The Noel Company, Inc. has been providing quality turn-key concrete construction for over 30 years throughout New Mexico, Northeast Arizona, West Texas, and Southwestern Colorado. They’ve placed more than 1,000,000 cubic yards of concrete to successfully complete more than 1,000 commercial, industrial, institutional, educational, and healthcare projects. Projects that have helped make local communities a better and safer place to work, live, and play.
As a concrete subcontractor, the team at The Noel Company, Inc. works on dozens of simultaneous projects throughout multiple locations in the western United States. While working with general contractors means a priority for keeping their data and paperwork organized, they also need to be able to track the hours, materials, and additional work order changes even on remote job sites.
Before GoFormz, The Noel Company relied heavily on paper forms to track the details of their work, but found issues with many of their remote sites. In the best-case scenarios, job site superintendents would take a photo of a completed form and email it to a specific list of stakeholders. In some cases, the superintendents would be required to drive the forms back into the office, which for some meant a four or five-hour drive. The solution wasn’t practical, or scalable as they continue to expand their working locations, and Project Engineer Andrew Wilson was tasked with the responsibility of finding a better way to handle their forms.
“It was a lot to ask of them to go to work every day, fill out these forms, bring them into the office, and it’s a delay in time and resources,” Wilson noted as the driving force behind their choice. “We were facing, not an issue, but an inconvenience, where we were asking our guys to do a whole lot.” But it was more than an inconvenience. “We were losing money on extra work orders that were never getting signed,” Wilson said. He cited that either the drive was too far, the forms were missing, or they ended up lost as the biggest reasons.
“They all had an iPad already,” Wilson commented about their superintendents. They were used to track work on each job site, as well as how they facilitated their payment applications. It just made sense to see if there was a mobile app that could handle their forms as well. “We were looking for something that would essentially allow all our forms to be filled out remotely, and come directly to us,” Wilson stated. “We also wanted there to be a legally binding option to it for when we were working with other contractors.”
After researching a few options, GoFormz stood out as the leader because of the intuitive interface for their team, as well as the offline capabilities. With such a large portion of their team working in remote locations, being able to fill out forms with or without an internet connection was critical to their workday. “You could put it on the iPad and as long as they had synced within the last time I had updated, they had the most recent forms,” Wilson said. “And as soon as they reentered service you know it’s still coming through.”
Thanks to GoFormz, the teams were able to make sure timesheets were submitted on time each week, extra work orders were being completed in a timely manner to capture lost revenue, and purchase requisitions were keeping everyone informed of the total expense of each job site.
“We were losing money, we were losing time, we were losing data, it was a stress on our accounting department, on our project management team, it was a stressor on everybody,” lamented Wilson. With everyone feeling the pressure, they decided to start with timesheets. While timesheets for the week are due on Fridays, “I feel like our accounting department was constantly having to hunt them down Tuesday or Wednesday of the next week,” noted Wilson. Timesheets are now easy for site superintendents to complete and immediately send off to all stakeholders and departments thanks to GoFormz, which meant it was time to start incorporating other forms as well.
“It’s especially in our extra work orders,” Wilson commented. “Essentially, any time that we’re asked to do work outside the scope of when our contract began, we ask that our field staff and supervision get these signed stating: what it is, manhours, and any equipment costs.” These forms come up often, but can be difficult to keep track of on a job site, and it was easy to let scope creep set in when an individual was facing a pressing timeline or demanding contractor. GoFormz made the process so much easier that they’re now able to capture all that lost revenue from their projects. “You click the form, you open it up, and five minutes later our office staff has it and can associate the right costs with it,” Wilson continued. ““Now there are no concerns that we’re doing work outside of our scope, which has been huge.”
In construction, there are varying degrees of communication skills, and some don’t always embrace technology well. “They were expecting something more difficult,” Wilson noted. It was decided that the best method of implementation would be in a one-on-one setting with each supervisor in combination with continuing support as needed. However, all of the field supervision staff, regardless of technical capability, have found GoFormz to be extremely intuitive. “It’s intuitive” and the ease of use for every team member made the adoption run smoothly in the long run.
Since implementing GoFormz, The Noel Company, Inc. has created over 30 templates for their forms, all with distinct mailing lists and automated routing to get their forms into the hands of those who need them. “It crosses departments,” Wilson said. “It’s become really specialized, which I love because we’re able to simplify things.” They’re still continuing to add new forms and find new uses for GoFormz.
“I think that our management team has been really happy with the adaptability of it, and its ability to grow and change.” They’ve even incorporated GoFormz into their annual enrollment process for insurance benefits. Up next, they’re working to create a communication platform for every member of the company to be able to ask questions of any other department, from estimating all the way to HR. “You may not feel comfortable asking these questions, or may not feel like your voice is heard,” noted Wilson. “But there’s an entire program being built around the ability for this form to be filled out, sent in, and then for you to receive a response based on that.” GoFormz has given The Noel Company, Inc. an unlimited opportunity to digitize their processes and communication. “It’s working well enough that we’re building entire functions around it,” Wilson said. “It’s been incredibly helpful to us.”