McClone Construction creates personal connections, unites mobile workforce

Even with offices in five states, California-based firm McClone Construction had always managed to maintain an atmosphere of companywide teamwork, without a formal mobility infrastructure. But a recent shift in its business model—from a company composed of relatively autonomous divisions to an integrated whole—highlighted the need for a more effective collaboration and communications platform. “In the past, we didn’t have a lot of need for mobility,” says Rick Owens, project/IT manager at McClone Construction. “But now that we’re pulling everybody together, that has changed.”

McClone Construction knew it needed to upgrade to a cloud solution that could unify the varying business processes of its former divisions, and it found that Microsoft Office 365 best met its needs. The decision was perfectly timed to support its transition to a more agile, collaborative company that needed to share information in real time, from anywhere. Employees now use Office 365 to create and manage a wide range of documents: schedules, contracts, drawings and customized Microsoft Excel spreadsheets—and share them in the cloud among offices. “We also use Office 365 for pricing, time sheets and daily reports, things that every superintendent is using on every job,” says Owens.

The company uses Microsoft SharePoint Online to address its need for a better way to share and manage files among offices. “We used to have a ton of back and forth with email and attachments. We had a lot of file duplication and it wasn’t a very effective way to communicate,” says Owens. Now employees can keep all crucial documentation in one place that everyone can access.

Previously, McClone Construction did not have the tools to hold an effective virtual meeting with multiple participants at once. With Skype for Business Online for videoconferencing and screen sharing, employees can conduct more efficient meetings in less time because they all have access to the same materials running off of the same platform. Owens also notes that there is a distinct benefit to being able to see colleagues during meetings, because it creates a more personal connection and fosters more precise communication among employees. “I prefer to have some kind of face-to-face communication versus just voice—being able to see facial expressions and gestures helps me understand what they’re trying to say,” says Owens.

McClone Construction is transitioning rapidly into a more agile, mobile organization. Owens says, “Office 365 has made it much easier to communicate and collaborate with team members from other offices, which is the direction that we’re heading.”

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