cmBuilder had the opportunity to sit down with Dana Erdman, VP of Technology & Innovation, and Connor Pelfrey, VDC Engineer at Bulley & Andrews, to discuss the past, present and future of their firm’s digital innovation. This Chicago-based construction firm is making significant strides in the realm of digital innovation and process improvement, which is evident particularly through their adoption of technology platforms such as cmBuilder.
Founded in 1891, Bulley & Andrews maintains a 132 year unwavering track record of focused and strong client relationships by delivering exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Still family-owned and operated to this day, the firm provides services across various sectors including educational, residential, hospitality, institutional, corporate, and healthcare.
Erdman has boiled down the approach to innovation as “anything that is process improvement”—a simple yet powerful definition. She highlights the example of a recent deployment of a new time tracking software that focuses on “ease of capture”, and thereby eliminates the burden on field staff to input data manually, as a great innovation-driven process improvement on their job sites. This approach to innovation not only enhances operational capabilities with meaningful data feedback loops, but also ensures that the team's efforts align with the company's mission of delivering quality service to their clients.
“cmBuilder is a great example of being able to craft 3D construction logistics plans on a lighter web browser interface that we can get out much quicker than what we were previously doing with legacy tools.”
- Dana Erdman - VP of Technology & Innovation at Bulley & Andrews
Contributing from the perspective of a VDC Engineer, Pelfrey illustrates how digital tools like cmBuilder have revolutionized the firm’s project planning and execution workflows. cmBuilder’s user-friendly interface and effective end products have facilitated improved communication within project teams, leading to more efficient and thoughtful project executions. “cmBuilder serves as an excellent conversation starter between our internal project teams when planning the job. Sometimes we get sketches or just like basic ideas, and then we'll build it digitally in cmBuilder, and then we'll bring it to the project team and then they'll realize, oh, that crane can't be there because it stops traffic, or that doesn't give us enough space to the sidewalks so we're going to have to move this piece of equipment over here.…So, it serves as a conversation starter as well as producing a really nice end product.”
The adoption of cmBuilder by Bulley & Andrews underscores a budding trend in the construction industry: the move towards digital and virtual solutions. The platform's impact is multifaceted, enhancing a team's ability to quickly develop and modify project plans that simulate what’s shown in the project schedule, while also serving as a vital tool for client engagement and project visualization.
Erdman also touches on the broader industry trends, such as the increasing importance of BIM (Building Information Modeling), sustainability efforts, and the integration of emerging technologies like AI and Machine Learning. Her insights reveal a deep understanding of the industry's evolving landscape and Bulley & Andrews' commitment to staying at the forefront of these changes.
Bulley & Andrews' strategy is a blend of tradition and innovation, respecting their long-standing history and relationships while eagerly embracing new technologies that can bring added value to their clients and projects. The firm's journey towards embracing digital innovation, particularly through platforms like cmBuilder, reflects a strategic approach to technology adoption that aligns with their mission and client-centric values. It's not just about adopting new technologies, but finding the right solutions that enhance their operational efficiency, improve project delivery, and maintain the high standards of quality and craftsmanship that Bulley & Andrews is known for.
“cmBuilder has been pretty massive for our VDC team, it’s just a super simple user interface. It allows us to quickly get something together and it also produces such a high-quality end product for the project teams that it's just been great for us to use.”
- Connor Pelfrey - VDC Engineer at Bulley & Andrews
Erdman and Pelfrey’s insights into their roles and the impact of technology in their operations provide a clear picture of a company that is not just adapting to changes but is actively shaping its future. Their focus on process improvement, data utilization, and the strategic deployment of technologies like cmBuilder places Bulley & Andrews as a forward-thinking leader in the construction industry.
In summary, Bulley & Andrews’ adoption of cmBuilder is a testament to their commitment to innovation and excellence. By integrating this advanced digital platform into their operations, they are not only enhancing their project delivery but also setting a standard for the construction industry's future. As the industry continues to evolve, Bulley & Andrews is well-positioned to lead the way, backed by a strong heritage and a forward-looking approach to technology and innovation.