From carpentry school to architecture school at Kansas State University, Joe Thompson has been in the building industry his whole life. Shortly after starting Architectural Craftsmen, Joe’s wife Mary joined the business that has grown to eight full-time employees over the last 20 years. Even with their rich history, Joe and Mary are still looking forward to an eventual business exit or handoff in the future. Since bringing CoConstruct into their business, the Thompson’s feel that they’ve been able to solidify processes and streamline their operations to help prepare for a future business sale.
Bringing all construction operations under one roof
“We used to do our proposals with Excel and Word,” Mary explained. “Nothing was integrated, and we just decided we needed to get it all together.” This desire to bring all business operations together led Architectural Craftsmen to try out a few construction project management platforms before landing on CoConstruct. This platform allowed project schedules to connect with project financing so Mary could see cash flow through projects in real-time. As Architectural Craftsmen started utilizing CoConstruct in more aspects of their business, Mary saw the potential impact the tool could have on a future sale of the business. “We're looking for CoConstruct to be a system that we have in place so that we can sell the business someday or pass it on to someone else.”
How Architectural Craftsmen took a meeting a week off the schedule
Mary attended a local meetup of CoConstruct users in Kansas City and took away one business mantra that she’s applied to Architectural Craftsmen ever since: “If it’s not in CoConstruct, it didn’t happen.” For a business that has five projects in progress at a time, Mary’s mission to get everything recorded in CoConstruct was a quest for transparency. “The documentation of historical information that you can go back and look at is wonderful,” said Mary. This stands in stark contrast to a project gone wrong that Mary remembers from the company’s early days. “We had a big project with a very short time period to get it done and the homeowner changed her mind all the time so keeping track of change orders and our progress was a challenge... it was a painful project.”
Today Mary and the rest of the team can easily see selections made by clients, messages, and scheduling information for current and previous projects. Altogether the easily accessible information in CoConstruct has alleviated the need for a weekly hour-long team meeting for Architectural Craftsmen. “Our weekly team meeting was becoming redundant as we were using CoConstruct more,” Mary explained. Beforehand team members would go around and give progress updates on their projects, but as more information became stored in CoConstruct, Mary found that the progress updates were created in real-time on the platform for everyone to see. This led to a handful of meetings where Mary already knew everything going on across jobsites before they realized they could give everyone an hour back in their day. Now Architectural Craftsmen holds team meetings more infrequently and specifically for projects that are stalling to help move resources between jobsites. While Mary and Joe haven’t calculated what the time savings one less meeting a week has meant to their business, they have chalked it up as another way CoConstruct is moving them closer to their eventual exit.