Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply is the largest family-owned landscape and irrigation product supplier in the US, serving nearly 40 states via multiple regional branches.
They provide professional contractors with irrigation supplies, including water-efficient and sustainable solutions, as well as products for landscape and turf, agronomics and growing, hardscape and outdoor living, landscape lighting, water features, erosion control, and more.
Ewing’s mission statement includes “Build a mutually profitable relationship with each customer” and “Strive for service excellence.” The company doesn’t just talk the talk – they offer training classes and events for industry professionals; they host a robust blog on their website with tips and tricks for landscapers; and they perform complimentary takeoffs for their contractor customers.
Evan Mecham, Commercial Services Manager, explains that when Ewing was preparing to revamp their commercial services site, they noted just how much duplicate work was being done and knew they needed to make a change.
At this point, the Ewing team knew the answer would be a web-based solution that would integrate with all of their existing systems. With the volume of takeoffs performed by their estimating department, getting the integration right was crucial to the company’s continued success.
As it stood, Ewing was using a CRM, takeoff software, and quoting software. Evan says there was constant duplication of work, and so many steps in a process that Ewing recognized was unnecessarily complicated. Each estimator was responsible for counting, quoting, and keeping the CRM up-to-date – the amount of manual data entry across platforms was unsustainable.
Ewing built their new commercial services site to handle scheduling and project loading, and then began seeking out a takeoff tool that would integrate seamlessly with it. As they searched, Evan says, they found that a lot of the takeoff software options that have been around for a long time are just not willing to do integrations, or if they were, the cost was so steep that they’d never see a return on their investment. Even as such a major irrigation supplier, Evan says, it seemed that no one wanted to take Ewing seriously.
It was also extremely important to Ewing to choose an evolving tool with a responsive product team that would be flexible and continue to develop the platform according to their feedback and needs.
It may have seemed a bit like looking for a unicorn – until Ewing found STACK.
Using STACK’s API, the two companies teamed up to make the integration work just like Ewing had hoped. The new workflow eliminates all of the manual entry and duplicate work the estimators were doing before and instead streamlines the process significantly.
With Ewing’s proprietary commercial services site, contractors can submit their projects via a portal. The customer is able to input whatever job name they prefer, and an internal Ewing project number is simultaneously created for tracking the project.
The project then goes to Evan’s production team, who reviews it and hits a “Send to STACK” button, after which the PDF plans are sent directly to STACK, using the Ewing project number as well as the customer’s preferred job name.
Evan’s team then goes deeper, looking at what needs to be counted in the plans, and enters the items into their interactive materials database. Once that is complete, they hit another “STACK It” button, which then sends all the data directly to STACK via the integration.
When the estimating team, which is spread across Ewing’s national regions as well as abroad, is ready to perform the takeoff on a project, all of the information is already within the STACK platform, organized and prepared for them.
STACK built custom categories for Ewing, making the takeoff process even simpler. It’s easy to see directly in the sidebar of STACK exactly which materials need to be counted, so the estimators can get right to work. Once they’re finished, they hit “STACK It” again, the two systems communicate with each other, and all the quantities they’ve counted are then brought back into the interactive materials list, where Evan’s team exports the materials and counts into their quoting software. They then put the final touches on the estimate and send it off to the customer.
Evan says the process is instantaneous and smooth and removes all of the rework from Ewing’s workflow.
With Ewing’s need for a true supportive partner rather than just a vendor, STACK stepped up to the plate. After the software integration was complete, Ewing flew their stateside estimators to their Phoenix headquarters, and STACK product manager Troy Newman spent two days there with them for immersive training in the new workflow. Once the team was up to speed, their takeoff and quoting process became seamless.
But the relationship between the two companies didn’t stop there. As Ewing has noticed additional changes that would improve their efficiency even more, Evan says, nearly everything they’ve requested has been added.
STACK’s frequent product updates are based on user feedback via direct communication or the product board, which allows customers like Ewing to suggest new features and have a voice in prioritizing items for the upcoming roadmap.
The STACK integration has completely changed the way Ewing is able to serve their customers. Without STACK, Evan says, “life would be a headache for so many reasons.”
Using STACK has increased the Ewing estimating team’s efficiency at least threefold. Evan reports that the estimators are now able to complete three to four jobs in the time it previously took to do a single takeoff.
They’re now able to get a big job of more than 20 plan pages out the door in about 3 days, allowing them to provide faster turnaround for customers in an industry in which speed could make all the difference in winning bids.
Cloud collaboration means that multiple employees can be working in the same project doing counts simultaneously. With an estimating team spread across time zones and countries, Ewing staff can be working on the same project 24 hours a day.
Tackling large projects is simpler when estimators can be assigned to count specific materials in the same plan pages, with updates made in real time. There’s no need to wait until one estimator is finished with their count before others begin.
On a local level, estimators are able to take their work with them, whether to their home office, flying to the Phoenix office for meetings, or anywhere they may be. This is key, Evan explains, because Ewing previously had all their estimators centralized in the Phoenix location, but they wanted the management to come from the region in which those estimators were specialized.
With the implementation of STACK’s web-based platform, Ewing was able to reorganize their staffing to the appropriate locations across the country. Each regional office hires its own estimators, and Evan trains them remotely from his home office in Colorado.
This decentralization of the estimating team allows estimators to build relationships with their local sales teams and with the customers they serve, and to conform with the individual culture of each regional branch, making for a tight-knit team that delivers the best results for contractors.
Ewing’s case may not be the typical use case for a takeoff software. But that just goes to show the lengths STACK is willing to go to in order to serve customers, not only with the best preconstruction platform on the market, but also with top-notch service and constant innovation.
Ready to see how an integration with STACK can revolutionize your company’s workflow? Schedule a demo today.