“Before we implemented HeavyJob, 2 years ago, our biggest pain point was not having the clarity of knowing what we were earning on a job. We could not easily track if a job was overrun or on budget, and we did not have a way to validate if we were losing money,” says Joel Campbell, President, Trendsetter Construction. “Going through this experience changed our whole outlook on how we used to do things.”
30 to 40 percent of Trendsetter’s business is done in Time and Material billing for oil fields. This billing requires submitting daily reports for clients to review and invoice. In 2017, these reports were manually calculated in excel, typed up into a report, and handed to the client off paper tickets on the time sheet.
“This is where the T&M in HeavyJob has really helped us out. It used to take us two to three weeks to gather the bill before we could submit it. Then we would send it in to get it signed and paid. With HeavyJob, what we work on this week will be on the customers’ desk by the end of next week,” says Joel. “This has made a pretty big impact on us – It has helped our cash flow a lot better, and our customers are happier because they are not having to wait a month for an invoice that might put them behind.” As a result of using HeavyJob for their T&M billing, Trendsetter has seen customers favor them for their precise, clean, and honest billing.
Trendsetter Construction, Inc. is a family-owned business located in Gladewater, Texas. The company was founded in 1978 by Joel’s father, Jerry Campbell. Year-after-year, the family has expanded their services in Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, pipeline construction, recycling, and excavating.
In 2019, the company added 120 employees, and their margins did not dip.
“You can’t tell me we’re not doing something right,” says Joel. “Any time you take on growth like that, that is when the rubber meets the road, and you lose money. We haven’t. We attribute a lot of that money that we’ve gained to our ability to track our jobs, bill faster and more accurately, and reduce losses from change orders.”
“We were growing beyond our capabilities,” says Joel. “We had a software system that used to work when we were a smaller company, but we had already surpassed what we could keep up with. When you get over 200 people, it is hard to keep doing the same thing you were doing when you were smaller. We couldn’t see if our labor, equipment or material were being utilized to its best ability, and we realized we needed a way to see where the budget was being spent. HeavyJob helped us get there. With Pipeline, it is easy to overrun because there is so much labor involved. We have been able to track our labor and equipment utilization, catch falsified time, report where our resources are being spent, and make an informed decision on which jobs need help.”
“We have accountability in the field now. We are able to train our guys to think and act rather than just letting the job run its course. That is just not acceptable anymore. We are actually able to teach them what went wrong, why, and we can see that they are learning from their mistakes.”~Joel Campbell, Trendsetter Construction President
“I’ve done a lot of my training in the HCSS Academy, especially when we have updates. I am trying to learn more, and train our people to be in a position where they can bid faster and win more when we notice things are slowing down,” says Joel. “We’ve seen the benefit of being able to track our jobs, and estimate faster, and there is no going back. This has been an eye-opening experience that we should have done long ago, but we could not get the traction. I feel like I can confidently bid a job, and know where my margins are now. We can take on more work, and be able to assess it quickly, and rebound if we make a mistake. From every job, we step back and learn from it. We’re not going to make the same mistakes again. It feels like we are starting out backwards, and we have had nothing but two full years of implementing change. But you can’t really argue with the numbers.”
Trendsetter is doing the largest project they’ve ever done, and they are able to do it with one project manager, one onsite project manager and a superintendent. “We have had 42 on site change orders, already, and we can track every one. Our honesty, and our billing is intact. This has been a good year for us,” says Joel. “There has been a change in mentality for the whole company – Anybody getting into this has to be committed to it to make it work. Getting people to commit is the hardest thing to do: But this is it. This is what we’ve got to do. You can’t disagree with success when it comes down to it.”
HCSS has a number of resources to help you on your journey. The first one is the HCSS Academy, which offers free training to help you learn more, and pass that learning to others. If you need help and cannot find what you are looking for in less than a few minutes, our 24-7 support can help give you advice on what to do next. If you’re like me, and google everything, our support has built a library of knowledge articles that we generate from actual support questions: You can search through that library by clicking here.
Here are also a few HCSS Academy courses we are working on for you: