For about 30 years, Florida Paving & Trucking, Inc., based in Homestead, Fla., was a small mom and pop contractor providing complete site work, asphalt paving, asphalt milling and removing, excavating, drainage and sewer, and more. In 2009, this family-owned business was making approximately $2 million a year. Then within two to three years, the company doubled its staff, added another office, and reaches approximately $20 million in annual revenues.
Today, with about 15 bids live at any time and eight projects in execution simultaneously, it is essential that Florida Paving keeps its operations under control. To help keep things structured and organized, the contractor uses Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX software for takeoff and estimating.
The contractor struggled with shuffling papers back and forth, which impacted time and accuracy, as well as lacked the data needed to understand how to produce profitable bids. Florida Paving also had no bonding capacity and couldn’t prove anything without a structure for bidding, estimating, and tracking jobs. Furthermore, they had collections issues and could not easily produce paperwork proving they had not been paid.
Florida Paving chose Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX as its seamless takeoff and estimating software solution to help keep operations structured and organized. The contractor uses the software to perform digitized takeoff and calculate cut and fill, produce estimates easily, and get more accurate and competitive bids out the door. Florida Paving employees in the field remotely access the software to stay informed and productive on the job site. Overall, the contractor values the solution as a good source of data to improve decision making for best profit.
Using ProContractorMX for takeoff and estimating, Florida Paving saves significant time across processes and runs business more strategically. Not only does the non-technical team find it very easy to use, they also value its comprehensive features. The contractor is using the solution to track bids from cradle to grave and have cut their estimating time by better than 66 percent. Furthermore, once with no bonding capacity, they are now bonded for jobs up to $20 million. Plus, with a credible trail for every project’s entirety, they have all the documentation needed for collection proof in the future.
According to Tony Martinez, estimator at Florida Paving, “We are overjoyed to find such an amazing solution in a simple, easy upgrade,” he said. “It is so robust.” Martinez’s military intelligence and computer science background enabled him to come into the contracting firm and help them streamline operations and get systemized by taking full advantage of the features and functionality in ProContractorMX.
Better Decisions with Data
The company’s estimators perform digitized takeoffs to generate accurate measurements and quantities and then seamlessly pull that takeoff data into the software’s estimating feature to price out jobs and create their estimates. The seamless process eliminates the time and errors associated with re-entering information, often needed if using manual methods or disparate systems. “The time saved for even the most basic use of ProContractorMX is tremendous,” commented Martinez.
Florida Paving takes advantage of the solution’s more advanced features to help them efficiently and accurately produce bids, win more work, and be more profitable on each job. “In the past, we would get out bids on jobs and not know how to win the work or what was a smart bid. We didn’t have the data needed to understand how to be profitable. It was all on paper that we were shuffling back and forth,” said Martinez. “Now, with ProContractorMX, we are able to look more carefully at the scope of work required and develop more competitive bids. We can easily go back and look at the data and feel comfortable with making decisions on how to proceed.”
He added: “ProContractorMX is a good source of data for us to determine where we made mistakes and how we can do things better. Using the solution, we can gather data, such as what types of jobs give us the biggest profit margin and what are filler projects for our crews, and determine whether we have the cash flow we need. ProContractorMX is a real time-saver and helps us run our business more strategically.”
Being able to access ProContractorMX anytime, from anywhere has also improved productivity for the firm. With laptops in their pickup trucks, Florida Paving employees in the field can remotely access the software through a virtual private network. When on a job site, they can pull out the specific segment that they are working on and review the figures right there while staying on the job.
With the comprehensive databases of historical pricing on cost items for materials, equipment, and labor all stored in one central location and updated regularly in ProContractorMX, Florida Paving has been able to be more competitive on their future bids because they can look at the difference between current prices and prices used for past bids, then easily clone similar bids and make adjustments for pricing as needed to get the new bid out the door.
For example, Florida Paving was awarded three jobs with the Florida Department of Transportation (DoT); however, they were put on hold because of a lack of funding. A year and a half later, when some funding became available, the DoT went back to Florida Paving and the contractor was able to easily re-estimate the projects with updated pricing for material, equipment, and labor and to fit the DoT’s new budget. The process took only 90 minutes to have updated bids, whereas prior to using ProContractorMX, it would have taken a week and a half to re-estimate.
Florida Paving also uses the Earthwork capabilities of ProContractorMX. These features are tailored specifically for site work contractors and help to easily determine a job’s cut and fill quantities and then efficiently calculate what equipment and labor will cost. On a bid for the Homestead Air Force Base that is undergoing a recovery project to rebuild what was destroyed during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Florida Paving used ProContractorMX Earthwork to help estimate the project. During the estimating process, tons of asphalt was found buried on the site and needed removed for the new project. It could have taken almost two weeks to figure out how much needed to be removed and what equipment and labor was needed for this part of the job; however, with ProContractorMX, the numbers could be easily plugged in and the bid was completed in less than two days.
The Paver with Proof
In addition to improving the takeoff and estimating process for Florida Paving, ProContractorMX has helped the contractor streamline other areas of its business as well.
“In the past, we had no bonding capacity,” explained Martinez. “We couldn’t prove anything. We had no structure for bidding, estimating, and tracking individual jobs, and no ability to go back and look at how we bid the jobs in the first place. Now, we are bonded for jobs up to $20 million because of the amount of money we have generated and our administration.”
Florida Paving also had collections issues in the past and struggled to produce the needed paperwork to prove that they had not been paid. Now with all the details available in ProContractorMX, from the original quotes, dates, and email records, to the total cost and what was received, the contractor’s attorneys have said that they should have no issues proving collections in the future. “They said that if all of our jobs are done this way and all this information is at our fingertips, we will win all of our cases,” commented Martinez.
Simple and Supported
“Most users of construction solutions are not computer gurus, so software solutions must be easy to use,” Martinez explained. “ProContractorMX is user-friendly, and also provides the comprehensive functionality needed for construction companies today. We are using it to track our bids from cradle to grave and it has cut our estimating time by better than 66 percent.”
“Not only is the system easy to understand, but the tech support staff at Maxwell Systems is very knowledgeable. Our account representative is a true professional that is accessible whenever we need her, and there is a consistent team effort from sales to support,” he added.
When discussing the multiple options for customer support at Maxwell Systems, Martinez says that he likes the ability to chat online with a support technician to get his questions answered. If the question arises again in the future, he is able to refer back to the text from the saved online conversation and easily resolve the problem on his own.
“I can’t say enough about ProContractorMX. It is simple, easy, and we completely love being able to access it from wherever, whenever,” said Martinez. “It would be ideal for us to move to the complete ProContractorMX solution by using it for accounting and project management as well in the future. Then we can have a single seamless system for construction management for our entire company.”