The Borger Group of Companies in Calgary is a 103-year-old 4th generation family business. Borger is a Vizzn user and claims impressive annual improvements in their profitability by millions of dollars. We recently caught up with Bill Borger, CEO, and asked him to share his top four favorite Vizzn features.
“I love Vizzn’s dispatch and scheduling functionality. A construction site is like an orchestra except instead of instruments it has people and resources. When everyone is playing from the same sheet music, it’s a finely tuned orchestra and a thing of beauty. And if everyone isn’t, its like watching a group of third graders perform at their first band concert. It just hurts!”.
Vizzn’s dispatch and scheduling functionality gets every division and every subcontractor on the same page. Now that everyone is on the same page the day before, lets call that a rehearsal, so that the day of the event goes smooth as silk. It is tragic to think that we used to run out of materials, attempt construction scopes with the wrong equipment, run out of fuel or miss a machine for fueling, and get wires crossed with subcontractors; a list that goes on and on with potential errors caused by a lack of visibility. Now, to be truthful, we still are not perfect, but the blatant mistakes are definitely a thing of the past. Our crews run a daily cost of $20,000 so with 15 crews gaining a 1% efficiency over the course of a year, that number is $600,000 …. And I do believe it’s a lot more than that!
“My favorite Vizzn feature is Walk the Drawings. Estimating without this tool is akin to attempting to climb El Capitan without ropes. It is a disaster waiting to happen!”
We all know the excitement as contractors the moment when the tenders are revealed. Fun… Right?! Well, how about that time you left 15% on the table? Remember that? A sinking feeling followed by sheer panic and the mad dash to your computer to see what you missed. We have all been there and it down right sucks. The reality of our situation is that estimating is the riskiest thing we do, and bad bids bring down good companies our size every day, all over North America.
A Vizzn tool that has reduced this risk substantially is “Walk the Drawings”. Vizzn enables you to walk or drive a site the same as if the entire site was staked for you, or alternatively, think of it as having life sized plans overlaying the site. This drastically increases your ability to identify everything from site access challenges, tie-ins under asphalt, proximity of structures, or to ascertain environmental concerns, just to name a few. The “walk about” documentation, in combination with its view on the transparent drawings placed on google earth, also lowers the risk for your management team when they are reviewing the tender. Estimating without this tool is akin to attempting to climb El Capitan without ropes. It is a disaster waiting to happen!
“By simply using Vizzn’s Site Maps to optimize the site layout before starting construction, we are able to do the same projects faster and often with less equipment”
Vizzn’s electronic site mapping feature enables Borger to optimize location staging of pipe, materials, manholes, gravel, and sand, for optimal construction efficiency; all before the crew arrives and all without requiring site staking! As a result of this feature, rubber tire loaders required on every site have become more efficient and never hold up production. Also, on some projects, this has allowed for one less loader compared to the days prior to Borger becoming a Vizzn enabled company. At $200/hour for a loader, requiring one less loader on a 100-day project is a $200,000 win. We estimate we did that 4 times in 2021!
“With Vizzn’s Equipment Scheduler, we spend way less every year on buying, repairing and renting equipment”
Vizzn’s project scheduling feature that allows for embedding equipment utilization plans, has helped optimize our capital decisions; now we see exactly what equipment is needed months in advance and we can make equipment purchases and rental decisions accordingly. With Vizzn’s advance visibility into equipment demands, we can be proactive with our customers to shift jobs around to fit our fleet. This may require a change in the payment terms, but it is always less expensive than a rental. With this equipment visibility, we make better decisions on repairing equipment and selling equipment. This visibility has also come in handy for estimating projects, especially in earthmoving. We do not bid a project with 657 Caterpillar scrapers if the Vizzn Equipment Scheduler shows that only 637s are available when that job is scheduled to go. We estimate, that adding depreciation and repairs together and multiply it by 8%, is what the Borger Group saves annually with this feature alone. That is greater than $800,000 annually!