Implementing a corporate software change can be cumbersome. Teams must ensure data is properly transferred and monitor company morale, in addition to training and fully integrating the new software. Challenging as it may seem, the return on such an investment often leads to long-term benefits.
The Beck Group made such a decision when they opted to upgrade from their current estimating software, Timberline, to DESTINI Estimator. Brent Pilgrim, DESTINI applications director at The Beck Group, explained the rationale behind the decision and discussed the implementation plan put in place.
Why the Change?
After using Timberline as their primary estimation software for more than 10 years, The Beck Group discovered compelling reasons to switch to DESTINI Estimator, which can be divided into two classes: practical reasoning and soft reasoning.
Practical Reasoning: Moving to DESTINI Estimator would provide greater continuity between software, as The Beck Group is already using DESTINI Profiler; reduce expenses by streamlining processes into one program; and allow for ease of use for field and project teams. Additionally, Estimator is a Beck Technology product and therefore fitting for The Beck Group.
Soft Reasoning: The less obvious, “soft” reasons for the switch originate from The Beck Group’s culture and the future of the construction industry. According to Pilgrim, with The Beck Group’s current, pioneering leadership and the talent of their estimators, the time was right for such a move. Estimator, forward-thinking in its use of model-based estimation, is the ideal tool for a firm like The Beck Group, which prides itself on innovation. The company also sees the decision as a means to remain at the forefront of the industry shift toward model-based estimation.
Implementing DESTINI Estimator
Brent and his team are currently working through a detailed implementation plan to get DESTINI Estimator off the ground at all five of The Beck Group’s locations within six months. Implementation involves key processes such as training and support, and database development and deployment.
Training/Support: Brent will train a preconstruction team at each regional office on basic functionality in two, half-day sessions and intends to conduct follow-up training for more advanced functionality. Additional support is offered through weekly, user-group meetings, technical support, and Beck Technology’s Community. Training sessions began in the Dallas and Fort Worth offices in February 2017. Those sessions were used to fine tune the training process for successive locations. Eventually all estimators will be trained on Estimator, and Timberline will be phased out completely.
Database Development/Deployment: Database development will be executed simultaneously with the integration of Estimator. Several internal team members will work collaboratively to develop and refine the database. After deployment, estimators will access a localized production version of the corporate master by way of an automated script that ensures the user has real-time updates from the corporate master database. They will also have the option to customize and experiment with content in a second copy, known as the “sandbox,” and recommend those changes for inclusion into the corporate master database after a trial and approval process.
Throughout this process, The Beck Group has kept in mind the critical factors of performance potential and employee satisfaction. As an organization, they realize the benefits of having everyone on the same page and that change should come from both the top and bottom. While they acknowledge the common challenges of transitioning to new software, they recognize the potential for DESTINI Estimator to empower estimators to achieve more than they’ve been able to previously. With Estimator and their own creativity, estimators can customize content in a way that suits them, but also benefit the entire company.
The Beck Group’s DESTINI applications director, Brent Pilgrim, showcased how his company decided to switch to DESTINI Estimator as their primary estimating software and their implementation plans as part of Beck Technology’s webinar series.
We invite you to watch the full webinar.