A Day in the Life of a Senior Implementation Specialist: A Beck-y Tech Day

Becky Shires, Beck Technology’s senior implementation specialist, works with clients to ensure their implementation of DESTINI® products runs smoothly and on schedule.

Mondays are one of my favorite days at Beck Technology. It’s the day to get back to work, get organized, and plan the rest of the week.

First of all, I absolutely love working in downtown Dallas!  If you’re in construction, there’s no better place to be in DFW to appreciate the old construction and watch the new go up.  We are across the street from the Dallas Museum of Art, and from our windows, can see into its backyard as well as four tower cranes on a new building site close by.

After grabbing a cup of coffee in my Beck mug, I head back to our area and my desk home.  I fire up my laptop and say “Good morning!,” as teammates trickle in. 

Implementing DESTINI® Estimator

Learning about 3D Take-off from Doug Maiden
Learning about 3D Take-off from Doug Maiden

Currently, I am working on a very large ten-month implementation of DESTINI Estimator with our most tenured veteran and manager of professional services, Doug Maiden. Doug, who is the lead on this implementation, and I have a standing meeting first thing every Monday morning to review the schedule and make any necessary updates. We are wrapping up Phase I – the data gathering and building portion of implementation. This meeting also gives us an opportunity to discuss the development of current tasks and make any changes to either the schedule or tasks.

Each one of our implementations is custom for that particular client’s needs and goals, which is one of the best aspects of being a part of Beck Technology. I enjoy learning about each general contractor (GC) and their workflows, and am passionate about finding the best approach to adopting software as well as the best possible practices for process improvement while using our software.

In our contract with this client, we have agreed to build nine construction assemblies in DESTINI Data Manager, our standalone application that contains and manages cost data that is utilized in Estimator as preconstruction teams build their project estimates.  We provided the client with a couple of options for assemblies. If they used assemblies with their previous software, we could replicate those in Data Manager or, with some extra effort from all, design the assemblies to behave exactly how the client wants, with the line items they want, and the exact output they desire.

The client chose the second, more-personalized option. After the new assembly types were agreed upon, we met with each estimator who volunteered to design an assembly to data mine all of the information needed to build it.  After understanding the line items required and the information on how each line item is quantified, the assembly is built to ask quantifying questions in a logical order on how that component is built at the jobsite.

I’ll work for a couple of hours on our client’s construction assemblies writing quantity formulas, which is much like coding.  We recently received feedback from the estimator on the Interior Wall assembly, so I am incorporating those changes.

Grabbing a bite with the “Lunch Train”

2017.05.04 Lunch Train 2
Lunch Train elevator ride

Around 11:30, I can sense the Research and Development (R&D) team stirring.  They’re starting to get hungry. In addition to the blend of old and new architecture and construction in the area, we have an amazing amount of good food options available. As I said, I love working downtown.

Every day, the “Lunch Train,” usually headed up by our product manager, Jon, will walk together to get lunch to bring back — a nice break from being inside and a little exercise.  From the many choices, which include the Klyde Warren food trucks, we decide to walk to Carmine’s corner where you can get pizza, Dickey’s BBQ (where Casey Wilt, one of our implementation specialists, and I always get free ice cream and compare swirl designs), salads, burgers, or hot dogs.  As we walk, we catch up on what everyone did over the weekend.

More Monday meetings

On Monday afternoons, Doug and I also have a standing meeting with the client I’ve been referring to. The conference call includes the lead executive, the project manager, and the seven regional subject matter experts (SME). The SMEs are all senior estimators with years of experience who are leading the implementation in each of their regions.  We go over the schedule, the current and upcoming tasks, and discuss anything else that needs to be covered.

Throughout all of our endeavors with GCs, we constantly listen for and document enhancement ideas and feedback in order to develop each of our DESTINI products with the functionality they need and want, and none of what they don’t.  The ability and encouragement to be creative and innovative with our software development and implementation is very rewarding.  It’s a great feeling to hear clients excited about using our product and know that I can help facilitate immense improvement in their daily lives and work product.

Shortly after the weekly status meeting, Doug and I have a meeting with our chief operating officer, Stewart Carroll; chief technology officer, Michael Boren; an account executive; and a product manager to discuss possible functionality of a report R&D is building for this client. Again, we are building a custom report for the client based on reports they use. From these we gather what they like and don’t like, and their wish list of additional things they would like the report to display, then as a team discuss how we get that done.

Finally, it’s back to finishing up the Interior Wall assembly, which takes me until the end of the Monday workday. Then I pack up and go home, eager to get more done on Tuesday.