Webinar recap: Jeff Olafson from Gardon Construction
Sean Erjavec, Chief Revenue Officer at Bridgit, had the opportunity to speak with Jeff Olafson, the CEO of Operations from Winnipeg-based Gardon Construction. We’ve summarized the conversation below, but if you’d like to catch the full webinar recording, click here.
Quick facts about Jeff Olafson:
CEO of Operations, AKA “Firefighter,” at Gardon Construction – a 50 person, family-owned general contracting and design-build company in Winnipeg
Has been in the construction industry for 28 years
Director-at-Large on the Winnipeg Construction Association Board
Advisory Chair for Construction Safety Association of Manitoba
How did he get to where he is today?
At age of 18, Jeff knew that construction was the industry he wanted to go into and was given the opportunity by his father-in-law, who owned a contracting business at the time
After working in the industry for several years, he developed a real passion for construction – which has led him to where he is today
What is a ‘day in the life’ as a CEO of Operations?
Although every day is different, here are some of the top things Jeff works on in a day:
Managing contract reviews
Managing all resource and labor scheduling based on what the site supervisors need
Assisting with project management
Driving business development
Volunteering with the Winnipeg Construction Association and the Construction Safety Association
What was his resource planning process before Bridgit Bench?
Small to medium sized company leaders need to wear multiple hats, and it can become a tedious and overwhelming process when you don’t have the right tools to get the job done.
At Gardon Construction, the resource management process has evolved from Chalkboard → Whiteboard → Microsoft Excel → Microsoft Project → Bridgit Bench
Multiple team members would jump in with the best of intentions and start updating old files, but it was impossible to have an audit trail and maintain the Excel formulas – all of this created major frustrations and re-work
What does he like about Bridgit Bench?
“When I first saw Bridgit Bench, I knew this was the tool we had been looking for. It gives us information we never had before.”
Here are some of Jeff’s favourite Bench capabilities:
Real-time view of the resource plan
Single source of truth and version control
Uses it as a lightweight HR tool as he is able to track employees, their experiences, and their skills
Indicators around shortages or surpluses of work that help increase forecasting ability
Resource demand visualizations
“In my opinion, technology plays a big role in construction companies - my investment in technology has increased 10x and I have not seen a reduction in my profits. It is helping us better establish our process, better deliver our projects and move this company in a positive direction.”
– Jeff Olafson, CEO of Operations at Gardon Construction
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