SMG Bahamas is a construction and millwork company. They build high-end homes, close large construction projects, and manufacture interiors for restaurants, residential projects, and more. SMG Bahamas can have upwards of 20 jobs running simultaneously. Each job is its own huge project, often with fast turnarounds and a lot of moving pieces.
Learn how Brendan Ginns, General Operations Manager at SMG Bahamas, uses Unito to keep everything running smoothly.
Too many information channels
Construction and manufacturing projects can have many collaborators, from the people doing the physical on-site work to project managers, leaders, and support staff like human resources and marketing. So one of the many challenges SMG Bahamas faced was making sure everything ran smoothly on-site and throughout the company as a whole. While many construction tasks are managed in PlanGrid, the business at large uses both Trello and Smartsheet to manage their day-to-day.
Trello boards are used for managing different construction jobs and giving oversight to project managers, executives, and even customers. Teams like human resources that follow standardized processes also use Trello. The sheer volume of boards made keeping track of this information challenging. People often had to hop from board to board.
This becomes even more complicated when you need to communicate with customers through Trello. SMG Bahamas uses customer boards to give their clients a step-by-step overview of particular construction job. For instance, a multi-million dollar home may have cards representing different tasks that need to happen in the master bedroom, the foyer, and so on.
The challenge comes in getting the right amount of information to these customer boards. Because a job can have so many moving pieces, there’s a lot of back-and-forth between teams to get things done. Customers don’t need all this extra noise; they just want to know how things are progressing. Without Unito, someone needs to jump from board to board collecting information, then manually filter through it to surface high-value information, and then finally communicate it with the customer.
Gaps between tools
On top of using Trello, SMG Bahamas also relies on Smartsheet for powered-up spreadsheets. Everything from vehicle fleet management to inventory management is handled with Smartsheet. But it was difficult to extract crucial information from these sheets and make them visible in Trello.
Ginns tried using automation solutions like Zapier and Microsoft’s Power Automate, but they couldn’t cut it: “I was never confident that it was working. I always felt like I had to hover over it.” Another issue Ginns was seeing? Complicated mappings. Power Automate would automatically map fields that he didn’t need, and making sense of it all created additional work.
In short, SMG Bahamas’ problem was two-fold. They needed a better way to manage the relationships between their Trello boards and they needed crucial information trapped in Smartsheet synced over to Trello.
Centralizing information from multiple boards
Ginns turned to Unito for both problems.
On the Trello side, connecting boards to each other took just a few clicks. This meant that, with one integration, Ginns could give oversight on important projects to executives while creating greater transparency throughout the organization.
Remember those customer boards? Without a solid integration, it was tough to keep customers in the loop with all the noise going from board to board. With Unito, all Ginns needs to do is add a particular tag to a Trello card, and it’ll get automatically synced over to the customer board with Unito’s rules. Extra information that’s crucial to his teams but extraneous for the customer doesn’t get synced over. That’s a huge time-saver: “You can say ‘we’ve done this, this, and this’ and no one had to go through the pain of collecting this information.”
Feeding information from Smartsheet to Trello
With Smartsheet, Unito acts as the bridge between this powerful spreadsheet tool and SMG Bahamas’ Trello boards. Because Unito mappings can be easily customized and matched with custom fields in Trello, Ginns and his teams can recreate some of Smartheet’s functionality in Trello without forcing anyone to switch tools. For instance, inventory for a specific job might be managed exclusively in Smartsheet, but important information from that sheet still needs to be visible in Trello. In just a few clicks, Ginns can map fields like Serial Number, Quantity, and Job Name to custom fields in Trello, creating a kind of executive summary that the rest of the team can consult.
And because Unito is so easy to set up, Ginns doesn’t have to hover over his workflows to make sure everything’s working right.
Better updates in minutes
With Unito, SMG Bahamas can get crucial information where it needs to go and give everyone more oversight into what’s going on. Teams can consult a wealth of information without leaving their tool of choice, even from a single Trello board.
Ginns measures the impact of Unito in that increased ability for leaders to get the updates they need to make fast decisions: “You can simply go into your Trello board, and it might take two minutes to get an update. Your CEO can watch over while you work on a project without him needing to reach out all the time.”
No more tool silos
Beyond creating additional transparency into crucial projects, Unito also gives SMG Bahamas the ability to smash through tool silos. No more complicated automations and no more hopping from one tool to the other. All it takes to get important, up-to-date information from Smartsheet to Trello is setting up a Unito flow. Adopting these powerful platforms and combining them with Unito is a game-changer for Ginns: “It’s like going from a Honda to a Porsche.”
A poorly managed construction project can be a nightmare of missed deadlines and budget problems. When you’re working with a killer team, your tools shouldn’t get in the way. With Unito, Brendan Ginns and SMG Bahamas can get the most out of their tools without any headaches. That means they can focus on the only thing that matters: getting the job done.
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