Data & Analytics Roadmap and Delivery for a Large Construction Company

Client

Founded in 1900, our client is a large, construction materials and contracting company based in California with 14 regional locations. The business has been operating for over a century and continues to grow strong in the direct construction business. The company is vertically integrated and operates its own manufacturing plants, transportation division, and construction divisions. They also supply construction materials to other construction companies.

CLIENT PROFILE
EMPLOYEES: 600+
INDUSTRY: Construction
FOUNDED: 1900
 

The Project Objective

The client’s executive leadership established a business transformation strategy geared towards business outcomes. This strategy was primarily focused on operational excellence supported by analytics and the Key Performance Indicators required to measure these outcomes. To deliver some future-state capabilities, the IT leadership launched a data and analytics modernization initiative that provides analytical reports, dashboards, and predictive analytics in an agile execution mode. The client’s long-term goal is to grow their internal capabilities in order to execute a repeatable framework that identifies and delivers data and analytics features and solutions, providing valuable insights to continually realize business outcomes. The client selected Smartbridge as its strategic BI partner through an RFP process to deliver on these key business objectives:

Smartbridge has extensive experience in the construction industry

Construction Expertise
  • Educate business stakeholders in the ‘Art of the Possible’ to grow the business with data and analytics

  • Assess current state analytics capabilities

  • Develop a data, BI, and analytics strategy and roadmap that includes the desired future-state analytics, processes and systems, and the prioritized capabilities (projects) to be implemented based on prioritized business outcomes

  • Assist in standing up the analytics program foundation teams and operating model

  • Execute the initial agile sprints to deliver high-priority analytics, dashboards, and alerts

  • Train the business and technical teams on a repeatable framework to maintain and refresh the roadmap periodically, continually deliver analytics solutions, and enable the company to transform into an analytics-driven organization

Key Challenges and Issues

The client had several false starts with their internal analytics program in previous years, so there was some hesitation and skepticism about an external partner’s ability to help drive the change required for success. There were also a few other challenges Smartbridge faced:

  • There was a high demand from all lines of business for analytics, but the right organization and processes were not in place to truly capture, understand, and prioritize that demand

  • Gaps in internal skills and leadership were also presenting a challenge in making progress with enterprise-wide delivery and enablement

  • Although an effort had begun to modernize the tools and architecture, most of the data and reporting were still contained in the legacy systems making it difficult to harness it for analytics

data and analytics roadmap

The Smartbridge Solution

Smartbridge delivered a modern data and analytics strategy and set the vision and roadmap for senior leadership buy-in to move the analytics program forward. We established the initial program foundation, a Center for Enablement (C4E), agile delivery process, communications, and data management processes. The analytics technology stack included AWS cloud platform, Snowflake as the CDW, dbt for data transformation, and Tableau for analytics.

Our delivery team executed over 10 agile sprints that delivered prioritized analytics capabilities, dashboards, and reports to the business:

  • Educated senior leadership on the ‘Art of the Possible’ with data and analytics

  • Conducted workshops for stakeholders to define the true business outcomes they were trying to drive

  • Developed a data and analytics strategy and roadmap

  • Modernized the data and analytics architecture

  • Established the data and analytics organization and Center for Enablement

  • Defined a new agile delivery process and new teams to transform how demand was prioritized and addressed

  • Delivering BI solutions that transform how the business operates

  • Reestablished trust and credibility in the analytics program

Success Through a Modernized Strategy

The executive leadership and steering committee gained a deeper understanding of how forward-thinking companies innovate by using data and analytics as core corporate assets to make informed business decisions. They adopted the business outcome-focused roadmap and began using the insights from analytics in their engagement with their colleagues and clients.

The business leaders actively participate in the C4E foundation and use insights from the series of dashboards delivered to improve their business outcomes across the company’s functional areas and business units, and included the following use cases to solve critical business issues:

  • Sales & Customer analytics – manage revenue, performance, and customers

  • Asset Profitability analytics – manage income vs maintenance costs

  • Transportation analytics – truck, rail, air, shipping spend, revenue, and performance analysis

  • Unified Construction dashboards – manage labor, equipment, and material budget vs actual performance

  • Safety Training & Inspection dashboards – manage safety, reduce risks, and costs

  • Asphalt Production Labor Forecast – plan vs actual vs projected labor analysis

  • Road Materials Forecast

  • Dispatch Skills Availability dashboard – manage resources, optimize utilization and margin

  • Maintenance Expense analytics – manage costs, optimize profitability

  • Fuel Usage & Outliers – manage costs and identify anomalies, reduce potential loss

  • Production Quality – manage quality, reduce long-term costs

Through Smartbridge’s expertise and agile delivery, the program drove value-creation across all business units, which the previous efforts did not deliver.

The program has continued to be successful after the initial delivery cycles. Smartbridge continues to work jointly with the client’s team to deliver the data and analytics roadmap initiatives. The CEO received very positive feedback from the executive leadership and has increased the data and analytics program funding to continue transforming the company into an information-driven organization.

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