About The Company
ENE Systems, Inc., is dedicated to helping its clients reduce the operating and energy costs of their facilities while providing a safe, comfortable environment. With offices and training centers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, ENE offers a range of mechanical design, installation and service options for HVAC controls, automated lighting and security monitoring. After more than 30 years in the business, the company has successfully grown to become New England’s largest independent HVAC controls contractor.
Today, ENE has more than 250 employees working across five divisions. But just a few years ago, they had only half as many employees. The company had the potential to achieve impressive growth, but with employees working across several technical areas, needing to share information between the office and the field, there were a lot of complications. For ENE to reach their potential, they needed a robust, efficient ERP that could handle it all.
Finding the right set of tools
Jeannie Flores recognized that ENE had reached a pivotal moment. “My job was to help businesses move from one ERP to the next, especially as they reached a breaking point for scalability,” Flores says of her 25 years as an independent consultant to contractors and construction companies. She’s now an analytics and integration manager at ENE, and part of her job is finding and implementing new systems to help the business run better.
Just as she had seen with so many of her previous clients, ENE had reached that breaking point: They had outgrown the single-purpose tools they used for functions like accounting, reporting and project management – tools that were never built for the construction industry.
ENE also used an ERP that had a lot of downtime. People had to be physically in the office to access the system, which placed a burden on office staff, limiting company growth. “Growing as much as we have would have been incredibly painful on our legacy ERP,” Flores explains.
Enabling faster, better reporting
The legacy ERP created further problems because generating reports was difficult, and the reports themselves were limited and often outdated. ENE stored its data in a data warehouse, which refreshed overnight, a system that Flores calls “clunky” and led to out-ofdate information. “Data was always at least a day old,” she remembers.
ENE office staff, particularly in the sales and service departments, butted heads with this poor reporting system frequently, since ENE performs a hard close each month. The company’s extensive closing procedures require every account to post their figures and get them approved. Bringing a single account up to speed – ensuring that the numbers from work orders, costs and revenues were accurate and balanced – took far too long.
“Reconciliation used to take up to a week,” Flores says. Once the process was complete, the cycle would begin again the next month. Their processes were a heavy burden on staff and were a barrier to the company’s progress.
After considering their needs and consulting stakeholders, ENE decided the best option would be to adopt the Spectrum ERP and the Spectrum Service Tech app, both part of the Trimble Construction One suite of connected construction software solutions. Flores calls Spectrum “the next logical step” for ENE as it offers scalability and connects with a complete set of tools through Trimble Construction One – all at a competitive price.
In contrast to their previous ERP, Spectrum is a cloud-based solution, which dramatically improves the freedom and flexibility of operations. “Everyone can access it at any time, and we can collaborate from wherever we are,” Flores says. No more needing to go into the office to input or update information – or placing the complete burden of data entry on office staff. “Now, everyone across our 250-employee organization runs on Spectrum. And when I say ‘everyone,’ I mean everyone.”
Accessing a wealth of resources
ENE employees are technically sophisticated, but there is a lot of information to digest when switching to new processes, whatever your role. This is true for new hires, too. Flores says Viewpoint Help is the resource ENE employees turn to most often when they need a refresh. It’s user-friendly, and she can easily provide a link to specific pages. Employees also find Viewpoint Academy’s quick on-demand how-to videos useful. “I love how accessible Spectrum is for new users,” she says.
When she needs help herself, Flores turns to the Viewpoint Customer Portal, where she can access knowledge articles and open support tickets. Another valuable resource is The Network, Viewpoint’s online customer community with more than 7,200 industry professional members.
Switching technologies can be a short-term pain, even if the long-term benefits are worth it. But some vendors make the process smoother than others. “Choosing a platform with stellar customer success resources will make the transition easy,” Flores says.
Saving time and money
Spectrum has eliminated the inefficiencies of ENE’s former systems. “Project managers can be in the office, the field or at home, and still do their work, which helps avoid costly delays,” Flores says. With everyone connected, data can be entered quickly and correctly once by the right team member, and then used efficiently by other employees, putting everyone on the same page, getting things right the first time and avoiding costly errors and rework. This efficiency has enabled ENE to scale its field operations profitably – doubling its employee count in four years – while adding only a handful of office staff.
ENE sees additional savings in reporting time. Some reports now generate automatically, and team members can also easily run their own custom reports. Compared to the strain various teams felt during monthly close, a single auto-generated report shaved more than a day off the closing process. This has such a significant impact, Flores notes, because construction company offices spend more time retrieving data than just about anything else. “When it’s all said and done, you won’t believe how much more efficient your teams can be,” she says.
Making real-time decisions
In addition to the speed of reporting, ENE’s pain points also involved poor data quality—and Spectrum has solved that, too. “The biggest difference between what we had before and what we have now is more realtime data,” Flores explains. Having a comprehensive solution that integrates with ENE’s business intelligence tool and synchronizes multiple times a day has made all the difference. And for those working within Excel spreadsheets, Spectrum Info Link bridges the gap and ensures they are always working from the right intel.
ENE now directs all employees to Spectrum as the company’s single source of truth, because that’s where they can get up-to-date numbers, whenever and wherever they want. “Our improved access to realtime information enables us to make better decisions,” Flores says. “And now that we can freely retrieve and share data, we can move projects forward on budget and on time.”