THE PIQUE AT IRON POINT – Folsom, CA [Photo by Glenn Rose Photography]
DesCor Builders is a licensed general contractor based in Rancho Cordova, CA providing both full service preconstruction, general contracting and construction management services throughout Northern and Central California. Our Team of preconstruction specialists and accomplished builders are “First in Class” in their marketplace. DesCor Builders provides a full spectrum of services for the building process as needed by customers. Descor’s preconstruction expertise is unmatched and includes budgeting / estimating, life cycle cost analysis, constructability review and project planning and facilitation of LEED Certification. DesCor Builders uses its experience and the best technical tools available to successfully manage the construction of their projects; paying close attention to safety, schedule, cost control, and quality.
DesCor Builders, a reputable general contractor in Northern California, was witnessing exponential growth with an increased number and complexity of projects. The company was involved in 20 to 30 active projects at a time, many of which were complex multifamily projects with multi-phased deliveries. It was this development that drew attention to the opportunity for refining their scheduling processes.
Brandon Schroer and Denton Perreault, the key players at DesCor in the roles of Vice President, CFO, and Director of Innovation and Technology respectively, were initially under the impression that their scheduling platform, Microsoft Project, wasn’t fully serving the demands of their expanded operations. However, during their quest for an alternative, they discovered that the core challenge wasn’t the platform itself, but rather the quality and usage of the information in the schedules themselves.
“The evolution of our business and the intricate multifamily projects brought our focus towards refining our scheduling processes,” commented Brandon Schroer, DesCor’s Vice President and CFO.
“We also recognized factors such as overly optimistic schedules. It was clear that we could further optimize our scheduling methodologies, bringing more standardization and consistency to our processes.”
THE SMART SOLUTION
In the latter part of 2021, Schroer and Perreault came across SmartPM, a top-notch schedule analytics tool for commercial construction. They soon recognized that this platform could deliver highly precise analytics, offering deep insights into project progression and spotlighting potential hurdles, especially those originating from less-than-optimal schedule data.
Armed with these insights, they were better equipped to propose effective corrective measures. Importantly, they were relieved from bearing the brunt of delays and mistakes that were not their own, a problem they had previously encountered. The ability to easily share clear, concise and unbiased information with owners created productive conversations, allowing projects to continue moving forward. A significant advantage was that their teams could continue with Microsoft Project, eliminating the need for an extensive workforce retraining for a new software.
One of the standout features of the SmartPM platform is the Quality Checker. This tool enables DesCor to input the initial schedule and swiftly receive an extensive report detailing its viability.
“SmartPM takes away the ambiguity from the scheduling process. It presents you with definitive data that graphically represents the intuitive understanding of how a project is progressing.”
SmartPM has now been seamlessly integrated into DesCor’s overall reporting protocols. An executive trio, comprising Perreault and Schroer, supervise all projects that employ SmartPM. Thanks to the executive dashboard, any group member can intervene as soon as something seems off the track and initiate relevant discussions. Moreover, the executive team consistently advocates for project managers and engineers to leverage SmartPM during their weekly team meetings. Perreault underscores the importance of the entire project team being in sync with the project’s advancement, enabling harmonious and collaborative efforts. A year into using SmartPM, Perreault confidently shares that the quality of data, scheduling accuracy, and overall productivity have seen notable enhancement.
Impressively, DesCor Builders secured a place on the ENR Top 400 list for the first time in 2023, further setting them apart from their competitors.
“SmartPM is a great tool for companies that really want to leverage data-driven decision-making processes and have true insights into what’s really happening. We’ll be constantly evaluating ways to extract more comprehensive data from the platform.”