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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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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 Rural Electric Uses Real-Time Data to Stay On Time and On Budget

Customer Stories

Learn how Rural Electric uses real-time data to make decisions and keep your capital construction projects on time and on budget.

 
 
Founded in 1964, Rural Electric has built a stellar reputation among owners and primary contractors alike for delivering capital projects on time and on budget. While the company historically has used paper-based project management systems, it now uses InEight capital project management solutions as part of its digital transformation effort.

In this webinar, you’ll learn more about how Rural Electric uses real-time project data to drive productivity, minimize cost overruns and avoid the delays that can doom a contractor’s reputation.

 

Transcript

 

Rick Deans:

Hi, this is Rick Dean’s with InEight. We’re at the corporate offices of Rural Electric here in Mesa, Arizona. We’re glad you joined us for the webinar. We think we’re going to have some great discussions. If you have any questions during the webinar just go ahead and put those in the chat box. Well Brett, it’s great to be here today with you.

Brett Bieberdorf:

Thanks Rick glad to have you here.

Rick Deans:

Brett, can you tell us a little bit about Rural Electric and your role within the organization?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Yeah, rural electric. We’re a municipal industrial highway, heavy highway type contractor.  We do also a lot of infrastructure work. We’re working down on a very large project on the southern border right now. And it’s a family owned business. The company was bought by our family in 1977. The business has actually been around since 1964 but my parents bought it in 1977 and my sister and I who run the business now we bought it in 2006 and we’ve been running it ever since.

Rick Deans:

So what is it you like most about what you do, Brett?

Brett Bieberdorf:

What I like most about what I do is it’s different every single day. So, I do not have a job where I come in and get to go through a grind and do the same thing over and over and over again. It’s some days it might be strategy, some days it might be finance, some days it might actually be construction, but every day is a little bit different. Some days is a lot of putting fires out but even that tends to be interesting and fun. The end of the day rolls around pretty quickly here.

Rick Deans:

One of the things we hear a lot about is this term digital transformation. What does that mean to you personally and what does that mean for rural electric?

Brett Bieberdorf:

So, construction we’ve been in construction since ’77. I’ve worked here since high school. So, construction is by nature a paper intensive business and the digital transformation is essentially transferring that paper to ones and zeros, putting them on a computer. But not just putting them and scanning them onto a computer we’re making sure they’re readily accessible and you can find the information that you’re looking for. So I mean a lot of our work we have a very sophisticated accounting system. We’re now using InEight and our estimating system is digital. So, all of that information is transferred between those programs so that it really saves time, it leverages the human assets, the talent that we have in place so that they’re able to work on intelligent work, as opposed to just routine work.

Rick Deans:

You mentioned the use of InEight tools, can you to us about how the folks in the field have responded to the use of paperless time sheets?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Yeah. So InEight has been well received by the field. I mean, the thing that’s great about InEight is it really gives you an opportunity to plan what your plan is for the day. And then you can actually see before you go out and do the work, you can plug in your people, plug in your equipment, plug in your progress, what your estimated progress is going to be. And you get to see whether this is going to meet budget or whether it’s not going to be budget. And then at the end of the day when you’re done with your plan, you come back and you actually plug in what you actually got done. So, you really do provide instant feedback to your supervisors and the people on those crews so they can actually see where they’re at.

Rick Deans:

Now, you’re a regional contractor, you work all throughout the southwest. It’s physically impossible for you to go out and visit every job site within the course of a week or probably even a month. What are some of the ways technology allows for you to review progress on jobs while you’re here at the office?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Right. So, the combination of InEight and our accounting system so I’m able to take a much higher level look at our project with our accounting system and look at phase codes and work breakdown structures and see where the costs are at, see how much of our budget we’ve consumed. But then with the InEight product I’m able to go look at day by day and actually see how those crews are doing day by day and what their product production was like. There’s a lot of great graphs, a lot of great dashboards and reports that you can get out of InEight where you can see where your individual crews, what their individual productivities are.

Rick Deans:

There’s an adage in the industry if there’s going to be a surprise I’d rather find out about it earlier rather than later, have the InEight tools helped you identify some areas that maybe needed some course correction that perhaps would have gone unnoticed without the set of tools?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Absolutely. One of the things that typical, your normal accounting systems don’t do is they don’t take time into consideration and that’s one of the things that InEight does really well where you basically are able to schedule out the project not just from a time perspective, from a cost perspective. So, we routinely look at commodity curves and you look at well if we need to get to this point of completion by a certain date you can plug in that commodity curve and see where your actual production is in relation to that commodity curve. So, it works out and you can tell right off the bat whether you’re meeting schedule or whether you’re behind schedule or you’re meeting budget or you’re behind budget just by looking at some of those tools.

Rick Deans:

And how has that information helped you make strategic decisions and how has it helped you for instance with your relationship with your owners and your general contractors that you work for?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Well, the thing that’s really nice about it is we’re able to stay on schedule. I mean, that’s ultimately what, I mean the contractors that we work for and the owners that they work for they are very high performing contractors, high performing companies. And the reason that we get hired is because we’re able to meet those schedules and InEight and our other systems enable us to be able to manage those schedules, manage those budgets and make sure that we’re staying on track.

Rick Deans:

So, one of the things I’ve noticed being around job sites and construction in general there seems to be a good amount of competition amongst crews. Can you talk a little bit about maybe how the InEight tools have tapped into some of that competitive nature with your folks in the field?

Brett Bieberdorf:

You’re spot on. There’s always competitiveness in these construction guys. And one of the things that we’re doing right now is we use the InEight tools to reflect those production curves and how these guys are performing. On the project that we’re working on down south we have incentive structures in place for these guys so that if they’re meeting their goals, they’re meeting their production goals, they’re actually getting incentivized additionally for those goals. And the guys just love showing up somebody else on another crew and using that competitiveness certainly reflects in the performance.

Rick Deans:

And it sounds like you’re getting this data from a single objective source of truth as opposed to different spreadsheets and a whole lot of subjectivity?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Yep. Well, absolutely. And the beauty is the guys are actually inputting their own data. So, they’re not relying on some office staff to do the import or to do the entry because well that guy didn’t enter it correctly it’s now you entered it and it’s showing up on your report. And Bob he’s doing better than you are so what are you going to do about it?

Rick Deans:

No, that’s great. And especially now we’re filming this during this Corona virus pandemic, guys in the field guys and gals in the field, have a lot to worry about, they’re trying to practice social distancing, they’re trying to be safe, they’re trying to get the work done. What was their response to another set of tools that they were asked to put data into?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Well, the plan and the progress modules in InEight those are on the iPad app and the iPad app is very well written, it’s very easy to understand. I mean, guys are able to look right at it and see what they’re people, who their people are, who’s on their crews, what equipment is assigned to their crews and what their costs are. And so, they can actually see right away where their costs are and with relation to Corona virus I mean this enables them to do some of that entry perhaps in their truck so they’re not having to be in the office. All they really need to do is come into the office, sync up their iPads and all of that data goes up to the server.

Rick Deans:

Can you give us an example of some specific instances where maybe the tools have helped you identify issues or have helped you save time or money?

Brett Bieberdorf:

So, the way that InEight has helped us save time and money is it really does provide a very in depth insight into the budget, budget versus actual. I mean, contractors really do need to live or die by that rule because if they’re beating the budget then they’re going to make money. And that’s, if they’re making money on day one and they can replicate that throughout the project then they’re going to have a good job at the end.

Rick Deans:

Can you help us understand your journey from getting the tools to being productive with the tools? There seems to be a misconception that setting up these sorts of tools can take the better part of a year or 18 months. What was your experience?

Brett Bieberdorf:

The implementation staff that you guys have are first rate. They did a fantastic job. We spent probably about a week to two weeks basically pulling together data and we piloted the installation on a job. We pulled together that information, we scrubbed it and made sure that it was going to fit within the system well. Then the implementation team came out to our office, our main office, and spent a week with us training us on the program. And then they actually spent about two separate trips down to the field where they actually worked with the field people and to make sure that they were comfortable using the system as well. So implementation is key, you don’t want to skimp on implementation because that’s where things typically go wrong where you’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with the system. But the implementation team did a great job. We were up and running in about six weeks.

Rick Deans:

Are you integrating the InEight tools with any of your other software here at the office right now?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Well, so right now we use our estimating system that we have used for the last 10 years. We’re still, we’re able to export those estimates out of our estimating system into a data flat file. And they’re imported into InEight. So, we don’t have to do a lot of double entry there and then we’re also able to pull in actual cost data from our accounting system into InEight as well.

Rick Deans:

Sometimes we notice within organizations people are somewhat resistant to change especially if they’re used to using the same tools for a period of time. Did you have any issues like that here with change management when you were implementing the InEight tools Brett?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Well, I think any software implementation, especially one as dramatic as InEight it requires from the top. You have to have buy in from the leadership of the company and we had that with our organization and with this implementation. So frankly, when the president or when the COO says, “Yes, that’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to do this implementation,” that’s what happens. And as long as the leadership stays within the implementation and stays active and engaged then the implementation is going to be successful.

Rick Deans:

That goes so far, at some point the tools have to kick in.

Brett Bieberdorf:

Absolutely yeah. The tools have to work, everything has to work properly, but it does require buy in, buy in from the top. So, if you get buy in from the top and you have a good software product then it’s going to be a home run.

Rick Deans:

So Brett, what insights or maybe what metrics have you seen by implementing the InEight tools here?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Well, as a company we’ve always been focused on cost versus budget. Our accounting system does a really good job of tracking that information and providing it. But the thing that really drew us to InEight was it was adding the time functionality and adding commodity curves, adding production curves, adding things like that to where that takes you to a different level of review of the progress of the project. So not only are you looking at the cost, “Hey, we’re 50% through the budget,” but we can actually look and say, “Well we’re 50% through the budget but we’re actually 60% through our production.” So, we’re trending in the right direction. And then adding the schedule component to it as well because when you implement those commodity curves you’re saying, “We need to have X number of products done by Y date.” You can actually trend that plot line out and see where you’re at based on production that’s being implemented or being entered into the InEight product.

Rick Deans:

Now, one of the things you’ve shared is that you implemented these tools right about the same time as your company took on one of its largest projects ever, were you nervous?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Sure. Yeah, of course. I mean, we’re nervous just because of the job itself but we looked at the InEight product as getting us to the end point on that project. I mean, we look at it, execution through information really is what it comes down to. The project is so critical, so large, and you have to be hitting your milestones right away. The InEight product gives us that information so that we know that we’re on track.

Rick Deans:

So have you looked at other InEight products, Brett?

Brett Bieberdorf:

We have taken on the documents and the compliance modules and because of the project that we’re doing it’s a core of engineer’s and there’s a lot of testing required on a lot of components and we’re going to be using the compliance module to document that testing. Ultimately, we’ll be able to do the closeout simply by just spitting out the reports that we’re generating as we go. So, we’re essentially doing closeout as we go on the construction of the project. And then the documents function it also provides us with a good way of tracking and trending submittals and RFIs and the other construction documentation that is associated with a project as large as this.

Rick Deans:

So, what would this project look like Brett if you didn’t have the set of InEight tools?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Well, we would for sure have a lot more people. We have about four staff that are really running a hundred plus million dollar project. So I look at that as a major testament to how we’re collecting the information and how we’re managing the information. So we’d have a lot more people, we’d be doing a lot of things on spreadsheets and paper and everything else and the tools give us an opportunity to have information right at our fingertips.

Rick Deans:

Do you feel when you’re meeting with prospective customers and prospective owners that your use of technology might be a competitive advantage for you?

Brett Bieberdorf:

Yes. We understand that and we leverage that. So, when we do have CMR interviews, design build interviews, we meet with clients, we absolutely talk to them about the tools that we use. And I think contractors that are embracing those tools are the ones that are going to be successful in the next generation.

Rick Deans:

Is there anything else you’d like to talk about during our time together?

Brett Bieberdorf:

We’re in an interesting time right now, I mean it’s not just this decade but the last year has been crazy and I think it’s important for a contractor or any business per se to be able to respond and react and adjust to the situations on the ground. We’re fortunate, very fortunate to have a lot of work and a lot of work with clients that like to use us. It’s important that you treat your clients well, you treat them as you would want to be treated. It’s really the golden rule in business, right?

Brett Bieberdorf:

So, it’s important that you treat your clients well and you do what’s right for them because if you treat them right they’re going to continue to use you. Because there’s a lot of contractors out there that are not that good, that are really in it just for the buck and they’ll skimp and do everything they can to just get that job done and move onto the next one. Whereas I think it’s important that we invest in every job that we do. I mean, even if it’s, if we’re going to lose money or cost money on some task that we have to do to make it right that’s what we’re going to do because that’s the culture that we have within our business.

Rick Deans:

Well, that’s great and we are certainly excited to have you as a customer and we’re proud of the good work that you’re doing here in Arizona.

Brett Bieberdorf:

Thank you very much, Rick.

Rick Deans:

Well, thanks for joining us. We hope you enjoyed the conversation. For additional conversations with customers check us out on ineight.com.

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