In every state across the nation, down into South America, Puerto Rico and even the Virgin Islands, a familiar orange and red logo is on nearly every corner. The leading retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories, AutoZone has more than 6,000 stores. Yet with 170 new construction jobs a year, AutoZone is still a powerhouse that continues to expand into new markets.
With more than 625+ users and 700+ completed projects using OxBlue, AutoZone is able to monitor trends, cut back on change orders and improve communication across their builds.
STRENGTHENING STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
As a large company, AutoZone’s partnership with OxBlue can be seen as an anomaly. Their in-house designers, architects and a rich-with-resources research team traditionally develop their own tools to best serve the enterprise. But the value of cameras was clear to the Store Development team who needed eyes on the jobsite across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
“I use them extensively, every single day and I have them in three different browser windows so I can look at various views at the same time,” said Michael Petty, Director of Construction at AutoZone. For Petty, checking cameras every day has become a key performance indicator for his team.
Familiarizing yourself with the jobsite every day is important, and as Petty describes, allows him to pick up on trends overtime. He uses the cameras as a training tool for his project managers, teaching them what to look out for and how to think strategically about what they’re seeing. Monitoring milestones is one thing, but making the connection between the average project’s journey to what’s happening on site in real time is a strategic skill the team’s focused on strengthening. The Store Development team is working to identify the type of output they should be seeing on their camera based on past visual data collected on other projects.
“This has improved communication amongst my team. Any time I’m driving a meeting, we’re looking at the cameras. It’s a key performance indicator for us.” He said, “The expectation is that they look at their cameras every single day, period. That’s the expectation.”
With the addition of OxBlue’s artificial intelligence tools, it’s now easier for Petty and his team to identify trends and issues over the lifecycle of a project. It’s allowed the team to cut back on change orders and hold vendors accountable to results. Petty is able to review a day, week or month’s worth of activity and know whether progress is happening efficiently.
“Artificial intelligence makes it easier for me to apply the right kind of pressure to the right part of the project at the right time,” Petty described, “It’s really revealing.”
OxBlue’s cameras detect activity levels throughout the day, identifying activity, equipment and safety compliance trends. Petty’s team uses the specific Activity Analysis feature to easily see when project progress slows down. The feature charts when work begins, ends and when it’s interrupted by bad weather. The unbiased record means Petty is able to effectively control costs on change orders.
Side-by-side views also give AutoZone the power to understand project progress in a matter of seconds. Petty routinely uses a side-by-side comparison of 7 to 14 days worth of activity. He and his team then have the ability to drill down into hour by hour or 10 minute increments to clearly identify what changes have occurred — and whether crunch time is ahead.
“We’ve had general contractors ask for extensions and more money but we’ll look back at the project and see, well you had 90 days where activity and working hours were very low and there wasn’t any rain,” said Petty.
Showing the charts on activity helps mitigate the risk of paying for excess labor hours or multiple delays. With a straightforward record, AutoZone is able to protect their investment, avoid disputes and make data driven decisions.
“There’s certainly value when you have a conflict. You can get sideways with some of these contractors and to have access to that clear information, you can’t put a number on that. That’s incredibly valuable,” said Petty.
AutoZone keeps their activity analysis on a constant loop with the latest images to keep eyes on their jobsites.
A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE
Much like AutoZone, OxBlue holds a fundamental belief that our service is part of our product. Custom capabilities and reports are managed by an internal team of expert customer service representatives, helping AutoZone implement features and settings best fit for the company’s needs. It’s part of the white-glove service that every customer, big or small, receives.
“One of our pillars that we talk about, and that a lot of people talk about is customer service. But it’s one thing to talk about it and another to do it. It’s what makes AutoZone great and it’s what makes OxBlue great. It doesn’t matter who I talk to or if someone moves around, I always get the same customer service,” said Petty.
Ensuring customers get the maximum value out of their cameras is a priority for AutoZone and OxBlue. With a specialized team that puts in months of training before starting, OxBlue’s customer service is unmatched by any other camera provider.
“We’re really just starting to scratch the surface as time goes on with all these images. OxBlue is finding better ways to track the day-to-day and we are too.” said Petty.