For nearly 20 years, Dean Crowder Construction, Inc. has been building and paving roads throughout Northwestern Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. The company performs earthwork and paving for municipalities, counties, and as a subcontractor for area general contractors. As was the case with many other contractors, Dean Crowder Construction was forced to grow leaner and more efficient in order to survive the economic downturn.
Although it downsized from 100 employees to 25—with a corresponding drop in revenue, Dean Crowder Construction is now more profitable than ever. How is this possible? The powerful combination of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office) and Sage Construction Anywhere* enables the company to operate with lower overhead and greater efficiency, thereby making jobs more profitable.
Keep in the Loop Anywhere
Dean Crowder Construction has been using Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (Sage 300 CRE) successfully for several years and recently added Sage Construction Anywhere, a cloud-based collaborative solution that works with Sage 300 CRE and arms field personnel with the real-time job information that they need to keep their projects moving. The company learned about Sage Construction Anywhere at Sage Summit, the annual Sage users conference, and immediately recognized its value. “It allows field personnel to access plans, documents, and other job-related data from their mobile devices,” says Maeva Mayes, office manager for Dean Crowder Construction. “Essentially, it keeps personnel in the loop while they are in the field.”
The company purchased eight Apple iPads for use by the owners, project managers, and foremen. Mayes configured several reports that deliver commonly needed data to the field personnel, including updated cost data, summarized payroll data, estimates, and schedules. “We fully expect that by providing our field staff with information, we are cutting overhead and eliminating the need to hire additional support staff. It is less expensive in both the short and the long term to invest in the technology that keeps our team productive in the field.”
Grow Revenues Without Growing Payroll
Dean Crowder Construction has also greatly simplified employee time collection in the field using Sage Construction Anywhere. As their employees became familiar with the new application, they began submitting timecard data directly from the field using mobile devices rather than relying on paper time sheets. “That has saved us so much time and has improved the overall accuracy of the payroll process,” Mayes says. “From the very first payroll we processed using Sage Construction Anywhere, we were able to cut our payroll processing time in half.”
Mayes adds, “Just a few years ago, we would need one assistant for every three project managers. With tools like Sage Construction Anywhere, our project managers easily can do what their assistants used to have to do. We can get more work done with fewer staff members while keeping our teams in the field where they are most productive. In this way, we can grow revenues without growing our payroll.”
Leverage Existing Resources
Mayes says that the company’s use of Sage 300 CRE keeps it competitive and was integral to its ability to survive the recession in good financial health. “Thanks to the checks, balances, and alerts within the software, we were able to discover where a vendor had overcharged us. Using the documentation the system provided, we were able to go back and collect more than $20,000.” The company is now utilizing more of the software’s functionality than it did in the past. “As we continue looking for efficiencies in our operation, we rely more on the software. For example, we began tracking all of our subcontracts in Sage 300 CRE,” says Mayes. “This gives us a clear picture of committed costs and allows us to ensure that charges billed against that subcontract do not exceed the contract amount.”
Another way Sage 300 CRE is helping the company leverage its resources is through the ability to easily track and account for accounts payable invoices paid with the corporate credit card. “Sage 300 CRE does a great job of accounting for this, while still enabling us to allocate costs to our jobs,” explains Mayes.
Lean and Profitable
“We are a smaller, leaner organization than we were a few years ago, yet we are more profitable,” concludes Mayes. “We attribute much of our success to Sage 300 CRE and Sage Construction Anywhere.”
* Sage Construction Anywhere retired as of September 30, 2019. Sage recommends moving from Sage Construction Anywhere to Sage Field Operations, the modern solution for streamlining communications between the office and the field.