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Operational Visibility Helps Earthworks Contractor Expand Exponentially

Customer Profile: Tierra Construction Inc., based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, was founded
in 2019 by two construction professionals with over a decade of experience in the industry, first
as operators and then as estimators and project managers. The contractor specializes in
commercial, civil, and industrial earthworks.
Business Challenge: Simplify estimating and establish enterprise-wide data visibility for real-
time decision making and progress reporting.

Solutions: Trimble Quest

Benefits:
● 50% faster estimates
● Greater visibility across the enterprise
● Consistent breakdowns

 

Founded in 2019, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based Tierra Construction is a young company
that has rapidly become one of the go-to contractors in the area thanks to a growing reputation
for high productivity, efficiency, and quality. That reputation is well-earned, as the founders of
the company are highly experienced construction professionals with over a decade of experience
in the industry, first as operators and then as estimators and project managers. They’ve applied
lessons learned over the years with advanced workflows, skilled crews, and technology to
successfully start and grow their own business. Now, they’re turning to technology to implement
a bidding and estimating process that will set them up for success well into the future.
Tierra Construction specializes in commercial, civil, and industrial earthworks. When asked
about success thus far, growing from just three people to 15 in just three years, and taking on
ever larger and more complex projects, Mark Pomeroy, a director and managing partner at
Tierra, added, “We’re a young company, so we have to wear many hats to get jobs done. That
all-hands-on-deck approach is a contributor to our success.”
Joshua Curd, also a director and managing partner at Tierra, agreed, adding, “We have a lot of
experience performing work in the civil environment, which gives us an extra edge.”
Key in their high-performance objectives was to shape a more streamlined, digital, and accessible
workflow.

Digital & Connected
Like most new companies, business development has been a top priority from the get-go, with
accurate estimating and bidding vital to success and growth. The two began using spreadsheets
on day one, but they knew even then that they wanted a more sophisticated process.

“We knew how to estimate and bid jobs, but the challenge was to do it quickly and accurately
while building a database of knowledge and setting ourselves up for long-term success,” said
Curd. “Spreadsheets don’t allow us to share data easily, and keeping data current was a
challenge. Day-to-day activities like estimating and bidding can quickly become long, tedious
processes, and we knew we wanted everything to be digital and connected.”
Pomeroy and Curd evaluated most of the industry’s top solutions, some with price points well
beyond their needs. “Not only were the price points out of our budget but the return on
investment would have been limited because we only need about 15% of the capabilities,” said
Pomeroy. “Furthermore, many of these systems are inflexible, so we weren’t able to conform
them to our best practices.”


After a comprehensive review of estimating solutions on the market, Tierra selected Trimble
Quest, an advanced cost estimating solution for pricing bids, monitoring on-site progress and
forecasting requirements. The software is designed for project teams that need to collaboratively
manage and control the budgets of complex construction projects across multiple stakeholders
and locations.


Access and Flexibility
After implementation, a little customization and training, the Tierra team saw immediate value
from the Quest software beyond just the automation of tasks.
One of the firm’s most high-profile projects has been a school construction project in the new
neighborhood of Keswick Landing in Edmonton. The project included the construction of two
new K-9 schools, one Catholic and one public school. Both schools will be opened for the 2022-
2023 school year.


Pomeroy explained, “We started using Quest right away on the two Keswick schools for our
estimating. Immediately, we were able to work through refinement of our numbers and quantities
much easier than old ways, which translated to a more efficient estimating process.”
“The ability to customize has been a huge plus because we have resources that many of our
competitors do not,” continued Curd. “As soon as we had all of our resources in the system and
had worked out the formulas, it was smooth sailing. We saw benefits after the first month. It has
cut the time it takes to do estimates in half, and I have much greater assurance that the numbers
are accurate. The real payoff to implementing Quest is the flexibility we’ve gained. As rates
change, we can adjust on the fly, there is consistent breakdown between the estimate and work
completed, and line items transfer automatically.”


Pomeroy pointed out that having accurate information that is easily accessible by the entire team
is another big benefit. “We can log on anywhere and have access because our data is in a single
database,” he said. “Now that we have that in place, it’s easier to train others on our team to
estimate and bid as well, which will be even more important as we grow.”
With two years of data in the system, Tierra is also taking full advantage of the reporting
capabilities that are built into the solution to evaluate equipment rates and other variables.

While Quest is working well for the Tierra Construction team, the company owners are already
looking to expand its use of the technology.


“One of the reasons we selected Quest, and Trimble as a partner, is that we’re looking for
continuous improvement in the way of new features and functionality,” said Pomeroy. “If we see
a capability that isn’t available, we want a technology provider that will listen and build that
feature into the solution. That’s huge for us. We’re a growing business, and our continued
success is dependent on continuously improving our capabilities.”