Talking Forecasting and ConTech Philosophy with Carl Franseen [Video]
There are a number of issues being faced widely in the construction industry today, with some of the most prevalent being complications regarding labor and equipment, and how this affects overall cash flow forecasts. To better serve and educate our market, Julian Gonzalez, Chief Customer Officer at Briq, sat down with industry expert, CFO & Executive VP at United Infrastructure Group, Carl Franseen to discuss these prevalent topics.
“It’s fantastic when you see an operations person get that lightbulb. When they see that there's a number that doesn't lie, that tells the story of how they're doing or how they’re going to do, that lightbulb moment, that's the ‘thank you’ you get from using data to better understand your organization.” - Carl Franseen, CFO of United Infrastructure Group
Our experts gave some incredible insights on operations at UIG and how they’ve changed, how UIG is adjusting their forecasts, and Carl’s philosophy on how contractors should utilize construction technology. There’s a lot of valuable information in here, so we’ve summarized the interview with timestamps to help you easily find what interests you the most. Go ahead, dig in!
Get to the point with the below timestamps:
Introduction To Carl Franseen (~00:15)
Carl introduces himself, talks about his professional background and industry experience, and notes his involvement in associations like AGC and CFMA.
A Bit About United Infrastructure Group (~3:00)
Carl gives a brief history of United Infrastructure Group- a large heavy highway contractor based in South Carolina- including their founders' story, and how they reached the point they are at now. He also touches on their subsidiaries and the markets they serve.
Changes In Operations (~5:45)
Carl discusses changes in UIG’s operations over the past six months to a year. He talks about the lack of disruption for businesses that have been tagged “essential.” They discuss the fact that UIG has not experienced any shutdown, but because the economy has impacted their clients, they’ve had to pivot to keep up backlog. Carl also brings up supply chain impacts on operations and the “little details” of how UIG is adjusting, like keeping track of data points.
Changes in Strategic Plans (~10:30)
Julian asks if these impacts on operations have changed UIG’s strategic plan going forward. Carl discusses their 1, 3, and 5 year plans, and how they’ve changed focus in terms of hiring new labor, price of labor, and pivoting to different customers.
Labor & Equipment Forecasting (~14:50)
Carl gives insight into UIG’s process for labor and equipment forecasting, their challenges, and how they are forecasting more accurately. He explains how they are utilizing Briq’s data analytics technology to combine their data from disparate sources to facilitate quicker and more accurate forecasts. He compares data to a tool, like a crane or hammer, and says if contractors don’t utilize these tech tools, they're at a fundamental disadvantage.
Cash Flow Forecasting (~25:20)
Julian asks Carl how the changes they've seen at UIG are affecting their cash flow forecasts. Carl explains that cash flow has slowed, and goes into detail on how they are dealing with that. He says his team is doing everything with intention. They have implemented 13-week forecasts and are breaking them down on a weekly basis. Carl then goes into detail about how UIG has been using tech to accelerate and streamline the workflows that involve processing ingoing and outgoing money.
Philosophy on Construction Technology (~30:00)
Carl shares his broad view on contech: if it’s available, we want to take advantage of it. He gets more specific regarding the collection of data, and using it as a tool to drive value out of the business. Carl closes by discussing the company-wide data process, and the use of the Briq platform to connect different silos of information.
The Briq team would like to thank Carl Franseen for chatting with us, and United Infrastructure Group for their ongoing partnership. Briq is the first data analytics platform built specifically for construction. We help contractors use their data to drive better outcomes for all phases of construction.
Using modern technology such as automation, machine learning, and predictive analytics, Briq helps to stop fee erosion, freeze overhead costs and provide better financial outcomes for your business. Contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can serve you.