Microsoft Azure platform anchors pavement contractor’s digital makeover

Cloud service, custom application, advanced analytics, and managed enterprise service implementation specialist Sparkhound has customized mobile applications to streamline concrete or asphalt pavement project planning and business support operations for Texas-based Pavecon. From foremen providing onsite updates through smartphones or iPads, to back-office staff processing payroll in a fraction of customary time, the contractor’s paperwork has been significantly reduced while decision-makers have gained business insights through new data analytics.

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With four companies running nine U.S. divisions, Pavecon needed information technology infrastructure to pace its strong momentum of recent years. To better support the growth, management knew the business had to evolve from relying heavily on a pen and paper form process; recall methods to reconstruct onsite events; manually scanning thousands of timesheets; and, scheduling jobs on magnetic whiteboards.

“Our clients are evolving, but the construction industry is not evolving as quickly,” says Pavecon President Daniel Kilman. “Foremen were scheduling crew members, ordering concrete or asphalt, and reserving equipment in manual, pen and paper format. Pavecon needed to improve the process and create a solid platform to the next business phase.”

Sparkhound optimized workflows through a digital transformation encompassing Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint, Azure SQL database and Active Directory tools, as well as Power BI for business analytics plus PowerApps to create mobile apps running on Windows, Android or iOS platforms. In addition, Sparkhound laid a foundation to systematically roll out new, digital services supported by mobile devices, building on these charter offerings:

  • Integrity Payroll System. One-touch approach removes 13 additional payroll processing steps per employee. Process is now executed to fulfillment in one click.
  • Foreman A-level Program. Automates job-rating process.
  • Customer Value Creation Scheduling System. CVC scheduling and logistics program helps management evaluate employees’ impact on customers by simplifying data gathering to on-location, mobile device input.

“Sparkhound has provided us with a solid platform that prepares Pavecon for future growth. Whether it is a new division, brick-and-mortar location or helping capture additional market share, there are all kinds of ways to look at a growing company and now we can leverage the best systems to help us do this,” Kilman affirms.

“The construction industry has always heavily invested in the tools and talent that build our nation’s homes, offices and transportation infrastructure, but often overlooked the back-office process that supports it all,” adds Sparkhound Chief Technology Officer Jonathan Meyers. “With our digital enablement, Pavecon can now be more efficient with job bids and onsite support while also giving them data-infused insights to confidently grow their business.” — Sparkhound, Baton Rouge, La., 866/217-1500; www.sparkhound.com