Interview with Campbell & Kennedy Electric

Nov 15, 2016

Campbell and Kennedy Electric Ltd. specializes in building and tenant services, design/build and maintenance. As their business continued to expand, Campbell and Kennedy wanted to replace their old legacy system with a software solution that was more integrated and collaborative. Manually entering data on Excel spreadsheets proved to be extremely inefficient and prone to human error and double entries. A lack of integration between all functions of the business limited visibility and reporting.

Since leveraging Jonas Construction Software, Campbell and Kennedy has increased growth, enhanced accounting capabilities and integrated their software system with other functions of the business. Revenue has grown by 30%, going from roughly $10 million to $13 million, all without adding any additional staff. Electronic billing has also saved time and money in multiple areas of the business. Billing cycles have been reduced, with invoicing sent electronically rather than delivered manually. Jonas has provided Campbell and Kennedy with the ability to attain real-time snapshot views of how their business is doing, something that they could not achieve in the past. We recently spoke with Kelly Wenzel, the controller at Campbell and Kennedy Electric to talk about how their transition to Jonas has made a positive impact on their business processes.

To start, can you tell us a little bit about Campbell and Kennedy Electric?

Kelly: We’re an electrical contracting company that services both industrial and commercial customers. We have about 65 employees and we’ve been in business since 1955.

Prior to partnering with Jonas, what type of software were use using and what eventually drew you to Jonas?

Kelly: In the past, we used an old IBM system which was a very old, dinosaur-type DOS program, and we decided we wanted to implement a software that allowed us to gain access to more information regarding our business. We went with Jonas because it would be able to handle various aspects of our business, specifically HVAC, electrical contracting and construction. In addition, we figured that Jonas was going to be a really good fit for payroll, job costing, and service billing as well.

How has partnering with Jonas affected your business?

Kelly: Since partnering with Jonas, our revenue has increased by approximately 30% over the last 15 years, all without having to increase our administrative staff. Also, the ease of invoicing has increased tremendously. In the past, it took us about a day to manually enter everything needed for union reporting. With Jonas, it takes an hour. Also, sending out paystubs is done electronically, which has reduced our postal costs, driver’s time and gas costs. In the past, we had drivers delivering paystubs to jobsites, which has since been eliminated, saving us about 50 days a year.  

In terms of billing cycles, how has Jonas helped with that?

Kelly: As far as billing goes, when switching to the Jonas system, billing through service work orders has saved us a significant amount of time because we used to enter it manually. Through electronic billing, invoices are sent out weekly instead of every couple of weeks, which has helped our cash flow, with money coming in quicker than it did in the past.

Can you tell us a bit more about how Jonas has helped manage and monitor your cash flow?

Kelly: We’re able to monitor our cash flow a lot better because the invoices are coming in quicker, so billing is done in real-time, rather than delayed weekly, as compared to when we used to enter everything manually. Now, we can easily run our receivable reports, which allows us to improve our cash flow overall.

Has your reporting improved since implementing Jonas? And what types of reports can you now generate?

Kelly: To manage our projects better, we can pull reports such as gross profit margins. I can give the project manager that report, and they can review it with their estimates, and find out if we’re on target or if we’re not on target. It’s been very helpful for upper management to be able to manage cash flow, and to let them know how much profit they’re actually making on any given job.

Has this had an impact in terms of how you’re managing the business better?

Kelly: Yes, to manage the business better, you need to have cash coming in quickly, so you can pay your payables quicker. It’s all part of the accounting cycle, and it’s become much faster and a lot more efficient.

Can you tell me a little bit about your experience working with Jonas as a company, and how are the people you have worked with?

Kelly: I’ve found in the last 15 years working with Jonas, that they’re always willing to help and find the solution that eventually will make everybody happy. Jonas is always there to help us, and if the solution isn’t there, they make the effort to find one.