For I.B. Abel’s Electrical Services line of business, streamlining how the department operates and expanding its reach and capabilities have been critical to its success.

New Programs and Processes

The Electrical Services department has implemented several new programs and processes which have allowed it to grow while reducing overhead and time spent on projects.

Modeling Software Programs

One aspect of the departments streamlining has been utilizing pre-fabrication as much as possible. Thanks to its planned layout and design and building information modeling software programs, the company can ship materials and equipment to job sites on the days they are needed, rather than weeks ahead of schedule. This has led to significant increases in efficiency in the field, standardized build sequences, and increased capacity, allowing I.B. Abel to pursue market sectors it previously could not access.

PlanGrid

The Electrical Services business line recently began using a software system called PlanGrid, a mobile platform that holds all necessary project documents in one place. The program is cloud-based but allows Project Managers to download everything they need remotely in case a job site does not have reliable Internet service. The program provides easy access to information at every level of the project, according to Waylon Boyer, Vice President, Electrical Services.

“It gives Project Managers and Foremen all the information they need at the point of installation, which has been a huge boost to productivity,” Boyer said. “The Foreman can walk out into the field with the whole set of prints and go over it with workers onsite rather than having to bring the whole crew into a trailer to look them over.”

Building Information Modeling

The department continues to advance its expertise in Building Information Modeling, (BIM) software. This cutting-edge software provides workers in the field with installation drawings that details every aspect of a project, from the size of the conduit needed to where an offset will be needed, minimizing the effort needed to take field measurements or redo work.

Project Status Reports

Increased efficiencies have freed up time for Electrical Services to be more customer oriented. For its largest projects, the department has started sending customers weekly Project Status Reports. These reports detail the work, which was done during the week, what  roadblocks were encountered, what change orders exist, submittals that are due, RFIs that may be outstanding, weekly weather encountered, and any safety incidents. The reports have helped keep customers engaged on projects, establishing open communication, and providing updates on where a project stands.

Standard Operating Procedures

To further streamline its work, I.B. Abel is in the process of creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all processes in the company. When the initiative is up and running, every I.B. Abel employee will have standard work instructions outlining which tools and materials to use for every step of the job. Customers will especially appreciate the SOPs because the company will be able to give them a booklet with documents that show exactly how their project will be built.

Continued Growth

While the methods have changed, I.B. Abel continues to pursue excellence in every facet of its work just like when the company was founded in 1913.

 

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