If you walk through a Kiewit construction site, you’ll see foremen and superintendents with mobile devices in hand. From inputting data to signing out time cards at the end of the day, everything is digitized and touched by technology.
Most construction companies aren’t known for using advanced technology, but Kiewit is changing that. Founded in 1884 and based in Omaha, Nebraska, the global construction company works on projects in power, transportation, water and wastewater, oil, gas and chemical, and vertical building, among others. Its philosophy has always been focused on relentless continuous improvement and refinement in every business operation it performs.
Historically, Kiewit is a data-driven construction company, but they recently found ways to use technology to more effectively uncover insights, and their recent digital transformation will help lay the foundation for future business growth. Today, the company uses cloud-based systems and robust analytics to enhance their capabilities, inspire innovative workplace solutions, and power business success.
Updating processes and driving a digital transformation
Kiewit’s original data and project management systems could estimate the costs, resources and timelines of a project, but they were limited and prevented teams from working as efficiently as they should. For example, a project in Vancouver, Canada produced a 1,500-page – front and back – monthly cost report that was impossible to digest in its paper format.
The system could only provide good, actionable data once per month, leaving projects open to human error and generating other frustrations. There was no standard way to track information or manage documents effectively. This lack of standardization meant Kiewit had to operate on a project-by-project basis.
After an extensive search, Kiewit acquired a company that specialized in a digital solution to optimize the project estimation process. They rebranded the solution under InEight and extended the suite of digital tools to support every phase of delivery from concept through design and construction through operations. Built on Azure’s secure cloud environment, the new system includes a Dynamics 365 integration and is a robust, comprehensive project management system. InEight also leverages Power BI for modern data analytics and reporting, and a user-friendly way to view and understand data insights.
“It’s a common suite of tools designed by real construction professionals and integrated into a system that we use throughout our business,” says Bruce Grewcock, Kiewit’s CEO.
InEight’s platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enrich critical project management processes, allowing historical performance to inform decisions throughout the project lifecycle. With more than 300,000 users across 33 countries, the new cloud solution provides timely insights and up-to-date data. Construction teams can now effectively and efficiently distribute company resources, break down extensive timelines and ensure more predictable outcomes of each project.
“The biggest gain that’s going to happen is the access to data that’s turned into information in real time so managers can take action,” adds Grewcock.
Accelerating the power of data-driven insights
From a business strategy approach, Kiewit strives to lead with actionable information at every level. InEight’s solutions help facilitate the standardization of major processes across all departments and projects, which allows the company to make corrective and more impactful decisions earlier.
Because InEight’s solutions are cloud-based, customers benefit from a modular and integrated approach that promotes cross-product sharing of users, roles, documents and other project data.
As a whole, the cloud enables workplace efficiency, accuracy and increased accessibility to the digital tools that drive Kiewit’s success.
“The Kiewit-InEight relationship is one where Kiewit is a customer of InEight,” says InEight CEO Jake Macholtz. “Kiewit provides feedback to the InEight solutions. And InEight inherently provides those solutions back to Kiewit so they can deliver projects on time and on budget.” He adds that through the use of InEight solutions, Kiewit has been able to improve their overall performance “across the board.”
Microsoft technology provides the right platform and expertise to make the system powering InEight solutions the best it can be. This technology allows Kiewit to improve overall performance and build smarter.
“It’s about putting the right information in the right people’s hands at the right time to help them make decisions and run the business more effectively,” says Kiewit CIO Chris Dill.
Envisioning a modern approach for long-term transformation
Kiewit plans to continue growing and evolving the InEight solutions’ cutting-edge capabilities with AI, machine learning, IoT and predictive technology.
While the company’s digital transformation initiative began 10 years ago, the latest advancements in cloud innovation help make further technology innovations possible for Kiewit.
As evidenced through the development of InEight’s cloud-based project management solutions, Kiewit never stands still when it comes to innovation. Grewcock harkens back to something Peter Kiewit, a longtime company leader, said many years ago. “He was pleased, but not satisfied,” says Grewcock. “That’s emblematic of an attitude of, ‘I want to continually try to improve and get better.’ It’s a key part of our success to be a learning company, and we are going to continue to do that.”
With InEight’s cloud-based systems in place, Kiewit can perform more effectively on very technically complex projects and realize better outcomes for their clients everywhere Kiewit operates.