Learn how Fortis Construction reduced the time spent on construction planning and reporting processes from days to minutes with Microsoft Power Platform.
Fortis Construction is a $1.8 billion general contractor primarily focused on the commercial, education, healthcare, and science and technology sectors. Their projects range from small tenant improvement (TI) projects to multi-million dollar data centers.
Every active Fortis project requires monthly accurate projections (MAPs), covering everything from financials to quality schedules. This process typically took place in multiple Excel templates full of macros and multiple tabs.
Each month the team needed to extract data from the ERP software, manually input it into Excel, and push reports to multiple leaders and decision-makers via email. If a mistake was made, hours could be wasted reconciling just a few cents.
“It was a time-consuming and error-prone process,” said Tara Messa, the team member responsible for technology integration at Fortis. “Data entry could take two to three hours for each report. And the entire generation and distribution process could last several days.”
Tara needed to improve accuracy and efficiency while boosting visibility into the construction reporting process. The end result would enable leaders to stop waiting around for email reports and spending time combing through data. Instead, they would interact with data visualizations at different levels of granularity to gain quick, valuable insights.
At the center of their efficiency issues was the fact that Fortis wasn’t working off of a single database. In order to eliminate their inefficiencies and wasted expenses, Tara needed to take a centralized approach to Fortis’ data.
Tara partnered with Skypoint Cloud to navigate the complex process of establishing and automating its reporting process. We helped Tara and her team create a new data warehouse using Azure, migrate their ERP data into the system, and connect all the sources.
This consolidation allowed team members to run reports directly from the database and make quick updates. Before, the Fortis team was going through complicated manual steps that took their time and energy away from the important goal of understanding the analytics so they could make better business decisions.
Skypoint Cloud also streamlined Fortis’ Microsoft licensing by consolidating apps. We structured multiple modules into one app and used pay-as-you-go licensing for Power Apps to reduce costs significantly.
Working with Skypoint Cloud was more than a one-time, transactional relationship. We guided Tara and her team to think ahead, posing questions such as:
The project didn’t just solve the Fortis team’s primary challenges. It also helped them understand Power Platform’s full capabilities, enabling Tara and her team to gain efficiencies immediately while creating long-term value for everyone involved.
The new reporting system provides stakeholders with the visibility needed to make timely decisions. This reporting system also allows them to combine data from various sources and generate insights in ways that were necessary but not possible in the past.
Tara’s team also appreciates the responsiveness we bring to every project. Skypoint Cloud equips the Fortis team with the knowledge to resolve some issues themselves, along with the peace of mind of knowing they can always lean on us if they run into a snag.
The project created positive outcomes for Fortis team members at all levels of the organization. In addition to the ease of access for leadership, the change was immediately felt by project team members, who have to produce 10-12 MAPs each month. They can now get their job done faster and with much higher accuracy.
Now that process automation has reduced the time it takes to input and refresh information, Fortis has experienced a dramatic difference in time savings and analytics capabilities.
The Fortis team used to spend 90% of their time on data entry, leaving just 10% for understanding the analytics. Now those percentages have flipped, and the Fortis team is spending 90% of their time on data analysis.
It takes a minute or less to get all the data required for reporting, instead of hours of tedious and error-prone data entry work. Additionally, teams don’t have to repeat all the steps if the data changes. It was a huge relief for everybody to stop spending precious hours tracking down a few missing cents.
The Power BI dashboard is a true game-changer for the team at Fortis. This dashboard lets them view data in real time and combine it with information from other sources.
Fortis has gained a complete picture of project market sectors, staffing projections, cost and revenue forecasts, and overall budgeting.
Greater organizational visibility also sparked conversations about what else the Fortis team could do with the visualization capabilities. It pushed everyone to start looking at different ways to use and view the data they collect. They can also identify outliers and focus on what matters instead of getting overwhelmed by raw data.