Seeking increased efficiency for itself and its customers, a Florida engineering services firm has built a system to automate distribution of its construction materials testing reports electronically. “We wanted to create a product to save us money and create a service for our customers,” says Greg Edmonds, CEO of Ellis & Associates, Jacksonville. “We wanted to get out of the paper world.”


Edmonds says the company spent a year with a consultant developing “E-Reports.” It uses e-mail to alert clients when reports are posted to their Web-accessible accounts. Clicking on a link in the e-mail brings a list of reports that also note whether they passed or failed. Clicking on a title opens a secure, digitally signed PDF version of the full report that can be examined, archived, routed to a pre-set distribution list—or even printed. Full sets can be generated at close out with a touch of a button. E&A will continue to mail hard copies until clients ask them to stop.

“I think its great,” says Ben Pinover, vice president of Braddock Construction, a Jacksonville Beach excavation and utility contractor. “There is a tag line right at the top that tells you whether it passed.” That alone saves him from having to open and examine every report for its findings, he says.

“It speeds up getting the test data, plus, its easier for us to keep track, keeping it in the computer and distributing it by e-mail,” Pinover says.

Edmonds says the system has been operating a few months and 50 initial clients are being surveyed to gauge the adoption.

“They have helped us out quite a bit,” says Pinover. “Its not a huge breakthrough, but they take that much more time off your schedule so you can do other things.”