When the team at Central California’s Bridgeway Civil Constructors, Inc., began assembling in order to launch a brand-new company, one of the first orders of business was to find an ERP software application to manage their accounting. At first, the answer seemed obvious — after all, everyone knows the biggest name in small business accounting software. But controller Lynn Bailey had been down that road before.
“We Can’t Use That Software”
“We can’t use that software,” Lynn had flatly told the company president who was recruiting him personally. Lynn had used that big-name software for 25 years in an accounting practice with small businesses. He knew what they were getting into with this new company, he knew how successful Bridgeway had the potential to be, and he knew the limitations of even the best off-the-shelf accounting applications. “I didn’t want to use it for something as big as this. I gave him a report of cost breakdowns and solutions, and I said, ‘I accept your offer on this condition only.’”
For a company just starting out with a few employees and major ambitions, Lynn had concluded that cloud — also called a “software-as-a-service” (SaaS) model — was the way to go. SaaS keeps initial costs down and lets contractors pay a low monthly subscription. “We came up with four systems to investigate and did an hour-long demo with each.” Then they did another round with their top two. “We decided FOUNDATION SaaS® would be the best software for our company. The sales team really impressed me. They knew the product really well and answered questions very fairly and honestly.”
“I really enjoyed working with Steve, the sales director,” Lynn recalls. “He was really knowledgeable with critical questions I asked, about Work-in-Progress for example. I asked the same questions to the other companies we were looking at, and they’d just say, ‘I don’t know, let me get back to you.’ Steve made me feel comfortable going with Foundation Software, knowing they have a team like that.” Bridgeway signed on with Foundation, and Lynn was on board with Bridgeway.
“Then, when I first met with our CPA,” remembers Lynn, “he said we chose the right software. That made us feel even better about the choice.”
Up and Running and Everywhere
Even with a big-capability system and a small company, training was a breeze. “The training was very excellent. It was all online,” he says. “Denver, our trainer, did a good job, and we had about 15 hours’ worth of training left over we haven’t even needed to use.” Lynn grants that he had used a much more complicated system from his previous position, and that helped him pick FOUNDATION SaaS up quickly, but that experience also lets him draw the comparison with a top competitor: “I think FOUNDATION is easier and just as strong. You can’t ask for a stronger system for what you’re paying.”
“We did SaaS,” he explains, “because we’re a small company. We don’t have an IT department,” which means that IT management would fall across the shoulders of their limited staff. “That Foundation does all of the updates and backups for us is really nice. It’s a great option.” Lynn factors in too that being part of a small business also means a lot of working from home, a lot of travel, and he can log in anywhere and have the full system in front of him. “I’m going on vacation in a week, and I can take my laptop, and if they have a question I can quickly look at something and help them out,” he says. “I can just quickly log in and see how the jobs are doing. It’s a hardworking software.”
Room to Grow and Tools to Get There
And of course Bridgeway is a hardworking team. Whatever lies ahead for them, they know their ERP software isn’t going to hold them back. FOUNDATION is giving them the tools to effectively manage their jobs today and for many years to come.
“With the report designer, we’re able to create any specific reports for now and for the future.” Lynn compares FOUNDATION SaaS with a more expensive system he had used before, where customizing reports could cost thousands of dollars. “It would cost an arm and a leg. With FOUNDATION SaaS you have the report designer, executive dashboards, drill-downs . . . What we got for the price of it, you can’t beat the system.”
And he’s not making any sacrifices, he insists. “It’s able to pick up our very sophisticated job costing system. I already know that it can handle a few million dollar company, and it’s going to be able to allow me to grow to 30, 40, 50 million dollars, no problem.”
“It’s a win-win situation for any small to medium-size contractor,” he says. “It’s a software system that we can grow with. It’s definitely a system we can stay with.”