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Day-View Electric Case Study


The team at Jonas Construction Software sat down with Vickie Brunet, owner of Day-View Electric to learn about the impact Jonas has had on her business and its growth. Read further to discover how Jonas’ integrated construction software helped them take on more business with the same amount of resources, and improve operational efficiency.

Disclosure: Other than minor edits, including but not limited to grammar, formatting, and the exclusion of some private details, this Q&A session is presented in near completeness. 

In this Blog:

Could you start by telling us about yourself and your role at Day-View Electric?

VB: My name is Vickie [Brunet]. I’m the owner of Day-View Electric. We’re an electrical contractor that focuses mainly on the commercial side in Ottawa,[Canada] area. We have two divisions: projects and service. On the project side, we focus on new builds, such as high rises, condo rentals, and electrical fit-ups. Our service side handles maintenance and service contracts.

We’re a family business that successfully transitioned from first generation to second generation, which is a proud accomplishment for us. We’ve been using Jonas since 2006.

What are some of the responsibilities you fulfill for the business?

VB: My main responsibility is the management of the business. I’m involved in all the back office operations, making sure that we’re as efficient as possible in all areas of the business and that we continue to improve how we run our business, including the customer relationship side and managing our field staff.

What would you consider your top business concerns to be?

VB: Currently, our business concerns would first be labor shortages. Getting quality labor, but also retaining existing labor. It’s a very competitive market. Secondly, there is a shortage of materials, which means an increase in material costs. This is further intertwined with multiple ongoing jobs with service contracts or just projects. Despite all these challenges, we still have to deliver quality products that our clients expect, but also within the costs that we estimated originally.

Would you say Jonas helps you with your business concerns?

VB:  From attending the Jonas User Conference, I’m learning that the answer is “yes”. We realized that we’ve only scratched the surface of what Jonas has to offer and how we can use it.  It’s not just a tool for office personnel, we can integrate it with our field employees. When we started using it in 2006, we were using just some of Jonas modules, now we’re adopting more features and functionality to streamline our processes.

Could you describe how you and the team use Jonas?

VB: We use Jonas pretty much for everything in our business, all the way from the finance to projects, service and procurement

The Jonas procurement module handles all our purchasing of materials, tools, and management of inventory. For finances, we use Jonas payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. We do all our bank reconciliations, month-end reporting, and year-end activities through the Jonas financial side. On the smaller projects, we use the job costing module to track all our costs, see all our results on jobs, and also do all of our billing. For our service division, we use Jonas for everything from eMobile to Field Time to Dispatch Scheduler, to all of our invoicing. 

We also use Jonas’ executive dashboard to see where our numbers are at on a daily-basis, or have an overview of accounts payables, accounts receivable, and overall business performance.

In what ways does Jonas impact your day-to-day decision-making?

VB: We can see where our costs are at and make informed decisions from them. We’re also able to predict our cash flow and see what our year will look like, see our billing status, and analyze the percentage of our costs compared to revenue. For instance, we can track how much our labor is, increases and decreases from the previous year. We can also forecast our budget usage, and assess what percentage we used of our budget so far.

Can you elaborate on the type of visibility you get in your numbers?

VB: With the Jonas executive dashboard, we’re able to instantly see what has been posted in terms of revenue, direct costs, indirect costs, and it will immediately give us our gross margins and net profit. The dashboard provides an overview of the month, a year-to-year performance, and also year-to-date comparison. We can see all our expenses, assess if we are on budget and drill down to see details of every GL account.

Could you share an example of when Jonas provided you more with visibility to improve your business performance?

VB:  In the executive dashboard, we can see more of our revenue side by tracking the percentage on a monthly and yearly basis for both our material and labor costs. For example, if revenue increased by 10%, but labor costs increased by 50%, we know that we’re being overrun on labor. 

The same applies to material costs, we want to make sure that our increased billing aligns with our increase in revenues. For example, it’s happened in the past where we could see on a monthly basis that our costs were running higher than our percentage increase in revenue. This visibility allowed us to dig deeper and see where it’s coming from and where we can mitigate those losses.

Can you share the biggest impact Jonas had on your operations?

VB: An accomplishment that we’re really proud of is that we’ve expanded our service division. Our service department is a significant part of our business and we have increased our volume by about 30%. By bringing everything into Jonas, instead of using third-party tools like Excel, emails, and paper copies, we handled this additional volume without extra work hours or hiring additional staff.

Can you elaborate on how you’re saving time by using Jonas?

VB: We’ve easily saved at least 30% to 50% on the costing process in service. With Jonas eMobile, we’ve saved significant time in service by streamlining our billing processes and dispatching. We’ve eliminated the need for paper paperwork by using tablets and having all the information sent directly to the office. 

This also led us to explore other Jonas modules like inventory management. To streamline further, we created a list of the 100 most-used items in service and allocated proper costs to each item. Previously, if a technician had 20 items, he would send those to costing, for the back office to associate a cost manually to them. Now, our billing officer creates the invoices, utilizing the inventory to apply proper costs and markups based on customers; and then we just need to cost the items that are not set up in the inventory. 

This automation has eliminated the need for manual costing and significantly sped up our invoicing process.

Could you talk about some of the ways you and the business have evolved using Jonas?

VB: Over the past 10 to 15 years, we’ve evolved significantly in using Jonas. For example, we now use Jonas to create reports daily for our financials.

Another example is the way we use the job costing module; previously, we used to handle all our progress billing on a monthly basis on Excel. We’d run our reports and get our costs from Jonas, but then we would create all those billing breakdowns on Excel and then manually update our previous bills every month. This was not an efficient process, because if we made a mistake in an Excel formula, it would follow through to the end of the job, until we did our last billing. By merging our progress billing through the Jonas job costing module, we’ve cut down a lot of hours and human errors in our billing.

The job costing module has been particularly beneficial for our service side. In the past, our technicians would complete the paperwork on site and then drop it off at the office the next day. From there, the paperwork would need to be costed manually and inputted into Jonas.

Now with Jonas eMobile, we’ve eliminated the paperwork completely. Our technicians can complete work descriptions on site and close-out calls, so the client gets a copy of that description instantly. All of this has eliminated the need for separate client emails, and our service manager is promptly notified when the call is complete. This process has accelerated the timeline for billing because all the labor information is entered. We don’t need to wait for time cards or even payroll to be entered. 

In Jonas’ inventory management solution, we’ve created costs and added markups that we want on specific material. So when it comes to billing, the description is already in and all the calculations are done automatically through Jonas and eliminating any possible human error. 

With Jonas streamlining your operations, do you see increased staff productivity and customer satisfaction?

VB: Absolutely. Our staff definitely enjoy using Jonas because it streamlines processes and makes it easier to do their job.

Jonas has also helped us improve customer satisfaction. With the old paper processes, there were delays in getting invoices to our clients. It could take up to two weeks for a timecard to come in, then payroll to be processed, and only after that could an invoice be started, which meant that clients sometimes received their bills three to five weeks later.  

Now with Jonas eMobile, the technicians enter their time directly as soon as they’re finished with the work order and it’s instantly available in our work order module. This means that if we need to do a bill on the same day, we can because all information needed is already entered. 
From a cash flow perspective, we’re sending out invoices four to six weeks earlier than before, so we’re getting paid faster than we were with the previous manual processes.

As an owner, can you tell us how you see Jonas as an all-in-one integrated software?

VB: What I really like about Jonas is that as a business owner, I’m able to see every aspect of my business at a click of a button. Whether It’s financials, services division, or projects division, I can see where I’m profitable and what areas I need to focus on. I don’t have to rely on different software to talk to each other or worry about proper data input. It’s all live and updated in real-time. 

The integrated system ensures that all staff members work with the same system, and the user-friendly interface makes navigation easy. 

Can you tell us why service and construction businesses might choose Jonas Construction?

VB: One of the reasons people like Jonas is because of its interface. It makes sense and aligns with how users think and search for information. It follows a simple step-by-step structure, so when you’re looking for something specific, you can easily find it. It doesn’t matter if you’re in finance or not, or if you’re not tech savvy, Jonas is made for everyone, so you can navigate everything easily. 

We’ve heard that Jonas feels like it was created by people in the construction space. What’s your opinion on that?

VB: I’ve commented on that before. Not all business owners have a financial background. Most of them have experience in the trade before starting their company, so they need software that’s easy to use and can be used by anyone, from an admin to a project manager. It’s not prettiest, but it’s to the point – it’s the information you need when you need it. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

VB: I’ve been in the business for more than ten years now and our business has evolved a lot in terms of the type of work we do, how we do it, and our processes. 

What’s nice about Jonas is they’ve evolved with us. Jonas is very focused on listening to their clients and eventually integrating clients’ needs into their future releases. They keep up with our challenges as contractors and try to develop solutions for them in the software.

We’re discovering that we won’t have to rely on separate documents or separate software because we have this all-in-one software that can do everything – from helping our estimators, to procurement, to service, to projects, to finance and business owners.  

To learn more about Jonas or any of the features shared in this Q&A, contact us today for a demo and discover how Jonas can help improve your enterprise efficiency and profitability.

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