ColonialWebb is a commercial and industrial mechanical provider. Founded in 1971, the company started with humble beginnings of one person in a truck driving to construction sites.
Fast forward 50+ years later, and ColonialWebb has 1,000+ employees working across four major divisions—construction, building, industrial refrigeration, and manufacturing.
From construction designs to preventative maintenance on HVAC systems and handling commercial refrigeration for companies like Pepsi and Kroger, ColonialWebb does it all. Wendy Pike, the Director of Marketing and Brand Management at ColonialWebb, describes this in the simplest possible terms. “We’ve got people spread everywhere doing all sorts of different things.”
This is a drastic understatement when you consider the fact that ColonialWebb is one of the largest MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) providers in the region.
Managing 1,000+ employees is no easy task, especially when half of the workforce is dispersed on the road and in the field throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
Like many organizations, ColonialWebb historically relied on emails for internal communication. But this method proved to be ineffective, as only half of the company was actually receiving these emails.
“Because we have these large job sites and individual technicians working on rooftops, they’re not getting these emails,” Wendy explains. “They’re getting information directly from their supervisors who may or may not share it with them or might share a different version of the message.”
Simply put, ColonialWebb identified major discrepancies and connectivity issues with organization-wide communications.
In describing how the company would send an email intended for every employee, Wendy says, “It was going to about 500 people. But it’s missing 500 people who are never going to see this because they don’t have a company email address. And that’s a problem.”
ColonialWebb began seeking ways to ensure all 1,000+ employees were connected. That’s when the idea for a mobile app was born.
“I thought a mobile app was perfect because everyone has a phone in their hand or in their pocket at all times,” Wendy says.
In researching different app development solutions, ColonialWebb discovered BuildFire. Wendy took the initiative to create a basic version of the app on her own to showcase the vision and capabilities before presenting the idea for approval. “We immediately got the buy-in from our executive team because they recognized the need.”
Once the project officially had the green light, ColonialWebb moved beyond BuildFire’s DIY platform to full-service setup and design. This helped bring their basic app idea to the next level.
When describing her experience with BuildFire, Wendy had nothing but positive things to say.
“There were continuous check-in calls to see how we were doing, share status updates, and explain what’s happening next,” Wendy says. “It was super helpful. The check-in calls really helped ease my mind and just bring some structure to this big switch. That was invaluable to me.”
“Aside from it being an awesome platform, the entire team at BuildFire has always been helpful and always been available. I never felt like I was put on the back burner and always felt like an important customer. And that means everything to me.”
ColonialWebb’s first priority was getting the entire company onboarded to the app, which they’ve successfully accomplished.
They immediately used the app to get even more sophisticated in connecting the organization through targeted notifications and employee data to push out communications in different ways company-wide.
“It’s been a game changer for the company,” Wendy says.
Wendy isn’t the only one thrilled about the CW Connects mobile app. The VP of Construction called the app a “huge win” and a “huge time-saver.”
Prior to the app, 20 to 30 people on each construction team would have to stand around at the end of each day to wait for instructions on the next day’s job. The mobile app has eliminated this need, as all of the information on each job is available through the app.
Administrators no longer need to manually print directions for new employees either. All of this gets handled through the CW Connects app.
Wendy says the app has been “hugely beneficial for new hires in the field.”
When comparing the monthly safety and wellness communication side-by-side with email, the app is driving higher employee engagement rates.
Moving forward, ColonialWebb has even bigger plans for the CW Connects app. They’re planning to use it for various forms, workflows, time off requests, and more employee self-service functionality. They’re even planning to make the app available in different languages.
“It’s been a game changer for us culturally because we can reach our entire workforce now. The employees feel connected.”