest construction companies in the United States. Founded in 1900, the business has seen two World Wars, a Great Depression, and a few economic bumps along the way. Serving your market for this long isn’t about resting on one’s laurels, but rather being vigilant and adapting to new realities.
“One thing that was super attractive to us about Briq was the automation piece,” says Schmidt. In addition to Briq Discover, which provides data visualization and analytics tools, O’Shea saw a massive opportunity to alleviate some of the administrative burden using the automation capabilities of Briq Automate. “If there is a task that is repeatable that we can have a computer do versus a human, we want to scale our company that way versus through FTEs.”
According to O’Shea data, field teams were working on average 20 days without the budget information they needed in the field, and it took the estimating team on average nearly 40 days to get the detail-level estimates into the field. Some projects even exceeded 60 days of work in the field without budget or estimate data. In the worst cases, some jobs were completed even before the job costs rolled in.
“From a cost perspective this just creates a ton of rework on the accounting side,” says Schmidt. “There was a ton of waste buried here.” Briq was able to help the O’Shea team breakdown the workflow, from accessing data from the multiple disparate systems, to converting the detail-level estimate into actionable operational data. Most importantly, Briq was able to help them do it fast. In four months, Briq’s automation technology improved the roll-in process from 40 days on average to 9 days, a 61 percent improvement. This meant that project teams in the field went from waiting 20 days on average for data to waiting 0.3 days. It also meant that the estimator was no longer spending 20 percent of his valuable time managing this process.
“Briq isn’t the silver bullet that solves all of your problems,” admits Schmidt, “but it was the vehicle that helped us have the conversation and solve the problem.”
JOURNEY ON THE ANALYTICS HIGHWAY
This project is only the beginning of O’Shea’s journey with Briq. “Putting performance-based information into the hands of decision makers is one of the most gratifying experiences,” according to Schmidt. “We’re now going to use Briq to build financial models based on the history of our jobs and look at where we are in comparison to our historical performance. We’re going to be able to tell earlier when we have issues we need to address. It looks under the hood and says, ‘this is the problem, and this is how you fix it.”
”Briq has given us the capability to take a medium sized construction manager and put it up there with the big boys.”
At the end of the day, construction management is all about risk. Taking risk, understanding risk, managing risk. The patterns and trends a contractor can identify with a platform like Briq are going to help to understand risk in order to better manage it. “You can never eliminate risk, but you can mitigate it. From a productivity standpoint, Briq gives us real-time meaningful feedback that’s going to propel us forward in the industry.”
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