=

This Interior Contractor Streamlined AP with Stampli and Sage 300 CRE

E48afb26

Marietta, Ga.-based Cork-Howard Construction specializes on interior contracting for demanding customers. Employing about 50, the company completes multi-floor tenant construction, tenant buildouts and renovations, small to mid-size ground-up structures and renovations in occupied spaces. Owner organizations include corporate, healthcare facilities and hospitals, data centers, financial institutions, and non-profits.

 

The company handles a lot of complexity for a smaller contractor, including a diverse project mix, licensure in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee and a heavy reliance on repeat customers (three quarters of customers have worked with Cork-Howard before) which means project quality and communication are critical.

Sage 300 CRE and Stampli

According to Cork-Howard Controller Milissa Douglas, the company relies on Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (CRE) as its system of record.

Sage 300 CRE came into the Sage portfolio with the 2003 Timberline acquisition, and Sage is offering this as their construction ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution for middle-market contractors. Sage has taken this proven solution and tuned it for and placed it in the cloud as a subscription-based offering, but it can also still be run on premise.

Sage has made available application programming interfaces (APIs) for Sage 300 CRE, and Douglas points out that not every software product that integrates with Sage 300 will also integrate with the construction edition, Sage 300 CRE.

 STREAM OUR INDEPENDENT OVERVIEW OF SAGE CONSTRUCTION ERP PRODUCTS

Stampli For Accounts Payable, its AP automation platform, is complemented by:

  • Stampli Direct Pay for disbursements not handled by accounts payable
  • Stampli Card to encompass credit card expenditures by a field-based team in a consolidated system
  • Advanced Vendor Management to onboard and communicate with vendors

 

Financial applications like Stampli can be attractive because the bring modern cloud-based technology to a contracting business without requiring the disruption of an ERP system of record. Integrations with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software used in construction include:

There is also file integration which is suitable for file sharing with desktop or on-premise applications and process integration.

“Stampli simply has been a game changer for us,” Douglas said. “It's automated our AP. We went from paper to an automated AP department with Stampli. And it's been amazing.

With field-based crews making ad hoc purchases, a centralized way of capturing these transactions has eliminated multiple data silos, according to Douglas.

“We went from having the employees holding four credit cards to holding one credit card,” Douglas said. “And it's working out great.”

Prior to issuing Stampli-integrated credit cards, employees would use cards from Home Depot, Lowes, or a gas card, with an additional credit card for other purchases that could not be made at these outlets.

“We consolidated all of those cards down into that one card,” Douglas said. “Now they all hold one card, and they can go anywhere they want to. I manage their credit their limits on their cards and their purchases.”

Oftentimes, these expenditures are hard to budget and plan for.

“The cards are used for small things that you need on a job when we're not self-performing the work,” Douglas said. “There are times you need something, or you've run across a subcontractor, that doesn’t have the money to buy the materials, because they haven't been paid for their part of the job. We'll buy their materials for them and deduct it from their contract.”

Eliminating separate credit cards in favor of Stampli cards by itself has made Douglas’ department non-value-added work.

“I got to think about the fact that that was four statements coming in,” Douglas said. “And everybody that's holding one of those cards has their own individual section and you have to make sure you have receipts and how to cost everything down to one statement.”

Stampli has helped Douglas eliminate both wasted hours and materials.

“Before Stampli, we had a paper system,” Douglas said. “The invoices would come in, we would print out all the documentation, and everything would get printed out and processed through AP. And it was sorted out by a project manager, with color-coded manila folders …Our paper usage has gone down 90% to 95% less than what we used to use.”

Vendors can send invoices directly to a Stampli email address, or a company email address where they can be approved by

“A vendor provides us with our own email address, and we can send them straight into the Stampli email address, or we have a company email address for invoices that come the AP and attaches them to Stampli,” Douglas said. “And then they send them out for the approvals from the PMS. And then once they do that the PMs have access to those records at all times. They don't have to come back to AP and ask to look at a file. They have access to it now. Once you touch a record you always have access to it, which makes it so much easier for them when they are putting together their monthly bills to the client. They can go back and say, ‘hey, what did the plumbing guy bill? What did the HVAC guy bill on this job? The electrician, the drywall guy?’”

Sage 300 CRE and Excel

While Douglas said the company relies on Plangrid (now Autodesk Build) to connect field and project management workflows, the back office relies on Excel for a number of business processes, including estimating.

“We download out of sage into Excel to utilize and get the information that we need. Again, it's specific to what we're looking for.

While some contractors start estimates for smaller projects differently from larger projects, in order to streamline the process, Cork-Howard does not.

“We do a full blown out estimate for every single job,” Douglas said. “And then as far as documentation, all the documentation is the same if you have $100 job or a million-dollar job. We just follow the same guidelines and processes for everything … We have an in-house-built product that you fill out one, and then the first tab populates the other 15 tabs for you are all the different things that we need.” 

Page 1 of 2
Next Page