Capital & Contract Management

Manage contract workflows from start to finish, from contractor/supplier selection through contract closeout including the related buyouts, pay requests and change orders. With our capital and contract management solutions, you can facilitate contracts and changes throughout the project, resulting in a 20% reduction in turnaround time.

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Connected Analytics

Make real-time decisions as you gain visibility into metrics, KPIs and trends, driving continuity in operations.

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Document Management

Our document management solution helps you streamline the capture, review, management and distribution of project documents. Because all your project documentation is stored in a centralized repository, you can reduce processing time by 30%.

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Estimating & Project Cost Management

Our project cost management solutions help you create more accurate and timely project estimates, increase your forecasting accuracy, and improve the anticipated project ROI.

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Field Execution Management

Manage work packages and daily crew plans to deliver and capture predictable results in the field, reducing project costs 10%.

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Integrated Project Controls Platform

Only InEight provides a complete portfolio of capital project management software that supports enterprise-wide digital transformation.

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Planning, Scheduling & Risk

Collaboratively create and risk-adjust plans to achieve more than 75% confidence in project execution.

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Safety, Quality & Commissioning

Capture and analyze safety, compliance and quality data directly from the field, reducing rework by 10%.

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Virtual Design & Construction

Use an aggregated 3D model as a common data environment, increasing clash resolution efficiency by more than 200%

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How Graycor Knows Tomorrow’s Productivity Today

Customer Stories

Hear how InEight construction software solutions are helping a company achieve greater productivity and efficiency. Watch the webinar.

 
 
Graycor Industrial is one of North America’s premier self-performing contractors. Founded in 1921, the company is digitally transforming its business by implementing the InEight platform of capital project management solutions.

In this webinar, Graycor’s Technology Manager Tom Baskind explains how InEight solutions are helping the company transition from traditional paper timesheets and tracking methods, gain real-time access to documents and data, and achieve greater overall productivity and efficiency.

 

Transcript

Rick Deans:

Well, hi, this is Rick Deans with InEight. We’re here with Tom Baskind with Graycor Industrial. Tom’s going to be talking to us a little bit about his experience with the InEight software platform. Tom, it’s great to see you again.

Tom Baskind:

Thank you. Great to see you.

Rick Deans:

It’s always a pleasure. So tell us a little bit about Graycor.

Tom Baskind:

So Graycor Industrial is a self-performing contractor that works nationally and self-performs a majority of the work and only subcontracts out those specialty trades such as electrical and installation. The company in general has about 1,600 employees on a given day throughout the country. We’ve been around since 1921.

Rick Deans:

I saw that when I came in in the timeline on the wall there.

Tom Baskind:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Celebrating our 100th anniversary next year.

Rick Deans:

That’s fantastic. Now I know from previous discussions with you, Tom, that safety is a key metric here at Graycor. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. The ownership of our company believes that safety is the most important thing of all. It’s more important than sales, production, profit or anything else. Our statistics are very good for the Graycor company. Through November, our reportable rate is 0.27, with 2.2 million man-hours. So we’re really proud of that.

Tom Baskind:

Every meeting starts with safety. Everything we do is all about how is it going to affect safety? It’s a culture shift that happened in the industry over the last few decades. So we want our employees to have a good day’s work, make a fair wage and then come home just a little bit tired.

Rick Deans:

Tell us about your role in the organization, please.

Tom Baskind:

So I’m the technology manager at Graycor Industrial. My main focus right now is implementing the InEight suite of products across the company.

Rick Deans:

How long have you been with the firm?

Tom Baskind:

This is my 23rd year.

Rick Deans:

So I’m guessing when you came on 23 years ago, they didn’t hire you on as a manager of technology. Can you talk to us about some of the roles you’ve held within the organization?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. I started out as a project engineer. I did that for three years. Then after that, I went into the estimating role for about 15. After that, I went on a job assignment out of town and came back as director of preconstruction services. Did that for a few years, then into a chief estimator role. And finally, now, in my current role.

Rick Deans:

Okay, so you sort of came up through the ranks of the business and you’re steeped in the business processes.

Tom Baskind:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rick Deans:

Great. Fantastic. I understand you’re implementing the InEight platform. Can you talk to us a little bit about how you heard about InEight initially?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. The company decided that it was time to go for a digital solution. The cloud was big and fast, the speeds were adequate and the cost of tablets were coming down, so it was probably the right time to do it. So I was put on a committee to look for the best solution we could find. So we looked at the internet, we made phone calls, we looked at organizations to find out what software was out there that could solve our problems. We ended up with a list of about 15 different ones and then researched them extensively. We then narrowed it down to a group of three, had them come in and present, and ultimately made our decision to go with InEight.

Rick Deans:

What were some of the things that stood out about InEight in your mind, Tom?

Tom Baskind:

Well, when they came to the company and presented, we noticed that they were construction folks that understood our needs and our problems and explained it more as a construction solution instead of a software solution. The other thing is that it satisfied key priorities that we had. Did it have a timesheet? Does it have work packaging and productivities? Is it going to work for a self-performing contractor? It fulfilled all the criteria we had for those items.

Tom Baskind:

The way the software works is that you make your plan for tomorrow, today. So before you leave for the day, you already know what’s happening tomorrow. When you have that plan, you can already tell if you’re going to be in productivity tomorrow or out of your productivity.

Rick Deans:

So let’s talk about that for a little bit. I know historically folks in the field have really felt squeezed, right? Like you mentioned earlier, we kicked off the discussion with talk of safety. They’re out there, they’re trying to get work done, and they’re trying to keep their people safe so they can go home at night and spend time with their families. It seems like, historically, we’ve asked the folks in the field to really take a disproportionate share of responsibility for these types of tools without really giving them any meaningful feedback, at least in a real-time perspective. Can you talk to us a little bit about how maybe their lives are made a little easier with these tools?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. It’s definitely a paradigm shift because they’re used to using paper timesheets and filling them out after the fact. This is more of a proactive planning ahead of time that they’re going to be involved with. They’re also going to get instantaneous feedback that they never got before.

Tom Baskind:

So before you’d have a crew that would go out there and they’d know what they have to do and they would know how many hours they’re going to spend that day, but they wouldn’t know the impact of how that relates to the bid and how many hours were put in there, man-hours per piece of item. They’re going to get feedback at the end of the day and they’re going to know if they made productivity or we’re out of it.

Tom Baskind:

It may be a little challenging at first when they try to figure out that, ‘I need to cut a couple of people from my crew, but ultimately we’re going to save money.’ If you think about it, five people over the course of one year is a million dollars. So if we can save money and make these jobs more profitable, all of us will be better off.

Rick Deans:

You mentioned something interesting, and that is the added element of the productivity and the quantities within the timesheets. Historically, we think of timesheets, just as you said, of names and hours, maybe the cost code they’re working on, but to combine that quantity capture….

Tom Baskind:

Sure.

Rick Deans:

Are you feeding that information into other systems downstream? You’re collecting data at the source in the field; is that data then seamlessly being transferred to other applications?

Tom Baskind:

Yeah, absolutely. So the way InEight works, the man-hours are going into Control, and the quantities as well are also going into our ERP system, which is different than what InEight uses. But because we use InEight Estimate as well, all the cost history goes back through benchmark, so we’re able to capture the cost history on our jobs and be able to better estimate it in the future as well.

Rick Deans:

We talked about the impact and the immediacy of the information to the folks in the field. What sort of decisions can you, in the office, make based on the collection of this data across multiple projects?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. With current tools, they probably can only see productivities at the end of the week, or really even the end of the month. With InEight, we’re going to be able to see the productivities before the work even starts – this is what is planned for tomorrow. The people from the home and back office can then go in and research how the performance is going from the comfort of their desks since it’s a cloud-based solution. With the dashboards that are involved, managers will be able to see a snapshot of each project at more of a higher level, not so much in the weeds.

Rick Deans:

So what does that mean for you? Do you foresee that you’re going to be spending less time collecting this data and putting it together in meaningful reports and distributing that data? Do you see them more pulling that data off of these dashboards to be able to answer their own questions?

Tom Baskind:

Absolutely. I think they’re going to be able to go in and, for themselves, see the various data they want with various levels of complexity in the reporting that automatically will be generated. Through the use of Power BI and the Explore tools in the dashboard, we’re going to be able to have information at their fingertips updated every week.

Rick Deans:

You talked about productivity analysis in the field. What about trend analysis and forecasting? How do you see that impacting the business, Tom?

Tom Baskind:

So one of my favorite features of InEight is the fact that the forecasting is done automatically. It knows the hours from the timesheets and quantities, and the estimating program, which is sent to Control, also knows the forecasted final quantities so it can calculate the forecasted man-hours automatically. So when you go and get your actual hours and when you get your quantities, all the forecasting is automatically calculated. So it’s going to make it a lot easier to forecast these projects with less training and to be able to analyze how they’re doing.

Rick Deans:

The old adage, I would assume, holds true. If there is going to be a problem, I’d rather know about it sooner rather than later.

Tom Baskind:

Absolutely, and we’ll be able to see. If anyone’s manually forecasting something, we’ll be able to check that really easily and see what they’re doing.

Rick Deans:

Excellent. So, Tom, can you give us an idea of some of the benefits you’re seeing or you anticipate seeing from the digital capture of time and quantity information in the field?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. I think that’s the most powerful weapon here that this software gives us, and that is the ability that we make our plans the day before for tomorrow. We know what the productivity is going to be because we know what quantities we’re putting in. So we make the plan, we know the components we’re going to install, we know who’s going to be in that crew, and we know what our productivity is going to be before the work even starts. Very proactive.

Tom Baskind:

So when the next day the foreman comes in, reads the daily plan, sees what he’s got to do, and then they execute that work, they then at the end of the day put in the actual quantities that they did and we can compare what was planned and what was executed and compare that to what was estimated and immediately know if we made productivity that day.

Rick Deans:

Many of our customers tell us that because the system flows through from the original scope documents through the field execution, it’s fairly easy for them to identify items of work that are out of scope and project changes. Have you had any such experience there?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. So on the daily plan module there is a ‘note’ page that gives us the ability to record an issue. When an issue is raised, it then gets put into InEight Change and it can be tracked. An issue can lead to a PCO, or Potential Change Order, which can lead to an OCO, or an Owner Change Order, and so we’re able to have a much more complex system to be able to monitor these changes and track them and make sure that the field is aware of when something’s out of scope.

Rick Deans:

Can you explain how you’re seeing some organizational benefit from automating the process of work packaging?

Tom Baskind:

So we’re putting our work packages together once we have our components made and we’re telling our people to create the plans from the work package directly as opposed to listing the work package within the plan after the fact. So we’ll go into a work package, we’ll select the components that we’re doing that day from that work package, and then create the plan directly from there. So as we finish that work, it’ll update that work package for percent complete, as well.

Rick Deans:

How have the folks in the field responded to that approach?

Tom Baskind:

With the requirement for Advanced Work Packaging and all the work that we have to do to make sure that it’s done properly, everybody’s embracing that. This is only going to make us better.

Rick Deans:

Excellent. Help us understand how the InEight platform might integrate with some of the other software that Graycor is using.

Tom Baskind:

It definitely integrates with our ERP system. The product is estimated in Estimate, it’s then published and sent over to Control, and then we send it from InEight Control to our ERP. So all the information is generated in InEight and the ERP just receives the cost codes, man-hours, and quantities. We execute the project all through InEight, and then we forecast through InEight, and when we’re ready, we send that information and sync it over to our ERP system.

Tom Baskind:

So the ERP system we use is very difficult to learn. It has worked for many years, but with InEight, it’s a graphical user interface. It’s on the internet, it’s cloud-based, so much easier to teach, much more intuitive to use. We’re very eager to be able to teach people how to use this in a much more functional way.

Rick Deans:

You know, you mentioned the impact to the field personnel, as well as the people executing the projects. You’ve even touched on how you’re educating your business development and sales people about the InEight platform. Talk to us a little bit about company leadership and the senior managers. What sort of expectations have they got in terms of the value that the tool is going to bring to the organization and how they might benefit from some of the data that’s surfaced up?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. The senior leadership is going to be able to benefit greatly by being able to have access to all that information. We certainly have the access now, but it’s a little bit more challenging to get it out of the system.

Rick Deans:

Yep.

Tom Baskind:

This, being dashboard based, is going to be a simple click of a button. As opposed to making all kinds of tracking documents and monitoring documents, they’re going to be able to see the information they need on a very quick basis.

Rick Deans:

So Tom, can you give us an example of any metrics you can share on any projects in terms of savings or additional productivity that you’ve seen?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. I’ll give you an example on InEight Document. The current system that we were using before we switched to InEight Document was a system that was a little bit more cumbersome than what we have in InEight Document, and it was very difficult on jobs that had over 10,000 drawings where it was very complex to manage those drawings. So on those large drawings, we would go to the market and purchase a document management software product. It was very expensive on a job-by-job basis, but it worked very well for those jobs. So within InEight Document, we’re getting that type of robust software on every job that we have and so it’s a lot more efficient and saving us quite a bit of money.

Rick Deans:

What about keeping everybody on the same page in terms of revisions and iterations of documents?

Tom Baskind:

Absolutely. It’s the same system everywhere we go. One of my favorite parts about InEight Document is that it has this feature called ‘pending transmittals.’ So if you had a thousand drawings come in and 700 of them were new revisions, it would make a list of everybody who needs that new revision because it knows what old revisions they have. So no more scouring through all the internal documents. You can figure it all out very quickly.

Rick Deans:

So we can keep everybody on the same page as design engineering changes occur.

Tom Baskind:

Absolutely, yes.

Rick Deans:

So prior to implementing the InEight platform, Tom, what were some of the solutions that you were using? I’m guessing maybe Excel spreadsheets and paper timesheets, which is fairly typical that we see.

Tom Baskind:

Yes, we were using both of those. But we also had some homemade software that we had created over the years. We have an IT department that has full-time developers. We sat with them a few years ago and made software that handled the solutions that we needed. But over time, those solutions modified and people made requests to expand them and they became very large, a little bit difficult to maintain, and so it started to become a monster, and monsters have to be fed. So we wanted to get something that was already pre-made.

Rick Deans:

Sure. Fit for purpose, perhaps, and something for the industry.

Tom Baskind:

Sure.

Rick Deans:

That’s always the toughest part, right? Internally developed software is great because it addresses all of your needs, but then, like you say, going forward, the maintenance of that – is that really the core competency of a construction company?

Tom Baskind:

Right.

Rick Deans:

So I’m just curious, the folks who worked on those internal tools, are they involved in this implementation then? Have their roles sort of morphed to support the commercially available software that you’re bringing in?

Tom Baskind:

Absolutely. So our internal IT staff has moved a little bit from creating brand new software to implementing this new software. There are a lot of touchpoints between our accounting system and the software and they’ve been working on that as well as other.

Tom Baskind:

While we’ve upgraded and moved on to InEight for our company, the company has also made a number of changes in other software. We’ve moved on to different software for expense reporting, for sales.

Rick Deans:

That’s fantastic. Can you talk to us a little bit about the implementation process? Did you meet with any resistance, and maybe what were some of the things you did when you were rolling out this set of tools to ease that adoption rate?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. The most important thing we had to do was convince the employees that this was going to help them, this was going to make them more successful, it was going to make their life easier, it was going to make them more into data analysis and less into data entry, and ultimately, it was going to save us time and productivity. So we had to convince them that this was going to be a good thing for them and we had to make sure that we could take the people who resisted and convince them otherwise.

Tom Baskind:

I was recently in a webinar where we talked about resistance to organizational change. In that, a figure came up that, in any organizational change, we have 20% of the people who are change-friendly, 50% who are neutral, and 30% who are resisters. We have to make sure we take that 20% and have them work with us to help make this thing a success, and bring that 50% over to be change-friendly people.

Tom Baskind:

One of the things we did to keep them engaged and involved is to make them part of the process. Make them part of the planning, the flowcharts, how we’re going to do this, so they have some ownership in this so when we roll it out, they have a vested interest as well.

Rick Deans:

It’s almost like a two-pronged approach. You’ve got the tool itself, the set of tools, but you’ve also overlaid that with your organizational business processes.

Tom Baskind:

Yes. When we were laying this all out on the board, we listed our current processes, we listed how InEight does things, and we kind of merged them together.

Rick Deans:

Were you met with any challenges or obstacles that you did not foresee when you began on this journey?

Tom Baskind:

I think the hardest part was keeping a core team together of people who were part of this implementation process. Life, business gets in the way. Sometimes people get sent to remote jobsites, sometimes people leave for other assignments, and we had to bring people in later who weren’t as familiar with how it works. So we had to catch them up. So if I could go back in time, I would do everything I could to keep that core team together for this investment.

Rick Deans:

Philosophically, was this project in addition to, or instead of, some of their other day-to-day responsibilities?

Tom Baskind:

It was in addition to.

Rick Deans:

Okay.

Tom Baskind:

So that was a challenge, too, to bring them in for a two-day session and have them put their regular work down. But ultimately, with the end goal in sight, they knew it was going to be best for the company.

Rick Deans:

One of the things that I see a lot of times in organizations, especially large organizations with multiple divisions, is maybe you’ve got a person who’s been there 10, 15, 20 years. They’ve built some tools, maybe some Excel spreadsheets, they work fine for them. What sort of communications are you offering to help them see the bigger corporate picture?

Rick Deans:

I understand you can do your job just fine with the tools you’ve built, but what sort of messaging are you giving them to see how, maybe a movement to a new software platform, might help the lattice of the entire organization, for instance?

Tom Baskind:

Sure. So we’ve talked to some of the engineers who are making these analysis tools out of Excel, and they’re very proud of them, but what happens to those tools, unfortunately, is they grow and they become monsters and they become so needy of data. Then what happens sometimes is that they get too big and people abandon them and then they scramble to figure out how to track costs and the job’s already halfway done. So what I’ve tried to explain to them is that you won’t have to use any of that, that it’s all going to be done through the system automatically, and there’ll be, again, less time with data entry, more time with analysis. Everything that they enter is going to automatically get put in the cloud, put in the solutions.

Rick Deans:

Well, Tom, you talked about the rollout of the solutions throughout the organization. Have you attended any training classes?

Tom Baskind:

Yeah, I have attended classes when InEight has come to our office and trained us directly in our building with a group of people. All throughout the whole implementation process between the various modules we’d have visits. I also was part of some training with our own people. I’ve trained a lot of our own people on the software. I’ve been working on the manuals as well. So InEight has very robust manuals, very thick, 200-300 pages, and I’ve tried to convert them into, say, 25 quick user reference guides.

Rick Deans:

A paint-by-numbers approach – this is what you need to do?

Tom Baskind:

Right. Yeah, this is what you need to know of the 300 pages.

Rick Deans:

That’s always a challenge. You know, it is a fairly robust set of capabilities, and every organization, sometimes with our help, decides which elements of the tools they want to use and how they’re going to use those. You find these manuals are well-received, then, by your user population?

Tom Baskind:

Yes. Yeah. Also, there’s InEight U, which is their online training. It’s really nice because you get to see it, you get to hear it, and then you get to practice it. So it really helps train people. So we start off people by having them go through InEight U, and then once they’ve been familiar with the screenshots and some of how it works, we then train them ourselves on how we’re going to use the software with our nuances.

Rick Deans:

Excellent. Talk to us a little bit about the installation process and maybe your engagement with our professional services team.

Tom Baskind:

It’s been an excellent relationship throughout this whole process. Whenever there’s an issue or a problem, we call and try to get it solved if we can’t solve it ourselves, and they will create a ticket and they’ll make sure that it’s solved and follow up with a phone call or an email and make sure that everything is working the way it should be.

Tom Baskind:

There are certainly going to be bumps in the road when you do this kind of major implementational change, but you have to just fix them when they come up. When they come up and you fix the problem, it’s probably not going to happen again because you know how to do it.

Rick Deans:

So, Tom, as you implement a set of tools like this, what sort of challenges do you think the industry might face in terms of adoption and getting people to accept a new solution like this?

Tom Baskind:

So the organizational change is one of the hardest things for a business to undertake. However, if you don’t change, there’s a chance that you might not be around. For example, imagine a writer who didn’t want to use a word processor and wanted to do everything with an old-fashioned typewriter. Or a company that wouldn’t switch to CAD and they wanted to draw everything by hand. Imagine an airline that wouldn’t have an online presence to buy tickets and you had to call them to buy tickets. They wouldn’t survive.

Tom Baskind:

So you need to transform digitally and you need to transform to these cloud-based modern solutions that are going to solve a lot of problems and make you more productive and better equipped to handle the complex challenges.

Rick Deans:

Well, Tom, it has been great chatting with you. Is there anything else you’d like to mention about your experience with InEight at this point?

Tom Baskind:

Just that it’s been a very smooth process and we appreciate all the help that we’ve been given by InEight.

Rick Deans:

Well, we certainly appreciate you. As always, a pleasure doing business, and we look forward to many, many years of providing a mutually beneficial business relationship with Graycor.

Tom Baskind:

Thank you. As do we.

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