19 Aug 2015

The Boldt Company Achieves 100 Percent Contractor Accountability at New Construction Site with Vande


  • Complete accountability for 500 employees on site
  • Mobile solution reduces costs and saves time
  • Easy to install and use; saves $1,000 a day
  • ROI achieved in 1.5 years
  • Real-time data reduces downtime
  • Verify timekeeping records for accurate payroll
  • Reduce liability costs
  • Boosts safety of workers

The Customer

Headquartered in Appleton, Wis., The Boldt Company is one of the largest professional construction services firms in the nation. From the original storefront carpentry shop opened by Martin Boldt in 1889, the company has expanded to offer world-class construction services, including general construction, design/build, real estate development and consulting and technical services. With branch offices around the country and a skilled workforce of more than 2,000, Boldt is dedicated to ensuring a safe work environment. As the general contractor for an electric utility company in West Olive, Michigan, Boldt chose to use the Vanderbilt Security Management System (SMS) to grant site access to and track 500 Boldt employees on the job to ensure their safety. The company also leverages the Vanderbilt SMS solution to ensure payroll accuracy.

The Challenge

Construction service companies in the United States are required to have complete control at all times over who enters and exits a construction site. In the past, Boldt used the old brass system of timekeeping, in which workers take a metal tag off a board as they enter a site and hang it back up when they leave. “We created tags and assigned numbers for each worker to manually keep track of them,” said Curtis Brown, Project Controls Manager at The Boldt Company. “It was an inefficient and labor-intensive way to manage workers onsite and could sometimes lead to errors.”

Looking for a more efficient solution to manage access at its new project site in West Olive, The Boldt Company turned to Twin City Hardware (TCH,) a Vanderbilt certified SMS dealer and local provider of access control solutions for commercial, architectural and residential construction projects. TCH had already installed Vanderbilt SMS at another Boldt construction site and recommended the same solution for the new project. “We knew that the Vanderbilt SMS would help Boldt effectively track workers at the new construction site,” said Jason Borgschatz with TCH. “The solution is easy to configure, install, use and support, ensuring optimal performance to meet the company’s strict accountability needs.”

The Solution

With construction sites across the country, Boldt wanted a mobile access control system that could be easily moved from one location to another. At its warehouse in Appleton, Wisconsin, Boldt and TCH built the security management system inside a conex shipping container, cutting out doors and dividing the space into an office and a lobby with three turnstiles equipped with proximity readers. “Once the system was configured, all we had to do was transport the shipping container to West Olive and connect the power and Internet, which was done in a matter of hours,” noted Brown.

To manage the company’s 500 daily cardholders, one employee monitors the system onsite during peak hours and four others have system administration rights, responsible for adding new users, updating data and troubleshooting when required. “I can also access the system from my desktop and even from my laptop at home through our corporate network if necessary,” commented Brown. The Vanderbilt SMS is a standalone system that integrates with the company’s surveillance system so the team can view tagged individuals as they access the site. Surveillance cameras monitor the turnstiles and the adjacent parking lot. “We can go back about two years to gather data and video regarding specific individuals and events if further investigation is required.”

According to Brown, the Vanderbilt SMS solution was easy to set up and to learn. “After a day and a half of training, I was able to create reports, troubleshoot and manage day-to-day use,” confirmed Brown, who was in turn able to train his team in just a matter of hours. “All our users find it very easy to administer, update and run reports.” Boldt can also easily share reports with its subcontractor companies, which use the data for their own accountability and payroll purposes.

The Results

The Vanderbilt SMS has helped Boldt maintain one of the nation’s best safety and health records. “Every project begins with the same goal: to remain 100 percent free of injuries from initial prep to completion,” explained Brown. “The Vanderbilt SMS solution lets us know in real-time who is onsite and who is not—critical in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation. It could help prevent an injury or even save a life.” The company is also in a much better position to avoid the serious repercussions of catastrophic events. “We haven’t had any serious emergencies that have required evacuation, but if we did, we would be able to quickly determine who is on site and respond accordingly,” added Brown.

Real-time access to employee data not only helps ensure workplace safety, it also helps the company tackle system glitches as quickly as possible to reduce downtime. “If our system is down or someone’s card is not working, we can fix the problem and grant site access to a contractor right away so they are not waiting around,” noted Brown.

By being able to see in real time who is onsite or not, the company can also verify who stayed or who left during inclement weather. “When bad weather hits, most of our employees have to leave, but some can stay and work indoors,” added Brown. “With Vanderbilt SMS, we can determine on the fly who is still onsite, to meet our accountability requirements and ensure accurate payroll.”

In fact, the data collected with the Vanderbilt SMS system is regularly used to double check timekeeping records for accuracy and fairness. “We verify our manual payroll records against the SMS reports to make sure we aren’t overpaying or underpaying employees,” said Brown.

Additional savings are achieved because the Vanderbilt SMS system is much easier to manage than the company’s previous manual timekeeping system. “Before, it cost roughly $1,200 in daily human resources costs to manage site access. With Vanderbilt, it takes one person less than an hour each day to manage the system—a savings of more than $1,000 per day.”

Boldt is required to keep track of contractors for most large-scale construction projects, but smaller customers, such as retail sites, do not require the same level of monitoring. For these customers, the Vanderbilt SMS system could become a competitive advantage. “We can offer access control as a cost-effective benefit to these smaller clients, which might help us win the business,” Brown said.

Overall, Brown has been very pleased with the reliability and performance of the Vanderbilt SMS, along with the support provided by TCH. “Using the first two mobile Vanderbilt SMS solutions we have up and running right now, we can be completely accountable for all our employees—an important part of ensuring their safety at work,” concluded Brown.


Download the full case study: Boldt Company