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Evolving Excellence

This case study shows how Gordon, Inc. outpaces their competitors by investing in their team’s development.

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Who is Gordon, Inc?

Founded in 1964 in Shreveport, Louisiana, Gordon, Inc. has grown to over 175 employee-owners with a state-of-the-art 255,000-square-foot facility and a global network of 70+ independent agents. Specializing in sustainable architectural metal products for various environments, Gordon, Inc.’s offerings include specialty metal ceilings, wall systems, and trims. The company has expanded through strategic acquisitions, creating divisions for cleanrooms, acoustical systems, security ceilings, exteriors, and data centers. Known for custom CNC fabrication and eco-friendly finishes, Gordon, Inc. emphasizes environmental responsibility and ethical behavior. As an ESOP company since 2010, Gordon, Inc. fosters a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring top-tier client service and product quality across its diverse markets.

Where innovation, design & engineering, along with fabrication are concerned, Gordon, Inc. solution systems are always unique in some way, which means that even if a system is standard in its foundational design and form, there will be nuances with every applied system that make them incomparable.

Transitioning Out of Historic Design Methods and Systems

Gordon, Inc. found themselves at a technological crossroads where historic design methods and manufacturing systems were intersecting with available newer technologies and methods. Because Autodesk Revit had, over time, become the collaborative link between their internal design team and intermediate project architects and general contractors, they needed the ability to utilize Autodesk Revit to create shop drawings that could also enhance their communications with their supporting subcontractors and end-client through both the design and manufacturing stages of a product’s lifecycle.

While their design and innovation tools were still relevant, they realized that they needed to increase their understanding of the advanced capabilities available in those existing tools.

Training for new hires became an obvious and critical need in ensuring that the team members are using the creative Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) tools efficiently and consistent with corporate methods and standards. Their leadership conclusion was that if a new hire is left to train themselves, their compliance with corporate standards and methods is an extremely low probability.

Tailored and personalized training was essential in unifying their diverse team, which had varying levels of experience and familiarity with Autodesk solutions. This customer training aimed to transform the team into a cohesive, highly efficient unit, working collaboratively toward shared goals of efficiency, productivity, and on-time delivery of customized solutions to their clients.

Gordon, Inc. Set Their Sights on Excellence

In less than 18 months as Engineering Manager, Patrick Larkin, reported that the top request from both the design and engineering teams was for tailored training. 

They set out with four major goals that they wanted to accomplish through the Evolve 360 training program. 

Meet Rising Client Expectations

Gordon, Inc. is experiencing significant growth due to expansion and acquisition. As a result, their "work in process" is increasing at a rate that necessitates an enhancement in their throughput capabilities to achieve their corporate objectives and address the rising client demands.

Improve Proficiency with Autodesk Products

Gordon, Inc.'s corporate business case and looming challenge was to equip their design team through increased proficiency with Autodesk Revit to create shop floor drawings within a 6-to-12-month period while also becoming more proficient with the advanced features of Autodesk Inventor and AutoCAD.

Enhance and Increase Productivity

Gordon, Inc. aimed to create a more cohesive and connected relationship between their existing Autodesk solutions, enhance their team's efficiency, and fuel greater productivity.

Foster a Collaborative Working Environment

Gordon, Inc.'s leadership established a commitment to improve team morale in their working atmosphere and collaborative environment by increasing investment in professional development for their team members.

Putting the Plan Into Action

Introduce Evolve 360

After conducting an initial needs assessment, the Evolve 360 tailored training program was recommended to Gordon, Inc. as the most viable solution for addressing their business case and related challenges.

Conduct Assessment Exercises

The Evolve 360 training program begins with an initial assessment exercise for each enrolled student, creating a unique baseline reference point based on the Autodesk software solution in which each student will be trained.

Utilize Remote Training Platform

Because the Evolve 360 training model allows for remote delivery, Gordon, Inc. students can attend all training classes conveniently from their corporate offices or from remote sites, accommodating all team members.

The Result? Increased Proficiency and Client Centricity

One of the main things to come out of their training experience was the enhanced proficiency with AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor. The creation of shop floor drawings using Autodesk Revit has streamlined communication with the shop floor, intermediate architects, general contractors, and the end client. This has resulted in two key benefits: 

  1. Gordon, Inc. now has design software platforms and a training partnership with Team D3 that aligns with the state university design school curriculum. This partnership has opened new employee recruitment channels and a robust internship program.
  2. Stronger employee loyalty due to Gordon, Inc.’s commitment to continuing education and professional development, which breeds a greater level of innovation and productivity across the entire design team and related corporate stakeholders.

Less than 18 months into the Evolve Training program, 19 students from Gordon, Inc. have completed over 287 classes in AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, and Autodesk Revit. The impact was so immediate and significant that they had not initially prepared a list of metrics to measure how the training impacted their project lifecycles. They only knew they had tapped into an invaluable resource. Now they are beginning to establish real metrics to measure productivity gains.

To quantify these gains, a team member with moderate skills in both AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit was tasked with creating shop drawings from the same contractor input using both programs. The results were striking: the task took 12 hours in AutoCAD but only 90 minutes in Autodesk Revit. This experiment was repeated with another team member who was highly skilled in AutoCAD but a novice in Autodesk Revit, yielding the same outcome.

The training has also positively impacted team morale, the working atmosphere, and the Gordon, Inc. collaborative environment. The Gordon, Inc. leadership team feels that Team D3 Evolve 360 Training is the best investment they have made in recent memory. The Design Quality Check (DQC) team states that they have gained
increased confidence in the integrity of project data, since all data, including the Bill of Materials (BOM), is
integrated within the Autodesk Revit model, allowing for more efficient design checks and verification.

The bottom line? Gordon, Inc. is benefiting from an increase in visibility, traceability, and accountability through all project lifecycle stage-gates. These gains ultimately benefit their end clients with faster turnarounds, better collaboration among all project stakeholders, more efficient system delivery and installation, all resulting in better post-delivery long-term client support.

Through the Team D3 Training program, Gordon, Inc. was able to train all their design team members to a level of proficiency allowing Gordon, Inc. to make significant strides toward meeting their corporate goals. The Evolve 360 training program is equipping Gordon, Inc. to not only preserve, but to elevate their commitment to their prestige as a “custom provider,” as opposed to their “cookie-cutter” competitors, further emphasizing the value of tailored training programs like Evolve 360 in maintaining their competitive edge.

Gordon, Inc. is “client-centric” in every way.

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