How Hoar Construction came to connect with Touchplan

Hoar Construction is a national GC primarily working in the Southeastern part of the US. They are also a mandated Last Planner System® (LPS®) company that sees significant value in using the Last Planner System®, and because of that have used it on every project across Hoar Construction. However, doing their projects mainly “longhand” or entering data into excel spreadsheets was leading to a lot of data entry and other heavy requirements for the field staff to track and maintain.

Hoar Construction Superintendent Andy Shonnard and his team are currently constructing a new 10-story, 360-unit multifamily apartment building that is part of the revitalization of a section of Nashville that was formerly a warehouse area and is now one of the more popular places to live in the city.

As the team began to plan the construction of the new apartment building, it looked for ways to make the LPS process more efficient and saw the value of a “digital” approach where the data could be entered once into a cloud-based system and then maintained. Having the plan in a “digital space” would allow the team to refer back to the information and measure current performance against their overall schedule. This led the team to Touchplan.

“Our use of Touchplan on this apartment project allows us to have a good connection with everyone on the team and foster collaboration while not taking away from the value of pull planning the traditional way,” said Hoar Superintendent Andy Shonnard. “The Touchplan customer success team supports our projects on the front end and quickly gets the whole team onboarded. I knew I could count on them to get us up and running as fast as possible and make sure it was an effective tool for us to use.”

Overcoming Obstacles

This particular apartment project is located on a “rock site” where all the foundations are on limestone, which needs to be blasted, and that can present its own set of challenges. Utilizing Touchplan on the project allowed the team to keep the project on pace despite running into unforeseen roadblocks during the project’s foundation portion.

“We ended up having to resequence around areas of the plan that could not be done as fast as we wanted to do them,” said Shonnard. “Being set up in Touchplan allowed us to pivot and resequence our plan as needed. There was a ripple effect to some of the other aspects of the project because of the resequencing, but thanks to Touchplan, we did not have to go through a major schedule redo. We were able to react on the fly.”

Touchplan Allows for Dynamic Replanning

One of the biggest features Andy and the team was able to use in their resequencing was the simple intuitive nature of dynamic replanning. Unlike manual cells on the spreadsheet or sticky notes on a wall, Touchplan is designed to simplify the process of replanning. It is easy to copy plans, replace plan elements, rename process flows, and cycle through changes on a collection of work items. When the replanning is finished, all the changes are immediately available to all the plan participants.

When the roadblocks were met and the original plan was not going to work out, Andy could easily resequence using this feature.

The Value of Weekly Work Planning

One of the biggest values that Touchplan offered the Hoar team on the project was the ability to do weekly work planning (WWP). Touchplan allowed them to not have to haggle and have guys fill out WWPs separately outside of the planning space, as Touchplan allows for a foundation WWP that can then be changed around, vs. the old way of doing things in Excel.

Eighteen Months Until Delivery

The project presently has between 100 and 125 people on the site, ranging from site work all the way to finish trades. The teams are dividing and conquering on the work, and each crew has to be able to work on the plans with each superintendent managing the process, and then the team regroups in weekly planning sessions. Having access to Touchplan allows the group to focus on the individual work and manage all the project’s different aspects as one team.

The Hoar Construction team needs to finish this new apartment complex by June of 2022, and Touchplan is making sure the team can meet that date. “Touchplan allows us to digest the full schedule on a day-to-day basis,” said Shonnard. “We meet for a daily huddle to update progress for the day and the next couple of days. We do planning sessions once a week, which allows us to look out two to three weeks ahead of time. We can tie it all back to the CPM and see that we are beating many of our milestones.”

Be sure to watch our Client Story video interview with project superintendent Andy Shonnard from Hoar Construction.