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Con-Elco Group Case Study


Watch how Con-Elco transformed their multi-company operations to attain automated multi-company accounting, operational efficiency, and accurate cost reporting and data integrity. 

Con-Elco Group of Companies, one one of the leading utility contractors in Ontario, Canada serves developers, home builders and utility companies such as Enbridge, Rogers, and Bell Canada. To better support their customers, they also have other ancillary businesses, which include home building, a recycling operation, and other infrastructure branches specializing in commercial, roadway electrical, public sector lighting, traffic signals, temporary power solutions and fiber optic and telecom solutions. 

Con-Elco started using Jonas in 1989, until about 2005 when they moved to Microsoft Dynamics NAV. As the company grew, they realized the software was not meeting their business’ operational needs. They needed construction software that would connect their field and back office operations, improve efficiency across their entire company, while also managing their multi-company accounting requirements.

Before Jonas Construction Software
Limited ability to grow and scale due to limited software development from their provider.
Limited software integration, leading to inefficient double-data entry and inaccuracies.
Frequent downtimes and ineffective resolutions due to dependency on third-party providers.
Lack of data integrity due to components of the software not working properly.
After Jonas Construction Software
Complete construction ERP solution to manage multiple businesses with multi-company construction accounting software. 
Single data entry system to avoid double data entry and improve data accuracy and integrity.  
Reliable support and reduced downtime due to Jonas Cloud hosting and automatic updates provided by a dedicated Jonas Cloud Support Team.
Confidence in the integrity of data and construction cost reports produced.
Found a partner that grows and develops with them.

The Challenge: Managing multi-company accounting and business operations with unintegrated software and a third-party vendor 

After leaving Jonas, Con-Elco went with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and tried to develop a program through a third-party reseller. As the company expanded its operations and continued to evolve, the limitations of working with the reseller and Microsoft became evident. 

The impact of downtimes and delayed resolutions for IT issues on one company, let alone a company responsible for many other companies, is not understated.

Through this experience, they realized they didn’t want to work with third-party resellers anymore. They needed a comprehensive construction ERP system that they could rely on to manage the intricacies of a multi-company business and multi-company construction accounting.

The Solution: Jonas’ Integrated Construction Software with Multi-Company Construction Accounting

In 2018, Con-Elco returned to Jonas Construction Software and benefited from their decision to leverage Jonas’ integrated construction solutions, which met their needs for multi-company accounting, job costing, invoice tracking, inventory management, equipment management, document management, and job billings (including progress billings and service billings). 

They also took advantage of Jonas’ enhancements with EBI reporting and Jonas Cloud hosting to further improve visibility and efficiency and in their operations. 

Since moving to Jonas, Con-Elco CFO Namby Vithiananthan has been impressed with Jonas’ all-in-one construction management software. “With the old system, we would have issues with data integrity or with some components of the software not working. With Jonas, we are confident in the integrity of data, our system, and our reports.”

Enhancing Operational Efficiency from the Field to the Back Office

After re-adopting Jonas, Con-Elco saw operational efficiency improve in the field and back office with integrated solutions like field time tracking, dispatch scheduling, field service management, and document management. 

With Jonas’ time tracking and entry solution, Field Time. Field employees could record their hours, job details and equipment use directly from the job site. It revolutionized data collection from the field and improved data accuracy by reducing errors from double data entry. 

Having a time-tracking solution that was integrated with multi-company construction accounting software helped them manage the complexities of multiple businesses’ financials, payrolls, and reporting in one system.

Con-Elco utilized Jonas’ dispatch scheduling and field service management module, Jonas eMobile to enable their technicians to complete more work from the field and be more efficient on the job site. On eMobile, technicians created and completed work orders from the field. With direct input from the field, costs were automatically allocated and readily available for the back office.

Jonas’ document management software allowed staff to link documents to invoices and quickly access information securely when needed. Valuable information like completion slips and installation pictures could also be attached to work orders and shared with the team and back office immediately to improve the accuracy of their operational and cost data and enhance efficiency by reducing redundant work.

Advanced Construction Accounting Solutions with Progress Certificate Tracking and Billing

Vithiananthan discusses one of Jonas’ distinct billing features, which catered to a specific business need at Con-Elco. “We have this unique need to bill a separate customer for the same contract.” 

With Jonas, Con-Elco was able to produce progress certificate tracking for invoices. For contract billing, they used multiple contracts within a job and within those jobs, they tracked progress certificates. 

This was important for Con-Elco because in one job they were billing multiple customers, and these customers had to be tracked separately due to their own contracts, with their own billing quantities.

“We can report on the outstanding progress certificates. We also had the ability through Jonas to change the invoice after the invoice was made to record the progress certification date that comes after the invoice date, which also helped us track our receivables, our collections, etc. in progress billing,” said Vithiananthan.

The biggest advantage of Jonas’ ability to do this for Con-Elco was that they were able to cost the labor and the material to a job while separating the invoice to different customers. 

Custom EBI Reporting and Secure Cloud Hosting

In terms of elevating their business, Vithiananthan mentions that the two of the most important features they found helpful for improving their visibility and accessibility into the business operations have been with Jonas EBI reporting and Jonas Cloud hosting services.

With Jonas EBI, they can customize their reporting to be more dynamic and drillable and also report on multiple areas of their business, such as job costs, work orders and accounts receivables. Due to Jonas’ integration and accounting automation, Vithiananthan could get more insight into their costs, while being confident in the accuracy of the reports produced by EBI.    

Since transitioning to Jonas Cloud hosting services, Con-Elco has eliminated their dependency on third-party vendors with Jonas handling all their upgrades and hosting needs, which has helped them resolve any technical issues much more swiftly

The Impact: Data Integrity and Improved Visibility into Con-Elco’s Costs and Operations 

With Jonas’ integrated construction software, Con-Elco has benefited from significant improvements in their operational efficiency and visibility with more accurate data. To begin, the software met their primary need for a multi-company construction accounting software that could be integrated with the field in real-time, and enable them to effectively manage multiple businesses in a single software system.

The ability to seamlessly allocate payroll, labor, equipment, inventory, AP invoices, and general ledger entries from one entity to another has not only streamlined operations but also enhanced project visibility and enabled efficient management of financials across multiple companies, culminating in consolidated financial reporting.

The direct flow of cost and operational data directly from the field to the back office has eliminated redundancies and errors for double data entry. With a single entry system, we are able to force the data from Field Time right into the Jonas Core payroll and avoid double entry errors that could occur when the data has to be entered twice. We are more confident that we are now able to improve the accuracy of data,” said Vithiananthan.

A pivotal development in Con-Elco’s operational efficiency was the transition to Jonas Cloud hosting services. This shift eliminated their reliance on third-party vendors, which meant reducing system downtime and enabling smoother, more reliable operations with the benefit of automatic software updates. “Since we moved to the Jonas Cloud, we had very few occurrences of interruption in the accessibility of Jonas and as a result, we have saved a lot of time in terms of downtime.”

Overall, the integration of Jonas’ multi-company construction accounting software with EBI construction reporting has been instrumental in providing Con-Elco with accurate, real-time data and reporting on multiple areas of their business. With immediate access to accurate cost and financial data they can trust, Con-Elco can confidently make informed decisions to reduce profit fade and enhance operational efficiency across their entire enterprise.

“The strength of Jonas is its experienced personnel who are committed to improving their product,” stated Vithiananthan. “When we came back to Jonas, we had the challenge of getting about 13 years of advancements that Jonas made over the years. Jonas listens to its customers and incorporates positive changes to the system. Jonas has thrived over the past 30 years with emerging technology and has kept up and served Con-Elco well.”

About Jonas Construction Software

Jonas Construction Software offers integrated construction software solutions in construction accounting and construction management for mechanical and speciality contractors. 

With a commitment to building software focused on accounting automation, enterprise efficiency and superior cost reporting, Jonas’ comprehensive suite of integrated solutions is comprised of accounting & payroll, project management, service management, and integrated operations.

To learn more about how Jonas can help your service and construction business enhance cash flow predictability and maximize profits, request a demo today.

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