Clayco: Reimagining the Workplace to Build a Culture of Collaboration
In this case study
High-quality construction isn't just about materials and craftsmanship. It's about the ability to overlap each step of the design-build process to form a truly collaborative, integrated approach that can handle the most complex builds.
As one of North America's leading design and build companies, Clayco is known for delivering turnkey, full-service solutions to real-estate projects; bringing diverse expertise across industries; and specializing in the art and science of building to deliver the highest quality solutions on time and on budget.
Russ Burns, Clayco President and CEO
Hear more about Clayco's challenges in this short video and how WWT helped improve collaboration between its employees and customers so they could make decisions faster, work smarter, optimize costs and win more business.
As a top design-build company and contractor, Clayco has invested heavily in advanced technology solutions for designing and constructing buildings — from virtual design suites to the latest field equipment. However, its core network, security and collaboration infrastructure was lagging. In an increasingly digital world, these aging systems created a frustrating experience for employees and customers and slowed decision making.
Constant collaboration is integral to a project's success. Managers, engineers, architects and on-site workers, for example, must be able to examine and interact with building models, drawings and specifications. However, as Clayco's offices, project sites and workforce grew, the firm unintentionally found itself supporting nine different conferencing platforms that varied in quality, performance and ease of use. In many cases, employees required IT assistance to start and manage meetings, taking away focus from higher business priorities.
Without a seamless way to collaborate, project teams were often forced to meet in person with their peers and customers, creating unnecessarily high travel costs and a lack of real-time visibility and communication.
Clayco knew if it wanted to remain a leader in the construction industry, its collaboration approach needed to match the exceptional quality of its buildings. But it wasn't until the firm partnered with World Wide Technology on the construction of our global headquarters in St. Louis, that it realized the immersive experience it could deliver to its own employees.
Seeing firsthand the full breadth of collaboration technology being integrated within our headquarters and realizing the complexity and security risks of its current environment, Clayco engaged WWT to recommend and execute a unified collaboration platform. The platform would need to consolidate its current conferencing tools and provide a consistent, seamless user experience throughout the entire organization.
Todd Finders, Clayco CIO
Creating an improved collaboration experience starts with understanding end users' needs and developing a holistic strategy. We worked with Clayco stakeholders to identify their collaboration needs before proposing a solution that would allow them to focus on the content of their meetings rather than the meeting experience.
"We wanted to understand how the project managers need to collaborate with their contractors, how the sales teams and architects need to share their designs and proposals with customers, and how the office staff need to interface from the multiple locations back to headquarters," explained Brandi Hutchinson, WWT Client Manager. "After several conversations geared towards understanding their business use-cases, we knew that Clayco would need a holistic solution and that Cisco and Webex were the best solutions to provide them business outcomes."
By establishing Cisco Webex as the company's default conferencing platform, employees can schedule, start and manage their own meetings without coordinating meeting platforms when collaborating remotely. And by configuring Clayco's conference rooms with Cisco Room Kits to provide high-quality visual feeds and sound systems, employees can walk into a room and join a meeting with the single push of a button or even use the voice assistant feature to connect with their peers instantaneously.
Additionally, Webex's ability to interoperate seamlessly with other meeting platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet, gives Clayco's employees the flexibility to join a meeting on the customer's conferencing platform of choice without the need to create new login accounts.
Reducing the number of conferencing platforms from nine to one also simplified IT's role by making it easier to manage updates and resolve user issues.
Shawn Ivester, Clayco engineer
Although IT isn't as involved as much as they used to be, it doesn't mean that all technical support has gone away. Ivester adds, "IT still monitors all the rooms using the Webex platform to ensure a hundred percent up-time of the conference rooms and confirm the network connection is where it needs to be so that our users can be productive."
For the full, seamless onsite employee experience, we integrated digital signage and conference room scheduling software so employees can see which spaces are available without having to walk the entire building.
We also assessed Clayco's network infrastructure to ensure it could support the anticipated increase in video meeting usage. To solve for this, we installed Cisco switches and Meraki wireless access points throughout the building and its satellite offices.
Operating as one unified entity was important to Clayco's leadership team which is why Cisco Room Kits weren't just limited to the conference rooms at the company's headquarters and offices. We also installed kits at jobsites so that every team member — from in-house designers to subcontractors in the field— can feel like they are in the same room collaborating in real time.
This technology also gives customers who are on the jobsite the opportunity to interact face-to-face with an engineer at the office without having to travel. Being able to communicate and share content with customers by keeping them engaged every step of the way offers a level of transparency that lets customers know what they're getting when they work with Clayco — a value differentiator for the design-build and construction firm.
To help familiarize employees with their new collaboration experience and get them comfortable with using Webex, our Adoption Services team created training materials and delivered live, on-demand training sessions that were tailored to every job role to accelerate company-wide adoption and reduce IT involvement.
"Our goal was to start with the headquarters, then when headquarters was a successful deployment, we moved out to their branch locations and onsite project trailers," said Hutchinson. "This ensured everyone had the same look and feel as they're communicating and collaborating across the organization."
The implementation of Webex has not only brought a new level of standardization and capability to Clayco's operations but transformed the digital employee experience. It has given the workforce the necessary tools to collaborate across all locations, share designs and 3D project renderings, and obtain valuable feedback on-the-go to keep projects moving forward.
Tomislav Zigo, Clayco CTO
The new collaboration experience has empowered Clayco employees to do their best work from anywhere by eliminating points of digital friction and frustration. This has resulted in increased productivity, better flexibility, improved employee morale, and according to Finders, winning more business than ever before.
By combining strategy and execution, and connecting the physical office with digital collaboration, WWT was able to help Clayco bring its vision to life and reimagine the workplace beyond the walls of the office.
Russ Burns, Clayco President and CEO