In response to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, grassroots innovation by forward-thinking Shawmut employee owners led to an intuitive, industry-leading platform. Built entirely in-house and leveraging the power of Microsoft Azure, Shawmut effectively developed and rolled out Shawmut Vitals—a dynamic, no-touch health screening platform.
Excerpt from Microsoft
Typically, Friday the 13th carries its own impending dread. Call it coincidence, bad luck, or what you will, but in March 2020, Friday the 13th brought a new type of unease as the COVID-19 health crisis shut down businesses and operations across the country. With local shutdown mandates bringing nearly half its job sites across the United States to a screeching halt, Shawmut Design and Construction quickly realized how dire things could get without a viable solution for keeping its teams safe and healthy while continuing to work onsite.
Founded in 1982, the employee-owned construction management firm brings its unique brand of people-first operations to complex job sites across the country. “Customer service is our top priority,” explains Les Hiscoe, CEO at Shawmut. “And how do we deliver exceptional customer service? By treating our employees fairly, with respect and, most importantly, working hard to keep them safe so they can return to their families at the end of a hard day’s work.” This approach has created an energized, engaged, and excited workforce at Shawmut and led to over 65 best places to work awards.
So, at a time when organizations worldwide were forced to close their doors and send workers home, Shawmut realized that it needed a scalable, safe, and sustainable solution to protect its employees and get back onsite to be able to deliver for its clients. For Shawmut, the security and safety of its people was mission number one. Hiscoe, CIO Dave Benson, and Chief Safety Officer Shaun Carvalho knew the firm needed something very quickly, and Benson’s IT team produced in two weeks.
“Our field workers were understandably concerned,” Hiscoe says. “We needed to make them feel safe.” After considerable collaboration between Benson, Carvalho, and other teams like Shawmut’s onsite supervisors, as well as the marketing department, the team found its solution—Shawmut Vitals.
Staying onsite with Shawmut Vitals
Built entirely in-house on Microsoft Azure, Shawmut Vitals is a no-touch health screening application that allows Shawmut staff and site visitors to register their presence at a specific site while addressing key medical needs like temperature and symptoms. Through grassroots innovation, forward-thinking Shawmut team members created the Shawmut Vitals application to create a network of communication and accountability that also documents and monitors the health of every employee, contractor, vendor, and visitor on a Shawmut site.
“You can create the safest plan possible, but in a global pandemic, you absolutely have to be prepared for an incident,” explains Carvalho. By maintaining a log of site personnel, Shawmut Vitals enables the team to execute immediate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. With this process in place, Shawmut can better monitor the health of employees while maintaining CDC guidelines and fostering peace of mind among its frontline workers. Every site now has its own COVID-19 officer, an operational, real-time Shawmut Vitals log, and workers self-diagnosing every day.
Now, Shawmut knows which employees are at higher risk for infection, such as someone who has a partner working in the medical field—and in the event of an incident can immediately isolate key areas to minimize exposure.
“We have to do whatever we can to help our crews. Shawmut Vitals is making a big difference,” says Benson. “It's going to help keep those job sites safe, and it was an opportunity for us to show solidarity with our field workers.”