Sachse’s rapid growth and increasingly complex projects strained existing software and created a heavy reliance on Microsoft Excel as a bridge between non-integrated Operations and Accounting solutions. Project efficiency was impacted by a dependence on the Accounting department for financial reporting, a lack of real-time data, and difficulty in quickly identifying and limiting margin erosion. Inherent inefficiencies included duplicative data entry and spreadsheet reconciliation which weighed heavily on all.
Additionally, a lack of collaborative project management software hindered architects, owners, and subcontractors from interacting with Submittals and RFIs. This resulted in restricted visibility and fostered a reliance on non-real-time status logs circulated by email.
“We went from talking about stopping margin erosion to seeing exactly where jobs are losing money.”
Andrea Wright, Sachse’s Director of Training, was charged with finding a replacement ERP solution that would allow Operations and Accounting to self-serve accurate and real-time information in a stable environment, as well as the ability to create User Defined fields. After careful evaluation of available ERP software, Vista by Viewpoint was chosen to replace Sage Timberline. Viewpoint Team replaced Sachse’s proprietary project management software because “Viewpoint was seen as customizable, flexible and easy-to-use” said Wright. What separated Viewpoint from other options was their out-of-the box project management capabilities, integrated with Vista and online/mobile collaboration features.
A methodical plan to ensure smooth implementation included Viewpoint workflows supplemented by instruction manuals. A formal strategy included classroom training for all users and crossfunctional product champions who were able to answer questions and provide ongoing guidance to users. Asked about Sachse’s relationship with Viewpoint post implementation, Wright said, “We’ve met with Viewpoint’s product managers to talk through roadmap ideas and share ours. It’s a collaborative relationship”.
“Viewpoint was seen as customizable, flexible and easy-to-use.”
A single, integrated system increased Sachse’s Accounting and Operations visibility. One-time entry and real-time financial information addressed previous inefficiencies of double handling and duplicative entry. Team members have seen a reduction in administrative tasks and an increase in time to plan and forecast. No longer reliant on the Accounting team to provide financials, Operations team members can produce their own accurate reporting such as Job Cost. The result is faster execution and greater control of projects. Sachse project manager Kathy Sulik observed that, “Instead of Accounting living in one world and Operations in another, it’s one world”. Vista provides transparency so that information isn’t hidden or hard to access. Project managers know where budget dollars are spent and can be confident in the accuracy of the numbers. Having realtime information at hand, they can easily identify and diffuse potential problems. “We went from talking about stopping margin erosion to seeing exactly where jobs are losing money” said Wright.
Where previously only the Operations team could interact with day-to-day construction management processes such as Submittals and RFIs, Viewpoint Team’s browser-based capabilities enabled owners, subcontractors, architects and engineers to collaborate effectively with Sachse’s project teams. The final result is improved project speed, transparency, and efficiency, while providing a complete audit trail of who did what and when.