Meet Ed Coffin: The Electrical Expert

How did you become interested in working at eSUB?

I met Wendy in 2005. She gave me a demonstration of the eSUB platform, and I was extremely impressed. It was really easy to navigate, and it solved the document control challenges that I struggled with as an electrician. That day, meeting Wendy and seeing eSUB in action, I had this feeling that I was going to work for eSUB one day.

I got my start in the construction industry as an electrician. I worked as a Foreman, Estimator and Project Manager and learned the trade through the school of hard knocks. As a Foreman and a Project Manager I know first-hand the difficulty in managing projects. We struggle in communicating between the field and the office and there was no standardization. So, when I saw the documents that eSUB could create, I knew that’s what I had always needed.

Before joining eSUB, I worked for ConEst Software Systems for 12 years. ConEst and eSUB were partners, and ConEst embedded eSUB’s software inside their job track program. ConEst’s job track program was almost identical to what eSUB did; but ConEst was desktop software, and eSUB was in the cloud. At this point, Wendy and I had followed each other’s career for 11 years. At a NECA conference in 2016, I approached Wendy and asked to come work for her at eSUB, and the rest is history!

ed Coffin

What are you currently working on at eSUB?

I work closely with the Client Success Managers on the “forensic analysis” of their clients. Meaning, we’re going through all eSUB’s clients and analyzing their data and observing the way they use (or don’t use) eSUB. We’re bringing value to our customers by showing them where they’re at risk and how documentation through eSUB can help them see their performance on their projects.

My goal is to empower CSMs and their clients on how to use the many of the features of eSUB. There are so many facets to eSUB and many customers are not using it to a fraction of its full capabilities. The remarkable, positive, and strategic conversations open all of these other values to the software that our customers weren’t even utilizing.

We are showing customers how to read their own data. Not only can I help the eSUB team understand construction, but it’s about helping the customers understand their field data and how they can use that to improve their profit margins.

Ed Coffin

What is the most common issue you see amongst subcontractors?

There’s two. First of all, subcontractors need to track their jobs more effectively. Secondly, they need more consistency in their estimating. The estimate has a very high risk, and for most of the industry, estimating and project management silos are brutal. If a job loses money, everybody points fingers because of the struggle in passing the estimate to project management. That’s becoming less and less of a problem because eSUB can make that a seamless transition by importing budgetseSUB can help in an automated way to understand what you do well at and where you need improvement through labor productivity tracking. If you’re underperforming, you’re going to lose money. But when you’re fine-tuning your estimated hours, you’re going to operate more efficiently and win more opportunities.

As a subcontractor, you need to know your ability to perform on different types of commercial projects, and eSUB can show you that. So that the next time you start on an estimate, there’s no finger-pointing, you’ve got good, quality information on your company’s ability to perform.

What are you most excited for in the future at eSUB? 

The ability to disrupt the traditional design-bid-build model and the way that contracts are written. I understand that construction is broken, and everybody has separate contracts. Because those contracts are tied to money, it’s all about shifting risk to different parties. The owner hires the architect and the general contractor, and the architect employs the engineers. The general contractor hires the subcontractors. When you look at that, it puts the general contractor as the middleman between the subcontractors and the design team. Because they’re all separate contracts, everybody doesn’t necessarily work together.

eSUB’s mission is to champion and elevating trades to the forefront on the construction marketplace. Our vision is to change construction by empowering builders in an open and connected world. By providing a central location where subcontractors can host all of their important documents and integrating that information with BIM. By integrating eSUB with BIM 360, project stakeholders can share information directly and reduce the friction between subcontractors, general contractors and designers.

I’m excited that this will change the industry for the good. I love being on the other side of it now, advocating the software that I once needed to help shape the future of this industry. Subcontractors will finally get a chance to be involved from the design stage to construction and be able to protect the profits they work so hard to earn.

What’s a philosophy about the work that you do? 

Pride and passion are the two top things. I can’t be successful without the two. Ultimately, I’m a passionate person and proud of what I do, and I really care to help people. I focus on spreading the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained through the years in this industry to help educate people on the issues in this industry.  I want people to remember me because I went out of my way to do something to help them!