Established in 2000 by Founder Eric Hanson, Precision Directional Boring – often shortened as PDB – began its journey as a specialty contractor that focuses on horizontal directional drilling in Northern California. Over the course of more than two decades, their operation has expanded to them taking on all types of underground projects, building off of their niche specialty that started it all.
Evolving as a Company
To shed some light on the company’s evolution, along with how honored HCSS is to be a part of that ongoing growth, we caught up with Eric Hanson and discussed their journey from a start-up to a powerhouse servicing the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
"Precision Directional Boring has really grown up, I would say, in the last ten years, even though we've been around for 23 years,” Hanson says. “I feel like HCSS was actually a big part of that because [they] helped me get organized and develop processes [where] I can bring people in and train them.”
For Hanson and his team at PDB, his goal was to seek out new avenues that would allow their operation to innovate and improve. One of the pivotal moments was recognizing the need to embrace those new opportunities in the form of technology, and that included the integration of various software tools.
“It’s really helped us scale our business in general,” Hanson continues, “which in turn has opened us up to major clients like PG&E, and we work for all the biggest tech clients in the Bay Area.”
Integrating Software to Get to the Next Level
The company's adoption of a myriad of products like HeavyBid, HeavyJob, HCSS Safety, HCSS Plans, and more recently, Telematics, Dispatcher, and Equipment360, showcases its commitment to leveraging the right construction software that will enhance their efficiency.
“There were so many different things that I was trying to do with the business,” Hanson recalls of life before implementing the software. “Being able to leverage all of these different platforms that are trying to eliminate paper, in general, has really helped us streamline our operations.”
Here’s a quick breakdown of PDB’s usage:
The biggest win for them with HeavyBid has been reducing the overall resource allocation for project estimations, making the toughest projects more manageable.
“HeavyBid has really helped our company take a giant step forward from the amount of personal resources we needed to use for estimating projects,” says Hanson. “We can bid really complex projects very quickly with the amount of effort that we put into the setup of the system. Like with all of your products, but especially HeavyBid, the more work you put in on the front side, the more results you get out of using the system.”
Simplifying the administrative process through HeavyJob, particularly in synchronizing cost codes and facilitating payroll, has helped their operations considerably.
“The one thing I would say about HeavyJob that's been huge is we have a strain in our company administration, and by coordinating the cost codes with accounting and the estimating system, it’s really streamlined our process for payroll, which took a huge burden off of our company and really made it a lot easier to scale.”
– Eric Hanson, Founder of Precision Directional Boring
By integrating HCSS Safety, the company managed to create a safer work environment while gaining enhanced visibility of their field operations.
“As a small business, you have a lot of people trying to do a lot of different jobs,” Hanson admits. “[HCSS] Safety has been really, really big for us and making our organization a safer place. There are a lot more checks and balances. It helps the guys with a framework for understanding what they need to do to try and keep the projects and jobsites safe. And then it also gives us great visibility on what's happening in the field. There’s always room for improvement, but it's been a really good tool for us.”
Bringing a paradigm shift in field communication to PDB, HCSS Plans ensures that all of their field operatives have access to the latest data.
“There has been a product that has really improved our business, using [HCSS] Plans,” Hanson says. “That’s been a fantastic tool for us, communicating with the field, getting the most up-to-date information to the guys building these projects, and getting feedback back in correlation with the plan set. We can adaptively catch change order differences from the plans and capture those things on the front side, as opposed to figuring it out after the project has been completed.”
A Company Culture of Pride
The same as every growing entity, Precision Directional Boring has faced its share of trials. However, a significant differentiator for PDB is its company culture. Even with its impressive growth, the business retains a family-like atmosphere. The leadership's hands-on approach and commitment to knowing every team member personally creates an environment where everyone feels valued.
Hanson is proud of developing this culture over time. “I take it as a point of pride that I know everyone that works for us,” he says in closing.
PDB is a testament to the power of adaptability and a willingness to innovate. As they continue to scale, their ethos of leading by example and committing to cutting-edge software solutions ensures they’ll remain at the forefront of underground projects for many more years to come.
Want to learn more?
Visit the Precision Directional Boring website to learn more.