Gonzalez & Sons Equipment Inc. (G&S) has served as a full-service building, mechanical and underground utility contractor for a diverse array of projects since 1983. The company is headquartered in Medley, Florida, and has close to 200 employees and 4 divisions: Civil, Mechanical, Railroad and Other (which includes water, sewer and utility; building construction; boring and directional drilling; pavement markings; construction inspection and oversight; and emergency and disaster response).
“Without the right software, you can’t really stay competitive in the heavy construction game today,” says Mauro Laguna. For the IT Director and his colleagues at Gonzalez & Sons, that software for the operations side of the business comes from B2W Software, a NUCA member company. G&S discovered the ONE Platform at the ConExpo Show in 2016. The vision for using it to improve efficiency, visibility and communication across operational workflows took shape as soon as the management team returned to Florida.
“The B2W Platform is a powerful tool,” says Laguna. “The difference is like night and day compared to our previous systems of paper-based processes and custom field software developed in house.
“Our team used to spend a lot of time in the Dispatch Office figuring out our moves for the next day or the next few days on an old-fashioned whiteboard. B2W Schedule has cut that time we spend planning and dispatching resources by 50%, and that efficiency is money to us.”
Real-time visibility of job sites and resources with the B2W solution that Laguna calls “the new dispatch board” also allows the company to plan and execute equipment moves more efficiently. Transportation crews now get a complete itinerary the day before.
G&S used its previous field solution primarily to keep track of employee hours. Equipment was tracked manually, and getting hours into the accounting system required redundant data entry.
Now, electronic logs with complete data on labor and equipment hours as well as production quantities are filled out daily and submitted by 9:00 am the following day. The comprehensive, timely data gives the company the insight needed to manage its projects as well as its fleet more effectively, according to Laguna.
Labor and Equipment hours are exported seamlessly into Sage. “Now, we can also analyze and compare different project behavior in terms of estimated and real expenses,” he adds. “This is great feedback for our Estimating Department for future bids.”
The Management Dashboard within the ONE Platform provides the Operations Department at Gonzalez & Sons with a high-level view of how every job is performing, based on the field logs submitted in B2W Track for the previous day.
An analyst at G&S reviews the dashboard every day, drills down easily for specific data on specific jobs and works with project managers to make any required adjustments in the field.
“With the dashboard, plus the communication between the B2W modules, everybody, including the owners, can see what others are doing in the field and in the office at a glance,” says Laguna.
Switching from paper processes to electronic forms and expanded reporting capabilities with B2W Inform has taken the safety department to a whole new level of efficiency and effectiveness, according to Laguna. The company has created dozens of forms for use cases ranging from toolbox talks and incident reports to checklists and inspections.
“They love B2W Inform and they now have a fast, easy way to create and keep track of all of the forms,” says Laguna. “More importantly, they can view reports, even from the past, at a glance just by setting the right filters. Also, the ability to circulate the forms electronically for approvals and submission means we get them back right away instead of waiting days or weeks for the paper.”
B2W Maintain has brought automation to the preventive maintenance program at G&S. That translates into improved uptime and lower maintenance costs for a fleet of 400+ assets.
Meter readings from many vehicles flow directly into B2W Maintain automatically from the telematics/GPS technology. Additional equipment data is tracked in the daily B2W Track electronic field logs. That information triggers the preventive maintenance intervals.
Visibility is also an advantage, says Laguna. “With the B2W platform, more people throughout the company are able to see what is going on with the equipment at any given point in time.”