Big Projects, Big Stakes
Bois d’Arc Lake in North Texas is bursting with potential if not water.
The newly constructed reservoir is in the process of filling up for the first time. Once complete, it’s expected to deliver up to 82 million gallons of water to North Texans each day.
With a lengthy pre-construction period, input from many sources, and a hefty $1.6B budget on the line, the team behind the project at the North Texas Municipal Water District sought out a partnership with Projectmates to help reshape its construction processes.
In this client spotlight, we sat down with Tyanna Riebock, a project control specialist with the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD), to see how using Projectmates helped transform the program to keep projects like Bois d’Arc Lake afloat.
“Before Projectmates, we basically used a #2 pencil,” laughed Tyanna. “We did utilize a lot of Microsoft Office items, but it was your basics. It was Word and Excel. Basically, it was all done manually or through email.”
Manual processes were everywhere at the NTMWD before they started using Projectmates in 2017. Being a public entity, the NTMWD answers to a board of directors for its every move. At the time, even just submitting a simple change order to the board could push a project back by weeks.
“If you think about it, if it had to be done manually and it took a week or two weeks then you may miss a board date which would then extend the time frame to two months,” said Tyanna. “With Projectmates, the PCO and change order process is done within two or three days. I think that was my Aha! moment. It’s been a great benefit for us.”
Tyanna also explained that Projectmates had allowed them to pull their heads out of the spreadsheets that used to consume their time.
“Having the prebuilt reports has been great for us. The fact that most everything you put into the system, you can pull out of the system in the format that you need has led us to not have to utilize Excel documents any longer.”
Enhancements to NTMWD’s construction program didn’t just stop in the office. People in the field needed a better way to collaborate on documents, photos, and drawings too.
“With Projectmates, our field guys are able to do everything in real time. They correspond with the whole project team at the same time. It gives our team the opportunity to address any issues right then and not have to wait until emails are sent in the evening. It’s pretty much instant and that has been great for us,” said Tyanna.
Today, more than 1,000 of the water district’s projects have been run through Projectmates. In fact, the application is so integral to NTMWD’s construction program that multiple jobs have been created to better harness its powerful tools.
“Projectmates has allowed us to expand in so many ways whether it be the functionality of the projects, planning the projects, or the closeout process,” said Tyanna. “All of these things we utilized on a small percentage. We now have five people on our project controls team who have come in with the sole purpose of utilizing Projectmates to achieve our goals.”
The NTMWD needs efficient and powerful construction management software now more than ever.
North Texas continues to experience surging growth which means additional water treatment facilities will need to be built to prepare for future residents.
With Projectmates’ help, the New Leonard Water Treatment Plant was officially opened to treat water from Bois d’Arc Lake in May of 2023. It’s the seventh for the water district and will help serve all of its current residents plus another 55,000 expected to move into NTMWD’s service area each year.
Streamlined Single Source of Truth
With Projectmates, NTMWD has been able to streamline its operations and pull all of its construction documents into one platform. Tyanna credits the single source of truth that Projectmates creates with keeping projects on time and on budget.
“With Projectmates, it allows us to see a project from inception to closeout all in one bucket. It cuts out the need to have to over-communicate to be able to accomplish something. When a person can go in and get all the required data in one location then the process flows a lot smoother,” said Tyanna. “I think that is the biggest asset we have when it comes to our project management.”
We asked Tyanna what she would say to any Owners who were still clinging to manual processes, spreadsheets, and bygone construction management methods.
“I would tell them to really consider what their goals are as a company. Where do they look to go in the future and are they actually getting everything out of the data that they have? With Projectmates it gives you the option to do analytics and reporting that I do not believe you can get with an Excel spreadsheet.”
And if anyone was still in doubt about the value she places in the Projectmates application, this is how she ended our chat.
“At this point, I’m not sure what we would do if we stopped using Projectmates. I can’t imagine not using it, to be honest.“