Program Overload: The Sad Reality of Software Usage in the Small Business Contractor World.

Jun 29, 2023

               Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Earth, Outlook, Google Calendar, Hubspot, Excel, Word, QuickBooks…The list goes on and on. This rather large list of software programs is what it takes to run a small construction business. Most construction businesses who are trying to be tech savvy are falling into the trap of using a separate program for everything they do. Our asphalt and concrete maintenance company fell in to this trap as well and are working to dig ourselves out to simplify. I am going to dive in to why the software overload makes it damn near impossible to effectively build processes, communicate, and maintain a grip around your small construction businesses.

               In 2020, our construction business experienced unprecedented growth. In a year we more than doubled our revenue from $8 million - $18 million. Our payroll literally TRIPLED. With this chaos, we were scrambling through software programs so we could still communicate and handle all documentation effectively just to keep up with the growth. At the end of the year when we were able to sort-of take a breather we decided it was time to start actually building processes. So we began setting meetings to create job descriptions, and began writing full front-to-end processes through every single department. Our process flow was something like this:

1.      A lead calls in, emails, or submits request on website.

2.      Sales manager enters in lead in to Hubspot and assigns the job to an estimator.

3.      Estimator makes contact with customer within 48 hours of receiving lead.

4.      Estimator uses Google Earth on ipad to create scope of work.

a.      Estimator uses camera app on ipad to document all repair photos

b.      Estimator uses Notes app in iPad to document repair need and measurements

5.      Estimator creates estimate using Estimating template inside of Excel.

6.      Estimator saves estimate as an Excel file in Dropbox and creates a new folder in the following format:

a.      Project Name – Company Name

7.      Estimator uploads all photos in to Dropbox folder

8.      Estimator screenshots Google Earth sitemap and puts in side of Dropbox folder “Sitemaps”

9.      Estimator creates proposal using Word and saves as a PDF

10.  Estimator saves proposal into folder titled “Proposal”

11.  Estimator sends proposal via email through Hubspot and moves deal to “Bid Sent”

I could keep going, but you get the point. Just to scope and send out one proposal took SEVEN programs. And that is just through sending a proposal! That doesn’t include the other half or even two/thirds of the remaining job flow. Bottom line, this makes process building extremely complicated and is hard to use to train a new employee.

This is a huge reason why we threw money in to developing and creating SpotOnSite. Currently, SpotOnSite does not eliminate ALL of these programs and processes, however it eliminates a huge chunk of them. We don’t necessarily save time on the front of job scoping. We save time on the back end. With SpotOnSite, you no longer need to:

-Duplicate marked up paper sitemaps in to Google Earth.

-Transfer photos and videos from text message, email, your camera library or cloud storage program.

-Use Word to create a professional looking inspection report (we called it a Pavement Assessment in the asphalt world).

-Have to calculate and organize all of your jobsite measurements.

These steps are completed for you. Our whole goal is to streamline the backend processes that take up so much time, resources, and complex brain power just to provide a clean, but powerful sales presentation. Our efforts moving forward are geared solely to making the small to mid-sized asphalt maintenance contractor’s lives and businesses much simpler. By doing this, we allow asphalt contractors to double their revenue, double their profits and minimize the inefficiencies that hold so many contractors back.

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