The team at Illinois Masonry experienced challenges with an all-in-one ERP solution that was clunky and not user-friendly. Since transitioning to eSUB, the team is creating documents with ease and spending half the time it used to on administrative processes.
Illinois Masonry has been providing high-quality masonry services since 1978. As one of the largest employers of union masons in Illinois, the Illinois Masonry team has received numerous awards of excellence in masonry architecture.
Committed to providing its customers with 100% satisfaction and complete conformance to their masonry requirements, the Illinois Masonry team were early adopters of software. However, the team quickly learned that their accounting-based solution was not adequately fulfilling their operational needs. The system was not user-friendly, which hindered its adoption and usage by new employees. Because the system was not web-based, field employees could not access any project information or documents.
"Our previous system was not very user-friendly," said Melony Cook, administrator at Illinois Masonry. "People had to log into different applications to create project-related documents. To share information with the teams in the field, I needed to make copies of a document and upload it to Box.com."
Illinois Masonry's reputation began to grow with many of the largest general contracting firms in the United States, and the team continued to take on larger projects. The office team recognized that they needed a new system to help them manage these larger projects more effectively.
As a cloud-based solution, eSUB provides a centralized location for all project information that is easily accessible for all employees regardless of location. Melony continues, "eSUB is so easy to use that everyone in the company uses eSUB. Everything is in one location, and our teams can be working in the field or from home and have all the information they need at their fingertips."
Improving back-office efficiency
eSUB was built with many time-saving features for busy project coordinators and project managers. Within each document log, there is the ability to copy from previous documents.
"When I have to create a new Submittal or a revision, using eSUB's copy feature, the dates, specs section, and description is pre-filled, so there is very little I have to change. And the Correspondence Toolbox has a variety of templates that I regularly use like the Cost Impact/No Cost Impact letter. It is an easy way to send a notification and saves me a lot of time not having to draft letters from scratch. I add notes and attach an eSUB document if needed (RFI, Submittal, Change Orders, etc.) to the communication," says Melony.
The email integration within eSUB allows Melony and the Illinois Masonry team to create, log, and send documentation out for approval. "We send everything through eSUB, so everything is in one place. We no longer have unnecessary calls from the field regarding the status of documents or spend time searching for a specific email in someone's inbox. Everyone has visibility into every document that was sent and its attachments, when it was sent, who sent it, and the status of the document," says Melony.
Additionally, each project has a unique email address, and eSUB stores all emails sent to that email address in a secure, fully searchable database. eSUB houses all project documentation, information, and communication in one centralized web-based location.
“Using eSUB I save between 6-10 hours each week compared to previous processes."
"I've saved at least 1/3 to 1/2 of the time I've spent in creating, managing, and searching for documents.”
Visibility into all projects
The Illinois Masonry team conducts a weekly meeting to discuss all projects and essential items. The group utilizes the Meeting Minutes module to record project meetings, designate action items, and assign responsible parties. eSUB Meeting Minutes delivers visibility into all projects and assignments and holds the team members accountable to their responsibilities to keep projects moving forward.
Although Illinois Masonry is a long-time user of eSUB, they are still finding new ways to utilize the system and increase the value that eSUB delivers to the company. Melony says, "We used to export Change Order Requests from eSUB into an Excel Report, but we recently discovered the Change Order Request Status Report. This report provides an overview of a project's Change Orders, including the status, associated cost, and both create and approval dates. This report has become very popular with our owner and senior team."
The Field Foreman and Superintendent have begun to document Lost Hours on the Daily Reports. At the end of the job, the team runs a report on Lost Hours. If there is a problem at the end of the job, the Lost Hours report becomes a vital negotiation tool.
Melony concludes, "eSUB saves a lot of time, and it can save you a lot of money. Paper gets misplaced, or you spend a ton of time trying to find it. With eSUB all your documents and correspondence are in one place, and the information is at your fingertips."