Left to right: Alicia Loh, Joel Bass, John Vardaman, Jim Washburn.
A new DPR-developed iPad application currently in development allows craft personnel in the field to enter and code their time as they complete tasks.

Championing Innovation

What if you could improve efficiency on the jobsite with a flick of your finger? A new DPR-developed iPad application currently in development allows craft personnel in the field to enter and code their time as they complete tasks. Fully integrated with cost management software, the data can be viewed instantly. The app will also track skills and certifications of personnel so that foreman and superintendents can ensure that the right person with the right skills is assigned to each task. This app and others are just some of the innovations, big and small, coming out of the newly formalized DPR Innovation Group.

The Innovation Group, being led by DPR’s Jim Washburn, who previously served as regional manager in Southern California, is tasked with accelerating the adoption of innovative ideas and initiatives on a national level. Washburn is joined by Alicia Loh, John Vardaman and Joel Bass, who have spent the last several months touring all DPR offices with DPR President and Co-Founder Doug Woods to launch the formalized program and further open lines of communication to ensure the best ideas come forward.

Vardaman, a project manager in the Bay Area, stresses that DPR has always been ever forward, “We are just dedicating more time and resources to focus on it.”

One of the group’s responsibilities is to monitor Spigit, a web-based innovation management platform that DPR implemented to cultivate ideas. Since Spigit’s rollout early this year, more than 200 ideas have been posted, and 12 have been implemented on a local scale with several more being considered for possible global development and implementation.

According to Bass, who is based in DPR’s Washington, DC, office, the group’s initial focus is to build upon the innovative ideas that are happening every day and share those throughout the company. “Some people like to start with a blank piece of paper and others work better when they can take someone else’s idea and take it to another level,” said Bass. “Our job is to pull together the pieces so everyone can participate.”

“We aren’t talking about change for the sake of change,” added Loh, who has spent the past five years working in DPR’s Southern California region. “We really want to help move the industry forward.”