heavy construction bulldozer on site

Gaining a competitive edge with digital infrastructure solutions

See why W. Gardner partnered with Hexagon to improve productivity, profitability and their competitive advantage.

Company: W. Gardner, a successful utility and site construction company based in Jacksonville, FL

Challenge: Gain a competitive edge over larger and more experienced companies in their market

Solution: Implement technology that allows their team to work smarter, not harder

Result: W. Gardner became an instant competitor, and the business has expanded from 15 to 100 employees in three years


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W. Gardner, a Jacksonville, Florida-based utility and site construction company serving northern Florida, was established by William Gardner in 2017. Powered by a shoestring budget and sheer hope that the business would succeed, Gardner and his team turned to digital technology to give them an edge against larger — and more established — competitors.

“We actually started out by spending more money on technology than anything else,” said Tom Unger, W. Gardner’s executive vice president. “There are companies that are twice our size that we’re competing with, and we're beating them because they don't embrace that technology.”

With innovation and implementation of new technology embedded in their company DNA, the leadership team at W. Gardner had to find the right infrastructure solutions provider to deliver the systems they needed to drive new business and ensure efficiency on the jobsite.

Closeup of construction site with traffic safety cones and underground cabling

Implementing technology for success

There is certainly no shortage of providers in the infrastructure technology space, but W. Gardner was looking for technology that was easy to use — especially since they had to ramp up many employees quickly. They soon found a partner in Hexagon.

“You have to be able to trust the technology you're using, because if you can't trust it then it's really not doing a whole lot of good,” said Unger.

By implementing Hexagon’s sensor and software solutions, W. Gardner was able to improve their profitability and productivity in several different ways. With AGTEK, the company can get estimates and takeoffs fast, helping them to procure new business. And with Leica Geosystems' machine control solution, the team eliminates the need to use stakes, which speeds the pace of work and removes the element of human error.

W. Gardner sees technology as a way of augmenting the work their team is performing — not about displacing or replacing people. And experienced professionals who are new to the technology quickly warm up to these solutions.

“When seasoned operators initially don't want to try new software, you show it to them. Let them have some seat time with the new system,” said Will Gardner, CEO, W. Gardner. “And then within a week, they would never run anything else. It's all they want to run.”

The W. Gardner team also appreciates that Hexagon offers excellent support — on top of already user-friendly systems.

“You can make a phone call and [Hexagon] can log into your system from wherever they are,” said Gardner. “[They can] change data, fix your problem from over the phone and you’re back up running in a matter of minutes. That's a big factor.”

“You have to be able to trust the technology you're using, because if you can't trust it then it's really not doing a whole lot of good.”
Tom Unger
Executive VP
W. Gardner

Small but mighty

W. Gardner’s technology implementation strategy has worked for the small start-up, essentially creating a level playing field against larger competitors. Since they first opened the business, W. Gardner has expanded from 15 to 100 employees and has no plans to slow down. They credit this growth with the advantage technology has provided, enabling them to visualise the work that needs to be done and planning that work more efficiently. This allows the team to get work done on time, on budget and on spec. It also allows them to verify that work is correct before moving to the next task.

“We use that technology to make our working environment safer and more efficient, so owners see that’s what gives us the edge, and they're calling for it,” said Unger. “We have a lot of people calling and asking us to do work for them.”