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Gut Feelings or Hard Facts? Owner Chooses Profits Over Pride for a Better Bottom Line


Download ArticleInnovative Building Concepts, LLC (IBC) has been providing the highest quality architectural composite material and metal roofing systems to design and construction professionals across the United States since 1987. 

Pat and Jerri Sweeney, who have been with the Bloomington, Minn.-based business for 25 years, purchased IBC in 2011 and continued to build on the company’s strong reputation for quality, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and customer service. 
They wanted to rely less on gut feelings and more on true facts and actual costs about IBC’s work, their estimates, where to cut cuts, and what to bid. They also wanted to increase productivity across processes and lacked a complete construction business management solution that allowed that. 
The Complete Package
“It was the strong estimating features and the fact that Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX was a complete solution that sold us,” said Jerri Sweeney, president of IBC.  “Other software providers partner with other vendors to offer a system with all the functionality we need. ProContractorMX is truly a single, complete solution.”
ProContractorMX is a complete construction software solution that handles the complexities of the entire project lifecycle from takeoff and estimating through job cost accounting and project management, and ultimately for critical reporting and analysis.  
Improved Job Costing
“ProContractorMX automates the processes allowing us to run job costs much more efficiently and be more specific about the different employees on the job,” explained Sweeney.  
Sweeney added: “It will also be nice to set up purchase orders so we are not always bugging people ordering materials to create POs.  And, it will significantly help with change orders.  We do it ‘by guess and by God’ now.  The project managers maybe tell us about a change or they may not.  We are not sure what is legitimate or approved now.  ProContractorMX will help our project managers be more efficient and enable us to track change orders and so be more proactive and make more profit. And if a job is over budget on hours or materials, we can alert the project manager and take care of it right then instead of waiting until the job is complete or too far along to make the change.”  
Saving with Speedy Estimating
IBC expects to see their biggest improvements by using ProContractorMX for takeoff and estimating. Sweeney explained: “Using a manual scale for our takeoffs and writing down the measurements has been a barbaric method.  Moving to digital takeoff, we will save time and greatly improve accuracy.”  
Being a seamless solution, ProContractorMX accurately accumulates bid details so then IBC can quickly produce professional proposals.  With their old method, they type a proposal and then prepare it as a PDF to send it.  “By automating the creation of our proposals in ProContractorMX, our process will be more efficient and our proposals will look more professional,” added Sweeney.
Complete Visibility
“Before ProContractorMX, we were working in the blind,” said Sweeney.  “By being able to see actual costs, it is a great learning tool to determine the accuracy of our estimates.  Having this information is really valuable to know why we are losing jobs, where we can cut, what is really worthwhile to bid, and so on.  ProContractorMX will also enable us to bid more jobs more often and more accurately, helping us to be more competitive all the time.  It will help us to better manage our business, eliminating the need to rely on gut feelings and enabling us to compete better in the market.”  
Learn more about using complete construction management software to improve estimating, job costing, and visibility across the business. Please contact Maxwell Systems at 800-688-8226. 

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