Rabren General Contractors was using Vista as its accounting system, but there was no solid project management system to speak of. Widespread, sporadic use of Excel and Word docs among some project teams meant subcontracts were written to a template, sent to accounting, and then manually re-created for entry into Viewpoint. Inefficiencies were bogging RGC down.
RGC signed on with Procore, using the Ryvit integration to connect the blue chip construction management platform to their Viewpoint instance. Between contracts, commitments, and change orders, Procore with Viewpoint generated and automated—and all-but-obliterated manual entry.
Change order-driven budget adjustments automated between Procore and Viewpoint.
Rabren has saved 141 hours (and counting) in contract and change order manual entry.
Conservatively assuming a 1% error rate, Rabren has avoided at least 17 budget-wrecking mis-entries.“I looked at our ERP tab. We’ve synced over 700 contracts and 1,000 change orders. I mean, just assume five minutes entry for each one of those. That tells you right there how much time has been saved just by our accounting department.”JR Allen, ControllerRABREN GENERAL CONTRACTORS
Rabren General Contractors Connect PM to Accounting
Rabren General Contractors (“RGC” to friends, clients, and most of the state of Alabama these days) opened up shop in 2000. Cousins Mike and Travis Rabren were determined to live and work by a can’t-miss professional golden rule. “Treat everyone as you would want to be treated, work hard, be honest, be fair, and get the job done right.” Like any new enterprise with pure motives and a heart for the work, the plucky new GC flourished. Travis’ brother Matt (today’s President & CEO) came aboard in 2003 and Alabama opened its arms to RGC. With success came subcontracts, record-keeping, accounting— the usual thicket of procedural and organizational headaches. Their ERP, Vista Viewpoint, was an accounting system trying to double as a project management solution. RGC realized they needed a blue ribbon project management platform that could connect seamlessly to their Viewpoint software, automate processes where possible, take error-prone manual entry out of their lives, and let RGC pivot wholly to what it loves—building stuff.
“700 contracts and 1,000 change orders”
Rabren’s Controller is in a position to know how drastically Procore and the Ryvit integration with Viewpoint improved RGC’s situation. “Once we had the connector going,” says JR Allen, ”I can’t tell you just how simple it was to have a contract or a commitment start in Procore. ‘Okay. This is approved, it’s executed, it’s got its compliance documents.’ You click three buttons, and it’s in Viewpoint. Before, we were having to key in all the information manually. So that was just a huge time savings.”
Che Odom, RGC’s Business Process Administrator, chimes in. “Same thing with the commitment change orders. You write 10 commitments, 15, 20 on a job, but you’re going to write 10, 15, 20 change orders over the course of that job, too. Those require a lot of data entry from an accounting standpoint. They’ve got to update the commitment and see where the costs are in the project budget. The connector just automates everything.”
JR did some figuring. “I was telling Che the other day…I looked at our ERP tab. We’ve synced over 700 contracts and 1,000 change orders. I mean, just assume five minutes manual entry for each one of those. That just tells you right there how much time has been saved just by our accounting department.” That would seem to come out to around 141 hours—or right around three-and-a-half workweeks. And that’s just from dialing down manual entries. Che puts a fine point on it. “If you assume even just a 1% error rate, that’s a huge number of potential errors in our contracts and our change orders and our budgeting amounts, any of that stuff. You’re looking at 10 to 17 errors that would be hard to track down, going through everything line by line, you know?”
Green Means Go
JR has a story about an unamusing amusement park build. “We did an amusement park down in Gulf Shores area,” he says, “and the project . . . it was kind of like Che just said. Long story short, because of the way it was handled, we ended up missing out on substantial savings just because the guys didn’t have updated information quickly. They didn’t have the access they needed. The commitments weren’t built correctly in Viewpoint. You look at what Procore does, it actually goes a step further and helps us. When a subcontract gets synced with Viewpoint, it turns green on the Commitments tab in Procore.” JR looks at Che. “We’ve actually instructed our guys—from a risk management compliance perspective—to say, ‘Hey—.’ “—Green means go,” Che cuts in. JR nods and grins. Procore’s got them covered. “Yeah,” JR concurs. “Green means go.”