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Sargent Switches to Egnyte to Improve Security and Increase Jobsite Productivity

The Employee-owned Infrastructure Construction Company improved the productivity of both their office and remote teams and saved money.

350
person-strong, employee-owned 
infrastructure construction company
40
Average construction 
sites at a time
“We did a cost benefit analysis,” Gardner said. “The time savings resulting from the project management team and the supervisors not having to backup and restore their files...that in itself pays for the cost of Egnyte.”
Tasha Gardner
CFO, Sargent

Challenges

Sargent is a 350-person-strong, employee-owned infrastructure construction company in Stillwater, Maine. It has projects in seven states, covering everything from wind farms to landfill cells.

When Sargent had a data breach in 2020, they were lucky that their IT service provider, Network Coverage (NetCov), was there to get them back up and running.

The close call forced Sargent to realize that a file management solution that could provide both data access and threat protection, in the office and in the field, would be the way to minimize the risk of future attacks.

However, their office employees were using Dropbox, a notoriously insecure file sharing platform, and were struggling to effectively store and share information. Additionally, field teams couldn’t access the up-to-date information they needed in a timely manner which was slowing projects down.

For example, a project manager in the office would submit paperwork to the owner for review and approval, while also emailing the same paperwork to the supervisor in the field. If the owner came back with a change, the project manager would need to email the supervisor again to let them know of the latest plan. Once the owner approved the final changes the project manager would need to email the supervisor again to let them know of the final decision so they could procure the right material and begin construction.

Not only was the process slow and tedious, but on jobsites with limited connectivity, the supervisor might only be receiving notifications once a day. Meaning they had to spend time searching through all their emails to try to find the latest plans and approvals - that is, if they hadn’t already started construction working off old versions of the plan. The result – project delays and unnecessary expenses due to procuring the wrong part or building off the wrong specs.

Sargent Construction Workers

To overcome these issues and stay on schedule, many project managers purchased personal hard drives and downloaded files to them for access from anywhere. If those hard drives were lost or damaged, a common occurrence, they would lose data, causing even more rework. In addition, having unprotected, and unknown, hard drives with sensitive company and client data on jobsites posed a significant risk.

It was time for a solution that worked for everyone—employees in the office, teams in the field, and the IT department responsible for keeping all data secure.

Sargent turned to NetCov for a solution that could both improve productivity and protect their data.

“NetCov has always been a lifesaver, and they were there in our time of despair,” said Tasha Gardner, CFO at Sargent. “Through all our years of working together and all their technology recommendations, they have never led us astray. So, it only made sense for us to turn to them for help.”

NetCov recommended Egnyte.

“Egnyte is the best mousetrap from a tech standpoint...In the early days we tested all of the big players, Nutanix, Panzura, SharePoint...but Egnyte always came out on top.”
Eric Tomah
CIO, Netcov

Saving Time and Money With Egnyte

With Egnyte, Sargent’s personnel have secure access to the files they need, when they need them, regardless of whether they’re in the office or on remote jobsites. They can easily share files across internal teams, as well as external vendors, owners, and subcontractors.

Getting a plan approved quickly evolved from a convoluted series of emails to a simple file upload. Now, from a single Egnyte folder, the project manager, the owner, and the supervisor on site all have access to the latest version of the file. This means less time searching through email for files, less rework on projects, and less cost.

Sargent can also send large files more easily to potential subcontractors or vendors. Previously, when bidding on a project, estimators and project manager teams struggled to provide large plan sets to the potential client.

“We have plan copiers and printers that used to run 24 hours a day just for people to give us a price,” said Jason Light, IT manager at Sargent. “Now we just send them PDF files.”

The teams in the field love Egnyte because it means no more VPN, long delays waiting for a wireless connection to get the files they need, or time spent backing up and restoring files.

“We did a cost benefit analysis,” Gardner said. “The time savings resulting from the project management team and the supervisors not having to backup and restore their files...that in itself pays for the cost of Egnyte.”

And Sargent isn’t stopping there.

Construction Site Aerial View

More Opportunities Ahead

Sargent is looking to expand its use of Egnyte to construction equipment. Today’s machinery is equipped with GPS, computers, and hotspots with internet connectivity. However, field engineers and surveyors manually upload data to each machine.

Currently, surveyors create a file (such as a GIS shapefile), put it on a thumb drive, travel to a site, plug it in, upload the data, then run the file and make sure it is going to work. Then they drive to the next jobsite and do the same thing. This process not only wastes time, but also leads to a high degree of job dissatisfaction.

“It's getting harder to keep good surveyors because they spend a lot of time traveling, going between jobsites and physically carrying files to the machines,” Light said.

“What if we used Egnyte to upload the files automatically to the equipment?” Light said. “The surveyor could stay in the office and just push the files directly to the machines. That is going to save them a bunch of time.”

For Sargent, what started as a project to better protect their data and improve access to files evolved into an initiative to optimize their workflows. With Egnyte, employees in the office and in the field can easily access files and collaborate from anywhere. And IT is confident in the security of project documentation and client data. The result is less risk and greater productivity across the entire organization.

“We now have happier people,” Gardner said. “And happier people are more productive people.”

Overview

A leading Construction Firm Replaces Dropbox in Order to Streamline Processes and Reduce Costs

www.sargent.us

Locations

Stillwater, ME

Industry

Construction

Learn More

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