Electrical Contractor Saves Thousands of Dollars, Countless Hours with Dexter + Chaney's Spectrum Construction Software

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Software company offers case study describing those benefits

As chief financial officer for busy electrical contractor SME Inc. of Seattle, Adam Pinsky juggles multiple tasks and countless bits of information throughout each day. To help keep all the balls in the air, Pinsky and SME have employed Spectrum® Construction Software from Dexter + Chaney (http://www.dexterchaney.com) since 2000. They save countless hours and thousands of dollars each year, while eliminating the frustrations of being buried alive in paperwork.

SME (http://www.smeincofseattle.com) uses the fully integrated Spectrum for accounts payable, job costing, document management, project management and other tasks. Founded in 1972, SME provides electrical installation, maintenance and design services for commercial, industrial and residential clients throughout the Puget Sound region.

Pinsky and SME initially chose Spectrum to solve payroll and invoicing issues that the company’s previous DOS-based construction management software couldn’t handle. A “fix” from the previous software developer designed to solve problems that might arise in the Year 2000—the so-called Y2K issue—proved to be just the opposite.

“(After getting that fix) it took hours and hours to produce payroll for 40 employees, and we couldn’t get invoices out the door,” Pinsky said. “We were under the gun—our accounting function with the old software simply did not work.”

After installing Spectrum in March 2000, Pinsky addressed not only the payroll and invoice processing issues, but also learned the benefits of Spectrum’s Document Imaging module. Those include elimination of massive amounts of paperwork generated by each job, instant retrieval of key job-related documents and efficient time and material (T&M) billing. Job-related documents—A/P invoices, for example—are scanned into Spectrum, and are accessed by using a Google-like key-word search capability. Paper is virtually eliminated.

Document Imaging
“Document Imaging has saved us not only a file cabinet, but also saved us a person—we’ve avoided having to hire a file clerk,” Pinsky explained. “In a week, we literally used to have a foot of paper that would have to be filed. Later, we would have to excavate through layers of paper to find what we were looking for.”

With Document Imaging, all the paperwork associated with a job—A/P invoices, time cards, etc.—can be found quickly and easily. Spectrum Document Imaging is completely integrated with Spectrum’s Accounts Payable, Job Cost and Project Management modules. “(Document Imaging) has sped up our retrieval time and reduced it to virtually nothing,” Pinsky said.

Document Imaging also saves time and money that previously was spent maintaining paper files and processing invoices for time and material (T&M) billings. SME employees no longer waste time making copies of billing documentation, and the company doesn’t have to spend money shipping heavy binders to and from contractors. “We simply produce a CD with all the documentation on it and say, ‘Here you go,’” Pinsky explained. “It takes about two minutes.”

Case Study
Dexter + Chaney has produced a case study about SME Inc. of Seattle’s use of Spectrum, including its Document Imaging, Project Management and other modules. (Pinsky explains in the case study how Spectrum Project Management led directly to his company’s being reimbursed for a $5,000 bond that otherwise would not have been collected.) To obtain the case study, contact Dexter + Chaney at http://www.dexterchaney.com, info(at)dexterchaney(dot)com or 800-875-1400.

About Dexter + Chaney
More than 1,000 construction companies throughout the United States use Dexter + Chaney’s Spectrum® Construction Software. Contractors who use Spectrum report they have improved profitability and have grown their businesses more than 300 percent without adding financial staff.

Spectrum is built on the best available technology. That includes the Microsoft SQL Server database, Microsoft Server operating system and a software development framework that uses the best software development tools available. Those tools include Crystal Reports, Java, Microsoft.net and Northgate Information Solutions’ PRO-IV Rapid Application Development Framework.

Dexter + Chaney designed the business processes in Spectrum using PRO-IV. That enables the company to respond quickly to customer needs and thus rank as the technology leader among construction ERP (enterprise resource planning) software developers. For example, Spectrum in 1999 was the first construction management software program to offer integrated document imaging; today, Dexter + Chaney has more customers using its Document Imaging capability than any other construction ERP software company.

For more information about Dexter + Chaney or Spectrum, contact Brad Mathews, Vice President of Marketing, Dexter + Chaney, 9700 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-2347; phone: 800-875-1400 or 206-364-1400; fax: 206-367-9613; e-mail: info(at)dexterchaney(dot)com; http://www.dexterchaney.com.

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