W.L. French Excavating Relies on B2W Software for Competitive Advantage
BOSTON, MA B2W Software, a leading provider of heavy civil construction management software, has announced that W.L French Excavating Corporation has realized improved bidding, operational efficiency and equipment maintenance advantages by leveraging B2W Software's Estimate, Dispatch, Track and Maintain applications.
The initial investment in a software system for estimating represented a culture shift for W. L. French Excavating. "We're construction professionals, so our focus at that time was strictly on field operations, not software and computers," said Jessica French Goyette, Vice President. "As we've grown and evolved, we realize this technology is vital to our success. We're continuously using more and more B2W Software features to our advantage as we gain experience."
The family-owned company with 150 employees adopted B2W Estimate in 2004, followed by the B2W Dispatch, Track and Maintain applications. W. L. French is based north of Boston, Massachusetts, and provides site development, mass excavation and heavy utility construction as well as specialized site remediation and soil management services throughout the New England region.
Goyette says software features allow the company to bid with increased speed and accuracy, manage maintenance more proactively, and capture field data daily with increased efficiency, according to Goyette. She emphasizes the benefits of a unified platform for estimating and operations, with common user interfaces and operational data and access to real-time information and reporting.
"Information flows across the B2W applications," Goyette said. "We have also integrated Foundation's specialized construction accounting software for a seamless transfer of financial information from estimating, field tracking and maintenance," she adds.
Ease to Deploy, Easy to Use
Like many construction companies moving to specialized software, W. L. French had to overcome internal resistance, particularly from field and maintenance employees loyal to familiar, manual systems. Goyette says those employees were won over almost instantly by the thorough B2W implementation and training program, the ease of use, and the way the software made it easier for them to do their jobs.
"As soon as they get their hands on the software and see how it works, they love it," she said. "It's intuitive, easy to learn and clearly designed to be used by construction workers in the field." She finds it particularly gratifying to see what she calls "old-school" employees, including some that had never used computers, now wielding tablets and exploiting B2W features.
Equipment Maintenance Advantages
The maintenance team at W. L. French relied on paper-based processes and whiteboards to manage more than 200 pieces of heavy equipment before implementing B2W Maintain. They were the last group at the company to come up to speed with software technology and a group with a big opportunity to impact profitability through process improvement.
"Maintenance of equipment accounts for a significant percentage of our annual operating budget," said Goyette. "To optimize overall performance, we have to optimize our fleet, and B2W Maintain helps us cut costs and keep our equipment in production." She says being able to standardize and automate repair requests and work orders has resulted in key efficiency advantages. B2W Maintain is also driving proactive preventive maintenance programs and the application integrates seamlessly with GPS and telematics systems used for the W. L. French fleet.
"Like the other B2W applications, Maintain is in tune with what the end users - in this case our maintenance team - need and how they work and it gives the management team accurate intelligence in real time."