A Leading US General Contractor Transforms Construction Management with construction360 and  Power Platform

A flexible CRM platform designed for construction companies breaks down silos and delivers enhanced project management, performance, and forecasting, paving the way for growth

Company Overview

This large, nationally ranked, top-25 construction company has 2,400+ employees and operates across various sectors, including healthcare, science and technology, education, transportation, and commercial construction.

The Challenge: Siloed data and disconnected processes

In the bustling construction industry, change is constant. This company was beginning to feel the pressure of operational limitations due to the lack of the right technology:

Silos of data and sluggish decision-making. Employees grappled with siloed data that slowed down modeling and decision-making processes, threatening the company’s competitive edge.

CRM user adoption woes. The existing customer relationship management (CRM) system suffered from low user adoption, rendering it far less effective than it could be.

An elusive go/no go process. Another struggle was the near absence of a robust go/no-go process, making it difficult to make informed decisions about pursuing new projects.

Reporting bottlenecks. Data was captured in the company’s Oracle CRM system, but reporting was done in Tableau and Alteryx via time-consuming, manual data manipulation and weekly/monthly reporting cycles.

The Solution: A game-changing approach

The company considered several new CRM solutions, including Unanet and Salesforce. While Unanet is a reputable industry solution, it lacked the flexibility to dig into the relational data inside of the application—a critical factor the company required so it could deploy Power Platform interfaces like it had been doing before. Because Salesforce is not a native industry product, it would require too much costly and time-consuming customization to meet the company’s requirements, and it did not fit in with the company’s data strategy.

The company partnered with HSO, who proposed a Microsoft-based solution that included Dynamics 365 and construction360 as the new CRM platform, relationships360 for relationship intelligence, and the Microsoft Power Platform for low-code app development and workflow management:

Turbo-charging CRM with construction360. The implementation of HSO’s construction360 was a game changer. It harnesses the capabilities of the Microsoft platform to provide solutions that cater to the specific needs of the construction industry. construction360 expanded the company’s CRM capabilities to include tracking opportunities and historical data, enabling faster, more informed decision-making.

Leveraging the Power Platform for unique requirements. Integration of data from various sources into one Dataverse allowed the company to easily create user-friendly interfaces through the Power Platform. This streamlining of data access and business process workflows translated into instant reporting—a stark contrast to the previous delays.

Integrating data from Outlook with relationships360. relationships360, HSO’s cloud-based Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM) solution, automates and revolutionizes how organizations connect using AI and advanced insights, facilitated by the integration of data from Exchange and Outlook. This provides automated capture of relationship and interaction data and provides enhanced visibility into contacts and relationships across the company, allowing for warm introductions, better client intelligence, and cross-selling strategies. Additionally, native Microsoft integrations significantly boosted CRM adoption, attracting more users to the platform.

Enhancing forecasting. The integration of forecasting data into the CRM enabled the company to improve sales goal tracking, monitor opportunity metrics, and make more precise project predictions.

Streamlining processes with Power Apps. Power Apps played a crucial role in streamlining ancillary processes, including pre-construction management and go/no go decisions, creating efficient, user-friendly workflows.

Facilitating data sharing with Power BI. The creation of Power BI interfaces enabled the sharing of information with key decision-makers who were not regular CRM users. This approach opened up access to data, further enhancing decision-making.

The Benefits: The fruits of transformation

The transformation efforts began delivering benefits immediately:

Unlimited extensibility: The company now views CRM as a flexible platform that can align seamlessly with its long-term vision and objectives.

Sharper decision-making: With an enhanced go/no go process, decision-making became more intentional, leading to savings in both time and money. The company gained greater control over which projects aligned with its sales goals and revenue projections.

A collaborative business partnership: The partnership with HSO has transcended mere technology support. HSO has become a crucial partner in helping the company realize its long-term vision and goals. This collaboration illustrates how a strategic partnership can bring technology and business processes together to achieve long-term success.

Enhanced project management and performance: By identifying red flags and addressing issues promptly, the company aims to keep its projects on schedule and on budget, avoiding liquidated damages.

Future plans: An ambitious path forward

While tremendous progress has been made, this company’s journey towards transformation is far from over. It is currently in the process of capturing historical project experience data within the platform, along with construction360’s dynamic document generation tool for creating proposal documents.

Beyond this, the focus remains on data cleansing, further centralization of key business development processes, and the creation of a historical analytics model to improve project scheduling, with the ultimate goal of integrating data from other platforms, such as P6, to create a unified approach to data sharing and interaction. The company sees a promising future leveraging CRM, Power Platform, Dataverse, and Power BI to achieve its long-term goals and objectives.

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