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Hayles and Howe: Where ancient art and information technology meet

2/24/2015 at 9:41 am by

If you’re a runner, you understand what it means to “hit the wall,” that moment when all your energy is suddenly zapped and you struggle to take one more stride.  Construction companies have a similar moment when they realize that their current software system can no longer keep up with their business needs.

Plaster contractor Hayles and Howe came to that conclusion several years ago. At the time they had grown substantially and were taking on more complex projects. Consequently they had a need for more information to keep things on track. Joselin Martin, the company’s chief financial officer, knew that moving from a standard small-business accounting software to a construction-specific financial and operational management solution was essential if the company wanted to continue to grow and prosper.

Today that change has provided the IT infrastructure needed to allow the company to do what it does best:  design, fabricate, and install ornamental plaster and scagliola for restoration projects and new construction. (Their work is amazing!)

Hayles and Howe now has greater visibility into projects and their overall business.  “Questioning a cost later, after the job is finished, is too late,” Martin says. “Management needs to know what is really going on—while it’s happening—in order to run a successful company. Our project managers and superintendents need access to costs and change order data quickly and in real time in order to run their projects effectively.”

Martin especially appreciates the snapshot view she can get into all important job data, including outstanding tasks like invoices, billings, and RFI, as well as budgets, change orders, and current costs. She also uses automated “alerts” to remind her of what she needs to do and when she needs to do it.

Hayles and Howe takes on projects all across the country, which makes mobile access to information also very important. The company recently implemented cloud-based technology that makes it possible for project teams to access and share project information from anywhere using their laptops or mobile devices. Field staff can view and upload project notes, including photos from the site. They can also access project reports to ensure they’re always working with current, accurate data.

For Hayles and Howe greater access to timely information has made them better organized and more streamlined, allowing them to take on even larger and more complex projects. As Martin explains: “An informed company is an efficient company, and an efficient company is a profitable company.”

Want to see more about Hayles and Howe work and their supporting technology? View the video.

 

About the Author

Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.

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