Contractor uses software suite for more accurate reporting

Aug. 26, 2015

Achen-Gardner knows exactly how important technology is to its business. 

The Arizona-based heavy civil general contractor—which specializes in wet utility, roadway and highway construction—has fully invested in the future by turning to HCSS software to manage nearly every aspect of its business for the past 20 years. 

Achen-Gardner started with HCSS HeavyBid to streamline estimating and manage bid day. It followed that up with HeavyJob, the natural next step as project management software. 

“HCSS products have certainly created a lot better efficiency,” said Vice President and General Manager Kevin Nunez. “HeavyBid was easy to implement because we had estimators who were already computer savvy. Once we got past the little challenges in implementing the other products, it just opened up a whole new reality as far as what you can do and how quick you can see it.” 

Achen-Gardner also implemented Equipment360 to help the shop keep track of maintenance, and the Dispatcher helps Field Operations Manager John Broderick manage fleet and crew locations. 

“I schedule all the crews and equipment needs, and our equipment manager fills those needs,” said Broderick. “I manage all the crews and move them around in the Dispatcher so ownership can see who is where on any given day.” 

Broderick ditched the notepads, whiteboard and magnets he had previously used to keep track of crews and equipment. The Dispatcher’s similar features made it easy to quickly learn and understand the software. 

“It’s so much quicker now—it’s a big timesaver,” said Broderick. “All my grading crews and underground crews are color-coded.” 

Achen-Gardner also implemented FuelerPlus, HCSS Safety and HCSS GPS. Nunez said the safety management software, which integrates with HeavyJob, felt like the natural next step. 

The company has also been converting all its old third-party GPS equipment to HCSS’s hardware and software because it integrates with HeavyJob, the Dispatcher, Equipment360 and FuelerPlus. 

“We’ve had GPS in our fleet for a long time,” said Nunez. “With new regulations that came out, we had to switch the modules out anyway. So we just decided to go ahead and fully integrated into the HCSS system.” 

In two decades of riding the cutting edge of construction technology, Achen-Gardner has hit a few road bumps—mainly getting everyone comfortable with using computers. Before HeavyBid and HeavyJob, project and activity requirements were tracked on paper, and time cards were handwritten and turned into the office. 

“Now we can keep all that information in one area and not have to find something two years later by digging through files,” said Broderick. “The process has just been streamlined—the administrative time, the correctness and the oversight. We see ourselves getting more accurate and timely reporting on utilization and costs.” 

“We’ve had GPS in our fleet for a long time,” he said. “With new regulations that came out, we have to switch the modules out anyway. So we just decided to go ahead and fully integrated into the HCSS system.”

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