Vince began the search for a comprehensive software system. "We wanted to get something that was fluid, something that would remove the need for multiple data entry points," explain Vince, "We wanted something consistent, that flowed throughout the entire process. ConstructionSuite does that for us."
"We keep everything in UDA ConstructionSuite and it runs so much cleaner and smoother now that we're just integrating the two programs," said Vince. "Before, we would have to put 100% of our estimates into QuickBooks, but now, the only things that go into QuickBooks are the active jobs."
"For us, we do 20 jobs, but may create 75-100 estimates per year," he explains, "That would bog down the system, but with the way ConstructionSuite handles the integration, it's clean, it syncs, and the information is 100% accurate."
The search wasn't easy though. "We went through a lot of product trials, including Timberline which is just too much program - too much of what we don't need. In the end, we all agreed upon UDA ConstructionSuite," said Vince, "ConstructionSuite works."
ConstructionSuite Helps Control Costs
Vince runs Universal Design Solutions with 3 licenses of ConstructionSuite Catalyst. Not only is Vince able to do all of his estimating, scheduling & calendars, contracts & document management, contact & lead management, and QuickBooks Integration in ConstructionSuite, but with the Catalyst version, he can take advantage of additional RS Means Commercial Costbooks, Advanced RFI Tracking, CAD Integration, Application for Payment & Cash Flow Reporting, and more.
One of the features Vince finds both convenient & consistent is the contact and calendar management. Vince explains, "With both the calendar and the contacts, we are able to sync backwards to Outlook, whereas before, Outlook controlled it. ConstructionSuite has become the primary hub for the entire system, and the best part is that it's consistent!"
When asked what ConstructionSuite has done to improve their business, Vince said, "ConstructionSuite has made us more productive, and provided consistency throughout the office. We have actually seen stability in our margins with using UDA ConstructionSuite because we are able to control our costs."
Estimating, combined with the QuickBooks integration help UDS bid accurately and track their progress. "ConstructionSuite helps us cost the project properly because we don't leave anything out," said Vince, "and being able to compare our estimated costs versus our actual costs helps us know committed costs. We can really see the difference between the two."
Ample Room to Expand with ConstructionSuite
Universal Design Solutions invested in ConstructionSuite during the midst of a struggling economy, and that critical nature is exactly why they got serious about finding a comprehensive program. "For us, we're bidding twice as much, to get half as little," said Vince, "We have to be very resourceful and careful on which projects you bid because that time you spend bidding could be spent on another project that you may get." Quick and timely estimating is crucial in this economy, and the speed with which UDS creates estimates helps them get bids out the door quicker.
Another way ConstructionSuite has helped UDS stay lean and strong in this economy is with Resource Management. "In estimating, we know, for sure, that every nut and bolt needed, and every person who is going to touch the project is included in the estimate, thanks to the resource allocation features," said Vince.
This helps even further because "1 - we know we're getting a good number out on the street, and 2 - if we need to sharpen a pencil, we know exactly who to give it to instead of just a random on the back end, giving it up on the profit," said Vince. "If you can do resource management well, sometimes the margins will increase and the price will still go down. We can do that with the resource management tools in ConstructionSuite."
With a little over a year since they invested in ConstructionSuite, Vince is certain that he made the right decision for his business. "Honestly, ConstructionSuite has been 100% everything we needed," said Vince. "A lot of times software works during the learning curve, but you outgrow it because the features aren't there for when you're growing and it maxes out before you even reached your full capabilities," explains Vince, "With ConstructionSuite, we've found we can still push it, and it's flexible. We know that it will continue to fit what we need and still leave us room to grow."