construction tech

Houston construction business launches analytics tool to predict building outcomes

Satterfield & Pontikes Construction has launched Prolégo to provide predictive analytics to its clients. Photo via Getty Images

Houston-based Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, a provider of preconstruction, construction and consulting services, has launched an analytics-driven platform for project and program management.

The new platform, Prolégo, relies on predictive analytics to help ensure resources and expectations are in sync throughout three key phases of a construction project: consultation, planning, and management.

“By applying proprietary technology to monitor project progress and track changes tied to real-time cost data, the company offers a means to accurately predict outcomes so they can be planned for and measured accurately,” Satterfield & Pontikes explains in a news release.

Among the components of a project that Prolégo measures and tracks are materials, labor, and productivity.

George Pontikes, founder, chairman, and CEO of Satterfield & Pontikes, says Prolégo can serve as a “client’s advocate” for a single project or an entire building program. Clients of Prolégo include the Houston Airport System, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Klein ISD, and Spring Branch ISD.

Russ Wallace, former chief facilities officer for facilities planning and construction at the Texas A&M University System, leads Prolégo as senior program executive.

“As the building process has become increasingly sophisticated, there are an incredible number of puzzle pieces that have to fit together seamlessly,” Wallace says. “What we know is that when we monitor work in place versus plan in place, we can address any possible issues early in the process and work more efficiently via quantifiable data. If we can predict outcomes, we can plan for them.”

Other members of the Prolégo leadership team are John Marshall, senior vice president for education; Matt Daniel, corporate vice president; Matt Russel, vice president and program manager; Mark Dinius, director of technology; and Amanda Graham, director of business development.

Satterfield & Pontikes, founded in 1989, provides services for several sectors, such as including K-12 education, transportation, healthcare, government, distribution, and manufacturing.

Aside from its Houston headquarters, the firm has offices in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. In addition to Prolégo, its subsidiaries are Rollcon, Westway Construction, Greco Structures, Pontikes Development, Rocket Concrete Pumping, and Eagle Contracting. Satterfield & Pontikes purchased Keller-based Eagle Contracting late last year.

In 2021, Engineering News-Record listed Satterfield & Pontikes at No. 148 among the country’s 400 largest U.S.-based general contractors as measured by revenue from construction contracting.

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Building Houston

 
 

After working with thousands of interns, Allie Danziger of Ampersand Professionals says she's now got a product to upskill and train new hires for employers. Photo courtesy of Ampersand

After seeing success with her internship training and matchmaking platform, Allie Danziger, founder and CEO of Ampersand Professionals, has expanded the concept to include a new hire training service that allows employers to better optimize the onboarding process and have a well-trained new staff member from day one.

In just over a year, Ampersand has worked with over 7,000 professionals through its original concept of upskilling and matching young professionals to internship programs. A few months ago, Danziger and her team expanded to include career development training for students first entering the workforce with the City of Houston's Hire Houston Youth program. Danziger says it was developing out the platform for this program that proved there was a need for this type of training.

"While we have focused on matching professionals with businesses for paid internships, we recognized a further gap with employers that have their own recruiting/talent acquisition teams, or just their own preferred way of bringing on entry-level talent, and didn’t have a need for our matching platform," Danziger tells InnovationMap. "But, they recognized the benefit of our proven training platform that pre-vets and de-risks their hires, and still wanted access to the training for their own hires."

The new program has evolved from training interns to new hires, so parts of the program that focuses on interviewing or applying for a job have been removed. Instead, the 8.5 hours of training focuses on networking, best practices for working with a manager and team, performance reviews, common software training, and more.

Danziger says usually new hires need the most experienced mentor or manager, but they don't usually get that support — especially when it comes to businesses that don't have their own built-out mentorship or training program.

"Ampersand’s new training product fills that gap — it gives employers of any size any easy solution to provide basic job readiness training to employees, access to our team of dedicated coaches, and a detailed report at the end of their training summarizing how their new hire did in the training and any trends recognized and tips for managing this employee based on what the platform uncovered," she says. "Businesses can also sign up for additional coaching sessions and customize training materials, as an add-on if interested."

The program costs the employer $100 per new employee, and checkout online takes less than a minute. Through both this program and the original internship program, Ampersand is constantly evolving its training content.

"These professionals are going through the same training experience that we have proven out over the last year, and we are constantly adding to based on data we see in the user experience," Danziger says.

Danziger recently joined the Houston Innovators Podcast discuss some of the benchmarks she's met with Ampersand, as well as the importance of investing in Gen Z hires. Listen to that episode below.


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