Make the most out of Bridgit Bench
Bridgit Bench has become an indispensable tool for our customers.
We’ve onboarded over 200 contractors.
As we helped them get the most out of the platform, we've seen new workflows emerge to meet complex needs.
We've seen what works and what doesn't.
Here are the best best practices we've seen across our customer base.
A summary of what our best users are doing
- They create a Rules of Engagement policy to control usage
- They keep their data clean and consistent
- They automate data transfers using integrations
- They leverage permissions to give each user the right amount of access
- They review Bench Cost to identify the cost of under-utilized workers
- They use forecasting features to hone in on their long-term planning
- They create role templates to set up projects quickly
- They create saved filters to easily access relevant data
- They use phases to organize and control their projects
- They track and plan for their project bids with Pursuit Tracking
- They group projects together for easy visualizations using colors
- They export PDF reports when they need to take discussions offline
- They track important roles, people, and project information with notes
- They use Distance to Project to find qualified people close to the job site
For Bridgit Bench administrators, we recommend:
You create a Rules of Engagement policy to control usage
You keep your data clean and consistent
You automate data transfers using integrations
You leverage permissions to give each user the right amount of access
You create role templates to set up projects quickly
For Bridgit Bench end users, we recommend:
You review Bench Cost to identify the cost of underutilized workers
You use Forecasting features to hone in on their long-term planning
You create Saved Filters to easily access relevant data
You use Phases to organize and control their projects
You track and plan for their project bids with Pursuit Tracking
You group projects together for easy visualizations using colors
You export PDF reports when they need to take discussions offline
You track important roles, people, and project information with Notes
You use Distance to Project to find the best people closest to the job site
Codify your process with a Rules of Engagement policy
You can do one thing ten ways given the level of flexibility in Bridgit Bench. Many customers create a Rules of Engagement policy to stay consistent.
The policy should include best practices, things to avoid, and other information your team needs to use Bridgit Bench effectively.
What our customers cover in their Rules of Engagement policies:
1. Who should be using Bridgit Bench?
- What should their access level be?
- What are their responsibilities on the platform?
- What is the step-by-step process for making changes?
- Who should they contact if they run into trouble?
2. What data should be tracked and how?
- What custom fields should be created and maintained?
- Who is responsible for what data?
- How should other software be integrated into the platform?
- Who monitors the integrations and how often are the updates?
- What are the standard allocation percentages for each role?
- How should project colors be used and interpreted?
- What are the rules for data entry? (ex. No abbreviations for titles)
Here’s a template to get you started.
Improve outcomes with clean and consistent data
To make the most of Bridgit Bench, our top users consistently keep their data clean. Clean data means information stays accurate and is easy to understand for all users.
Clean, consistent data also feeds into everything else you do on the platform. Integrating your tech stack into Bridgit Bench? Clean data will make it easier for information to transfer over.
How our customers keep data clean
- They specify data entry rules in their Rules of Engagement document, like
- How often should you update information?
- Who updates what information?
- How often should a piece of information be updated?
Cut down on non-productive work with integrations
Our top users integrate Bridgit Bench with their tech stack. You can automatically pull project and/or people information, including custom fields.
Integrations are effective because they reduce the need to manually enter information stored in other software. Why add project information all over again when you can pull all of it directly from Salesforce?
Integrations help your team to get ahead on planning. That means penciling in people to projects early, and figuring out who you’ll need to hire (long before you need to hire them).
Once a new project is created in your CRM or Project Planning tool, copy it over to Bridgit earlier in its lifecycle to get ahead of mapping out the project team.
Ways to integrate with Bridgit Bench
- Use our Workato integrations. Once you have your Workato account set up, check out our guide on how to integrate with Bridgit Bench here.
- Use our open API to build a custom integration. You can learn more by reading our documentation here.
For more information regarding integration options, visit the Bridgit Help Desk.
Control access and usage with permissions
Permission groups are a key collaboration feature. Instead of having one person or group in charge of everything related to workforce management, you can have different groups with different permissions to do specific tasks in Bridgit Bench. It’s a great way to get key parties to be part of the planning process while saving others time by delegating work to project owners.
Our users take full advantage of permission groups and tend to be similar in their approach. Here’s a common way the standard permission groups are used:
- There tend to be around two Administrators. Both are senior decision makers (ex. Operations Manager) who use Bridgit Bench regularly.
- Most of the operations team is onboarded as a Full Contributor. Sometimes HR is a Full Contributor too, depending on their role in the process.
- Anyone benefiting from tracking project progress tends to be View Only – like marketing, business development, or c-suite.
Onboard specific groups using custom permissions
Human Resources - they tend to be able to update people, but not projects:
Project Managers - they tend to be able to update projects, but not people:
If you want a user to manage projects and add roles, but not have the ability to add allocations, you can create the following permissions group:
Understand your Bench Cost by tracking cost rate
The Bench Cost module helps you tie a dollar value to people who are sitting on the bench or are underutilized. It can help you make data-driven decisions about how to properly allocate staff. To use the Bench Cost, add a cost rate for each profile you’re tracking. Then, scroll to the bottom of the forecasting tab. You’ll find the chart there.
Here’s another tip: at the bottom of the People tab on the Settings page, you’ll find a section where you can add Cost Rate Defaults. That means for every title you’ve created in Bridgit Bench, you can add the average cost rate for the job. Those numbers will then directly feed into the chart.
By using cost rate defaults, you get two benefits. Firstly, you don’t have to go into each profile and update cost rates. Simply update the cost rate default for any title in the list. Secondly, you can avoid adding real salary data into Bridgit Bench. Many of our customers prefer housing salary data separately, so cost rate defaults offer an easy alternative.
See our Bench Cost guide to learn how you can use it effectively.
Optimize long-term planning with forecasting
The Strategic Workforce Plan Report and Utilization Rate Chart automatically update as you make changes to your people and projects. Our users leverage them to plan more effectively and reduce the risk of last-minute, panic decisions.
Use the Strategic Workforce Plan to track gaps in staff availability. Need to know how many superintendents you need in six months? This report can tell you.
Use the Utilization Rate Chart to see long-term workforce productivity. Is your utilization rate going to plummet in six months? It’s a good sign you need to start searching for new projects to keep your people busy.
See our forecasting guide to learn how you can use the forecasting tab in Bridgit Bench to plan more effectively.
Use role templates to set up your projects fast
Role templates are one of our most popular features. And it’s not hard to see why. You can set up predefined lists of roles for projects and quickly add those roles to a project.
For example, if you know that each residential project is going to have the same roles every time, you can set up a template for that. Then, when you go to create a project, you can click on the ‘Use template’ button to access and select from a list of templates. That’ll automatically add all relevant roles to the project.
To get started on creating templates, go to the Settings page. Then, under the Projects tab, click on the Roles tab. You’ll be able to start creating templates there.
Read our guide on role templates to learn how to incorporate them into your workflow.
Quickly access important data with saved filters
Saved filters let you quickly sort for the information that you need. Our users are oftentimes looking for the same information whenever they access Bridgit Bench. Instead of having you set up your filters each time, saved filters are a way for you to get the information you’re looking for quickly.
The first time you set up your filters, you’ll see a star button on the left of the filter descriptions. If you click that button, you’ll get a prompt to save that filter for next time. Then, click on the ‘Saved filters’ button next to filters to access them.
Get granular in project control with phases
We see customers add project phases to create more fluidity in their project tracking and to allow for more flexible date shifting.
You can allocate team members directly to project phases and create custom allocations for those phase dates. A key benefit is being able to quickly select which project roles, phases, and project dates should be impacted when dates shift.
The phases we see most commonly tracked are:
Our customers keep it simple, and we recommend you do the same. Phases sort alphabetically, so if you want to sequence them, use numbers. For example:
- “01 - Precon”
- “02 - Construction”
- “03 - Closeout”
Use Pursuit Tracking to create winning teams for bids
Pursuit Tracking lets you add project bids and opportunities directly into Bridgit Bench. You can use project opportunities to pencil in a team for bids you’re chasing.
Tracking project opportunities is a wildly popular feature in Bridgit Bench. We see top users onboarding their business development teams to drive better collaboration and put together stronger bids.
You can add a new opportunity in the new project screen. Click the Type dropdown and select Opportunity. This project will now be listed as a pursuit.
For more information, check out our guides on Pursuit Tracking here.
Visualize your project groupings with colors
When you create a new project, you can change the default green project color to something else. We see companies color projects in different types of groups.
Here are three common approaches to grouping projects:
- Group by Building Type
- For example - red is used for residential projects, blue for commercial
- Group by Project Manager
- For example - all of Gina’s projects are green, and all of Bob’s are black
- Group by Region
- For example - projects in North East USA are purple, and Texas projects are yellow
Don’t forget to include your color legend on your rules of engagement.
Share information offline with PDF and CSV exports
File exporting is a feature used by many of our power users. If you need to take your discussion offline, you can export information in both PDF and CSV formats. You can export both List views and Gantt views.
You can export filtered information in either PDF or CSV. The report will export the information that is showing on your screen and can include allocation percentages too. Take your files offline, format it, analyze it and create reports in Excel.
Use notes to keep track of important information
You can add notes to roles, people, and projects. Our customers use role notes for content like what location the role needs to be in or whether they’re a new hire.
People notes are located on the sidebar panel in the People details. People notes are generally used for a wide range of specific details like relocation details, project information, promotions, certification statuses, or education.
You can find a sidebar panel for Project notes in a project’s details section. Leave notes on project-specific details that you’d like everyone to know. These sections can be used to share changes, delays, and other project-specific information.
Shorten commutes by placing your team on nearby projects
Having your people commute long distances to get to a job site is inconvenient and not always ideal. The ‘Distance from Project’ feature allows our users to choose people who are close to a site to reduce commute times and increase employee satisfaction. When you go to place a person on a project, you can see how far someone lives from the job site.
To use this feature, you need to add the home addresses of all of your employees, and the job site address for each of your projects. Bridgit Bench will do all the math, and show you how far someone lives from the site.
To learn more, read our Distance From Project guide.
Are you doing something that should be added to this list? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.