F+F Mechanical Enterprises, Inc. is a New England-based HVAC, plumbing, sheet metal, and equipment contractor. Family owned and operated since 1982, F+F’s leadership strives to continuously improve operations by integrating state-of-the art technology, promoting staff training, and continuously improving for a safe work environment for all its employees. When the company needed better project visibility and integrated workflows between the field and office, it turned to Trimble Construction One™.
Due to Sage 300® CRE’s accounting centric functionality and design, F+F Mechanical restricted access to the accounting team. Without the ability to selfserve, operations were reliant on the accounting team for financial information and workflow. Information captured in the field is manually entered into the ERP, as well as a third-party payroll system and Excel for tracking purposes. Triple entry increased operational costs and risks from transcription error while impacting the accounting team’s efficiency and diverting focus from higher value activities. Job financials, distributed via printed reports, might not reflect the very latest information, making it harder for project managers to identify and mitigate problems early.
Email-centric communication among the extended project team left no central record of communications. Construction documents and drawings, stored on a network drive behind a VPN, were not easy to access — especially on jobsites with weak internet. Without automation and document control workflows, cycle times stretched out and operational costs were higher.
A long-time Viewpoint Estimating customer, F+F Mechanical selected Trimble Construction One to better integrate its office, team and field operations. Viewpoint’s Spectrum ERP, currently being implemented, will soon replace Sage 300 CRE. Viewpoint’s collaborative browser and offline capable mobile project management solution was quickly implemented after the contact was signed to achieve quick time-to-value. Spectrum will be connected to the project management solution for integrated information and workflow.
Having previously hosted data on company-owned servers, F+F Mechanical selected a cloud deployment in order to eliminate VPNs, data back-ups, hardware costs and to consolidate software licensing.
After evaluating other vendors, including Procore®, PlanGrid, Penta, Sage 300 CRE and Foundation®, F+F Mechanical ultimately selected Trimble Construction One for its integration of accounting and operations, comprehensive workflow, flexibility and attractive bundled pricing.
Operations and the extended team of designers, vendors and subcontractors moved from paper and email to a browser and offline capable mobile app. VPNs were replaced by anywhere, anytime access so that field personnel can quickly and easily view the most up-to-date project documents and construction drawings from their mobile device and avoiding costly rework. According to F+F Mechanical Project Manager Alyssa D’Amico, by automating processes and workflows, costs were lowered and project risks were mitigated. Communication was streamlined and operational efficiencies were gained by utilizing workflows for RFIS, daily logs, submittals, closeout tasks and more. “I get notified when an RFI is created. The entire process is at least 40% faster,” D’Amico said.
The operations team is excited to move to Spectrum to take advantage of selfserve functionality via Spectrum’s integrated accounting and project management toolset.
“Printed reports will be replaced by dashboards and self-serve reporting that will enable daily job cost comparison to the project estimate and production analysis to ensure projects are on schedule,” D’Amico said.
F+F Mechanical’s leadership sees technology as a key driver of operational improvement. Having already implemented lean construction techniques and BIM across the lifecycle of a mechanical system, F+F has embarked on their next transformation by moving to the cloud and integrating accounting, operations and the extended project team.