Alexandre Champoux, Co-Founder and CEO & Boris Germanov, VP, Strategic Development
Ten years ago, Alexandre Champoux, owner of a Montreal-based construction company that deals with constructing parts of airports and metro stations, found his hands tied to improve business outcomes. The efforts to accelerate project execution faced information blind spots that forced the company to shift the gears down and perform below its potential. “As part of the traditional back-office-driven construction industry, we depended on the accounting team (to know the financial health of our project and the company) before we could make any decision,” says Champoux, Co-Founder, and CEO of Civalgo. “This accounting-driven strategy cost the company profit, valuable time, and hampered operations.” In spite of the tremendous technological advancements, effective project management in the construction industry remained a puzzle as the stakeholders struggled to gain access to quality operations data in time.
Built by industry veterans, Civalgo is turning the corner for small-to-medium contractors. “As an industry that depends on the performance of on-site operations, it pays to enable real-time visibility of on-site performance for estimating project management efficiency,” says Champoux. So it was natural for team Civalgo to adopt a solution strategy that focused on on-site performance rather than accounting.
As decisions are made based on the field performance data, this bottom-up approach to project cost management puts self-perform contractors in the driver’s seat in project execution.
Carefully developed after thoroughly studying the operations of 250 contractors, Civalgo’s next-generation operational management platform enhances productivity and collaboration by taking into account real-time performance insights and past cost data. The AI-based platform channels schedule and daily logs to facilitate an optimal team workflow. By having a well-defined WBS structure that takes into account historical data, project estimation can be improved significantly. The web-enabled platform provides better job estimates and delivers results on-budget and on-time. It simplifies the management’s job of administering ongoing and upcoming projects by collecting on-site data and maintaining daily updates from the ground workers. Daily logs (of labor, materials, subcontractors, equipment, transport, notes) are updated in the platform, making it easier for the management to keep a close eye on productivity. Now all the schedules and updates are consolidated and managed in the platform to create a productive environment. “With Civalgo’s platform, gone are the days of error-prone MS Excel sheets due to continuous manual updates,” says Boris Germanov, VP of Strategic Development at Civalgo. Integrated systems that are managed automatically facilitate swift communication between disparate teams, thus improving employee engagement and job satisfaction.
In addition to the platform, Civalgo provides consulting services such as business diagnostics, extensive digital strategies, and process optimization to improve clients’ internal operations and efficiencies.
At the outset of client engagement, Civalgo takes their accounting data and builds the platform for them before it conducts the first meeting. After the meeting, the company offers consultation to customize the platform based on clients’ unique workflows. Through WBS, cost and performance are tracked and reported across the projects. Also, the company conducts multiple workshops to educate the stakeholders (foremen, project owners, and managers, accounting staff, subcontractors) about the best practices to gain maximum value from the platform.
In a case study, Uniroc Construction faced difficulties as most of its operations were managed manually. With Civalgo, the company optimized the efficiency of its field operations with tremendous improvements in communication and collaboration, project monitoring, automated learning, and performance log.
Currently, Civalgo is busy collaborating and co-developing new initiatives with its partners. The company looks forward to making its platform more efficient through visualization. Furthermore, it aims to introduce logistics and transportation automation to streamline clients’ business operations.