Quintero’s Electric, Inc. is a small electrical contracting firm based in Riverside, CA. In business for over twenty years, Quintero’s Electric, Inc. does only commercial work, most of which is related to electrical installations and upgrades for laboratory cleanrooms. The company takes on projects throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Quintero’s Electric, Inc. has been a Design Master Electrical customer since 2008. The software supports an extremely cost- and time-efficient business model that enables the company to operate profitably with just two employees. “I have many titles,” jokes Lidia Hernandez, Quintero’s designer and office manager. “I’m Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable as well as the designer, and I also help quote jobs.”
“My boss is always out in the field,” continues Mrs. Hernandez. “I’m the one who knows how to use Design Master. He comes to me whenever we need to create drawings.”
Mrs. Hernandez learned design on the job. “Before we got Design Master we did drawings by hand using AutoCAD,” Mrs. Hernandez explains. “Now most of that work is automated—you just have to tell the software where to find the circuits and how you want the drawing to look.
“Changes used to be such a mess. Maybe I’d change something on the floor plan and forget to change it on the panel schedule. Everything had to be coordinated manually, and sometimes I made mistakes. Now if I change something on a receptacle or an air handler or whatever, everything that’s affected automatically updates with one click.
“For me, automatic updates to the panel schedules and equipment schedules are the best thing about the software. Design Master also helps so much with calculations, with drawing the home runs… It’s completely changed our world,” relates Mrs. Hernandez.
“With Design Master I can design at least twice as fast as I could before, and I’m still getting faster as I teach myself more features,” Mrs. Hernandez offers. “The software also saves my boss a lot of time, so he can concentrate on work in the field. We can bid more jobs because I can finish the design work faster.
“If it wasn’t for Design Master, my boss would have to be in the office much more,” adds Mrs. Hernandez. “For example, he no longer has to spend time inputting values into panel schedules by hand from an Excel spreadsheet. In fact, most of the time he doesn’t need to be involved much with the designing.”
“We work with a general contractor who sends us drawings of the floor plans with all the mechanical components, like HEPAs, already included,” Mrs. Hernandez clarifies. “Because I help bid the jobs I already know how many lights and receptacles and so forth we’re going to put in. I create everything in Design Master and place it where it’s supposed to go. Then I circuit everything up and connect it up to the panels, and connect the panels to the main switchboard.”
“That’s pretty much it! My boss usually just checks my work and sends it back to the contractor for approval,” asserts Mrs. Hernandez.
“I also created the company design standards with the help of Design Master,” says Mrs. Hernandez. “Before that I had a symbol list but it wasn’t consistent across drawings. The software makes it so much easier to keep drawings consistent. The general contractor has fewer changes for us now also, because there’s more consistency.”
“Design Master is super easy to use,” says Mrs. Hernandez emphasizes. “When I was first learning it a support person logged into my computer and coached me for a couple of hours. From there I got the hang of it and could teach myself.
“Anytime I have a question about how to do something or why something works a certain way, I just call my support contact and he gives me whatever help I need right away. I would say that’s major support!” Mrs. Hernandez exclaims.
“Ours is a good business model for small engineering companies,” reflects Mrs. Hernandez. “I really don’t know how anybody can do this work without Design Master really—it’s that important to us.”
“If we had to pass paper drawings back and forth, just the logistics of doing that when my boss is out of the office would slow us down to a crawl. Plus the cost of mailing all those drawings and corrections… I don’t think I could do drawings again without Design Master, no way!” Mrs. Hernandez concludes.