GenCon adopts a platform that matches its ambition
Learn how Smartsheet plays a key part of GenCon's business processes and strategic growth plan.
- Architecture, Construction and Engineering
- Medium (50 - 999 employees)
- North America
- Automation Features
- Project Visibility
As complex as Smartsheet can be, it’s worth the effort to get to know the software, how powerful it is and the stress it can relieve... We’ve saved a lot of time that was previously lost searching through emails for a version of the subcontract that’s probably two years old and no longer even valid.
GenCon started its construction contracting business with very small healthcare projects, such as replacing flooring in a patient room. Today, it has grown the scope of its work to encompass complex surgical suite remodels, renovations of critical care spaces adjacent to active patient areas, and large corporate office fit-outs.
While GenCon is uniquely positioned to take on the small and midsize projects that larger construction contractors don’t usually engage, it’s building on its deep experience in healthcare to diversify with corporate office and hospitality projects as well. Smartsheet is a key part of ensuring that the company’s business processes can scale and support its strategic growth plan.
“Boston is booming with construction; there are a lot of general contractors in our area,” says Travis Lefebvre, Manager of Engineering at GenCon. “Right now, we’re still a midsize company in healthcare, a notoriously hard industry to break into, which puts us in a unique position to secure those $50,000 to $5 million projects that other companies either don’t want, or aren’t qualified to do.”
“We’re very client-focused, which sets us apart from other firms. It’s our number one priority to make sure that our clients are 100% satisfied with our performance. We grow strong relationships with clients, which allows us to continue growing and expanding our network by getting repeat business, while also continuing to diversify our client portfolio.”
All information in “one shared space”
Another crucial part of GenCon’s growth plan is streamlining and professionalizing its business operations. As Lefebvre notes, large and small construction projects alike usually require the same basic tasks, which means the key to economizing is building more efficient processes, eliminating redundancies, and breaking down silos. Smartsheet provides a central location for key business data, as well as all current documentation, which provides a singular location for employees and management alike to access critical information, which has helped inform decision-making and improve overall efficiencies.
Like many firms in the construction industry, GenCon uses Procore to manage construction documentation and project details, and CMiC for accounting. Lefebvre and other members of the leadership team saw a need for a work execution platform that could integrate data from both specialized systems and prevent miscommunication between and even within teams.
“The big void in our structure was collaboration,” Lefebvre says. “The ability to know that all the information we need is in one shared space, that we’re not going to have multiple versions being worked on simultaneously and duplicating efforts brings a peace of mind to the executive staff. Owner invoicing and general tracking of projects were our largest breakdown points.”
Using data to drive projects
Smartsheet has helped GenCon eliminate those breakdowns by establishing a master project database that shows accurate, up-to-date information about the status and needs of every project underway. Using Smartsheet Data Shuttle, GenCon extracts data from Procore and CMiC into Smartsheet to create a unified project tracker and perform high-level analytics. The tracker feeds into executive dashboards so leaders can visualize project and business health, track revenue, and monitor staffing levels and scheduling.
Additional features that simplify GenCon’s workflows include DataMesh, which bridges the firm’s platform with that of a sister company to create a single view of the current status of collaborative projects. GenCon uses dashboards to organize safety procedures and documentation, HR processes, and even employee training through a dashboard called GenCon University.
GenCon takes advantage of automated workflows to simplify a variety of tasks. Office supply and business card orders are sent to the appropriate personnel for approval once an order is submitted. A virtual suggestion box takes employee recommendations for innovation and improvement, routing them to the team leads based on the content of the ideas. Lefebvre estimates that GenCon has at least 17 automated workflows set up within the master sheet.
A “powerful” platform that helps relieve stress
Employees who are new to Smartsheet can be intimidated by the platform’s powerful capabilities, says Lefebvre. But as they take advantage of provided training to become familiar with it, they realize how much easier it can make their lives. Lefebvre manages all new-employee onboarding; during follow-ups, employees all praise the company’s Smartsheet dashboards as helping prepare them for success from the very start.
“As complex as Smartsheet can be, it’s worth the effort to get to know the software, how powerful it is and the stress it can relieve,” Lefebvre says. “We’ve saved a lot of time that was previously lost searching through emails for a version of the subcontract that’s probably two years old and no longer even valid. We created a forms and templates section within our employee dashboard; that’s the only place that people are allowed to go for them. It tells you the last time they were updated, and it’s all within the system.”