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About The Crossing Group

The Crossing Group (TCG) is an employee-owned services company made up of several firms in Canada and the United States. TCG provides horizontal directional drilling and tunneling services from its three North American offices.

The Challenge

Every company knows that when working on projects, staff need accurate information—right at their fingertips. TCG wanted to achieve that goal and needed to improve its project registry. Its precious project data lived in a system that had not been updated since it was rolled out years ago.

We want to drive accountability, and you can’t hold people accountable if they don’t have access to the needed information. Being organized to me is the ultimate form of respect.

As the company evolved, problems with this system became apparent. Users complained about entering the same pieces of information in several places. Populating the system was a chore often left until the last minute, if done at all. This delay meant that project managers couldn’t count on the registry for accurate, up-to-date data. It was time for a system overhaul.

Bill Piers, TCG’s business development lead, was the man for the job. His task was to revitalize the firm’s bidding and project management information system. The resulting framework had to be easy to use and streamline business processes.

As an employee-owned firm, TCG is conscious of cost and value provided. It was important that the solution worked with the firm’s current set-up and was easy to customize.

The Solution

The technical side of TCG’s requirements was only part of the equation. It was critical that the solution chosen fit with the firm’s project-based operating model. The company considered several CRM solutions, but each one they considered captured too much unnecessary information. TCG needed value and insights without wasting time on excess data entry and storage. PowerApps and Power Automate were considered to build the workflows and forms, but development and licensing costs were prohibitive.

Eureka iTech built and deployed a custom Infowise solution that met the firm’s demands. Integrated with SharePoint, Infowise facilitates low-code application design, dynamic forms, workflow, Teams integration, and data visualization. The solid toolkit of features Infowise offers, with its low-code platform and agile development, meant that business value was delivered progressively, and user adoption was not an issue.

Now, the estimator clicks on ‘bid files,’ and everything they need to start preparing for their bid is already right there, and some of it is pre-filled.

TCG now had a standardized way of managing its 800 projects a year—from the bidding stage to project close out. Infowise uses bid data to generate pre-filled folders in SharePoint document libraries. There, users can leverage Microsoft OneDrive to store correspondence and documents, saving the team valuable time by providing a consistent approach to managing content. A workflow monitors the progress of the bid, sends notification reminders, and ensures data integrity is maintained. Integration with Teams makes it possible for staff to update information in a familiar and powerful collaboration tool.

Infowise provides a set of visualization tools including pie charts, Gantt charts, and dynamic calendars that seamlessly integrate with SharePoint and Teams. Using Infowise’s filtering tools, staff can navigate the interface with ease to get the job done faster. For more advanced reporting, Power BI brings insightful information, KPIs, and summary details that upper management and board members can rely on.

Furthermore, Infowise is an extendable platform that supports additional features such as Google Maps to capture exact project locations. Because companies can customize the interface by adding their own CSS, and JavaScript, the possibilities are endless. Infowise conforms to TCG’s unique situation and doesn’t necessitate any IT spend beyond the low cost of the add-in itself. Forms and code live in TCG’s SharePoint environment. Infowise’s web-based development environment is used to design new forms and code, which are then migrated into TCG’s production environment. The SharePoint data remains secure within the tenant security protocols.

It was important for TCG to have a strong, trusting relationship with its IT partner. Eureka iTech worked to enact incremental changes for the firm over time. This approach provided value quickly and allowed TCG to see the real-world applications of the solution before committing to big projects with big budgets. Strong executive sponsorship was a secondary factor in project success and user adoption. Championing the value of standardized and consistent data has helped employees envision project benefits. 

To do this, we needed to have one person that is the champion that everybody talks to. That’s going to give us our chance for success.

It wasn’t just a one-day thing, and it wasn’t a one contract thing. It was something that came to fruition over quite a long period of time.

The Results

Using Google Maps integration in Infowise Forms saves estimators minutes per bid, to the tune of 25 to 60 man-hours saved per year.

TCG has realized its vision of a standardized repository for project data across the organization. Employees are using it to log data regularly. Automatic reports keep project leads on top of updates and changes. Thanks to Infowise, information is transparent and accessible across the full team. Estimators save time on every estimate, with map integrations that calculate mileage to sites. 

The very first thing we did was to make a board report that was used to spend 2 hours putting together every Friday. This solution has cut that time down to 2 or 3 minutes.

Not only is the system easy to use and maneuver, but it has also reduced the frustrations previously experienced, provided process automations to save time, and reduced errors daily. Organization-wide, information is standardized, making it easy to work with and understand. Team members can take the time to focus on what is valuable to the firm without having to undertake frustrating rework. 

With Infowise solutions, TCG has gained a way to understand its current state and build a road map for where it is headed. Powerful data visualizations using Power BI have garnered strong executive buy-in and enthusiasm for the insights provided. The Crossing Group is poised to move toward its promising future, facilitated by transparency and consistency across the organization.

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