How to Enable Complete Project Visibility—from Concept to Closeout
Andrew Gautreau, vice president at AGI General Contracting, knows the value of having a single database platform to scale his company. Founded in 1978, Art Gautreau, Inc., dba AGI General Contracting (AGI), is a full-service commercial general contractor specializing in the retail food, drug and medical industries. Currently owned and managed by the founding family’s second generation, AGI continues to fulfill its founder’s vision of quality workmanship delivered on schedule and at a competitive price. For the past 40 years, AGI has been successful at taking care of client needs while driving consistent business growth. This is evident in the company's continual repeat work with existing clients and its ability to acquire new clients based predominantly on referrals.
Despite the company's successes, AGI’s owners knew that their legacy system was holding them back from performing their best on every project. “Our legacy system wasn’t a scalable technology that could take us to the next level,” said Andrew Gautreau. Other shortcomings of the system were a lack of mobile capabilities and a dashboard with limited options for customization. In addition, AGI was looking to switch from an on-premise hardware/software platform to a hosted service. After making significant investments in its legacy system, AGI decided that it was “now or never” to make the switch, or else continue wasting more time and money.
Andrew Gautreau and his brother, Chris—AGI’s President—made it their top priority to ﬁnd a system that would “last until the end of their tenure at the company and serve the next generation.” They consulted industry sources, such as ENR, for top software reviews and sought the recommendations of other general contractors in the industry. Although individual answers varied, the conclusions were the same: The key to effective collaboration is having a system, built on a single database platform, which captures and organizes data across the enterprise. More importantly, the data must be available in real time.
Although AGI considered “virtually everything on the market,” only fully integrated software solutions made the company's shortlist. The comprehensive functionality of CMiC—which includes CRM, resource planning, ﬁnancials, payroll, and project management and controls—is designed to seamlessly unify all aspects of a ﬁrm’s business operations. In addition, CMiC offered the remote capabilities AGI was looking for with a fully developed mobile suite and customizable dashboards that can be accessed anywhere via a web browser. Because the CMiC platform seamlessly connects a construction firm’s entire team, everyone—from site supervisors and equipment managers to accounting staff and project managers—works with a single version of truth to ensure that their team is moving toward the same goal: completing all projects on time, within budget and profitably.
By leveraging CMiC Enterprise and Field, AGI is now “functioning at a higher level than ever before. We optimized our forecasting and we know our numbers better than ever,” says Andrew Gautreau. With CMiC’s Workflow and Imaging, AGI gets more results with less accounting staff compared to when the company was using its legacy system. This is particularly evident in the AP invoicing process: AGI is now able to handle all of its AP invoicing with one accountant versus two using the previous software solution.
AGI has built and customized its CMiC Project Management dashboard to fully enable all the key project administration and collaboration areas that are considered essential—RFIs, submittals, change orders, invoice approvals, daily journals, contracts and compliance documents. AGI has also begun the development of new dashboards and reporting tools by utilizing CMiC’s enhanced Business Intelligence application, with capabilities available throughout the platform.
Reﬂecting on the decision to go with CMiC, AGI is not shy about sharing its admiration of the software, despite having dealt with a handful of challenges. “If you think implementing a new enterprise system is as easy as ‘plugging and playing,’ you’re going to be surprised. It’s important to look at software and technology as an investment—and CMiC is just that. Looking at it that way has allowed us to realize that any challenges we face are part of the process towards becoming better. CMiC can be whatever you want it to be, and those possibilities are truly exciting,” adds Gautreau.
The quality relationships with the CMiC team and the support of CMiC’s user group community—CMUG—continue to impress AGI. “At the end of the day, we’re in construction—not technology. There’s an entire community built around CMiC, and there’s comfort in knowing that both the software—and the people behind it—will meet needs we don’t even know that we have yet.”
—Jeff Weiss, Chief Revenue Officer, CMiC