Cracks in the Foundation
Kiewit Corporation shapes and connects our world, specializing in engineering and design services for a wide range of industries: building, mining, oil/gas/chemical, power, transportation, and water. Quality and excellence are the cornerstones of everything that Kiewit does—everyone's safety depends on it.
Company events serve a critical role in bringing team members together from around the country, to ensure that projects remain on schedule and within budget. When a meeting falls through or need to be rescheduled, it can have a devastating ripple effect.
Kiewit, however, had neither a formal meetings management program nor an events planning process in place. Vendor contracts were being executed with little or no reviews, resulting in Kiewit paying higher cancellation damages and increasing the risk around meetings and events. Compounding the problem was the lack of a centralized corporate events calendar—meetings were often cancelled due to senior management scheduling conflicts.
Kiewit had contracted with an events management vendor to help with the initial roll out of their Strategic Meetings Management Program (SMMP). The vendor's platform, however, didn't provide the support required to successfully implement the program, and after much time and effort, the contract was cancelled. Kiewit's event team basically had to start over one year after the SMMP implementation had started.
Another roadblock came in the form of senior executive support—or rather, the lack thereof. Districts weren't allocated the bandwidth for dedicated event planners, and many times, inexperienced interns would be assigned to plan events. Despite these obstacles, the company's districts were still very reluctant to try a new process for registering meetings and sourcing strategically (including using eRFPs).
The events team had to find a management platform that would not only elevate the level of professionalism around Kiewit's meetings and offer a consistent look and feel for all internal events, but would also gain acceptance by company stakeholders.
Laying a New Foundation
Cvent's Event Management Enterprise platform provides the infrastructure that Kiewit needs. It increases visibility across the board—from travel and logistics, to expenditures and risks. And integrations with the company's other third-party systems, including Concur Travel, further cost savings and seamless scheduling. Reporting features also offer the insights needed by senior management to gauge ROI, make sound business decisions, and demonstrate the value of an SMMP.
"Before Cvent, we had no way of quantifying the costs associated with events," says Mary Beth Jenson, Strategic Meeting Manager with Kiewit. "Now, we can track all of the costs and have been able to demonstrate an annual savings of $2.2M." These savings are the results of hard dollar savings, cost avoidance, and cancellation damages.
With the enterprise solution in place, Cvent Express and CrowdCompass now provide the blueprints for success onsite at Kiewit's meetings, ensuring that things run smoothly for both attendees and planners alike. Mobile apps provide easy, personalized access to schedules, presentations, and venues—making sure that the attendee experience is well-organized, and that time is well-spent.
The platform reinforces the Kiewit brand, unifying the look and feel across all six of its market lines. And automated processes improve staff efficiency and maximize productivity—enabling the team to focus on building the business rather than just patching up holes.
The Sky(scraper)'s the Limit
Growing the number of events from 103 to 572 in just three short years has set a trajectory for extraordinary success. With a professionally trained events staff in place, and a powerful planning and management tool at their fingertips, Kiewit projects a savings of over $2.5 million in the near-term on future meetings.
"Kiewit's corporate strategy is to 'Be the Best Contracting Organization on Earth,'" says Cindy Novak, Director of Corporate Travel & Events. "And our events team's plan is to have the 'Best SMMP on Earth.' Having the Cvent platform in place will absolutely help us achieve that." Based on the metrics the company has reported to date, the team is well on track to earn that distinction.
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