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Pomerleau uses App Engine on the Now Platform
Pomerleau logo

Pomerleau scales construction logistics

Increased logistics efficiency

Reliable, transparent delivery times

Reduced construction project risk

 

Innovating to embrace rapid growth
Buoyed by innovation, Pomerleau continues to experience rapid growth. How does it cope with the pressures that come with this growth? By innovating even faster. Want proof? Just visit a Pomerleau construction site and see the drones flying over it, robots being tested out, camera systems collecting photographs of site progress, laser scans generating 3D point clouds, and more.

Daniel Gagné, IT Development Coordinator at Pomerleau, explains, “It’s a virtuous circle. The more we innovate, the faster we grow. And the faster we grow, the more we can innovate. And, like many industries, we’re facing a demographic shift as older workers retire, which leaves us competing for skills. We need to innovate and create a great employee experience to attract the best talent.”

Logistics overloaded as growth continued
Logistics was one of the critical areas that felt the strain of company growth. This is a crucial function that gets materials, tools, and services to site. Without effective logistics, construction projects grind to a halt. However, Pomerleau’s logistics team still relied on paper and phone calls to keep the pipeline flowing. While the team was still responsive thanks to heroic efforts, this meant the cliff was fast approaching.

There was another issue. Because logistics used manual processes, site supervisors were exposed to the complexity of delivering tools and materials. For example, if a supervisor needed 40 nail guns and there were only 20 in stock, they would see an order to procure 20 additional nail guns, rather than just being able to track the overall progress. This created unnecessary complexity and left site supervisors unsure when they would receive their entire order.

Daniel says, “Our logistics team prides itself on A1 service, but it struggled to keep up with our growth. Site supervisors didn’t have clear visibility of when they would receive what they needed and were often overwhelmed by the complexity of the process. By automating our logistics processes with our ServiceNow App Engine custom app, we can now keep our construction sites humming.”

Putting power in the hands of site supervisors
Pomerleau used App Engine to create its Digital Logistics Requisition app, which lets site supervisors requisition materials, tools, and services directly from their mobile devices. Supervisors can even request custom items—in one case, 40 tennis balls cut in half—right from the same mobile interface. It automates the backend logistics workflows, whether that’s arranging for a crane, delivering 30 drills, or fixing a flat tire. This shields supervisors from the underlying complexity. Instead, they simply get a clear, reliable delivery date that they can view and track.

Konica Minolta logo
Pomerleau
CUSTOMER
Pomerleau
HEADQUARTERS
Québec, Canada
INDUSTRY
Construction
EMPLOYEES
4,000

Why try to earn a spot in the field that already exists? It’s much better to be on the cutting edge and create the field.

Hervé Pomerleau

Founder

Lower project risk and increased efficiency
With clear visibility of delivery dates without all the complexity, site supervisors can now plan ahead, avoiding unanticipated delays. This translates into reduced risk and lower costs, bolstering Pomerleau’s financial performance and creating competitive differentiation through increased customer satisfaction. The logistics team is also more efficient and accurate as work is automatically routed and tracked. This allows the team to continue to scale as Pomerleau grows.

Fast time to value
In a company driven by innovation, time to value is a critical commodity. Speed of innovation is a key advantage, particularly in the competitive markets where Pomerleau operates. Pascal Poirier, who spearheads development of Pomerleau’s Digital Logistics Requisition app, says, “We developed a prototype in a few weeks, and ServiceNow’s low-code tools let us continuously incorporate and validate user feedback—often within a single sprint. Here’s an example. One of our site supervisors was having trouble navigating through the app to get information about his orders. It was only a few clicks, but when you’re on site wearing heavy winter gloves, it’s a real challenge. We were able to create a simple one-click custom shortcut to a new report in 15 minutes using App Engine, and he was delighted. Obviously, this then had to go through our QA and release process, but it just shows how quickly we can respond. We couldn’t do that with any other system.”

The future is bright as momentum grows
By automating its logistics processes with App Engine, Pomerleau is scaling its business to embrace continued growth, optimize project delivery, and increase efficiency. And this is only one step in its ServiceNow journey. For example, it has already created a ServiceNow custom app to audit projects, including analytics and automated workflows, to address issues and drive continuous improvement.

According to Daniel, this illustrates the value of ServiceNow as a hub or platform of engagement that connects multiple systems and drives business outcomes. He explains, “Before, someone had to collect all the data and wrestle with the resulting spreadsheet. Now, we’ve got information at our fingertips and the analytics and processes we need to take action. There’s also huge potential to consolidate applications onto the Now Platform and retire point tools. That will help us improve our end-to-end processes, avoid duplicate data entry, and reduce maintenance costs. That’s another reason why the demand for new ServiceNow apps is huge, and the momentum is continuing to build. And, based on our ServiceNow experience, we know that we can now build bigger projects at a faster pace, which means we will be able to keep up with that demand.”

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