Pavecon Goes Digital for Maintenance
For about three decades, Pavecon of Grand Prairie, Texas, has delivered top-of-the-line asphalt and concrete services. Today, the company is an industry leader, operating four companies and nine divisions, serving multiple states throughout the United States with asphalt services include asphalt paving, repair and full pavement maintenance.
When it comes to embracing technology, the construction industry often finds itself lagging behind other markets. Physical paperwork and Excel spreadsheets dominate the back office landscape while foremen handpick crews and struggle to manually fill out required forms as they recall a week’s worth of information. Pavecon’s process was no exception.
Although Pavecon achieved astounding growth, they were still relying on pen, paper and a recall process to run the business; the accounting department was manually scanning 1,000 timesheets for payroll. Thousands of jobs were being scheduled on magnetic whiteboards and information was printed, stapled to additional forms and hand-keyed into separate data systems.
“Our clients are evolving, but the construction industry is not evolving as quickly,” President Daniel Kilman said. “The foremen were picking crew members, ordering the concrete or asphalt and reserving the needed equipment all in manual, pen and paper format. Pavecon needed to improve the process and create a solid platform to evolve the company into the next business phase.”
To improve data gathering from on-site locations through the back office processing, Pavecon turned to Sparkhound to optimize workflows through a complete digital transformation.
According to Kilman, Sparkhound focused on how the new digital programs would function inside the specific Pavecon environment. “You can have the best processing program in the world but it may not work for us,” Kilman said. “We need to stay completely focused on what serves the ultimate need of our Pavecon economy as well as serving the needs of our employees. Sparkhound took this seriously.”
To lay the foundation for Pavecon’s digital journey, Sparkhound selected a complete Microsoft support environment, including Office 365, SharePoint, Azure SQL database, Active Directory as well as Power BI for business analytics and PowerApps to create Mobile Apps that run on Android, iOS and Windows platforms. Once the Microsoft foundation was in place, Sparkhound began a process to systematically roll out new, digital services supported by mobile devices and smartphones. The services include a payroll system, a program to automate the job-rating process for foremen, and a customer value creation digital scheduling and logistics program.
User interfaces that include simple “slider” or “wheel” options for data input make it easy for workers to engage with the new systems, taking a proposal or evaluation process from several weeks to complete down to a few hours. The prior paper trail of submitting a document to the foreman and hoping he or she fills it out and returns to the supervisor, has been entirely automated. Now, employees interact with apps on smart devices to rate a particular piece of equipment or confirm their participation in a required “morning huddle.” All information is instantly sent to the cloud/database where it can be combined with additional data, to create what Kilman refers to as a “bird’s-eye view of the company.”
For more information, visit Sparkhound at sparkhound.com.