Challenge: Managing Thousands of Jobs Across Multiple States
At any given time, M. J. Electric is managing over 2,000 active jobs. It’s a game of logistical Jenga for guys like Norm LaFave and his purchasing team, as they’re tasked with ensuring job sites operate efficiently in every location by purchasing the materials and tools required for each unique location.
For Norm, this included booking rentals as well — and when it comes to planning and purchasing for that many job sites, time is money.
“I was spending four hours a day just coordinating rentals,” said Norm. “Making these phone calls back and forth, searching online to find local vendors, and some don’t have fax or credit card — it was just unbearable.
“The majority of our people want this stuff same-day or the next day, and we had to find someone who could meet our demands. We needed a company, a single point of contact that could take on the vast amount of work that we did. One call to CMS eliminates all of this hassle for my team.”-Norm LaFave
Devoting so much time to roll-off dumpsters and rentals wasn’t Norm’s only problem. With this many job sites, and especially with new construction, there are many instances where a formal address has yet to be established. When other companies required a physical address to do business, CMS Logistics did whatever it took to get site services where they were needed.
“A lot of times, we’re in the middle of nowhere without an address,” Norm explained. “So we provided longitude and latitude, and other companies wouldn’t take the order. “CMS sail , ‘Just give us a pin drop. Tell us a grocery store where the driver can go to and ask for directions, we don’t care. We will get it there one way or another.’ So that willingness to go above and beyond for M. J. Electric as a company is just leaps and bounds above everyone else.”
Solution: A Customer Portal that Saves 4 Hours a Day
In CMS Logistics, Norm found a single point of contact that organized all of his site rental needs nationwide. While that saved time in itself, project managers throughout M. J. Electric were still contacting Norm directly with calls, emails and texts to have him schedule roll-off dumpsters and portable toilets for their job sites.
There had to be a better way. So in collaboration with M. J. Electric, CMS Logistics developed a customer portal to allow project managers and foremen to order, update and manage site rentals at their own convenience, anywhere in the country. While Norm is the internal administrator of the portal, decision makers no longer need to go through him to get services ordered. It has freed up over half of Norm’s work day, not to mention the time savings in the field.
“Our guys are so impressed with it that | don’t hear from them anymore,” Norm said. “I can get guys set up in about 30 seconds, give them the cheat sheet, and | never get questions on it.
“They can click a button to get dumpsters emptied and returned, which is critical because we’re on a time limit. Sometimes we’re emptying containers four times a day, and our guys can just get into the portal and it’s scheduled with a click. It’s so fast and simple, and it gets done correctly every single time.”
Streamlined Billing That Eliminates Follow-Ups
The immense benefits of a streamlined, single contact approach aren’t limited to just the logistical side of a business. Accounts payable can be a never-ending pursuit of reconciling accounts with missing job numbers, inconsistent invoices and a multitude of varying processes across hundreds of vendors.
A single source of billing eliminated all of these headaches for the accounting department at M. J. Electric. Instead of a steady flow of invoices throughout the month, M. J. Electric requested to receive them in one delivery, once a month. CMS Logistics worked internally with its accounting and IT teams to customize this request for M. J. Electric, a process that has increased efficiency immensely within accounts payable.
“This process with CMS Logistics is so reliable,” said Lisa Galeazzi, Accounts Payable Supervisor. “What used to take a couple days to reconcile is now completed in half a day. It allows our department to stay up to date, to not get behind on our work.