The interview is done with Grant Collins from Skyler Contracting. Grant is working as a Quantity Surveyor at Skyler Contracting.
What does Skyler Contracting do?
Skylar contracting does waterproofing and roofing systems on mostly newbuilt apartments and houses. We do some remedial works as well – refurbishing, etc.
What kind of software tools have you used in the past?
We used a software called Pegasus, which is a cost reporting software and we have used Excel as well.
Why did you start looking for a software tool?
Before we started using Planyard, much of our cost tracking and budgeting were done on spreadsheets. It was taking a lot of time and we had a lot of interference with having managers involved. So I started to look for new software. Just to keep our process straightforward.
What is Planyard?
Planyard is sort of a budget tracking software. At least that is what we use it for.
Why did you choose Planyard among other software tools?
I started to use Planyard since it looked like it would be the easiest to use. Instead of making the whole process much more difficult.
What are Planyard’s strengths?
It’s definitely straightforward, easy to use, and very user-friendly. Before I had to go look at the budget, go to another software to look at the purchase order. The budgets were constantly being amended without him being notified. What has saved a lot of time now is that you can just really go look on Planyard how much is still to order and you can easily just create a purchase order for the amount.
So now all the numbers are up to date and perfect. Whereas before, I would go to the budgeting software and raise a purchase order. Then I would have to go back to the budgeting software and essentially re-create the purchase order. I was doubling a lot of work, but now it is all on one system and I only need to do things once.
In terms of concrete time savings, we are saving 2-4 hours a week (1-2 days per month). But we are just starting to bring on our projects and the ones that have been brought on are our smaller projects. If we were to bring on all of our current projects, we would save at least 1.5 hours per day (7.5h per week and 4 days per month).
In my industry, we work with a lot of different types of insulation. So if my boss asks me how much 80mm insulation we have already ordered, I can just go into the material budget and see how much I’ve ordered. In the past, I would have to find all of the purchase orders and add up the quantities with a calculator. Even then, you are looking at 10-15 minutes of savings for a simple equation.
There are a lot of improvements in the overview of a project. You can just jump on there and have a look straight away and immediately know how much you have ordered, how much you have paid, and how much you have left. It is a great visualizer and you can at any point see how a job is doing.
How easy/complex was it to get started?
It was quite easy getting started with Planyard. We ran into some issues since we wanted to also bring on some older already ongoing projects to Planyard. We had already raised purchase orders and invoices for these older jobs.
I would say the fastest way to get started is to start all of the new projects on Planyard. When you are going back to old projects and trying to bring on the purchase orders and invoices, it can become a bit time-consuming. Just draw a line and go for new projects only.
Getting used to the system takes no longer than a week of general usage. For me, the best way to learn things is through trial and error. It might not be best for everyone else, but for me it was best. For me, it took about a week to get fully used to it.
Creating and sending purchase orders is exactly the same as I used to do it. It’s exactly like this on QuickBooks as well. So it was easy to grasp right away. To put the budget on Planyard took me some time to figure out. Just to get used to the format and the layout. That probably took me like 2 days to get used to. Now that I know how it works, it is no time at all.
Who do you think should use a tool like Planyard?
Medium to large-sized contractors. A medium contractor having a turnover of 1 million and over. It’s definitely a great tool for new companies as well. Because new companies might not know about budget tracking systems and might rely too much on excel.
Would you recommend Planyard to a colleague?
Yeah definitely, it is a great tool.
Still using Excel for budget management?
There’s a better way.
Spreadsheets are not the best way for managing job costs
- It’s too easy to make mistakes;
- You can’t see behind the numbers;
- It’s hard to standardize and ensure compliance;
- There’s no real-time overview of profitability forecasts;
- It means duplicate work for PMs and accountants.
Planyard saves time and nerves
Follow your budget in real time and take immediate action when errors occur. Job costs are organized, and fully searchable and accessible for forecasting, project management and more.