Okland Construction, a more than 100-year-old family-owned general contracting construction management firm based out of Salt Lake City, supports an average of 50-60 projects a year between Utah and Arizona. In an effort to maximize value and minimize waste, the team follows a Lean principles approach; however, they found their scheduling capabilities and quality were not performing as well as they desired and often contained critical path issues. To help solve these issues, Okland began exploring ways to change their process and discovered Deltek Acumen was just the solution needed to transform their business.
Evaluating Schedule Health
Okland Construction found their schedule quality was below target and had limited resources when they began exploring a solution. They initially resorted to creating health reports using massive spreadsheets that would frequently end up costing them an hour per project, per month on average. With 13 schedulers, and at the time 78 projects, it was taking almost 80 hours of legwork to simply prepare. Beyond time and resources, they were faced with limitations around sharing critical project knowledge, inputting timely updates, and contorting rigid data filters. None of which aided in determining a schedule’s health or proposing project elements to assess contingency plans. Without those contingency plans in place, Okland was left trying to explain delays without data, leading to strict deadlines and high costs. These challenges often led to strained customer relationships since targets would be kept the same.
Measuring Acumen’s Value
Since implementing Acumen, Deltek’s industry leading schedule and risk analysis solution, Okland has seen a significant increase in time-savings in managing their projects because of the intelligence built into the platform. Spencer Easton, Scheduling Regional Manager at Okland, says he is able to “produce a report that is 20x better in about 10 minutes; including submission and distribution.” Beyond time-savings, projects can now be analyzed from different angles, resulting in the team’s ability to pinpoint and address specific issues in real-time that would previously not have been identified during manual reviews. Acumen’s easy-to-use interface has helped streamline the implementation and adoption across the company.
A great example of this was when an Acumen schedule analysis indicated with 80% certainty that a one-year project would be completed on June 14th vs. May 21st as Oracle Primavera P6, a Acumen competitor product, had previously implied. This level of analysis helped the Okland team adjust early on; ultimately increasing customer satisfaction. By making timely decisions, they were able to proactively approach the owner to make adjustments to the plan. In this case, they created a contingency plan with anticipated weather patterns, and were able to identify how the project would be impacted if their targets could not be met. This insight afforded Okland the ability to forge strong relationships with owners because they were able to have collaborative conversations early on.
"With this tool we can go to the owner and have them see and even advocate / understand that contingency activities are necessary and help preserve the integrity of the project while keeping costs in line. This is quite revolutionary for the industry."
– Spencer Easton, Scheduling Regional Manager at Okland Construction
Acumen has permeated the very core of Okland’s business by changing what they look at and transforming how they manage their job sites and execute their work. Building on the basics of scheduling with the diagnostic tool and setting up the timeline with Acumen Fuse, they are now able to see high float activities and feel confident in their plans. The transition to assessing future problems with Acumen Risk by providing additional parameters allows them to present the information in an easy-to-consume format to make adjustments to the schedules as efficiently for the key decision makers. Down to the templates for exporting right to Microsoft Excel, Acumen continues to make understanding and sharing information with their team seamless.
About the Author
Okland Construction Company, Inc. operates as a regional general contracting and construction management company. It supervises the architectural, engineering, bidding, contracting, building and inspection from the beginning to the end of projects. Built upon a continuing legacy of innovation, character, and integrity, their roots reach back to 1918 when John Okland first applied his knowledge of carpentry and shipbuilding, gained in his native Norway, to create the foundation of Okland Construction. Still a privately-held, family-owned business, Okland continues to honor the same Old World ideals of honesty, value, and efficiency.
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