Case Study | Simplifying Processes: James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corporation
GoalA general contractor that has served the San Francisco Bay area for more than 80 years needed a secure, central digital platform for document management, communication between stakeholders, reporting, and data collection.
ChallengeFinding a solution that was affordable and compatible with accounting and other systems.
SolutionThe company has fully integrated its systems with the ProjectSight platform, using it for managing drawings and documents, communicating with owners and subcontractors, and entering punch items.
Ongoing BenefitsThe company’s PMs and PEs now have easy access to real-time cost data along with transaction history and potential impacts.
The James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corporation has served the San Francisco Bay area for more than 80 years as a general contractor. Over the past decade, the company worked to adopt more digital technology to manage documents, records, and communication. Brendan Radich joined the company fifteen years ago, eventually taking on the role as IT Manager, starting his search for a collaborative, web-based system to replace their existing software.
While one solution looked like a good fit, its steep cost stopped Radich from making the leap. The company decided to give ProjectSight a try. “We immediately got two big projects up and running on ProjectSight and thankfully we didn’t start another project for about six months, so we had a long run of testing the system to make sure it would work for us,” Radich says. During that time, Radich worked with the ProjectSight team on requested updates and improvements. “I have to say, most of those requested changes have now been met.”
One of those requests was for an updated ProjectSight mobile app. The new and improved app helped Radich resolve previous issues with synching between systems. “Things are looking good now,” he says. “ProjectSight has become the one-stop shop for managing documents, linking records with drawings, and keeping track of all our contract documents in the field. We’ve never had that capability before, and it’s made our processes much smoother.”
“From an IT perspective, ProjectSight is far beyond its competitors in security controls, down to field level, I can control visibility and permissions. With ProjectSight, I can control what each individual user can see and prevent data leakage.”
– Brendan Radich, IT Manager
Generating reports was another time-consuming task before ProjectSight, as it often involved importing data into spreadsheets and making manual calculations from there. “Now, if an owner requests to see data in a specific format, I can build that report and deploy it in a matter of days,” says Radich. “That’s huge.”
The company has also worked with Morpheus Technology Group to achieve full integration with their accounting system, making financial reporting much simpler. “We’ve now fully integrated subcontracts, subcontractor invoicing, general invoicing, budgets, vendors, and customers—everything is synched now.” ProjectSight will also give project managers and project engineers access to real-time data around costs, forecasting, and potential impacts. “That’s going to be a huge time saver for us, but also gives our PMs visibility into their budget and costs when they’ve previously had to wait on accounting to receive reports.” Now, instead of comparing to those separate reports, the data is all in one place. That means making better decisions about managing budgets & cost impacts because the entire team is working with actuals now.
Field Management Tools
The Roberts-Obayashi Corporation recently hit a significant milestone: they entered more than one thousand punch items using the ProjectSight mobile app. On that project, the company had four people inspecting a site, collecting photos and details about issues they found, and entering those through the app. “We made sure we laid out the locations beforehand, down to units and specific rooms,” Radich says. “Locations is a huge feature in ProjectSight because you can filter and sort reporting items based on location and hand a device to a subcontractor in the field, giving them exactly the data they need to fix issues.”
At the close of a project, the company uses the app to take photos that demonstrate resolved problems. “We’ve even been handing devices to owners and having them walk around and check each item,” Radich says. “That way, we have documentation that shows our customers are satisfied with each issue’s resolution.”
“Now, if an owner requests to see data in a specific format, I can build that report and deploy it in a matter of days, That’s huge.”
– Brendan Radich, IT Manager
Security and Access Control
Within ProjectSight, Radich can enact security protocols like managing access to certain data. “From an IT perspective, ProjectSight is far beyond its competitors in security controls,” he says. “Down to field level, I can control visibility and permissions. On the software we used previously, there were four security roles—that was it. With ProjectSight, I can control what each individual user can see and prevent data leakage.”
As the Roberts-Obayashi Corporation has adopted ProjectSight, Radich appreciates the chance to participate in the product’s evolution. “A company our size is not going to be able to build something in house, so being involved in discussions, sharing ideas, and giving feedback has been a big help to us,” he says. “We’re telling them exactly what we want—and based on my experience, they’re listening.”