Brad Mathews, Dexter + Chaney, 800-875-1400; e-mail:
Bryce McDermott, Branco Enterprises, 417-451-5250; e-mail:
Jim Fulton, The Fulton Company, 360-943-4101; e-mail:
SEATTLE, November 1, 2006: Since its founding in 1933 by the Branham brothers of Neosho MO, Branco Enterprises has completed hundreds of commercial, industrial, office, waste-water and other projects throughout the four-state region of Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. The company—owned and operated today by sons and nephews of the founders—has steadily grown to become one of the Midwest’s largest construction-services providers, with more than 160 employees. It has made an industry ranking of the nation’s top 200 environmental contractors the past two years.
A critical reason that Branco Enterprises has been a construction-industry leader for seven-plus decades: by ensuring that its general construction, construction management and design-build work is profitable for the company, as well as on time and within budget for the customer.
The company utilizes Forefront(TM) Construction Suite from Dexter + Chaney (
www.dexterchaney.com) of Seattle WA. Forefront provides a project management, human resources and document imaging software solution that enables Branco to integrate its financial and operations groups. Both the financial staff and operations have access to and use the same critical information.
Branco installed Forefront in October 2005 after an extensive review of construction software packages, including demonstrations of multiple products at the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. Forefront replaced the StarBuilder package from Geac that Branco Enterprises had used for years.
“We ultimately chose Forefront because of the company’s reputation, Forefront’s Document Imaging capability and the Project Management, Human Resources and Esti-Link modules that we believed would improve our efficiency,” said Bryce McDermott, the company’s controller. “Forefront’s reporting options also were critical to us. Plus, Dexter + Chaney delivered on their promise that the conversion to Forefront would be as painless as possible.”
Branco converted from StarBuilder to Forefront using Forefront’s Electronic Data Conversion (EDC) utility. EDC saved time during the conversion process by eliminating labor-intensive tasks such as repetitive data entry.
INTEGRATING FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONS GROUPS
Forefront is employed by all levels of Branco personnel, including president John Branham, McDermott, project managers, human resources personnel and warehouse and equipment managers. McDermott described how Forefront helps the company integrate its financial and operations groups.
“Our president uses the contract status feature in Forefront’s Job Cost module to monitor all projects in progress,” McDermott explained. “As the controller, I appreciate the ability to customize reports—Forefront is much more flexible than our previous program. Project managers employ the projected-cost capability in the Job Cost module to track the progress of their jobs. They also code their invoices using the invoice routing/approval capability in the Accounts Payable module; our invoice-coding process is now very efficient, and we’ve dramatically reduced our coding errors.
“Meanwhile,” McDermott added, “our equipment manager uses Forefront’s preventive maintenance to track and schedule maintenance on heavy equipment and trucks, and the Estimating Department uses the Esti-Link module to link information between Forefront and our estimating software. Plus, our warehouse manager tracks small tools with the Small Tool module.”
McDermott notes that many of those processes were performed manually prior to Forefront. Since Forefront was installed, company revenues have increased by 25 percent with no addition to the administrative staff. Branco also employs Forefront’s popular Document Imaging component, which enables the company to electronically store and instantly retrieve critical documents like invoices, time cards, correspondence, contracts and employee records.
During its research, Branco appreciated Dexter + Chaney’s “do-it-right” philosophy that has helped the software developer become an industry leader since its founding in 1981. “It’s critical to have quality professionals like Dexter + Chaney’s on our team,” McDermott explained. “In addition to the product, we’ve been very pleased with the technical support and training that they’ve provided. They always assist us in a knowledgeable, friendly and timely manner.”
Branco likewise demonstrates a “do-it-right” philosophy, in the community as well as with its customers. The company regularly contributes time, energy, expertise and funding to local schools, colleges and other organizations. In 2005, for example, more than 85 Branco employees joined other area contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and volunteers to construct a new house and two additional buildings at Camp Barnabas. Located near Pierce City MO, the camp provides services to disabled children. The week-long construction project was featured on ABC TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” show in October 2005.
More than 1,000 construction companies throughout the United States use Dexter + Chaney’s Forefront(TM) Construction Suite. Forefront Construction Suite includes 30 integrated modules that handle project management, service management, human resources, document imaging, remote connectivity and data sharing for construction companies of all types. Companies that use Forefront report they have improved profitability and have grown their businesses more than 300 percent without adding accounting staff.
More than 7,000 total users make use of Forefront’s Document Imaging component, which addresses a typically painful problem for contracting firms: giving management, office staff and project managers the fast access they need to important documents.
For more information about Dexter + Chaney or Forefront, contact Brad Mathews, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dexter + Chaney, 9700 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-2347; phone: 800-875-1400 or 206-364-1400; fax: 206-367-9613; e-mail: