Lantern Customer Stories
Lantern helps companies make better, data-driven decisions so they are more competitive and save time and money.
But some companies have trouble getting started.
The customer stories below show how Lantern has helped other companies through real world problems. Read them to identify your own pain points and the solutions to fix them.
WIP it! WIP it good!
A mid-sized underground utility specialist needed better visibility into productivity, cash flow and profitability. Their four offices across two states execute lots of small jobs—as many as 150 at any time.
Because so many of their projects are quick-hit jobs wrapping up in a week, they could not wait for weekly payroll processing to know staff hours and costs. They needed daily insights into bill status, payment status and other contributors to cash flow and profitability.
In short, project managers needed to catch problems right away. As it was, they often left weekly work-in-process meetings with important questions unanswered.
They implemented Viewpoint Vista in part because of its built-in WIP module, but found the system cumbersome. It was built for a general contractors, not a civil maintenance contractor. Besides lacking the necessary detail, it did not track percent complete and job profitability metrics in the way this contractor needed!
They needed a WIP built specifically for their business—one that updated daily and showed sufficient detail, down to the phase code, as well as percentage complete, job profitability and job notes.
A custom solution serves the business best
The Lantern solution collects data from three different systems to compile the necessary ingredients for a truly useful WIP schedule:
- Budget and accounting from Viewpoint Vista
- Generic review notes from Microsoft Excel
- Production data from HCSS HeavyJob
Data is grouped by the job and project manager, facilitating full accountability.
Now, while project managers are in the office, everyone monitors contract amounts against budgets, manages change orders, and tracks percentage of labor hours burned used, profitability, and more. As time cards get filled out, that data gets pushed to the WIP.
The company has gone from monthly visibility to daily visibility. It’s enabled project managers to tighten up cash management, avoid delays, and shorten time spent managing job profitability.
“With everything we have going on, it’s hard to keep track of all the projects. Lantern gave us a way to see problems sooner, while we have a chance to redirect it.” — Operations Manager
Data, data all over the place
Or the bigger they are, the more distributed the data
One of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional and construction services was concerned their access to information was too slow and their teams weren’t realizing the full potential of the systems already in place throughout the organization.
The global supply chain managers were unable to capture a complete picture of their vendors, leaving them no way to predict the performance of vendor contracts.
Additionally, compiling reports for customers across multiple databases and systems was an inefficient, time consuming task that took away from other productive work.
Initially, the IT department thought to utilize the existing Business Intelligence toolset, Oracle BI. But that idea was rejected because it would have been too complex, time-consuming and expensive.
What they needed was a unified solution that focused on the Trimble Prolog Manager data that could measure project controls and the data quality across the entire organization.
Trimble recommended they turn to Lantern Data Systems which was able to aggregate 20+ Prolog Manager databases into one consolidated reporting platform.
Now decision makers can monitor key performance indicators, analyze trends and monitor correct use of their systems to make sure the right level of data is entered by the teams.
The team now concentrates on analyzing vendor data and uses the time saved to further explore how to drive more efficiencies through their supply chain.
With less than five minutes of training, I’m able to access a unified view of all my owners and vendors. This level of visibility was impossible before Lantern.
Director of Contract Management
Owner dashboards, a place to call their own
An ENR top 50 construction company recognized for superior quality and customer service wanted to provide a unique, communication-based experience for their customers to deepen relationships and increase trust through transparency.
As an organization, this company wanted to migrate from the standard, 50-page, monthly project reports full of useless information to a more consolidated executive oriented, Owner Dashboard tailored per owner.
The first attempt at the Owner Dashboard included P6, Prolog Manager, Safety and Work hours and eCMS financial data into a series of multi-tab Excel documents. These document were updated manually from multiple systems. The work took too much time, was error prone and wasn’t repeatable.
Additionally, different parts of the organization had their own reporting process which meant large owners got dissimilar reports from the same company.
What they needed was a standard platform from which Owner Dashboards could be rolled out to all of their customers.
The company turned to Lantern Data Systems which designed an Owner Dashboard template with all the necessary elements from scheduling to project controls, safety to financials.
The Owner Dashboard delivers a deeper level of visibility requiring minimal work by the project staff – a massive timesaver for the team.
Now owners can check project status anytime with a fully interactive, web based dashboard deployed just to them. Owners are more informed due to the added transparency and the company enjoys increased trust resulting in deeper customer relationships and an increase in repeat business.
Our owners love the dashboards! Lantern is a massive success!
“boom, boom, boom” everything is right there!
An ENR top 400 General Contractor recognized regionally as a “Best & Brightest Companies to Work For,” started an experiential leadership development program to enhance personal and professional development for their teams.
The Team Leader initiative paired Senior Project Managers and Superintendents with 4-6 junior PM’s and Superintendents in a mentorship role to help monitor project progress and build relationships throughout the company.
Team Leaders were required to monitor information about their teams in addition to their normal project responsibilities. This meant an additional 60-90 minutes per week gathering information for the mentorship meetings. This wasted time and caused the Team Leaders to avoid mentorship meetings because the preparation was so time consuming.
What started as an initiative to help junior team members understand how to pressure project stakeholders who were not performing, became an overwhelming time commitment where senior team members where wasting hours hunting and gathering project status information for their teams.
What they needed was a solution which consolidated all the required information from Newforma and Sage 300 Construction (Timberline) so the Team Leaders could focus on their mentorship role.
Newforma recommended they contact Lantern Data Systems who developed a Team Leader dashboard concept which consolidated information from Newforma Project Center and Sage 300 Construction (Timberline) into a single dashboard.
Now Team Leaders have a purpose built dashboard which shows the status of their teams and the projects they manage. They avoid wasting 60-90 minutes preparing the information because everything they need is front and center and easy to access.
Now Team Leaders not only fulfill their mentorship role with ease, they save time managing their own projects giving them more opportunity to service their clients.
“Lantern is a good tool for Team Leaders because rather than dig through Newforma and Timberline ‘boom, boom, boom’ everything is right there!”
Senior Superintendent, Team Leader
Let’s use data to take this business to the next level!
The CEO of a large regional multidisciplinary general contractor specializing in infrastructure, heavy highway, site development, aviation, rail, and marine-related projects wanted to increase staff productivity and job profitability.
This goal-oriented contractor uses metrics to evaluate and track performance of both the productivity of people and the overall progress of jobs.
In order to grow the business, the CEO and senior leadership team realized the need to get into the details of project and staff performance to identify trouble spots and where the team needed help.
They believed that leveraging data out of existing systems represented the largest productivity gain with the minimum investment. To support this, they developed a dream set of company reports to ease visibility, enhance transparency and provide analytics.
The IT and Finance teams began to build the reports using a combination of tools included in their financial system, Excel and other Microsoft tools.
The resulting reports were Excel based which were manually compiled wasting countless hours of staff time. By the time senior management reviewed the reports, the information wasn’t current and didn’t give the team the visibility they needed to grow the business.
After months of meetings and lots of trial and error, they decided the new reporting system was not working.
What they needed was sound advice and a reasonable plan to bring their dream reports to reality.
Via social media, the CEO turned to Lantern Data Systems which recommended a Discovery and Business Intelligence Roadmap consultation service.
The professional services engagement also included an assessment which objectively measured the maturity of the analytics initiative across many dimensions. The assessment was used to guide IT and the business on their analytics journey.
The engagement resulted in a recommendation for several dashboards to improve metric based visibility out of single or multiple systems so the organization could quickly see status, efficiently compile reports and allows users to get more details as needed. A further recommendation of more advanced dashboards was made which built on the recommendations to get a more strategic view of the business.
Now the CEO has a practical roadmap of dashboards with which he can prioritize and execute as the business requires.
This is the road map I was looking for. My people can’t wait!
CEO, Construction Company
Take your commissioning data to new heights...
A major state’s fourth largest public school district manages a five-year capital improvement program in excess of $500M that includes 61 renovations, 19 of which are major. But renovations only have a 59-day opening in the summer for work to be performed! And delayed occupancy is not an option.
The owner uses CxAlloy TQ commissioning software to streamline project completion and accelerate occupancy. But they saw the potential to do more and meet their specific program management needs. This required manual work to extract data into spreadsheets so the owner could get program level views. And that manual work took time when there was no time to spare.
What they needed was a way to improve the collecting, presentation and dissemination of information at the program-level.
The owner turned to Lantern Data Systems which delivered a set of program level dashboards and automated reports through the new CxAlloy API.
Now it’s one-click simple, fast and zero gruntwork to sort data across macro and micro levels, from cross-project, program level views to individual issues, the contractor they’re assigned to and even their comment histories.
Now the busy owner has full visibility into their commissioning data before and after occupancy. They can easily see which contractors need help in closing issues, ensure processes are followed and generally where to direct their attention. This enables the teams to focus on project closeout out and getting the students back in the classroom.
“Lantern has really taken our program controls to another level!”
Program Control Manager
3 steps to more
Just as our software makes data easy, our process
makes it easy to work with us.
1. Identify your problems.
2. Schedule a data strategy session.
3. Request a proposal.