The Power of Collaboration:
Kiewit & the InEight Suite
What kind of stands out in my mind was a project up in Vancouver– the monthly cost report, 1,500 pages both sides. And I’m going– I said, Bill, how can you possibly make sense of this? And he just shook his head. He says, Bruce, I can’t. I knew– at that point, I said, we have to do something different. The old system we had for estimating, which was the first and the most important part of our business, was wildly outdated.
And so we set out on a journey to go see, well, what’s got the marketplace has available for us? Number one was a predecessor company to InEight called Hard Dollar. Our people were really, really liking the new tool. They were finding it to be helpful, made them more efficient, gave them better access to thinking about our estimates. I said, you know what, we need to control our destiny.
So we acquired the company. We made a decision a few years ago to commercialize the product. We rebranded it to InEight and then expanded the suite of tools beyond just the original core of how we run all of our businesses.
– InEight provides solutions all the way through the life cycle of capital projects, so right from the planning phase, the scheduling phase, estimating project controls, field execution, digital time cards, one of its greatest strengths as a startup and commissioning the digital twin portion of the solution, and then the data that round trips back for the next estimate and for those lessons learned all through artificial intelligence.
The Kiewit/InEight relationship is really one where Kiewit is a customer of InEight. Kiewit provides a lot of feedback to the InEight solutions and to the roadmap, and InEight inherently provides those solutions back to Kiewit so that they can deliver projects on time and on budget.
– If you go out to one of our Kiewit job sites, you’ll see foremen and superintendents with iPads and mobile devices, and they are working with and inside InEight suite all day, every day, inputting data and then getting information in return that’s actionable for them based on their role.
They’re inputting what’s going on on the job site, and how are things changing? When that adjustment’s made, they’ll get information back, that says, OK, then here’s the implications of those changes. And here’s maybe how you should course correct, all the way to the end of the day when they are signing out time cards and having our craft folks put their hours, getting them signed out for the day. We’ve truly digitized our business. There’s not much about what we do anymore that isn’t touched by that technology.
There is no InEight suite without Microsoft technologies. We architected it that way from the beginning because we believe that was the right platform, the right set of technologies to really make that suite the very best that it could be– the most robust, the most secure.
– Right across the board, Kiewit has been able to improve their overall performance.
– The technology is allowing us to build our work in a smarter way.
One of the things that I think that has helped us over the years kind of goes back to a phrase that I think Mr. Kiewit first said, that he was pleased but not satisfied. And to me, that’s emblematic of an attitude of, hey, I want to continually try to improve and get better. So we have made a major investment in training ongoing regardless of what the business is doing. Whether times are good, times are bad, keep part of our success to be this learning company, and I think we’re going to continue to do that.