Multi-state contractor Q&D Construction was wasting time and money with an outdated 811 ticket management process. By adopting an automated and purpose-built approach, they streamlined an administrative bottleneck and elevated their business to the next level.
“Thanks to 811spotter, I don’t need to worry about 811 ticket renewals. With just one click, I can see the status on all tickets, including which ones are expiring. I now have so much more time to focus on our core business goals.”
Traffic Control Manager, Q&D Construction
Jered Davidson, traffic control manager at Q&D Construction, has worked on plenty of dangerous job sites, including excavations adjacent to live traffic. Despite this, he cites the management of his company’s 811 tickets as his most stress-inducing job responsibility.
“Our system for managing 811 tickets was very clunky, non-user-friendly, hard to work with, and required constant, daily maintenance,” explains Davidson.
Previously, Q&D relied on a highly administrative method that was difficult to navigate. With as many as sixty tickets expiring in the same timeframe, it was nearly impossible to differentiate between new and expiring tickets without sorting through them one by one. The consequences of a missed renewal can be catastrophic.
“If we have to shut down a job for two days because of a missed 811 ticket renewal – that could mean one hundred fifty employees along with fifty pieces of equipment that we’re still paying for- yet not advancing on the work,” says Davidson.
Because dig law differs state by state, Q&D had to spend extra time sorting tickets from each state in which they operate, namely California and Nevada. California dig law allows tickets to extend for a longer time frame than in Nevada, meaning the latter expire sooner.
“In California you can just draw a ticket and it could last as long as you want, just click to renew and it keeps going indefinitely,” explains Davidson. “In Nevada you get three months and have to redraw the ticket, so you have overlapping tickets.”
A typical Nevada job site for Q&D might have twenty+ tickets on it, for example, each of which needs to be tracked to ensure the three month renewal deadline doesn’t lapse. Otherwise, the 811 ticket process has to be started from scratch.
Davidson was on the lookout for a system that could make their 811 ticketing process easy to manage and more reliable. He even thought about building his own using Google or SmartSheets but realized spreadsheets wouldn’t cover the need. Up until that point, Q&D had not tested any technology related to 811 ticket management and were doubtful that a solution existed that fit their unique position as contractors.
“Our 811 ticket system was a mess,” recalls Davison, “so I knew it couldn’t hurt to see what other options were out there.”
When Q&D met the folks from 811spotter, it was the beginning of a fruitful discussion on how technology could improve outcomes both inside the office and out in the field. After a trial period of the 811 spotter system, the decision to migrate was a no brainer.
Now, 811spotter organizes Q&D Construction’s tickets by job so they are readily accessible and searchable. The utility responses are visible at a glance, and when asked for ticket status, groupings of tickets take seconds to find and are sent to the field electronically. Most importantly, the system sends weekly notifications of tickets requiring renewal or redraw (in the case of Nevada) so all tickets stay active until they are no longer needed. And all tickets across both states are presented in a single, easy to use interface with renewal notifications tailored to each states’ respective dig law.
“With 811spotter, all I have to do is punch in a job number and I get every single ticket that is out there for that job,” says Davidson.
Today, Q&D Construction’s 811 ticket process looks like this:
- An average of 200 monthly tickets are managed by 811spotter, reducing the frequency of missed tickets and averting costly worksite shutdowns
- Automated system does the work of one full-time employee, freeing up a previous 811 ticket manager to advance to new roles in the company
- Improved visibility into dig ticket interaction in the field – which enhances safety and averts damage
- Dual compliance with California and Nevada digs laws
According to Davidson, after implementing 811spotter, Q&D has seen benefits beyond just the 811 ticket custodian.
“It has broader reach in our company, including up to the superintendent level,” says Davidson. ”They are not calling 811 on their own time. Many people in our company used to have some involvement in this job, now it can be easily accomplished with just one.”
“Anything that can save me time each day – that accumulates over the long term,” concludes Davidson. “What software like 811spotter ultimately affords is extra time to respond to unforeseen scenarios with more availability and agility.”