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 recommended best practices we've seen across our customer base.
A summary of what our best users are doing
- Create a Rules of Engagement policy to control usage
- Keep data clean and consistent
- Automate data transfers using integrations
- Leverage permissions to give each user the right amount of access
- Review Bench Cost to identify the cost of under-utilized workers
- Use forecasting features to hone in on their long-term planning
- Create role templates to set up projects quickly
- Create saved filters to easily access relevant data
- Use phases to organize and control their projects
- Track and plan for their project bids with Pursuit Tracking
- Group projects together for easy visualizations using colors
- Export PDF reports when discussions need to be made offline
- Track important roles, people, and project information with notes
- Use Distance to Project to find qualified people close to the job site
For Bridgit Bench administrators, we recommend:
Creating a Rules of Engagement policy to control usage
Keeping data clean and consistent
Automating data transfers using integrations
Leveraging permissions to give each user the right amount of access
Creating role templates to set up projects quickly
For Bridgit Bench end users, we recommend:
Reviewing Bench Cost to identify the cost of underutilized workers
Using Forecasting features to hone in on their long-term planning
Creating Saved Filters to easily access relevant data
Using Phases to organize and control their projects
Tracking and planning project bids with Pursuit Tracking
Grouping projects together for easy visualizations using colors
Exporting PDF reports when discussions need to be taken offline
Tracking important roles, people, and project information with Notes
Using Distance to Project to find the best people closest to the job site
Codify processes with a Rules of Engagement policy
One thing can be done ten ways with 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 needed 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)
Contact Bridgit Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) if a template is needed.
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
- Who updates what information?
- How often should a piece of information be updated?
- How often should you update information?
- Should you use abbreviations for titles? (ex. Asst. Superintendent)
- They keep the rules and processes consistent across platforms. Codify a set of rules for all the tools in your tech stack to make data management easier.
- They check the data regularly. Top users avoid changing information in a vacuum. We see users set time aside to clean and review data holistically.
Cut down on non-productive work with integrations
Our top users integrate Bridgit Bench with their tech stack. 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 pencilling in people to projects early, and figuring out who is needed to hire (long before needing to hire them).
Once a new project is created in a 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 a Workato account is set up, view the guide on how to integrate with Bridgit Bench here.
- Use our open API to build a custom integration. 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, 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 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 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 being tracked. Then, scroll to the bottom of the Dashboard > Forecasting tab to find the chart. Select the icon to view confidential fields.
Here’s another tip: at the bottom of Settings > People > System Fields, is a section where Cost Rate Defaults can be added and editted. That means for every title created in Bridgit Bench, has the ability to add the average cost rate for the job. Those numbers will then directly feed into the chart.
Using cost rate defaults has two benefits. Firstly, update the cost rate default for any title in the list instead of going into each profile and updating cost rates. Secondly, 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 Supply & Demand 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 Supply & Demand helps 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 the utilization rate going to plummet in six months? It’s a good sign to start searching for new projects to keep your people busy.
See our forecasting guide to learn how to 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. Set up predefined lists of roles for projects and quickly add those roles to a project.
For example, if each residential project is going to have the same roles every time, set up a template for that. Then, when creating a project, select the ‘Use template’ button to access and select from a list of templates in Projects > List. That’ll automatically add all relevant roles to the project.
To get started on creating templates, go to Settings > Projects > Roles.
Read the guide on role templates to learn how to incorporate them into projects.
Quickly access important data with saved filters
Saved filters quickly sort for the information needed. Our users often look for the same information whenever they access Bridgit Bench. Instead of setting up filters each time, saved filters are a way to access information quickly.
The first time filters are set up, there will be a on the left of the filter descriptions. Select that button to save that filter for next time. Select the icon on the secondary navigation bar to access them.
Get granular in project control with phases
Add project phases to create more fluidity in project tracking and to allow for more flexible date shifting.
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 allows the addition of project bids and opportunities directly into Bridgit Bench. Use project opportunities to pencil in a team for bids you’re chasing.
Tracking project opportunities is a wildly popular feature in Bridgit Bench. Top users onboard their business development teams to drive better collaboration and put together stronger bids.
Add a new opportunity by selecting the icon in the Projects > List or Gantt views and then 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 a new project is created, the default color can be changed. 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 the color legend on the rules of engagement.
Share information offline with PDF and CSV exports
File exporting is a feature used by many power users. If discussions need to be taken offline, export information in both PDF and CSV formats. Exporting can be done in both List and Gantt views.
Export filtered information in either PDF or CSV. The report will export the information that is showing on screen and can include allocation percentages too. Take your files offline, format, analyze and create reports in Excel.
Use notes to keep track of important information
Add notes to roles, people, and projects. Customers use role notes for content like what location the role needs to be in or whether a person is a new hire.
People notes are located on the sidebar panel in the People > List or by selecting the person's icon in the People > Gantt. People notes are generally used for a wide range of specific details like relocation details, project information, promotions, certification statuses, or education.
A sidebar panel for Project notes can be found in the project’s details section. Leave notes on project-specific details for the team. These sections can be used to share changes, delays, and other project-specific information.
Shorten commutes by placing your team on nearby projects
Having people commute long distances to get to a job site is inconvenient and not always ideal. The ‘Distance from Project’ feature allows users to choose people who are close to a site to reduce commute times and increase employee satisfaction. The Place a person modal, displays the distance of each person's address to the job site.
To use this feature, the home addresses of all employees and the job site address for each of your projects must be present in the respective Details tabs.
To learn more, read our Distance From Project guide.
Are you doing something that should be added to this list? Contact us at email@example.com and let us know.