Amteck is a leading electrical design/build company with over 300 employees and offices in Kentucky and Tennessee. While the firm offers a complete spectrum of design and engineering services to its clients, its focus is construction.
Amteck works on commercial and industrial projects nationwide. They currently have eight Design Master Electrical users; two in their Tennessee office and six at their Lexington, Kentucky headquarters.
Nick Lisin, preconstruction manager in Amteck’s Tennessee office, began using Design Master Electrical in 2009. Mr. Lisin does all his design work for proposals in Design Master. When we interviewed Mr. Lisin in 2011, he said, “I would not be able to do my job and produce the amount of work that is required of me without Design Master.”
According to Wayne Boyd, Engineering Manager and Preconstruction Manager in Amteck’s Lexington, KY office, “Nick was a great salesman for Design Master Electrical. He highly recommended that we use the software company-wide.”
“Engineers and designers here at our Lexington office do all the final and detailed engineering work for the company,” Mr. Boyd explains. “Prior to using Design Master we did proposals as well as our design documents by hand: creating and redlining paper drawings, building panel schedules in Excel spreadsheets, and so on.”
So when Amteck landed a job based on one of Mr. Lisin’s proposals, Mr. Boyd’s team would have to start from scratch with their manual process to make the final drawings. “This not only cost us the time it took to start over, but also wasted the time Nick had spent creating a drawing in Design Master,” Mr. Boyd adds. “Now that we start with his preliminary design and do all the final engineering work in Design Master, it saves a great deal of time between our two offices.”
Design Master Electrical is now used for nearly all preliminary designs as well as final design work, company-wide. This accelerates all engineering processes, most importantly proposal creation. The result is that Amteck is able to bid—and win—more jobs.
“The software really saves us time over the labor-intensive process for preliminary designs that we’d been using,” Mr. Boyd remarks. “Because we’re able to do more engineering and proposal work in this department thanks to Design Master, we now have a company bottleneck in our estimating department. They can’t estimate as fast as we can design it! In fact, we’re in the process right now of hiring a couple more estimators.”
Design Master Electrical also helps Amteck’s clients “look good” and potentially win more work in their meetings with building owners. “In our business, building owners invite general contractors to bid on the job, and then tell them what they want built,” clarifies Mr. Boyd. “The contractor is our client. They convey that building information to us, and we convert it into proposal drawings.
“When our contractor clients are called into meetings with building owners to present how they see the project, they show the owner our Design Master drawings. You can tell the building owners are impressed. They’re thinking ‘Wow, these guys really want this job.’
“Having a great-looking set of preliminary drawings sets our customers apart and helps them sell the job. That’s a pretty big benefit,” Mr. Boyd adds.
“Our estimators need to be able to do a takeoff on what we design and determine what the job is going to cost,” Mr. Boyd states. “Their estimates are what we submit to our customers as bids on projects.
“When we were redlining things back before we started using Design Master, as you can imagine some people write in hieroglyphics. Now we’ve eliminated all the back-and-forth verification about ‘What circuit is this?’ and ‘What panel is that?’
“This might seem like a small thing but it’s not—it speeds up our estimating and makes the whole engineering process a lot less frustrating,” Mr. Boyd asserts.
“Amteck is a $70 million company that makes its money on construction, not engineering,” summarizes Mr. Boyd. “But increasing our engineering productivity actually has a huge impact on revenue and profitability because we’re able to bid more work—and potentially land multi-million dollar jobs that we wouldn’t even have been able to bid on before.”
So even though design is a smaller part of Amteck’s business than it is for many Design Master customers, the impact on their bottom line is even bigger. “Instead of making 5% profit on a $20,000 engineering job, Amteck is making 5% profit on a $2 million construction job that we may not have even bid if it wasn’t for Design Master,” Mr. Boyd concludes.