Fahd Abouabsi (Managing Director and Founder, Demotik): Wow, where do I begin? STACK has saved us a ton of time. I’m not proud of saying this, but it used to take us a good week to knock out an estimate, whereas now it takes us a matter of hours.
Demotik is a super subcontractor, and what we mean by that is we are a multi-trade contractor. We do demolition, framing and drywall, finishing, painting, and we also have a sign division where we print and install our own signs and graphics.
With STACK, we’re able to provide one estimate for all those items based on the floorplans that are provided for each project.
John Vu (Director of Operations, Demotik): I mean, the software itself kind of blew me away when I first opened it up and started utilizing it. You literally can build an entire project material spreadsheet based off your takeoffs, so it’s all automated. It’s fair to assume 50-75% increase in productivity. So I just immediately saw the efficiency part of it – you know, being an engineer, for me it’s efficiency, cost reduction, that kind of stuff, right? And so that was a huge portion that blew me away.
Pamela Martinez (Junior Estimator, Demotik): If I have my assemblies set up, I’m able to run through those and I can focus on the details. In estimating, the details are very important because if you miss one thing, one screw, or one fastener, it could be a loss.
Fahd: One of the issues we were having before we used STACK was we were not making money. Our method, our progress, our trajectory lived in our people’s heads. So our lead was our “it” person. If that person slipped up or something went wrong, that’s it, the whole project goes sideways. But with STACK, we were able to have a clear chart of where we needed to start, where we needed to be, and where we had to end up.
Pamela: General contractors, they want a very specific breakdown. Having such a detailed estimate that you can send to them with every line item broken down is incredibly helpful not only for them, but for you.
John: I mean, it’s usually the ratio is like 10-1 whenever you bid a new client and win, so I feel like we’re doing pretty well at 30%, 40%. Not only do we have way better profit margins, we also are now giving a client a list of all of our takeoffs with with materials, with labor shown, so there’s no questions asked. We go back and say, this is what’s covered, and it honestly blows our clients away to see it. It’s head and shoulders above any other competition. It’s like, whoa, I’ve never seen this before – it’s honestly like a paradigm shift in construction.
Fahd: We tried other softwares at the same time. They were not nearly as robust, and it was fairly simple to figure out.
Pamela: Video tutorials were my saving grace.
John: If there’s something like, how do I make an arc, or how do I do a certain takeoff, or how do I create an assembly, there’s videos for all that.
Pamela: Also if I ever got stuck, I would use the chat that they have, which is actually great.
John: So STACK has a very easy contact button where you just send in a chat. You just put it in, and they’ll reply within about 24 hours or so. I’ve had to do that a couple times and got an answer every time.
Fahd: Anytime there’s a suggestion, like oh, I wish STACK did this or that, they are so open to it, and they welcome it.
John: I actually had an issue, and I chatted with them and then made a suggestion to add a feature in the next round of releases, and you know how that normally goes – it never usually shows itself the next time, but on the next release I saw that feature pop up. So it was really cool to see that they actually take your suggestions and implement them.
Fahd: It’s like having your own programming team helping you develop your own software.
John: With the QuickBooks integration, we’re really excited about that because instead of taking our estimates and taking our contracts and putting it in QuickBooks separately, it’ll allow us to just drag and drop everything over and make an estimate much quicker.
Fahd: We’re going all in with STACK. All our project management, all our estimating, our field technologies – everything we’re moving to STACK. It’s helped us propel forward by miles.
John: I can’t imagine where we’d be without it. For us to scale to where we are, STACK is one of our pillars that has gotten us to this point.