Due to client privacy, we have changed the name of this organization to “Stellar International.” The story and interview are factual.
Stellar International is a global manufacturer and supplier of rolling steel doors for commercial and industrial self-storage units. Their Capital Improvement Program can range between 400-700 live projects at any given time from a 1K door replacement to a $1.5M general contracting job.
Stellar International’s Sr. Financial Analyst (we’ll call her Ms. Thompson) joined the Accounting department in 2015 before moving over to the Estimating Department. “We started out very Excel and paper-driven,” says Ms. Thompson. Stellar didn’t have a digital Bidding system; all drawings were manual and they had no visibility into how many open jobs they had in a particular territory. “There was no way to capture data. We needed to figure out how to index all of these silos of information,” she recalls.
A global manufacturer and supplier of rolling steel doors for commercial and industrial self-storage units, Stellar International manages 400–700 live projects at a time. They needed to digitize their drawings, project management, and bidding systems.
Prior to implementing e-Builder, the company relied heavily on paper documents and spreadsheet files.
Transitioning to e-Builder Enterprise gave Stellar access to a digital documentation system, automatic reporting on open projects, and various workflows including job completion.
Stellar continues to implement more e-Builder features including business intelligence reporting, which provides real-time data dashboards that help their executive team with decision-making.
“Before we brought on e-Builder we had 3-5 PM’s in the field. e-Builder Enterprise provided the data and resources to make us realize we needed more resources, so we added to the team.”
- Ms. Thompson, Stellar International
In 2017, Stellar began exploring software options, ultimately deciding on e-Builder Enterprise, also used by two of Stellar International’s largest customers. Stellar then began Phase 1 of a two-phase implementation approach. The Program Management group hit the ground running with e-Builder Enterprise and was especially thrilled to have a documentation system. The PM team could now immediately pull up a contract while they were in front of a customer. “Before we brought on e-Builder we had 3-5 PM’s in the field. e-Builder Enterprise provided the data and resources to make us realize we needed more resources, so we added to the team,” says Ms. Thompson.
Automatic Reporting That is Up to Date.
Another benefit of a centralized system was automatic reporting that was up to date. The team at Stellar was able to instantly see if there was an open project that hadn’t been assigned to installers yet. The team set up a report that shows when a new estimate was entered into the system. When the estimate hits e-Builder Enterprise, the PM team receives a notification which, based on their production window, gives them a one to two week window to ship. “This type of process allows us to be more proactive than reactive,” says Ms. Thomson. The team at Stellar is currently gearing up to implement Business Intelligence reporting which will provide live, graphically rich dashboards for their Executive team allowing them to make global decisions.
The team at Stellar was able to instantly see if there was an open project that hadn’t been assigned to installers yet. This type of process allows them to be more proactive than reactive.”
Benefiting from Job Completion Workflow
“We also use a variety of workflows that have improved our business processes,” says Ms. Thompson. One of the most useful Processes that the team at Stellar is utilizing is the Job Completion Workflow. Once a project is 90% complete, the system sends a notification to the PM team. Once received, the team can go into the workflow, fill out any final information, attach the sign-off document from the customer and close out the job. From there, the team can validate that they have all the recognized revenue. Stellar has also created a Critical Deficiency Workflow which tracks customer issues in the field. For example, if there is a product failure or an issue with an installer that may cause a potential revenue impact, the team at Stellar is aware and can once again be proactive.
“e-Builder Enterprise's workflows have improved our business processes.”
- Ms. Thompson, Stellar International
Phase 2 of implementation will include Stellar bringing their Accounting Department into e-Builder Enterprise as well as an integration with their Financial Software, Sage. The teams at Stellar are still manually importing bulk updates from Sage into e-Builder Enterprise. The next step will have data from Sage implemented directly into the system. Stellar will have up to date timing on product shipping and will feel more confidence in the numbers in the system, reducing the risk of human error.
Ms. Thompson’s vision moving forward is to ultimately bridge the communication and information gap between Accounting and Estimating. “I would love to get to the point where both departments are working on all of the same information at the same time,” says Mr. Thompson. For example, if a customer paid for their job, but still has an unpaid change order, Accounting can catch that quickly. On the other hand, Estimating could have full visibility into contract negotiations. Ms. Thompson would eventually like all contract negotiations in e-Builder Enterprise so that the Estimating Department can see what’s coming down the line. “My biggest goal is that we have all of our internal communications aligned. That will ultimately have a positive effect on our customers, and we continue to get cash in the door. “
e-Builder has more than 25 years of experience supporting owners like you in managing capital improvement projects.
e-Builder Enterprise automates information handoffs between designers, contractors, consultants and owners through a best-in-class workflow engine that transforms old paper processes to digital. It also offers the industry’s most flexible project financial management solution, unifying construction costs with accounting.
The best way to understand how e-Builder Enterprise can transform your capital program management is to see it for yourself.