CASE STUDY: Resource planning in real time

How an Operations Manager cut his manpower meeting prep from 3 hours to 30 minutes

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Quick stats:

  • Spent 2-3 hours the day before a manpower meeting on resource planning

  • Spends 30 minutes including updates from staff (approx. 1/3 of the original time frame), which is virtually real time

  • Manpower meeting length cut in half


Before David Diltz got into construction operations, he was in the military. When he left, he went back to school to finish his Finance degree (and even considered doing his Master’s). He learned that he loves numbers - but didn’t want to make money by selling - and growing up in Texas fuelled his interest in construction industry (it’s almost culturally driven). His love for the industry grew because he realizes the potential of tech integration, and how it contributes to the tangible end product of a construction job. He worked at PCL, then went on to work at Compass.

 
 
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The reason I got into construction ops was that I’m really passionate about scheduling - everything from buildings, to unique builds, to site conditions, to subcontractor pools. For me, it’s all about getting that “perfect schedule” made at the onset of a project.
— David Diltz, Operations Manager at Compass
 
 
 

David’s also very focused on contract development, and the pre-construction process. That’s why he’s particularly into coordinating the front end. While working at Compass, he’s been diligent in figuring out a repeatable process and setting it up for both sides of the trailer, particularly for PMs and supers, and making said process aggregate. Right behind that, working towards team developments. Although he is the sole administrator on Bridgit Bench, he wants to allow autonomy to some extent, while also having criteria in place to ensure that expectations are met.

Some words to live by: “A project is won and lost in the pre-construction process.”

Life before Bridgit Bench

Microsoft Project used to be David’s choice tech for workforce management. He laid out jobs by personnel instead of tasks; primary tasks were projects. People that weren’t good with Microsoft Project had a tough time, and the manpower meetings that he led were difficult. The meetings were used to review aggregate information, and it was hard to compare detailed information. The hardest part was requesting feedback on the information sent out. Not only was it a lot of information, but it was sent out in PDF format and therefore, adjustments were tough.

Now, with Bridgit Bench, prep for manpower meetings take place in pretty close to real time. It only takes him about 30 minutes to update information.


David is a power user of the Expanded Gantt view in Bridgit Bench - he loves the 12-month layout. He also makes good use of the Details section for contractual information, and he uses the Notes section heavily to make subtle adjustments, complete estimates in pre-con, make comments that pertain to contractual paperwork and assignments of that paperwork, and notes on performance or the potential need to replace an employee.

Example of People Gantt view at 3 month interval

Example of People Gantt view at 3 month interval

 
 

The best parts of Bridgit Bench:

  • Simplicity of UI (user interface)

  • Projects tool, especially the Dashboard functionality

  • Geometro tool that gets from A to B with practicality

  • Relatively cost-effective for a single primary user

  • View only features

  • Confidence to have people who had never used the tool together, and have them immediately understand

The construction tech stack at Compass  

Day-to-day, Bridgit Bench provides ease of resource coordination and dissemination, allows for quick adjustments in communication with owners, provides balance with workload management/adjustment, and effective turnover for upcoming projects. It’s just a simple system. They’re using it alongside Microsoft Project, BlueBeam, and Procore. They’re also currently using Pingboard, but Bridgit Bench is in line to replace it. Bridgit Bench is an entirely separate system, it fits in extremely well with the current tools and fills the communication gap that existed.


Bridgit Bench is a simple, cost-effective way to align resources. It’s an awesome tool that every mid-sized GC can utilize to manage resources. It’s work that often gets forgotten, is left to the last second, and falls on one or two people. It’s imperative to understand each department to be effective in resource planning. Even if you invest in a tool for a year, it’s still cheaper than hiring another person.

Manpower meetings

Since full immersion into Bridgit Bench, David has led four manpower meetings (which happen every 2-3 weeks). He’s been able to reduce the duration of these meetings by a little less than half - the new meetings are around 1 hour and 15 minutes instead of 2 hours. Having the tool has also increased pre-meeting response time, and decreased planning fatigue. Before, everyone would leave manpower meetings exhausted because we were dealing with relatively fixed resources. Now, they’re more engaging.

Time returned

With the “extra” time that he’s gotten back since implementing Bridgit Bench, David is able to give more attention towards administrative duties, conflict resolution, and everything else driven by the project life cycle. He’s constantly working towards perfecting that aggregate/repeatable process so that his people always know where they fit - what to look for, what milestones are on the horizon, and what stage the plan is at.

Why Compass?

David loves the tight-knit family vibe. He came up to Seattle to go to school, and then came to Compass from PCL. Now, most of my friends are from within Compass - even all of the significant others have become friends. The demographics of the company lean towards the younger side, and those on the older side are established and want to teach us. he also loves how forward-thinking the company is - especially in terms of tech.


 
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More about Compass

Since 1998, Compass has been working with developers and owners to create remarkable projects while committing to quality, consistency, and transparency. The company strives to apply modern business principles and implement efficient technology for long-term industry success. They also work to maintain a ‘team before self’ attitude, and understand that collaboration between all parties is invaluable.