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SKYSITE Success Story: National Commercial Builders Inc. & the Dropbox Alternative

Challenge: Other file-sharing methods like DropBox, Box, Sharepoint, and Hightail were too difficult and limited for all parties involved in a construction project.

Solution: SKYSITE.

Results: Quicker and more efficient collaboration and document distribution.

National Commercial Builders Inc. (NCB) builds movie theaters, entertainment centers, and restaurants (Red Robin) and retail chains like Best Buy. Central to NCB’s mission statement is ensuring that clear communication is fostered and maintained between all parties that work on a project. Their website says it best:

“We believe the success of your project lies in the communication established between the TEAM members. NCB supports “PARTNERING” with all the TEAM members — bringing the client, architect, contractor and other project contributors together.”

The Document Distribution Challenge 

Documents from drawings to photos are the heart of communication on the jobsite. Contractors know too well the pain and complete standstill that follows when the right drawings don’t get into the right hands at the right time.

“Dropbox™ was just a way to transfer large files. Box could share files, but it had problems. You could never count on it on being completely correct. Along the way we started using Sharepoint, which is okay. It’s like a big filing cabinet, but it has real limitations.”

While the advent of mobile devices and cloud technologies has brought forth many options for distributing construction documents, for NCB’s president, Sheldon Oxner, these “solutions” often end up being just good enough and never optimal:

The great challenge for NCB wasn’t finding a solution, but finding a solution that was built for construction.

The Dropbox™ Alternative

In Oxner’s search for a construction grade solution, he came across SKYSITE. He was instantly intrigued by the collaborative benefits the app could give his team. Fast forward to today and NCB has already started reaping the benefits.

NCB’s office manager, Stacy Johnson, told us that they were able to take all their plans for their current projects and make them easily accessible through SKYSITE. The ease and construction centric design is so unprecedented that it left project managers surprised when they realized that old hassles were now automated.

“One of my project managers came to me the other day because he needed to have all the latest documents.  And he had done it individually, with three different addendums and the bid set, and had to go in and get all the current documents.  And I said, “You do realize that in Skysite we do have that already?  [Laughs] It automatically does it for you.”  That’s an awesome thing,” Johnson said.

From an office managers point of view, Johnson was impressed with SKYSITE’s structure compared to other applications:

“With SKYSITE you can structure everything with the folders and how you send things out. The indexing is great. Everything is labeled very easily. I think that works better than Dropbox™ did. Dropbox™ was confusing and kind of difficult to use. And the syncing didn’t always work. SKYSITE’s syncing is excellent. It just works really well.”

The Construction App with a Face

For Oxner, finding out that SKYSITE is locally supported added to value that the app presented.

“Right off the bat we liked that SKYSITE has somebody here in Kansas City that’s actually affiliated with the ownership company. We got an immediate sense of support.”

Since SKYSITE is powered by ARC Document Solutions, the app taps into ARC’s 180+ global locations.

This sense of support extended to SKYSITE’s development team. Customers are encouraged to make suggestions and Oxner did exactly that, conversing directly with SKYSITE’s project manager on things that worked and didn’t work.

“The customer service was wonderful,” Oxner said.

Johnson concurred: “Our support team is  wonderful. Customer service is such an important part of staying with the company. Often you get somebody that doesn’t know what you’re talking about reading off a piece of paper. It’s great having somebody to talk to that actually cares and tries hard to make it better for you.”

In fact, one of NCB’s most requested features was photo management. As of October 2015, SKYSITE has added that very feature, letting users take pictures in the field, mark them up, and send them off.

There Is No Going Back

While product updates are always great, for NCB the greatest feature was one SKYSITE came with day one: easy and fast document distribution.

“If anybody has any problems and they need plans, it’s easy to respond.  SKYSITE makes things here in the office quicker. I can send the link to somebody and they can be right on it. The quickness of how we can distribute documents and large files is just perfect” Oxner stated.

When asked if there’s anyway NCB could go back to their old way of doing things, Stacey had the following to say:

“Everything is so fast-paced nowadays, there’s just no way you can go back to the way you did it before.  It’s just too slow-paced.  And with everything moving so quickly now, if you don’t keep up with the changes then you’re going to fall behind.  So, no, there is no going back.”

 

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