Interview with The WISL Group

Mar 29, 2016

Before making the switch to Jonas Construction Software, The WISL Group was using an in-house custom built legacy software system, which was only being used by accounting and was therefore not integrated with any of the other functional business areas. Not having a centralized location where all pertinent business information could be stored, really hindered their ability to collaborate between departments and divisions. Also, majority of the information processing was being done manually, which was prone to error and double entries. With that being said, The WISL Group came to the realization that their current software solution was no longer going to work for them and a change was required.

Since implementing Jonas Construction Software, The WISL Group is operating a more integrated, collaborative, and automated software system. Since partnering with Jonas, The WISL Group has seen their sales volume increase by 75%, with less office staff, demonstrating greater efficiency. With Jonas deployed, payroll processing time, which used to take about three days to complete, has been reduced by 50% and now only takes them about a day a half to process their payroll.

We recently spoke to Dan Damphousse, Vice President of Finance at The WISL Group, to discuss the success of their business since implementing Jonas Construction Software.

Can you talk to us about what software you were using before implementing Jonas Construction Software?

Dan: Prior to Jonas, we were using a custom-written program for our company. It was good in terms of job costing, but it was mainly used by the accounting department, which means payroll, payables, receivables, and some journal entries were made. The project managers weren’t making any entries or weren’t necessarily accessing the system for reporting, and we felt that there was a need for better tools to give to our project managers so that they can do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively.

When you began looking for a more integrated and complete construction software, what features and functionalities were you looking for?

Dan: We envisioned our new software system would allow the project managers to be able to access the systems themselves, enter estimates, access reports so that they can do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively, which basically means getting information in their hands on a timely basis that they can react if a certain job cost appears to be going over budget, instead of doing it at the end of a projects, which at that point, it’s too late. They can do it mid-project and adjust accordingly, and right the ship.

And why did you ultimately choose Jonas Construction Software?

Dan: We chose Jonas because a couple of our partners and general contractors we knew had been using Jonas for some time, and it was based on their recommendation that we started to explore the possibility of going with Jonas. Once we got a bit more in-depth in terms of the different capabilities of Jonas had to offer, it was basically a no-brainer for us.

How has your experience with Jonas Construction Software been thus far?

Dan: Since acquiring Jonas, our project managers have the tools necessary to operate more efficiently and effectively. We have also been able to grow our sales by 100% since we started using Jonas 10 years ago, all without having to increase our support staff, which is huge for us. Going forward, we certainly see room for further growth without having to increase our support staff as well.

With regards to all of your companies under The WISL Group, how has Jonas allowed you to better manage those companies?

Dan: Our corporate structure is as such that two of the cooperating companies are unionized, and two are open jobs, so a couple of different rules apply when it comes to labor. We have different rates and different benefits, and Jonas is able to give us the ability to manage those different sets of rules and structures based on the labor earnings, and we’ve been able to cut our payroll processing time in half. It used to take us three days to do the payroll for all four companies, and now we’re doing it in about a day and a half.

From an operational perspective, how has Jonas managed to help you track your operations better?

Dan: Jonas has allowed us to more accurately track all our job costs. Every single hour of labor, every single piece of material, or any types of services and costs can be tracked to specific projects. What that allows us to do is to go back and check on our estimates, which gives the estimators some feedback and gives them the opportunity to adjust if required.

By giving your project managers the tools that they need, what has been the material impact to the bottom line?

Dan: By giving our project managers the tools they need to be more efficient and be more accurate, it’s freed up some of their time to be able to acquire more work, and if we can acquire more work, that means that we could increase sales and increase the bottom line. The owner’s philosophy is to be able to deliver our services on time and on budget, and Jonas Construction Software has certainly allowed us to put that into practice and continue to deliver those services to our customers.