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Success Stories

Pankow Case Study

About Pankow Builders

Pankow Builders is a construction company that specializes in general contracting, design/build and construction management services. This 63-year-old company has been involved in various construction project types, including hospitality, industrial, education, healthcare, commercial, and residential developments. Pankow Builders takes pride in their commitment to growth and their commitment to client satisfaction. Additionally, Pankow has led the way in innovation for the AEC industry through the Charles Pankow Foundation proving themselves to be a true champion of positive change. After using ConCntric on a project for CalTech and Robert Green, Mike Vitkovich— Director of Preconstruction at Pankow Builders—continues to use ConCntric to win more work and involve as many stakeholders in preconstruction as possible.

The Problem

As a company with many successful years of business under their belt, Pankow Builders is no stranger to innovation. Like all contractors, after struggling to streamline communication in the preconstruction stage, Mike and his team were looking for a product that offered one single source of truth for general contractors, design teams, owners and subcontractors. In recent years, they have brought on technology that addresses the needs of the construction phase, however, they also needed a solution specifically focused on the unique needs of preconstruction with the capability to manage the entire preconstruction ecosystem in one software. Previously in preconstruction, GCs have tried to piece together different point solutions, which, when combined, do not even begin to scratch the surface of covering the entirety of preconstruction.

“Preconstruction is often a cost center for a construction company, versus a profit center, at least historically.”

The team at Pankow Builders was missing the ability to automatically track their project budgets and preconstruction efforts in real-time and as a result, spent thousands of people-hours every year dealing with their needs manually. As a consequence, they did not have as much time as they’d like to make important business decisions and spend time with their clients proactively planning the project. Issues associated with the buyout process and other key preconstruction efforts kept them up at night wondering if there was a solution that could track metrics and KPIs on the front end of their business to better manage their performance, schedule and budget. The challenge was not necessarily winning work, but not having the right amount of resources to perform the best quality service they knew they could offer. They needed a better place to store their historical project information and workflows instead of using unreliable spreadsheets time and time again. Their stakeholders were looking for a way to be more involved in projects and have access to valuable project information regularly that was easy to digest and share with their team. Mike recognized that each stakeholder wanted more information than they were currently providing. He also realized that fundamentally all stakeholders would benefit from having access to real-time project data to easily benchmark, compare and save valuable time.

The Solution

“Before ConCntric, it felt like mental gymnastics trying to figure out value engineering in a spreadsheet.”

When Pankow Builders was first introduced to ConCntric, it sounded like the ideal preconstruction solution from beginning to end. A holistic platform that could store data beyond text and formulas meant that not everyone on their team had to be a guru with spreadsheets to figure it out. One of the big selling points for Pankow was learning that their data could be enriched as they progress through a project. Now, their data has context and meaning and can mature, add value and evolve.

The Platform: Mike describes ConCntric’s interface as clean and user-friendly. The fact that the platform is web-based makes it much easier for his team to view their progress from their work or personal computer, phone or tablet. Because the preconstruction phase of the project is iterative and not linear, having the ability to go back and forth, adjust data in real time and sync everything up in a single platform was crucial.

“ConCntric adds dimensionality to the estimate, adding a story. And I think that’s really powerful.”

One particular ConCntric feature that Mike and his team frequently refer to is ConCntric’s Timeline. Using this feature they can touch on the key time-based elements of a construction project’s success—budget, decision-making, design milestones, etc.—and bring in their whole team from the very beginning. Another frequently used feature on Pankow Builders’ projects is Calibrate. Having Pankow’s past projects automatically brought forward fully normalized for time and geographical cost adjustments and presented dynamically and graphically saves tremendous time and is incredibly valuable to their clients. ConCntric’s ability to host multiple projects at once, making them easy for any member of the team to locate and refer back to, is a huge benefit for anyone involved in their projects.

The ConCntric Team: From the start, Mike describes how incredible it has been to work with ConCntric’s team through onboarding and ongoing customer service. Hosting bi-weekly check-ins and walking his team through the functionalities of the platform promptly and effectively, the team is always readily available when Mike needs support or has questions. When Pankow Builders needed a custom template built for them to upload their budgets, the ConCntric team made it happen, making uploading new projects pain-free. The fact that the ConCntric team is always forthcoming with new features is a bonus as well. Having a pulse on what’s new and being worked on behind the scenes has been very valuable. Additionally, having Steve—a 26+ year veteran of the industry—heavily involved in the development of the platform and customer service puts Mike at ease knowing that Steve understands the problems they are looking to solve.

“There’s just no parallel product out there like ConCntric that can do it right and help you make important decisions.”

The Results

Since using ConCntric, Pankow Builders can provide timely and transparent information to their clients, which has increased their efficiency and workflow and allowed Mike and his team to take on more work throughout the day. For them, KPIs are critical to understanding their team’s performance. ConCntric helps Mike’s team capture the KPIs they were looking for at every stage of a project—including procurement. ConCntric’s software locks in better data for comps from the beginning to the end of a project, ensuring that no data gets left behind.

“Showcasing ConCntric in an interview with an owner when bidding for jobs, helps us win more work.”

Mike takes pride in showcasing ConCntric’s platform to his clients, as it serves as a reliable solution trusted by builders for its ability to automate critical preconstruction tasks, reducing the risk of user errors. The platform addresses a longstanding frustration among owners by providing a robust system to support critical planning efforts during the preconstruction phase. Now equipped with ConCntric, clients are prepared for any discussion and able to access real-time project data instantly.

Recognizing the desire among owners for transparency and involvement, Mike sees ConCntric’s software as an essential part of their preconstruction process, allowing all stakeholders to actively participate in the design. This commitment to openness has resonated positively, as evidenced by feedback from a recent project with a private developer. The client lauded ConCntric’s efficacy in value engineering, expressing satisfaction with its user-friendly interface and collaborative features. Streamlining collaboration among team members within a unified platform has proven immensely beneficial for both owners and design teams partnered with Pankow Builders.

Previously, retrieving project information was a laborious task, often consuming hours. With ConCntric, the time saved is substantial, eliminating the need to sift through servers and folders. Loading a project onto the platform grants instant access, enabling users to view, save, and archive projects effortlessly, from any location, with just a few clicks. While the ROI for time savings has been calculated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars in overhead costs, the qualitative benefits in employee and client satisfaction in a new and modern way to support preconstruction are worth a tremendous amount more.

“Before ConCntric, I could go look at my profit or fee, but I couldn’t realistically predict my fate and play with the health of the project, but now I can.”

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