How to Make Your Tools Fit into Your Existing Workflow: Using STACK’s API to Streamline Workflows

Computer connecting software with API

Often companies are reluctant to adopt technology, even when they know it could improve their process in the long run, simply because adding another software platform will change the way they’re accustomed to functioning.  

So, they continue to do things the way they’ve always done them, losing out on opportunities to streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and increase accuracy.  

But all of that changes when the platform offers an open API. Connecting your business to STACK closes the data gap. Our partners and customers use STACK’s open API to move data across platforms, automate business workflows, and gain strategic insights. Integration means better project tracking, clearer data analysis, and reduced manual tasks (no more duplicate data entry) and rework. 

What Is an API?

An API (Application Programming Interface for the technically inclined) is essentially a way for one software application to securely and easily exchange information with another software application. It connects one to the other so that moving data between them is simple. 

What STACK’s API Can Do for Your Construction Business

What can your team do with STACK’s API? The simple answer is facilitate the movement of data into and out of STACK. This means you’re able to integrate STACK into your own custom workflow and make it work for your business, the way you want. 

STACK’s API solution is incredibly robust. Not only do we offer an open API to customers and developers, but we also provide a Partner Acceptance Testing environment (sandbox), technical user documents, sample files, assign you an Integration Account Manager, and validate the integration prior to formal release. 

Why Move Data into STACK

Project Plans

Frequently, the project plans required to perform a successful takeoff are contained within an online plan room or project management document archive. Leveraging STACK’s plancentric API functions, you’re able to transfer those project plans and documents directly into STACK to review details and perform your takeoffs. There’s no need to download, save to your desktop, and upload to STACK – this is done automatically for you by the API connection. STACK retains plan page numbers and autonames files for easy access, and there’s no concern over version control when change orders occur.  

Website Lead Generation

Create a form on your company website where potential customers can upload their plans and specs to request a free estimate. An API connection to STACK will pull the plans in and add them to your bid calendar based on the date the customer specifies. STACK customer Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply utilizes this unique feature. On Ewing’s proprietary commercial services site, contractors can submit their projects via a portal. The customer inputs the job name, an internal Ewing project number is simultaneously created for tracking, and the plans are sent directly to STACK. 

Materials and Pricing

STACK’s integration with BNi’s national and regional item cost data pulls pricing directly into our estimating solution, allowing contractors to create accurate estimates optimized for their project location with dynamic cataloging. By connecting your materials and pricing databases with STACK via API, you’re able to pull completely up-to-date data into your estimates via items and assemblies in STACK. There’s no guesswork – you’ll be confident in the prices you use to formulate estimates. 

Why Move Data out of STACK

Customer Proposals

Once you’ve performed your takeoff and created a detailed estimate, you can generate a professional, bid-ready, and branded proposal right in STACK. Then, with an API connection you can send your proposal directly to the customer via email and into your CRM as needed. 

Sales Opportunity Tracking

Give your team a single source of truth for all project information by linking STACK to your CRM. Project statuses updated in STACK can automatically sync with those in your CRM so you can track the success of bids assigned to specific sales representatives. View up-to-date estimates rather than an old document and connect your bid calendar to your CRM. 

Project Management and Accounting

An approved estimate becomes a project budget and eventually a customer invoice, and with an API connection to your project management and accounting software, you can make this transition easily – without retyping everything into Excel. Then use your PM and accounting software to generate reports for actual vs. estimated, overhead allocation, labor, etc. 

Estimate Your Way

Instead of using time-consuming, manual processes to extract takeoff and estimating data, you can do it through an automated integration between STACK’s open API and your estimating, proposal, or financial solution. STACK’s takeoff and estimating solution captures a rich collection of takeoff and estimate data including material quantities and counts, required labor, item pricing, overhead, wastage, and associated sales tax. Both STACK customers and software partners can leverage STACK’s estimatingcentric API functions to pull this takeoff and estimating data into their own solutions. This could be used to extract takeoff data into a separate estimating tool, populate the line items of an invoice or purchase order, prepopulate a construction budget, or provide additional details to a formal quote. 

Security Benefits of Connecting Platforms with an API

When employees must download files, manipulate them, and upload them elsewhere, there is the potential for malware attacks as well as data loss due to file corruption and poor version control. But with an API connection between platforms, documents never need to be downloaded locally. STACK also validates the API connection prior to going public, ensuring quality and safety for your business.

How to Use STACK's API

All you need is a subscription to STACK and access to a software developer to make the connection. 

Get in touch with us to discuss subscription options.

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