Construction Productivity, construction technology, Payroll & Accounting, production tracking, Subcontractor —

Thomas Cavanagh Construction increases productivity, profitability, and competitiveness with Rhumbix

PeritusMay 15, 2024 • 7 min read

Thomas Cavanagh Construction tracks labor and equipment production daily instead of biweekly, offering real-time cost insights that deliver more-profitable projects and more-accurate and faster bidding on new work.


For over 70 years, Thomas Cavanagh Construction has set the standard for quality construction and materials in Eastern Ontario. With their 42 strategically located pits and quarries, their unmatched fleet of 500+ trucks and heavy equipment, state-of-the-art facilities, and their 1,200 dedicated employees, Thomas Cavanagh Construction has earned a reputation as one of Ottawa’s most trusted and respected contractors. Thomas Cavanagh uses Rhumbix extensively throughout their operations to track time, production, and material utilization, enabling them to win more work, and execute work more profitably, than ever before.

Andrew Bates, IT Manager, discussed Thomas Cavanagh’s implementation of Rhumbix for tracking labor, equipment, material utilization, and production unit rates daily, driving innovative reporting metrics such as daily budget vs. actual cost reporting. Bates, highlighted the company’s technological evolution, including adopting Vista as an ERP platform and subsequent implementations like electronic time and labor tracking. He praised Rhumbix’s transformative impact on processes, citing its speed, ease of use, rapid field adoption, and seamless integration with Vista as key factors in their success.  

Ryan Quesnel, Manager of Development, and Integration, who progressed through various roles within project management, emphasized the significance of their selection and rollout of Rhumbix, enabling timely reporting for informed decision-making and enhancing operational efficiency.

Both Bates and Quesnel’s insights showcase how strategic technology implementations such as Rhumbix have streamlined operations and positioned Cavanagh Group Companies as industry leaders in technology and operational excellence.

Advanced Timekeeping and Production Tracking

Andrew Bates said, “We’ve been focusing on several aspects, such as timekeeping and production tracking through Rhumbix. We recently started production tracking, which has been a significant step forward in line with other initiatives we are working on. Thomas Cavanagh’s emphasis on time tracking has dramatically benefited their organization.”

“Our biweekly push to payroll has now transitioned into a daily process, providing real-time cost insights for our jobs and job costing processes. This is a significant improvement from our previous systems.”

Andrew Bates IT Manager, Thomas Cavanagh Construction

Selecting the Right Technology Partner

Andrew Bates breaks it down. “We recognized early on that transitioning to new technology, especially for field personnel not accustomed to it, could be challenging. However, we established a committee comprising myself, project managers, and key personnel to ensure a smooth rollout and ongoing support. We focused on getting the field operations team onboard and were excited about the new system. We conducted pilot training programs with select staff, supplemented Rhumbix’s documentation with our internal instructions, and systematically rolled out the platform.”

Implementation Process and Support Strategies

Ryan Quesnel said, “Overall, the rollout went surprisingly well, considering the scale of implementation involving hundreds of users.” Thomas Cavanagh Construction encountered minimal issues related to nuanced scenarios, such as equipment attachments and specific tracking requirements. However, with Rhumbix’s support, internal processes, and high degree of configurability, they managed to navigate challenges effectively.

Crew-Based vs. Project Rollout of Field Technology

Thomas Cavanagh initiated the rollout with a test group and selected vital personnel who could quickly adopt the new technology. They opted for a crew-based rollout strategy rather than a project-based one, ensuring that field champions advocated for the system’s benefits to their peers, easing the transition despite initial hesitations about change.

Real-Time Cost Metrics & Dashboards

Andrew Bates highlighted the company’s focus on leveraging productivity tracking to deliver real-time cost metrics, while Ryan Quesnel discussed their excitement about developing customized dashboards using Rhumbix data:

Cost Metrics and Empowering Field Teams

Andrew Bates emphasized, “Our primary focus is leveraging productivity tracking to derive actual cost metrics in near real-time.” He explained, “By aligning Rhumbix entries with contract items, we can project costs accurately, empowering field teams to make informed decisions promptly.”

Bates further elaborated on their efforts, stating, “We are also working on enhancing equipment utilization metrics by integrating Rhumbix data with our internal systems, providing valuable insights into resource optimization.”

Customized Dashboards and Data Integration

Ryan expressed excitement about their ongoing projects, saying, “Additionally, we’re excited about developing customized dashboards using Rhumbix data, integrating it with other systems like Vista and Fast-weigh for comprehensive project-level views tailored to different roles within the company.”

Quesnel highlighted the benefits of this approach, noting, “This approach allows us to harness data effectively, enabling timely and informed decision-making across all levels of our operations.”

Andrew and Ryan’s insights shed light on the importance of leveraging data integration and customized dashboards to empower teams and improve their company’s decision-making processes. Their innovative approach underscores the value of utilizing construction tech to drive operational efficiency and strategic decision-making in today’s competitive business landscape.

The Impact of Real-Time Data Integration

The ability to access and analyze real-time field data allows Thomas Cavanagh to identify variances quickly, empowering project leaders to address issues promptly and capitalize on opportunities for improvement. “It’s a game-changer in our industry, enhancing our competitiveness and operational efficiency significantly,11 said Andrew.

“The speed and accuracy of information provided by Rhumbix enables us to move from monthly to near real-time reporting, revolutionizing how we track costs, manage resources, and ultimately deliver projects successfully,” said Ryan.

Improving Equipment Tracking and Cost Analysis Processes

Andrew stated that when Thomas Cavanagh implemented Rhumbix, their primary goal was to accurately track time for our staff. However, they quickly realized that Rhumbix offered their team much more than timekeeping. “Rhumbix allowed us to connect the time entered in Rhumbix for each piece of equipment with the data collected by the computer on the machine, such as how many hours it ran under load. This comparison has been invaluable in identifying discrepancies between billed hours and actual equipment usage,” he said.

A Game-Changer: Flexible Construction Technology

“Rhumbix’s flexibility has been a game-changer for us,” said Andrew. “As a construction company dealing with rules and requirements, we needed a solution to accommodate our specific needs.” Rhumbix met those needs and exceeded their expectations by continually incorporating new features based on our feedback.

This adaptability has made Rhumbix a crucial part of their operations.

What Would You Tell Another Contractor?

“Rhumbix offers more than just time tracking; it provides a comprehensive platform for equipment utilization analysis, real-time cost reporting, and more. The power of data is in your hands, but you must act on it. Rhumbix has been instrumental in streamlining our processes and improving our profitability, and it can do the same for other contractors willing to leverage its capabilities,” said Ryan.

Ryan is leveraging Rhumbix for comprehensive data-driven insights and improved profitability in contracting operations.

Future Developments and Expansion of Rhumbix

The upcoming cohort feature in Rhumbix is exciting for Thomas Cavanagh as it allows the crew to analyze production metrics in detail, which is crucial for operations. Customizable user-defined fields will enhance data analysis, especially with third-party tools like Power Bl. Rhumbix’s ongoing innovation aligns with its goal of leveraging technology for better insights and operational efficiency.

Ryan highlighted Rhumbix’s importance and its expanding role in driving operational excellence. “Rhumbix has already become indispensable for us, and we anticipate its role expanding further. With ongoing advancements in data analytics and integration capabilities, Rhumbix remains at the forefront of fostering operational excellence at Thomas Cavanagh,” Ryan said. He looks forward to growing alongside Rhumbix for continued success.


Since 1953, Thomas Cavanagh Construction has evolved from a small, single-truck operation into a fully integrated organization with expertise in various sectors, including construction, aggregates, asphalt, concrete, residential services, general contracting, realty, homebuilding, and land development. With strategically located pits and quarries, an unmatched fleet of trucks and heavy equipment, state-of-the-art facilities, and dedicated team members, we’ve earned a reputation as one of Ottawa’s most trusted contractors.

Having recently celebrated 70 years in business, we’re grateful for our journey and remain dedicated to furthering our mission of building a fully integrated and sustainable organization where people are proud to work and do business.

700+ Employees | 500+ Pieces of Heavy Equipment | 42 Licensed Pits & Quarries