Case Study: Giant Containers Inc.



Company Name: Giant Containers Inc.

Trade: Modular and Prefab Structures

Employees: 15 - 20 (Toronto Office Only)

Instagram: @giantcontainers


Whether it’s a freestanding garage, retail pop-up store or a multistoried apartment, Giant offers numerous residential, commercial and industrial projects. The company wasn’t always selling shipping containers though. It initially got its start as a logistics company in the early-1990s. By 2010, the founder, Gordon Kroft, and his son, Daniel, abandoned the logistics industry to focus solely on shipping containers for sale or rent.


Colorado container home built with three 40' containers, built by Giant


Today, Giant has grown to a global supplier of new, used and modified shipping containers. They have locations in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Shanghai. Though modular construction has been around for a while, the industry is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $192 billion in value by 2026.


The Challenge

Cutting a window into a shipping container

In recent years, Giant has experienced explosive growth in its residential division. This growth can be attributed to the fact that modular builds are considered more cost effective than conventional builds. This makes them an ideal solution for affordable housing. Furthermore, shipping containers can be customized, so homeowners can ask for their modular home in nearly any shape or size.


As Giant grew, its goal became automating manual processes so employees had more time for assembly.


“I was looking for a way to make an Excel spreadsheet more interactive so we could implement processes and make sure things run smoothly.” explained Kevin Mouen, VP of Operations at Giant.


The Solution


When communication is siloed, unforeseen events, like design issues discovered during the construction phase, can wreak havoc on a project’s budget. When those barriers to communication are taken away and a team can communicate effectively, there’s an opportunity for magic to happen.


“With Level, a project manager can easily break down a project into steps, and share those steps with the team. This workflow takes a bit of time upfront but the time savings during production make it well worth it.” said Kevin.


Stackt Market in Toronto, built by Giant

Well worth it indeed. Some of Giant’s projects follow a standard design template. With Level, Giant reduced the production time on these projects from 90 days down to 45 days. What’s more is the project manager was able to achieve these results completely remotely, i.e. he never stepped foot on site 🤯.


“Level guides you to optimize procedures and makes sure you have specific checkpoints before and during the different stages of production. So when an unforeseen event happens, the team can quickly check Level to see what’s left to be done, and, instead of having to figure it out themselves, they can use Level to decide what to do next. This saves time, and reduces costly mistakes and rework.” explained Kevin.


Level is also helping Giant automate communication with their clients through the slideshow feature. In the future, Giant plans to get more granular on its data collection by leveraging Level’s time tracking to measure how long tasks/steps on a project take.


How Giant Uses Level

Project in Giant workshop

When considering options for data collection and automation, Giant was looking for something they could implement immediately with minimal effort/training. “The scanner we were using to track time was very tedious, so when I saw how easy it was to track time and allocate hours to projects on Level, I had my first light bulb moment.” explains Kevin.


Changing people’s habits can be tough, so when a company rolls out new software it's best practice to start small and add from there. This, and getting employee buy-in were part of Giant’s successful strategy for rolling out Level in their company.


“We started off explaining how Level benefited Giant and the team’s day-to-day. We then got them using time tracking, and once they were comfortable clocking in and out of projects, we layered in Level tasks.” said Kevin.


Initially Level was only meant for Giant’s production team, but it has now expanded to Giant’s design team to help calculate how much time they spend on projects. This helps the company better allocate overhead to their jobs and also means, like with Fireside Construction (check out their case study here), a project on Level is created as soon as a lead comes in.


Conclusion


So whether you’re building homes out of shipping containers or renovating a bathroom, Level helps you break the barriers to effective communication on your job site. This benefit results in improved timelines on projects, less costly rework, and happier employees because they are getting things done right the first time!


Want to improve the timelines on your projects? Start your Level free trial today!