Q&A with BCI Mechanical Inc.

Jun 15, 2016

BCI Mechanical specializes in air conditioning and plumbing solutions, primarily servicing the private residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Prior to implementing Jonas, BCI Mechanical was using an in-house legacy system to handle their construction software system needs. While the system was capable of performing basic tasks, it was incredibly time-consuming and was unable to provide greater insight into the business. Completing service dispatching was quite difficult as well, as they only had a manual list of calls with no detailed information, which left them in the dark about which technician was performing what job.

 With a software system that was limiting what their business could do, BCI decided it was time for change. Since deploying Jonas in 2011, BCI has seen an increase in service revenue of about 20%, with the same number of dispatchers, and five additional technicians. They were able to increase their number of technicians from 13 to 18, which represents about 40% growth, all without adding any additional service dispatchers. In the four years BCI Mechanical has been a Jonas partner, they have made improvements in various areas of the business. From relying heavily on manual processes and operating with limited visibility into the business, BCI is now thriving in all aspects. Partnering with Jonas has given BCI a stable construction software solution that has, and continues to support them along the way. We recently spoke to Charla Smith, Controller at BCI Mechanical Inc. to discuss their success since implementing Jonas Construction Software.

 To begin, can you talk about the history of BCI Mechanical, and who your customers are?

 Charla: BCI Mechanical is an established company in Denton, Texas, operating since 1994. We do service, mechanical, heating, air conditioning, and plumbing for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. We have a very diverse crew with a lot of different skills, so we do our best to meet any need within each field.

Can you tell us what life was like before Jonas?

 Charla: Before Jonas we were on an older program, and in its day, it served its purpose very well. It did not however, work well with products like Microsoft Office. It was also pretty cumbersome to operate, and only a few people fully understood how it worked. We needed something that had a better support system, with more users in it, and offered new software updates.

 When you were looking for a new software, what drew you to Jonas?

 Charla: What drew us to Jonas Construction Software, was the fact that it had a really robust service and job costing program. When we decided we needed to purchase a new software solution, we started looking for something that had strong service and job costing, which was not easy to find. Programs were either very strong in service or they were very strong in job costing. And they did not cross back and forth very easily. Jonas however, was strong in both aspects and fully integrated as well.

 What are some of the benefits you have seen since deploying Jonas? 

 Charla: Deploying Jonas allowed us to expand our service department. We became more efficient by adding technicians, without having to add extra dispatchers. My job costing became a lot easier to handle because our project managers had real time data that they could access immediately, cutting down the number of times they had to come in to the office to get information. Sometimes project managers waited a week to realize there was a problem they needed to address. With Jonas, they can stay on top of projects much better.

What specific improvements have you seen with your dispatchers and technicians since implementing Jonas?

 Charla: When we partnered with Jonas, we were actively trying to grow our service department. Jonas allowed us to do that. We’ve increased our service revenue by about 20 percent. That was being done with the same number of service dispatchers, and we have been able to increase our technicians from 13 to 18. It has also allowed us to more closely monitor larger jobs through service instead of in job costs.

 How has Jonas enabled both the job and service aspects of your business? 

 Charla: When we acquired Jonas, we knew we had to have a product that allowed us to deal with large commercial and industrial projects that needed multiple layers and lots of drill downs. Also, we needed something that was able to tell you the last time we went and worked on a particular unit at a customer’s home. Jonas has enabled us to track our service customers, as well as various other projects at different locations.

 How have you been able to integrate the service department with larger construction jobs?

 Charla: When we complete a new construction project, we approach it expecting to continue to do service for that customer for years after. It is very important to me that we get all of the details in that job so we pick up the appropriate equipment items, we track the warranties and we have all that information immediately available to us. In the future, when that facility calls us and wants service, we are well prepared. I have the information they need to make their lives easier, but is also a great benefit to me as we’re increasing our revenue from continual work on that project.

 Has your reporting improved since you’ve implemented Jonas?

 Charla: Once we got Jonas, reporting became a lot simpler. All of the data is readily available. At first, it was difficult to grasp, but Jonas has always been very supportive. If I couldn’t figure out how to get something done, Jonas has always taken care of it.  Jonas now generates reports that gives me exactly what I needed, and the beauty is that the data is always is available. They can get to any piece that you put into the system, and can extract the data based on different reporting criteria. From a financial standpoint, what I want my project manager to see versus what my partners should see can be very different. Through Jonas, I have the ability to tailor reports so that everyone can see only what is relevant to them. Jonas’ data retrieval allows me to specifically decide what information I want each person to have.

How has Jonas’ reporting feature made an impact on the business or on customers specifically?

 Charla: Having real-time data allows us to make more effective decisions. If I know there is an issue with a project, then I can address it right away. Jonas has allowed us to find out if I have change orders I need to write, inefficiencies in management, problems in the field, or bad estimates. In terms of getting information out of the customers, faster billing ensures we get paid right away, and by solving their problem in a timely manner, they are more likely work with us again.

 What has your experience been like with Jonas thus far?

 Charla: Implementing Jonas was very painless. Jonas provided a clear schedule for how to implement the software and had brought someone in to help with it as well. I enjoy dealing with the people at Jonas, they are very responsive. If it’s a small problem, I give them a little bit of time to respond and handle it. If it’s something that I consider a crisis, Jonas also makes it a priority and ensures that they resolve the issues, so that’s been really nice. If I had to make the choice again, Jonas is still the software I would choose.