Here at RAWSO Constructors, we’re big believers in the role of technology in today’s construction world. Without the latest and best tech, you run the risk of falling behind your competitors, which makes it harder to win jobs and hire good people. Beyond simply purchasing technological advancements, there’s always the question of whether to hire professionals to help you implement it, or tackling this aspect on your own. Many times, the implementation costs almost as much as the tech itself. Still, we highly recommend using professional implementation as opposed to trying the DIY route.
About four years ago, we purchased the popular HeavyBid software from Heavy Construction Systems Specialists (HCSS). At the time, we just did the minimum requirement for implementation, which included a couple days’ worth of assistance from HCSS team members. Considering the fact that even doing the bare minimum of pro implementation cost about half as much as the software itself, we didn’t want to spend any more than that. Simply put, it seemed unnecessary.
If we could go back in time, there’s no question we would have gone with the full professional implementation process instead of stumbling our way through the DIY option. We figured we would build out HeavyBid one estimate at a time, but we got caught up doing everyday things, and never got the system up and running the way it should be. When we tried to do it ourselves, we wanted to implement it over time, but it was never systemized for standard operating procedures. That meant that we had different people using the software in different ways, and we didn’t have any sort of consistency regarding the way we used HeavyBid.
Last year, we added a bunch of other HCSS products ― namely, we purchased HeavyJob, Safety, Plans, and Telematics. This time around, we didn’t hesitate to bring them in for full professional implementation. At the time, HeavyBid was still a work in progress, so we enlisted professional assistance with that program too, even though we had already been using it to an extent for several years. Even considering the financial restrictions we had four years ago, we still would have been time and money ahead by having HCSS fully implement it for us. Pro implementation is expensive, but the time we wasted trying to do it ourselves was a poor investment. Time is money in our industry, and we let way too much of it slip away in the name of saving a few bucks up front.
Looking to the future, we’re definitely practicing what we preach. RAWSO will start using Spectrum accounting software next year, and we’ve actually hired them to help us for six months before we even go live, just because we know it’s worth the time and money to get it implemented the right way. Learning from your mistakes is a huge part of building any successful business, and we’ve definitely learned our own lesson on this one. In our opinion, professional implementation is always worth the time and money!