Construction WFM before software platforms

Contractor Spreadsheets

The highway out of spreadsheet hell 

Filling jobs at Interstate Electrical Services was a challenge. Before adopting a Workforce Management software platform, project managers would sit in a conference room and manually move electricians and apprentice names around on a magnet board during weekly meetings.

“There’d be negotiations and maybe even bribery to get their jobs filled,” Vice President of Technology Steven Drouin said with a laugh. From there, Interstate trudged the highway to spreadsheet hell.

While a spreadsheet or magnet board might work for smaller contractors, once you have around 100 in the field they become unwieldy, according to Westphal & Company Inc.’s Director of Construction, Kyle Sutter.

“I don’t know how you would do it,” he said. Inadvertently, this leads to overmanning some jobs and shorting others. It’s not efficient.

Dustin Caplinger, a Project Manager for Electric Plus agreed.

“If the tool didn’t exist and it was just [a] board on the wall with little dots everywhere? It’d be impossible,” he said.

To hear more construction labor horror stories from life before Workforce Management software platforms, check out what some of our WFM Champions have to say below.

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