Why DPR Construction uses Uber to manage corporate travel
Since its inception in 1990, DPR Construction has set out to build a unique type of construction firm and do things differently in an industry traditionally resistant to change. “[Founders] Doug, Peter, and Ron were able to take a fresh look at what could be better about this industry, from the way we approach collaborative forms of delivery to the way we focus on 5 core markets,” says one of DPR’s communications leaders Jay Weisberger. DPR’s simple purpose—“We exist to build great things”—touches all aspects of the company, from the projects it oversees to the way it empowers its teams.
As part of its mission to be a Most Admired Company by 2030, DPR takes its people practices seriously. With 8,600 team members across more than 30 locations, it’s a massive operation in the offices and in the field. While employees do not have titles, all have specific roles and individual responsibilities that point back to the company’s purpose.
Moving “Ever Forward”
DPR also centers itself on 4 core values, among them “Ever Forward.” “Everybody here, regardless of their roles, sees how they contribute to [the purpose],” says Weisberger. “We also are committed to self-initiated change and improvement, which means that while we focus on our roles, we always want to explore when there’s a potentially better way to do something.
The “Ever Forward” spirit is visible on DPR’s construction sites, where new methods like prefabrication and robotics have increased efficiency, quality, and safety. But it is not limited to projects alone. Paul Atkins, one of DPR’s Internal Audit team leaders, put that philosophy into action a few years ago when he and his colleague Dianna Tarallo suggested a revamp of DPR’s travel program. The company was helping to build part of Uber’s San Francisco headquarters at the time, which led to a conversation with Uber for Business about improving employee travel in what Atkins calls the “DPR way.”
Optimizing company travel
DPR employees travel far and wide, whether moving between offices and job sites in the US or visiting Italian rock quarries. The Uber for Business platform helps provide ground transportation options and supports travelers with meal options from over 780,000 restaurant partners. DPR also leverages Uber for Business for ad-hoc employee appreciation efforts. Using Vouchers, they celebrate individual birthdays, help provide transportation from company events (like holiday parties), and send love to colleagues who need a pick-me-up from their favorite restaurant.
DPR chose Uber for Business because the platform is easy to use and is customizable. With the help of a dedicated account executive, Atkins and Tarallo created a company-specific program with one centralized dashboard and 14 regional ones. He helps oversee the entire program while local office coordinators can manage individual needs by region. “When we’re dealing with other vendors, we get a lot of questions [from employees] about why something isn’t working,” says Atkins. “With Uber, I don’t think we get any. We just get people going, ‘Yes! It is working!’ It’s hassle-free.”
Equipping future travelers
As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, DPR wants to increase employee adoption of the company’s Uber for Business travel offerings. They have built robust internal communication channels, like an intranet page dedicated to travel and targeted messaging to frequent travelers who aren’t yet using the benefits. “We’re not going to dictate to people how they do things,” says Atkins. “We’re going to give them the tools to be able to do them better and easier. And that’s what Uber has helped us to do.”
By use case