Honesty. It’s a trait everyone admires. Honesty serves as a magnet, both in individual relationships and in choosing a company you wish to work with. Being a straight shooter is an essential element of how Gary Bizek and Azimuth Builders operate. It comes as no surprise that upon finding a technological tool that made commercial building more transparent—in addition to saving time and money—Bizek was all over it.
Azimuth Background and Philosophy
Founded ten years ago in Calgary, Azimuth is a seven-person construction firm that specializes in the design-build of commercial buildings. Bizek, the president and founder, began the business while still working for another company.
“I wanted to get into general contracting,” said Bizek. “I started quoting out small jobs, and it grew from there into single-use warehouse facilities.”
Design-build was a natural specialty for Bizek and Azimuth as he has a background in building and mechanical engineering technology. The dual specialties give the company the ability to understand building designs that clients need and the capacity to design something within their budget.
The desire to be as straightforward as possible is something that sets the company apart. Azimuth aims to make real connections with its clients and provide truly customized building solutions that meet their specific needs.
“I’m not just a salesman,” said Bizek. “I’m thinking of what I would want if it was my building and how I would want it designed.”
Part of being upfront means ensuring clients are clear on the process. It’s easy to leave out large costs and make big promises, but that ultimately leaves the customer frustrated. Azimuth operates differently, said Bizek, explaining the company doesn’t “hook customers with phenomenal prices and say ‘sorry’ at the end.”
Azimuth turned to Procore to help them become even more honest and transparent. “Everyday, clients can see photos, change orders, and the cost of the work,” said Bizek.
Construction Technology Allows a Small Company to Play Bigger
Bizek is a big believer in construction technology, so Procore was a natural choice.
“To stay current, it’s necessary to embrace the technology coming in. It helps us keep ahead of the curve,” explained Bizek.
It’s also a way for small companies to level the playing field. The company’s size makes it easy for Azimuth to adapt and change.
“We embrace change, including technology and construction codes, and are happy to incorporate new designs and better products into our buildings,” he added.
Azimuth’s willingness to adapt construction technology enables them to operate like a much larger company.
“Procore allows us to grow the amount and quality of jobs we can handle with a smaller staff,” said Bizek. “Without it, we would need to double the staff to handle the same amount of work.”
Benefitting From a Competitive Advantage
Not only does Azimuth utilize Procore for communicating with clients but also with field staff and subs.
“Procore gives us competitive advantages as our rate of error has gone down while the quality of our construction has gone up,” said Bizek. “We’ve been able to tighten up our prices because we have greater certainty of costs. We can have a smaller percentage of mark-up since less is allocated for error.”
Consider the process: Lower price—more certainty—more acceptance of bids.
How exactly has using Procore helped Azimuth with the bidding process? Getting prices from the subs was a slow, time-consuming process that used to be done via email. Azimuth couldn’t even be certain whether the subs received and reviewed the proposal. This led to time-consuming follow-ups.
With Procore, Azimuth can send out the package instruction for the bid with the click of a button.
“We have the file of all the trades that asked to be part of the list and can easily get the necessary information to them,” said Bizek. “I can quickly verify that they have received the package instruction and if they have opened it.”
This process allows Azimuth to get the subs prices faster, and thus gets their bid off to the client faster. Just as important, the work required to create the bid has lessened.
“We’re spending less time focusing on subtrades and more time focusing on current projects and upcoming projects” so that the company is now able to submit more bids.
The technology has also enabled Azimuth to gain more transparency. Previously, when change orders were incorporated, it was challenging to visualize the changes. Now, they are easily and conveniently uploaded so that all parties can check them right away and make the necessary adjustments.
Always aiming at transparency, Azimuth keeps their focus on their customers. They offer the same level of commitment to their clients that they invested in building their company from the ground up.