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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Strike Uses Shovel-Ready Software To Deliver Better Outcomes

Customer Stories

Learn how Strike uses InEight project cost management tools as well as field execution tools to deliver better outcomes on the job site. Learn more.

Strike is a leading pipeline, facilities, and energy infrastructure solutions provider offering engineering, construction, and maintenance services spanning the entire oil and gas lifecycle.

In this webinar, they discuss an integrated solution they found with InEight to improve efficiency and productivity in the field while comparing estimated costs against actuals.

Transcript

Rick Deans:
Well, hi. This is Rick Deans with InEight. And today we’re with Strike, LLC’s CIO, Dean Schulte. Dean, it’s always great to see you.

Dean Schulte:
Good morning Rick. How are you doing?

Rick Deans:
I’m doing great. Thanks for taking time to join us today.

Dean Schulte:
Thanks for the opportunity to get together.

Rick Deans:
Tell us a little bit about Strike.

Dean Schulte:
Strike as a construction company. We build pipelines and facilities, compressor stations in the oil and gas industry. We’ve been in business about 16 years. It was a group of friends that were really good at building pipelines, and they got together and decided they could build a company on some of the ideas that they had. And today we’re around 6,000 employees.

Rick Deans:
That’s fantastic. And then your role as CIO, what are some of the things that bring satisfaction and joy to your life?

Dean Schulte:
Rick, I got a great role here. I have the opportunity to work with all levels of management, all areas of our business, and they have a hunger for technology up and down the organization. So virtually everywhere we touch, they’re looking for us to help them do things better, faster, smarter. In our business we have very short turnaround times between getting awards from our clients, and actually going to the field and starting construction. Sometimes it’s days or hours. And so having technologies, tools and processes that are shovel-ready, and we can go out and get started is very helpful for our business.

Rick Deans:
So you began in construction, you were an engineer, you’ve been in the industry for 30 years, and now you’re with Strike, obviously building pipelines and infrastructure for the oil and gas business. Do you see any particular challenges in this segment of the industry that technology can help with?

Dean Schulte:
I’m very encouraged in the regular building trades, how building information management systems, those BIM tools have really taken off, and building a smart building, being able to turn a building over to the owner, with a lot of metadata and other things that help them operate the building after it’s turned over. The pipeline industry isn’t mature in that area. We’re taking the tools that we have, adding additional metadata to our drawings, overlaying satellite imagery information to give our customer a more rich product in the delivery. Our hope is that some of these technology tools will be a differentiator for us in the market, and our customers will come to us for that technology. And that’s our hope that these investments long-term will really pay off from a customer standpoint.

Rick Deans:
It’s an interesting perspective. Are you starting to see that competitive differentiation take place by your use of technology?

Dean Schulte:
We are. We’re seeing repeat customers that are asking for specific technologies. They have become accustomed to the rich detail that we give them on daily plans, the RFIs and other things that we share with them electronically. Once they have a taste of that new technology and how it helps them efficiently reach their budgets and their timelines on their projects, they start to expect it from their contractors.

Rick Deans:
The value you’re creating through the use of technology, it sounds like there might be some opportunity to share that then with some of your clients.

Dean Schulte:
Absolutely. And they’re adopting it internally to them. Because many of them have their own capital projects that aren’t necessarily driven by contractors. And so that consistent eco structure between the contractor and the client, really helps solidify the partnership in construction.

Rick Deans:
Interesting. And there is a lot of talk in the industry today about digital transformation. Can you give us your thoughts on what that means and how that affects folks?

Dean Schulte:
I think that digital transformation for us is really breaking down the barriers to digital technologies. How do we demystify this and get iPads and other mobile devices into the hands of the field people. No different than a hard hat. It’s just a tool. And there shouldn’t be any fear. There shouldn’t be apprehension that they’re going to do something wrong. It really helps them accomplish their job.

Rick Deans:
I realized I’ve been in the industry for a while as well. I realized that while some folks are appreciative of technology tools, some folks do rely on bespoke or in-house developed tools. What sort of steps did Strike take to really prepare the organization for this digital transformation?

Dean Schulte:
That’s a good question, Rick. I think that Strike traditionally has developed a lot of their own software. Very few players specifically in the oil and gas construction fields. And so they’ve been leaders in in-house developed software. The transition from that in-house developed software which creates a tremendous burden for maintenance and support, to a more publicly vended solution has been difficult. Screens don’t always look exactly the way people want them to, and the business processes sometimes take modification. But overall once they start to see that it opens the doors for additional growth and other processes that are available inside the software, much of that early grumbling goes away.

Rick Deans:
What sort of dynamics took place here in the office? What was company leadership supportive of that at first, or did you share that same apprehension initially?

Dean Schulte:
Leadership did. We had a very strict process for approving iPads, iPhones and those type of technologies. But as the costs have come down and we’ve been able to work through those barriers and eliminate a lot of the approval steps. Today when we set up a big pipeline project, we’ll take 20 or 30 iPads and put them in a plastic case and send them out to the field and let them hand them out. They have a number on the back, they’re signed out, but if one breaks get a different one and just keep going.

Rick Deans:
It’s just cost to do a business.

Dean Schulte:
Right.

Rick Deans:
Yeah. Interesting. Are there other benefits that you’re seeing using technology as a construction company?

Dean Schulte:
As we look at applying technologies out to the field, there’s a gamification that we can use with technology to get people excited. We find with our construction crews that they watch football because they keep score, right. If we give them a way to keep score on a daily basis in their jobs, they actually get engaged in playing the game of being profitable, right? And the more people we can engage in that game of profit, the better off we’re going to do in our projects.

Rick Deans:
What were some of the things you and your team liked about the InEight software when you went through your review process?

Dean Schulte:
It’s funny you and I were talking before we got together this morning, about the deep history of InEight. That I’ve been using the hard dollar estimating tools and control tools for over 20 years. And as your organization has matured and looked at broadening out the scope of solutions that you offer to the construction industry, it’s grounded in a company that has been doing this for 30 years, and now is owned by a company that uses the tools every day. That’s a huge differentiator from a Silicon Valley software company that came up with a good idea.

Rick Deans:
How many folks have you got using the software in different capacities?

Dean Schulte:
That’s really a interesting question because it depends. On our projects we may have 20 to 30 people in the back office that are interacting with the software, tracking the projects, et. cetera. We may have a couple of hundred people in the field that have iPads and are collecting data. And then that may impact a couple thousand people in their payroll and things like that. So there’s a lot of people that get touched by the technology, even if they’re not hands-on in the application every day.

Rick Deans:
And what about senior leadership? Are they making decisions based on some of this information that’s being collected in the field?

Dean Schulte:
They are. One of the things that we’ve built is a daily plan summary for our foremen. So every morning they come in and they print the report from the day before, and it tells them what they produced, what their costs were, what issues that they may have had on the job. And so for their morning safety meetings and job kickoff meetings, they can review the day before and adjust accordingly

Rick Deans:
With the daily planning, do you find that it’s easier for the folks in the field to identify out-of-scope items than it was prior?

Dean Schulte:
I think when we first introduced daily planning, many people saw it as a metric that they had to live up to rather than a guideline for making sure that people stayed in scope. And once they got over that barrier of it being a hammer rather than a guideline, they’ve really accept that. For us our daily planning is fairly simple. We have many crews that do the same thing day after day. And so being able to just copy that plan and move forward for the next day, is all that’s required for the support team. For those that are doing more complex activities, they really want to spend the time and do a good plan for that day. And so we’re seeing that balance really have a positive impact on the crews.

Rick Deans:
That’s really interesting. We’ve had other customers that have said or shared some concerns about folks in the field. They’ve already got a full plate. They’re very concerned about safety, quality, keeping in scope, getting their daily productivity, and they’ve circled back and said, “The tools are really helping these folks out in the field, just as much as the folks in the back office.” Are you seeing the same sort of results at Strike?

Dean Schulte:
Yes, we are a Rick. I spent my early career in the G Trailer chasing crews around, and you always have in the back of your mind, “What are we going to do today? And how do we keep everybody productive?” Being able to sit down the day before and put that together and talk through what you’re going to do in your safety meetings, and the crew kickoff meetings, really is a significant benefit.

Rick Deans:
Well, many of our customers use our field execution tools to capture quantities, hours, productivity of the crews. Is there any other data that you’re capturing? And if so, how is that helping Strike?

Dean Schulte:
On the tool that we’re using right now in the field, we have the ability to put in issues and take pictures of things that are out of scope or need management attention. That wasn’t possible in our paper time sheets. Many of our people in the field, they may not even speak English. And so for them to put notes or things like that on a paper time sheet, was not a real expectation. Today if they hit something that’s out of scope, they hit the little microphone and they speak, and we can translate that into the daily report for the foreman for them. So it not only bridges the gap of additional scope and issues on the job, but it helps us with the language barrier as well.

Rick Deans:
Are you integrating InEight software with any of the other software tools used here? And if so, how’s that going?

Dean Schulte:
Yes we are. So we bring all of our employee information in from our Workday system. And so when we’re building our daily plans, that’s where we’re picking up our employees. We currently have Spectrum as our financial package. We bring in all of our equipment, so it’s available for daily planning from Spectrum. We also take all of the payroll and equipment time out of the InEight system every day, and load that into payroll and our fleet management tools. So we have quite a few integrations that terminate inside the InEight software. And as we’ve continued to work with InEight, they keep improving their APIs, and the openness of transfer of data. Today that’s critical in the software space. Being able to have that open interface where we can get to our data, and we can then adjust that data or process to fit our changing business needs.

Rick Deans:
That’s fine. Can you give us a rough order of magnitude of some of the value you’re seeing by integrating these systems?

Dean Schulte:
In our previous model everything came in in paper time sheets. We had a team of people that were trying to read the handwriting of people in the field and key that information in. And then we had another team that went through and just validated that that attempt to capture the handwriting was correct, so that our data quality was as high as possible. Today with the field people actually keying the numbers directly into their iPads, and these are big guys with big gloved hands, and the interface is built for them, right. They feel very comfortable keying in their own information. And it doesn’t take much time at all. They aren’t typing a lot of stuff. There’s just a few boxes that they hit and they feel very comfortable that they’re getting paid for what they did.

Rick Deans:
Oh, that’s fantastic. That’s super. There’s a lot of discussion in the industry today about advanced work packaging, or sometimes it’s referred to as preparing for the path of construction. Is that a methodology that’s being adopted by Strike? And if so, how are the tools helping for them?

Dean Schulte:
I think that’s a concept that has been in construction for many years. It’s very popular in industrial power plant construction, those areas. As those technologies have become more user-friendly, I think they’re moving out into areas where that type of pre-planning hasn’t always taken place. And so that’s part of the planning process that we do in InEight. Is really the first iteration of kind of that advanced work packaging in our industry.

Rick Deans:
So with your use of technology in general and InEight tools specifically, how do you see this affecting Strike going forward in the future?

Dean Schulte:
I look to our construction relatives in the vertical construction, where we’re building power plants, and we’re building office buildings that are smart with the building information management tools, BIM, there’s a lot of metadata that’s put into the design. And as construction progresses, additional information is put in during the start-up and turnover processes, that help the owner manage that facility after construction is complete. That’s not very prevalent in the gas pipeline business yet. And part of our vision is to be able to bring that BIM technology into the pipeline and facilities businesses. Where we’re bringing satellite information, drone technologies, Azari geographic maps, additional information that we gather at startup, into that package. So building is just the first step. How do we turn over a functioning ecosystem to our client, that we then can help them maintain it and extend that product going forward? How do we long-term partner with the client, not just build their product and move on?

Rick Deans:
Well Dean, thanks so much for joining us today. I know you are a busy guy with lots of things competing for your attention, and thanks so much for spending time with us. We really, really appreciate it.

Dean Schulte:
All right. Thank you Rick. I enjoy our conversations.

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