Collaborating with multiple stakeholders and varying timelines is a difficult part of the job for many in the construction industry. This makes finding a solution that speeds up internal processes as well as increases efficiency across the entire workflow, priceless.
We recently spoke to Countfire customer Chad Baumgartner, Lighting Quotation Associate at Wesco Distribution, about how Countfire has helped him and his contractors simplify their workflow and complete projects more efficiently.
About Wesco Distribution
Wesco is an industry-leading supply chain solutions company providing electrical supplies, logistics expertise and systems capabilities around the world.
Their recent acquisition of Anixter means Wesco now has 18,000 employees across 750 branches worldwide. They offer “all kinds of different products across the board” to their 150,000+ customers.
Chad has been working at Wesco in Fargo, North Dakota, as Lighting Quotation Associate alongside a small team for about six months. He describes this as a “satellite branch”, compared to larger branches dotted across the U.S.
A lot of the work Chad and his team contribute to is on multi-unit apartment buildings.
Replacing pen and paper workflows - for good
Before joining Wesco, Chad completed all of his takeoffs manually, printing off hundreds of plans, spending his day highlighting and then counting by hand.
Given the labourious nature of manual counting, Chad began searching for a software solution to help him improve efficiency.
At first, he trialled BlueBeam Revu, but found this solution to be a “digital version of using pen and paper”, with no real automation components. Therefore, it wasn’t impactful enough for Chad’s needs.
What Chad was really looking for was a solution that truly automated his takeoffs so he could save time and effectively work on multiple projects at once.
Fast forward a few months to Chad joining Wesco and adopting Countfire as part of the software stack the team had in place.
The Fargo Wesco branch had been using Countfire for two years when Chad joined the team.
Countfire fits into their workflow when he splits out his drawings and uploads them to the software. Then, Chad notes, “Countfire compiles all the counts for you, which is great, and then I download them and send them off to my vendors for a quote.”
As Chad mentioned, before using Countfire he compiled his takeoffs manually, and would inevitably make mistakes (we’re only human), but he says “with Countfire, it’s almost hard to miss stuff because it picks up on everything, which is so great.”
Chad describes Countfire’s “super easy and automatic” solution as being “perfect for day-to-day use”, helping “cut down my takeoff by half or more.”
For Wesco, “it’s the time saving and accuracy checks that really help”, as they tend to work on various multi-unit apartment buildings at the same time.
The online chat function, where Countfire’s team of ex-estimator product specialists were recently able to fix a problem Chad was having with one of his drawings “within minutes”, is also a much-appreciated feature.
Streamlining the process for all
Countfire has benefited Chad in his role as lighting associate, while also streamlining Westco’s entire workflow with contractors.
Since using Countfire, Chad has found it easier to “work together and make sure we’re on the same page”. He “sends his salespeople the counts and they can break it down however they like, then use that with their contractor to match the counts”. Making for a much more harmonious and collaborative process.
Chad’s branch is currently working with a contractor who is expanding their business across the US, and believes that “Countfire will help speed up the whole project so they can get their pricing into their general contractors, end-user and owners, faster.”
For Chad, Countfire “definitely streamlines the process and helps me coordinate with my outside salespeople.” Making it a worthwhile investment for the company.
Chad says his efficiency since using Countfire has "never been higher", especially when compared to alternative software solutions he'd tried in the past.
"Countfire’s ability to auto-count revised drawings has been a game-changer in increasing efficiency and saving time."
Trying out software for the first time, or incorporating new programs into your already existing (and often extensive) software stack can be daunting.
When asked whether Chad would recommend Countfire to others in the industry, he says “you would quickly save the initial investment you have to make because of the time you save”, allowing you to move on to your next project and win more work.
Overall, Countfire has improved Wesco’s efficiency both internally and with their external contractors.
Countfire automates your takeoff and estimation process so you can improve efficiency across the entire workflow, just like Chad.
Why not try our software for yourself with our free, no-obligation trial? Trial Countfire today to see how automated estimating can improve your businesses’ speed and accuracy, and help you win more work.