Swinerton boosts communication and improves processes with Bosch RefinemySite
Facilitating greater collaboration and participation in the field
Founded in 1888, Swinerton is an employee-owned, mid-sized general contractor based in San Francisco, California. Across 19 offices, coast to coast, Swinerton’s 4,000+ construction experts bring their clients’ visions for safe, high-performance buildings to life. Strong, local community ties, an employee-owner culture, and support from national offices make Swinerton a preferred contractor for education, healthcare, hospitality, affordable housing, and office building projects.
Swinerton’s employee-owner culture naturally aligns with Lean construction. As owners, all employees are invested in every project’s success and incentivized to collaborate and learn continuously. While building the state-of-the-art Agnew K-12 Campus for the Santa Clara Unified School District, Swinerton accelerated its Lean transformation with pull planning and Bosch RefinemySite.
“We invested in Lean training for our subcontractors,” said Angie Woo, project executive, Swinerton. “If people understand how the Last Planner System® works and see how they’ll benefit, they’re more willing to collaborate and cooperate. Swinerton took workers out of the field and paid them to learn. As a result, Swinerton benefited from 100 percent participation on the jobsite.”
General contractor needed to enable effective pull planning when Last Planners® are in separate places.
Connected the jobsite to offices and remote workers with Bosch RefinemySite, the digital Lean collaboration platform.
Collaborative pull planning from anywhere with real-time communication, project documentation, and KPIs automatically calculated.
Project insights: Agnew K-12 campus
Located on a 55-acre site in San Jose, California, the Agnew K-12 Campus is a $480 million public-school DSA* project encompassing Abram Agnew Elementary School (600 students), Dolores Huerta Middle School (1,000 students), and Kathleen MacDonald High School (1,600 students). Swinerton started construction on the elementary and middle schools in early 2019. As the firm began work on the high school in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the workers’ pull-planning process by limiting in-person meetings. Woo shared how Swinerton used RefinemySite to solve this challenge and practice the Last Planner System® more effectively:
Pull planning and real-time collaboration from anywhere
“We initially selected RefinemySite so we could do pull planning even when we couldn’t meet in person. RefinemySite has improved our processes overall and we’re continuing to use it. There’s a lot more flexibility and participation. We can enter information and collaborate whether we’re at the jobsite, in the office, or somewhere remote.”
Real-time project information and KPI calculation
“Planning and entering updates in RefinemySite gives us the information to be more efficient and productive in the field during a project and after. We can see the project’s progress and any constraints. KPIs are calculated automatically, and we have the project’s entire history with all the milestones and constraints documented. If we just had boards, the project information from two weeks ago would be gone.”
Mitigate supply chain challenges
“RefinemySite makes real-time information on materials, manpower, and the sequence readily available. This helps us track our procurement more effectively, even with today’s volatile supply chains. Instead of realizing we didn’t receive a material on the day we needed it, we’re continuously checking delivery and supply status. We can expedite orders, find alternatives, and keep our clients informed.”
*Division of the State Architect
About Bosch RefinemySite
Bosch RefinemySite is a cloud-based construction collaboration platform that applies Lean principles to enable your entire team — from owners to trade contractors — to plan accurately, communicate clearly, and execute work efficiently. The easy-to-use digital platform empowers your team, builds trust, creates a culture of responsibility, and enhances communication.
At Bosch, we have over 100 years of experience empowering teams on the construction site. But our expertise isn’t limited to power tools. We’re global leaders in technology with an emphasis on digital solutions, and our vision is to build a connected ecosystem for Lean, BIM, and IoT.