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How Yates Construction Connected Data for Efficient, Collaborative, and Profitable Project Management

How Yates Construction Connected Data for Efficient, Collaborative, and Profitable Project Management

By Jon Fingland, Vice President and Category General Manager at Trimble

Despite significant strides in digital transformation, siloed data remains a major roadblock in the construction industry. Many contractors who have adopted technology find that disconnected systems prevent data sharing and collaboration. This issue is amplified when subcontractors, project owners, and other stakeholders each have their own technology stacks. 

It’s a challenge that Yates Construction, a family-owned commercial and industrial contractor based in Mississippi, knows all too well. As the company grew and took on bigger projects, using disconnected systems to manage hundreds of projects at any given time was prohibitive. Each stakeholder had a unique tech stack built to suit their specific needs, and each project had several stakeholders, including owners, designers, contractors, field staff, and office personnel.

“We wanted to simplify the process for ourselves and for our project stakeholders,” said Benjamin Crosby, site manager for Yates. “We had to find a solution to make everyone’s data seamlessly talk to one another; otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to finish the projects we’d taken on, much less bid on bigger or even more complex jobs.”

Working from a Single Source of Truth

Yates first began its strategic initiative to streamline data sharing and workflows by moving to Trimble Construction One, a connected, cloud-based construction management platform. With data connected between its project management system—ProjectSight—and its construction ERP—Viewpoint Vista—teams in the office and the field work from a single source of real-time information. The integration provides a 360-degree view of projects and financial data, ensuring accounting and field teams use the same information to keep projects on budget and on schedule.

Accounting and field teams have visibility into the financials for every job, providing insight into subcontractor- and purchase order- costs, all in one place. The ability to share knowledge across systems also simplifies reporting, and all reports, whether run in Yate’s ERP or project management system, are generated from the same data.   

Unlocking Efficiencies for Project Managers 

For project managers who oversee multiple projects, each with unique challenges and countless moving parts, working from an integrated set of solutions has streamlined communication and unlocked efficiencies, helping them get more done throughout the day. Instead of having to enter data in multiple places, team members enter the information once and it’s automatically reflected in both ProjectSight and Viewpoint Vista. 

ProjectSight also leverages Trimble Connect, a collaboration and file management tool, giving Yates’ stakeholders access to project files anywhere and anytime. With Trimble Connect, project managers can easily create, track, and update critical documents for work in the field and tag RFIs in drawings for context and clarity. Teams tag the location on RFIs in drawings, and when revisions are complete, ProjectSight acts as an as-built that they can use to click backward and drill down to understand changes. Tagging and linking RFIs and submittals in the drawings also eliminates the possibility that an important issue is missed.

With drawings and information easily accessible, teams no longer need to sort through multiple systems to find answers to questions. Every document, from drawings and revisions to RFIs and submittals, is accessible from one platform, which has streamlined communication and eliminated duplicate work. 

Streamlining Collaboration with Stakeholders

Working with platform-as-a-service provider (iPaaS) Data Xchange (formerly known as Ryvit), Yates also integrated its primary project management software to project management systems frequently used by project owners and subcontractors.

The integrations have increased the efficiency of Yates’ projects and fundamentally changed how the company works with its stakeholders—from giving specialty contractors visibility into the progress of their change orders to providing immediate updates to project owners about the status of work performed. 

“Getting our project management system to talk to our ERP and other project management systems was a game changer for us,” said Crosby. “Now, instead of having to guesstimate where things were or why something had changed, there’s visibility and communication surrounding issues, linking people together and lessening frustrations.”

Openness and interoperability are the future of construction management. Given the variety of software systems contractors use, integrating project-specific data can greatly enhance project visibility and streamline communication among stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is working off of the same information in real time. When everyone uses accurate, real-time data, projects stay on track and within budget, allowing contractors to maintain and grow their profits. 

Jon Fingland is a vice president and category general manager at Trimble. He has over 20 years of industry experience and has played a pivotal role in Trimble’s connected construction vision, helping to bring together modern technologies and real-time data across the project lifecycle, from design and build to operation and maintenance. Trimble develops technology, software and services that are driving the digital transformation of the construction industry, with solutions that span the entire architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.