Andersen Construction is a third-generation, family-owned construction company dating back to 1950. It began when Andy Andersen started his first project: a small concrete tilt-up warehouse near the corner of 12th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard in Portland, Oregon that still stands to this day. Since then, the company has evolved into the largest family-owned construction company in the Pacific Northwest.
It is safe to say that Andersen Construction has come a long way, and last year the company celebrated 70 years in business. But only recently did they start saving over $300,000 in extra costs per year.
Yes, that’s right $300,000. Not once, not twice, but every single year, amounting to millions of dollars in savings. This is what Comevo’s software, Launch™ Online Orientation and Training, has done for Andersen Construction. Perhaps it’s time to bring your safety orientation into the modern world.
Chad Sproule, the regional safety and health manager in the Washington Region for Andersen Construction, broke down exactly how Comevo’s employee on-boarding and safety training software has saved the company precious time and resources. Ultimately, enabling the company to expand their business.
How can using Comevo’s software result in such significant savings? Let’s take a look at the logistics of how this process currently works and how it has evolved.
First Things First: How Does General Contracting and Orientation Work?
Andersen Construction is a general contractor. They hire subcontractors who will be the ones “swinging the hammers and using the tools,” said Sproule. Before hiring Comevo, Andersen Construction used an extraordinary amount of time and resources to orient their contractors and staff. The extra expense came down to one key factor: the human element of each project. Employees were having to take out hours of their day to conduct orientations and this became costly. Though they don’t directly employ anyone, Andersen Construction is in charge and ultimately responsible for the safety and health of everyone on site; so, a cost-effective orientation process was mandatory.
Bringing a subcontractor on board for Andersen Construction requires them to have a strict knowledge about safety procedures and an understanding of the company’s core values and expectations. What better way to communicate these core values than by developing a specific orientation that the company needs and ensuring each subcontractor receives the same accurate, standardized information.
Before Launch™ Online Orientation and Training Software
Prior to purchasing Comevo’s online orientation and training software, employees and subcontractors would come onto a project and have to learn the 9 tenants by which Andersen operates ranging from customer satisfaction to teamwork to seeking continuous improvement.
Typically, Andersen has 6-12 projects running at a time in the Washington and Idaho regions. Every individual working on one of these projects would have to come down to the office with a member of the project team and go through an hour’s worth of time explaining what Andersen is, what they stand for and most importantly what they expect from each employee when working on a project.
One of Andersen’s larger offices in Portland, Oregon, would do their orientations a bit differently. They would have daily orientations in which subcontractors would attend once per project. This could mean that one employee may have repeated the same orientation up to four times depending on how many times they had worked with the company since the safety training orientation was not carried over from project to project. The subcontractors would have to commute to the main office and then commute back to whatever project they were working on before they could start working on the next project. This was requiring Andersen to dedicate a half-day, full day or everyday rotational approach for the safety person.
Comevo Brings Construction Training to the Modern World
According to Sproule, what really drove the idea behind Andersen’s conversion to an online orientation was the idea that they could save time and money by eliminating the need for a full-time employee doing work that was often redundant. This is what led him to Comevo.
Sproule states that, though there were aspects of the old system that worked well, the orientation was extremely time-consuming when any new information needed to be added or changed. This required more time and resources put into a new PowerPoint, new content to be shot and ultimately redoing the entire process over and over. Comevo allows for all the new information added to be consolidated onto one single platform.
Another factor was that the Seattle and Idaho offices would hire individuals who came to do orientations on-site, depending on how busy the day was. This meant that information that was meant to take one hour to convey needed to be jam-packed into 15 minutes, with no way of verifying that consistent, standardized content was being delivered to each worker.
With Comevo’s Launch™ software, Andersen is able to compile a roster that verifies who has gone through the orientation, so they only need to focus on details specific to a site such as evacuations, while basic, core training information is there from the original online orientation.
Sproule said that not only has the process become easier, but it now has key features that make the orientations safer and more thorough.
Comevo’s multi-language tool has significantly helped improve the orientations, namely the Spanish version. Previously orientations would have been done through an interpreter or sign language expert without guaranteeing 100% comprehension. Now the orientations are not exclusive to people who only understand English and are accessible to everyone. Sproule also stated that tools like the key term search, where individuals can highlight and learn the key term, as well as the quiz feature, have immensely helped workers understand the safety training. This also provides an avenue for Anderson administrators to confirm that the employees are understanding the content of the orientation.
The Benefits of Comevo
Sproule states that the most beneficial aspect of Comevo’s online orientation software is that “it gives us the ability to, in a brief format, let us show our trade partners what kind of company they are coming to work for and make sure we are delivering that consistent message to each worker who is coming to work on site.”
From consistently changing out content, re-shooting videos and having to re-create their entire safety orientation, Comevo has helped Andersen Construction easily adjust aspects of their previous orientation to one consolidated software. If one policy changes, or any other changes need to be made, it is now an easy task compared to how much time and effort this would have required prior to Andersen’s adoption of Comevo’s software.
Comevo’s Launch™ Online Orientation and Training software has allowed Andersen Construction to tackle language barriers, enhance content and save time and money. Sproule states that even if other construction companies believe they have an efficient orientation system, they should really “investigate the degree to which a consistent message is being delivered.”
So perhaps it’s time to make that switch and evolve your safety orientation to meld into modern technology. Put your company’s resources into more projects to be constructed, rather than being lost on redundant, hit-or-miss orientations. With Comevo you can embellish and emphasize important safety procedures and ensure the comprehension of your core values with just the click of a mouse. Check out what Launch™ Online Orientation and Training software can offer YOU today.