Subcontractor Software: The TRUE path for success.
You are a construction subcontractor. You are good at what you do and run a successful business. You are also a smart leader and don’t want to miss out on anything that’s going to give you an edge. You imagine that it must be possible to run your business better, be even more successful, and yet, work less too. How do you make this dream a reality?
We design smart, beautiful, and easy-to-use business software. We ensure it runs everywhere, on everything, and works the way you hope it would. We focus on building construction software for subcontractors. We create solutions that run your business better, make you more successful, and allow you to work less. We turn your dreams into reality.
We hear some combination of the following from almost everyone we initially speak with:
- “We enter everything into a spreadsheet that’s shared with the team.”
- “New leads are written on sticky notes and handed to me.”
- “They staple the project manager’s business card to the job folder.”
- “I have to call each installation crew at the end of the day to tell them where to go tomorrow.”
- “I don’t know if the time cards being submitted are the truth.”
- “I have to enter information into a spreadsheet, then add it to the schedule, then add it to QuickBooks, then finally add it to the payroll service.”
- “We have at least a dozen different spreadsheets we try to keep up-to-date.”
- “The field crews are given paperwork tickets so they know what to do.”
- “I’m not tracking job costing the way I know I should be.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine what it would be like to have answers instead of questions. Have everything safely and securely stored digitally and backed up in the cloud. To lose paper-based processes and sprawling spreadsheets of questionable data. This reality is closer than you might realize. While it’s never an easy transition, business owners who dedicate themselves to improving their firms will reap the benefits of more efficient operations, higher profitability, and allowing others to manage while maintaining control from afar.
Sales & Estimating
Track all of your leads, create digital estimates quickly and accurately, then see performance metrics in real-time or in week over week comparisons.
Do you know how many opportunities are in your sales pipeline? How many of those do you bid? How many of those become contracts? These are simple questions to answer if you’re organized. Can you see which quotes are due for follow-up right now? How many times have you provided a quote to a client but they haven’t given you a contract? Know which products and services are more profitable than others. Save time obtaining sales approvals with electronic client signature capture. Receive a notification every time a member of your team wins a job.
Win more work with the team you already have at higher margins.
Know your active jobs, the stage they’re in, how each is individually performing, and your active backlog of unbilled future work.
Follow established milestones through project completion. Load template task lists, track submittals, RFIs, and change order requests. Establish your material list, schedule of values, and automate retainage calculations. Know how much you’ve purchased, what has been received, what’s installed, and what you should bill for. All important files, emails, meeting notes, and drawings are safely and securely stored. Analyze the original budget, revisions you’ve made, anticipated costs, actual costs, and financial completion. See how many labor hours you’ve incurred onsite and offsite.
Feel in control of every project and foresee issues before they become problems.
Control who can order materials, know when materials are expected to arrive, and eliminate unexpected vendor bills.
Are field material requests submitted from an app in the field? Do you check vendor quotes to ensure you always order the one with the most cost savings? Can anyone order materials, even when they probably shouldn’t? Are you taking advantage of bulk orders and shipping savings by purchasing smartly? Are order confirmations verified and expected ship dates updated so you know when every item is supposed to arrive? Are damaged items photographed, issued credit, and backorders tracked easily? When vendor bills arrive, are they digitally stored, and reconciled against their originating purchase order to ensure accuracy?
Realize significant savings with a proven material procurement and vendor billing system.
Ensure your entire team knows who should be where, when, with whom, and with what equipment.
Do field installers know where they need to go by simply checking their phone? Is your schedule digitized and shown on a wall mounted TV for the entire team to see? Can you send schedule changes via text or email with a click? When you look at your schedule, are you able to quickly identify who is available for a specific time period? Are you able to click on a schedule and immediately see all the details of the job, contract or work ticket? Can you provide a read-only filtered schedule to anyone with a phone?
Make it easy for everyone to know what needs to happen each day. Make fewer mistakes and eliminate wasteful labor expenditures.
Field Phone App
Effortless communication between office and field staff.
Rid the paper work tickets, the paper time cards, the paper daily reports, the paper safety trainings, the paper shop drawings, and the paper MSDS sheets. Know where your team is currently located on a map in the office. Issue updated scope of work to crews with a click. Communicate punch list items from your computer and watch them resolved without having to tell anyone to do so. Immediately see photos from the field linked to the correct job with markups already made. Review material requests and field expenditure receipts submitted from a mobile app.
Don’t be left behind when everyone is moving to digital field apps to solve field inefficiencies.
Inventory, Shipping & Delivery Routing
A full ERP solution designed specifically for subcontractor needs.
Create inventory when items are received. Optionally print barcode labels. Bundle items together. Scan into assigned locations throughout multiple facilities. Track stock items versus contract reserved items. Create pick tickets, process and stage items into cartons and pallets. Manifest shipments, prepare client invoices, generate bills of lading, and automatically find the most optimized delivery route. Simple to scan, print labels, and manipulate items with an iPhone or iPad.
State-of-the-art inventory control is within reach. Are you ready to take advantage of it?
Properly maintained equipment with usage tracking is the foundation to fleet management.
Know who currently has every vehicle and tool. Receive alerts when a preventative check is due. View the entire maintenance history for every item with purchase documentation and repair receipts. Job cost equipment usage for all of your projects. Affix a scannable QR code to items for easy identification.
It’s time to start keeping better track of your vehicles, shop machinery, and field equipment.
HR & Payroll
If you’re not accurately tracking your expensive labor costs, you don’t know which jobs are truly profitable.
Are you sure your workers are at the jobsite when they clock in? Are you tracking lunch breaks correctly to avoid a Department of Labor audit? Do you know what work was performed for every punch? Can you analyze labor time by activity to better understand how long work is taking and if it’s on schedule? Are you automatically calculating prevailing wage rates for each personnel for each job? Can you push your gross payroll calculations to your payroll provider without having to re-enter it? Are you automatically job costing payroll amounts including withholding and deductions for each job?
With a simple phone time clock app, job cost labor for both onsite and shop operations with ease.
If you use QuickBooks, sync customers, vendors, invoices, bills, payments, expenses and more. Avoid time consuming data entry. Let QuickBooks handle what it does well: Accounting. Quickbooks doesn’t handle job costing and operations management well.
Ideally, consider using an integrated accounting software package so journal entries happen automatically. Download bank and credit card account information automatically. Integrate payment processing, and obtain customized financial reporting.
Your accounting software shouldn’t be a seperate program that requires repetitive data entry.
Take the Next Step
It’s time for you to make the changes you know your business needs. Take control of your future and begin the process of improving your business workflows through beautifully designed software. You’ll soon know answers to questions you’ve been afraid to ask. The time is now for you to act.
Eric Miller is an experienced commercial construction subcontractor who previously was general manager at a Division 8 fenestration firm. He’s also an experienced software developer, architect of “TRUE Contractor” construction management application (www.constructtrue.com), and owner of DocuWrx Corporation (www.docuwrx.com). He’s worked with hundreds of construction firms and thousands of users to design solutions to meet their dreams.