PATRIOT ERECTORS LLC

TwinEngines delivered visibility at every stage of construction – for management, job site workers, and subcontractors.

Patriot Erectors Overview

Patriot Erectors is a turnkey steel fabrication and erector company with the facilities, team, and experience to assemble steel for major high-rises and complex construction projects.
A surge in construction made it increasingly difficult for Patriot to manage their sales pipeline and track the complexities of ongoing jobs. Patriot used a mix of applications to manage the business:

  • Trimble ViewPoint as the ERP for their financials,
  • Trimble Tekla for their production management system,
  • Spreadsheets to track their sales pipelines and ongoing project status.
  • PayCor for Payroll processing.

The Challenge of Multiple Systems

With critical job data in three different systems and spreadsheets spread throughout the organization, Patriot needed “visibility” into every job at every stage. Their challenge was similar to what many mid-sized companies face:

How to manage a variety of SaaS applications, desktop software, and mobile apps to run a business.

Even more challenging, the two central systems, Viewpoint and Tekla, were not attuned to the specifics of the steel fabrication business. Patriot has unique workflows around quotes, drawings, timekeeping, vendors, fabrication, and erection. These legacy systems also didn’t accommodate outside subcontractors.

The goal was to make this data visible to field workers without having them train them on the Viewpoint and Tekla and accrue user licensing fees.

The sales pipeline presented a different type of challenge. Rather than an expensive and complex solution like SalesForce, Patriot would be better served with a simple CRM that was part of the platform to maximize visibility.

The TwinEngines Solution

TwinEngines created an enterprise Web portal – Patriot Link – to manage all the moving parts of Patriot’s workflow.

  • CRM – As part of Patriot Link, TwinEngines developed a streamlined CRM system to track opportunities, quotes, documents, and correspondence. This centralized hub offered better tools for managing and reporting their sales pipeline.
  • Application Integration – Patriot Link was designed as an integration portal to consolidate information from Tekla, ViewPoint, and PayCor. The goal was to seamlessly manage a project at every stage in a turnkey fashion.
  • Payroll Integration – Tracking worker hours and payroll costs at the phase level was needed for job costing, but it was unrealistic for steel workers to manage their time at that level of detail. The solution was to create a simple interface for the supervisor to assign hours to the Job/Phase level right at the site and then let Patriot Link calculate and upload the job costs into the ViewPoint ERP.
  • Reporting – Power BI extracts, loads, and transforms pull data from four sources: Patriot Link, ViewPoint, Tekla, and PayCor. Multiple reports and dashboards were created for data analytics and tracking KPIs.

TECHNOLOGY

  • .NET C# MVC Web Application
  • SQL Server
  • SQL Server Reporting Services

INTEGRATIONS

  • Trimble Tekla
  • Trimble ViewPoint
  • PayCor
  • Safety Indicators
  • SharePoint
  • O365 Exchange Email
  • O365 Authentication/Single Sign-On

 

“From opening an opportunity to final turnover, the Patriot Link portal has given us better visibility into the opportunity and job status.”

Richard Neal, President

Modules

With a simple click, the TwinEngines Patriot-Link portal delivers visibility at every job stage. Some of the main components include:

Opportunities and Quotes

The opportunities and quotes interface provided a simple industry-specific CRM solution for tracking messaging, documents, and reporting to completion.

When the opportunity is won, it creates a new Job within Patriot-Link, which is then replicated in their other systems, ViewPoint, Tekla, and PayCor.

Contract Review / Job Setup

Users can track and manage the contracting process throughout the project’s lifecycle, including estimating, project management, field operations, safety management, quality, and others. Projects are broken into phases and sequences that guide the fabrication and erection process.

Detailing

The detailing process breaks architectural drawings into phases and sequences, which are often subcontracted to outside engineering firms. The sub-contractors can track and submit their completed work directly into the portal to maximize visibility for everyone on the project.

Drawings

Even though Tekla has a system for managing drawing versions and transmittals, it lacks the integration needed for field and office people to access drawings without expensive licenses. Patriot Link integrates with Tekla’s drawing management system and extends it to the entire organization.

Fabrication in the Shop

Once the previous processes have been completed and the assemblies’ fabrication can begin, Patriot-Link integrated with their production management system, Tekla, to provide insight into the fabrication and shipment process.

Erection at the Job Site

After the assemblies are fabricated and shipped to the site, Patriot-Link tracks progress at the job site, including shipments, assemblies, detailing, and inspections.

Rules of Credit

Rules of Credit monitor progress compared to estimates for each phase of the job. Patriot-Link calculates a weighted credit towards the completion of a phase based on the actual hours burned, assemblies at each stage of the erection process, and the budgeted hours for the phase. With this tool, project managers can track the productivity of the entire project.

Job Costing

Patriot tracks employee hours and costs at the Job and Phase level in the Viewpoint ERP system. For the assembly fabrication in the shop, each job and phase is added to the worker time card in PayCor.

For the erection process on the job site, employee hours are logged against a job in PayCor, followed by the site supervisor subdividing the hours into phases within Patriot-Link.

This provides the same level of job-costing detail in the field without requiring employees, who are actively erecting steel, break down their hours into phases throughout the day. Patriot Link provides accurate job costing at each phase of the project and makes it available where needed throughout the organization.

Reporting

Power BI extract, load, and transform (ETL) processes were set up to pull data from the portal, ViewPoint, Tekla, and PayCor. Multiple reports and dashboards were created for data analytics and tracking KPIs.

Results

Prior to Patriot-Link, the company had many spreadsheets scattered across its organization to track opportunities, quotes, and the various stages of the job lifecycle. Patriot-Link now provides a centralized, up-to-date repository for all opportunities and job-related statuses, greatly improving organization visibility.

“From opening an opportunity to final turnover, the Patriot Link portal has given us better visibility into the opportunity and job status,” said Richard Neal, President of Patriot Erectors. “Due to the greater visibility and enhanced productivity, the system has allowed us to manage our jobs better and will allow us to scale up and continue to grow in the future.”

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