Case Study: Construction Software Integration for Better Project Tracking and Reporting

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by | Mar 5, 2018

  • Installed Building Products is an insulation installer and home energy performance monitor for new residential construction

  • Accounting Program Integration with Work Orders using Energy Star and REM/Rate


Installed Building Products (IBP) is the second largest insulation installer for new residential construction in the United States.

As the leading insulation installer for residential construction, Using Energy Star and REM/Rate energy efficiency ratings are a big deal for Installed Building Products, and IBP uses these quality ratings for their construction clients’ builds REM/Rate is a residential energy analysis and code compliance software created for Home Energy Rating (HERS) providers and raters. The software calculates and tracks home energy use and capabilities including heating, cooling, and electricity loads.

IBP contracted Pixis to develop a custom application to record and report home energy ratings from Energy Star that integrate with their own rating software REM/Rate for top notch reporting for its clients. Now, the IBP team and some of their home builder clients, like M/I Homes, use the Pixis application every day to improve their insulation installation and report on other energy efficiency methods.


The Problems


After adopting Energy Star and undergoing rapid business growth, IBP was forced to come up with makeshift workflows to get their information sorted and shared to the right entities.

  • IBP is required to send quarterly reports on new build energy efficiencies to the EPA.
  • IBP is also highly accountable to its clients for providing the information they need for their residential building projects. Everyday, clients contact IBP asking for specific reports for specific developers, ASAP. No two projects and no two clients are the same – so IBP heavily relies on custom reports for daily information inquiries.
  • While IBP has an IT department in house, it didn’t know how to create what they needed to accomodate the information flow.

Pixis had the expertise to achieve IBP’s business goals and at the same time, made the process simple and stress free.


The Goal


IBP needed Pixis Software to create a custom solution that exported all usable data from REM/Rate and formatted that information for the other IBP systems and clients that need it – basically a better tracking system.

We needed to build IBP custom reports, facilitate the export of data to another database, and make it possible for them to query calculated data to make better decisions and manage HERS compliance.


The Solution


We started by creating a tracking system. This application allowed IBP to track all of their jobs and keep their project data up to date. IBP’s records can now go back to when Pixis started this program.

With this tracking application, our team also created a custom reports system. We created unique, detailed reports for the EPA for IBP’s quarterly reports and underwent the EPA approval process.

Additionally, we created customized reports of IBP’s clients. Because they require detailed information for their projects daily, IBP was hand selecting data points and formatting statements in makeshift, complicated workflows.

By creating templates and smart data tables, the IBP staff could manage client data more easily.

“With the custom reports they created, we have high customer satisfaction between our clients and Pixis software solution,” said Shana Wren, IBP. “This is amazing for our clients who need records that have been archived. We didn’t have that functionality before – Pixis has saved us tons of time and money.”

The new program we created also tells IBP if a project has passed or failed the Energy Star program.

“We aren’t sure how Pixis did all of that behind the scenes… but they did!” Shana Wren, IBP. “We manually enter in some data, then the magic happens behind the scenes – that’s the genius about it.”


Learn more about how to find a reliable software company.


The Benefits


  • Guided decision-making
  •  Better data analysis
  • Eliminated data double-entry errors
  • Streamlined workflows and business processes
  • Clearly communicated relevant information internally and externally with custom reports


Pulling In-Depth Reports


When Energy Star says “we need a report on all of your jobs from the past 3 years,” IBP can now say, “Perfect, no problem!” and pull it up in a second.

All of IBP’s custom reports have been approved by the EPA and can be pulled much faster and more accurately than IBP’s manual processes before.

“Pixis technology is very fast and efficient. It’s a tracking system for us. But the reporting for our clients and accountability entities is crucial,” said Shana Wren.

Not to mention, IBP’s user interface (UI) and workflows were improved drastically – now they could enter multiple work orders at one time.


Software Updates


With a custom software developer on retainer, you never have to worry about software updates or system changes. Currently, IBP is moving everything to web applications.

During this process, Energy Star released an update to its program, so the Pixis team updated the IBP solution to meet the new needs for zero down days at the IBP office.


Having a Specialized Tech Team On-Call


For other Pixis clients like IBP, internal IT departments won’t communicate issues and solutions simply to other team members.

But with Pixis, “account managers are not intimidating. They speak to us on our level – for those of us who don’t know all of the tech verbiage. They don’t talk tech,” said Shana Wren. “Pixis is the cornerstone of our technology efforts.”

At Pixis, we keep up with quarterly updates from Energy Star, REM/Rate and even IBP’s account software Sage, as its proactive technical go-between. We look at the new changes and updates and make it all work for IBP’s new custom system.


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