Hy-Vee Incorporated signed on for their first project with Submittal Exchange in August of 2009. Since that time they have used Submittal Exchange on 25 projects with a combined construction value of over $100,000,000. According to Daniel Willrich, Architect for Hy-Vee Incorporated, the organization first tried Submittal Exchange because of a recommendation from one of their contractors.
Hy-Vee is an employee-owned chain of supermarkets located in the Midwest. The company operates over 230 supermarkets which are located throughout Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The company was founded in Iowa in 1930. Willrich has been in the construction industry for 15 years spending the last 3 of those years with Hy-Vee. Before experiencing Submittal Exchange Willrich stated that documentation was handled, "The old fashioned way, mailing documents back and forth". Now, "It's a lot easier. If I had a big submittal, like pre-cast, I'd mark one up and make one clean copy and send it down to have photocopies made. By the time they'd go down to the printers and all of that, they'd have been saved on Submittal Exchange".
"If there were a lot of markups, it was a considerable amount of time. Now it's just a matter of getting on the PDF, marking it up, and one click. Hours are saved." - Mark Wall, Project Engineer, Hy-Vee Weitz Construction
Mark Wall, Project Engineer with Hy-Vee Weitz Construction echoed Willrich in the amount of time saved by using Submittal Exchange on their projects. Before using Submittal Exchange his process would involve "Getting the documents, checking for mistakes and dimensional things, making my mark-ups, and then I would think, now I have to do this five more times!" Wall has been with Hy-Vee Weitz Construction for 10 years.
"I think the confidence of it [documents] being there and knowing it was posted is assuring to me."
- Ed Reiss, Project Manager, Hy-Vee Engineering Department
Ed Reiss is also a member of the Hy-Vee team. Reiss is a Project Manager with the Hy-Vee Engineering Department. He has been a part of the Hy-Vee team for 25 years where he started out as a drafting technician. Reiss appreciates the advantage of "speed and accuracy" in using Submittal Exchange. "We can get the information out there on a timely basis and know it is accurate. Everyone is seeing the same information." Willrich feels much the same about the process of distributing information through Submittal Exchange. "One thing it has done for us as the owners is that it gives a little bit of peace of mind in terms of when we issue ASI's or additional information. We know that it's out there and it's not on somebody's desk waiting to be distributed. It is out there on the website and it becomes each individual Subcontractor or Consultant's job to make sure they have the information. Wall agrees, "Prior they could always say we didn't receive it. This way, with Submittal Exchange, everybody is notified and everybody's on top of it. They know the change. It's 100% better."
"Everybody wants to make things easier and everybody wants to do the best job they can and with this tool, that's a possibility."
- Mark Wall, Project Engineer, Hy-Vee Weitz
Wall is very enthusiastic about Hy-Vee's decision to start using Greengrade, LEED® Management Software, on their new construction projects. "One thing we started to use last year is the LEED tool on Submittal Exchange. I can talk to the sub and get his LEED documentation uploaded to Submittal Exchange and off to a Hy-Vee Consultant way more efficiently than we could when it was all paper. There's no doubt about that". Willrich reports that per their LEED consultant, "It's made it a lot easier for them as far as being able to gather and put the information in a place where we can see it.
"We're all busy so I think it's eliminated some of the time lag between the decision being made on a change versus getting it in to the field."
- Daniel Willrich, Architect, Hy-Vee Incorporated
Because Hy-Vee has used Submittal Exchange on such a large number of projects the savings they have realized are exceptional. According to the Integrated Submittal Exchange Savings Calculator, not only has Hy-Vee saved over 79 trees, they have also saved over $130,000 in shipping costs as well as 15,209 shipping days over the course of 2.5 years on the system. Willrich encourages sharing these statistics, "If they're trying to be environmentally conscious with the work they're doing, that's another piece of it."
"Just give it a try. Pick a project and give it a try. They'll see the value of it."
- Daniel Willrich, Architect, Hy-Vee Incorporated
When asked if they would recommend Submittal Exchange to fellow construction professionals for use, Willrich stated "Yes. It has definitely increased the accuracy of information out in the field." Addressing any concerns from other industry professionals, Wall states, "If there was ever something that came up that I didn't understand I just called one of the techs there and it was immediately answered. Anyone can learn this."
Wall's final statement sums up the team's feeling regarding Submittal Exchange, "If you can make things easier and save money, we're all in!"