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

IBP contracted Pixis Software to develop a custom software solution that would record and report home energy ratings from Energy Star, and 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 custom application daily to improve their insulation installation process 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 to share the information with the necessary entities.


IBP is required to send quarterly reports on all new builds’ energy efficiency to the EPA.
IBP is also highly accountable to its clients to provide the information they need for their residential building projects. Everyday, clients contact IBP requesting precise reports for specific developers, ASAP. No two projects and no two clients are the same – so IBP relies heavily on custom reports for daily information inquiries.
While IBP has an IT department in house, it didn’t have the skill set necessary to create what they needed to support the crucial flow of information.

IBP found that Pixis Software had the expertise to help it achieve its business goals all while making the process simple and stress free.

 

The Goal

 

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

We were tasked to build IBP custom reports, facilitate the export of data to other databases, 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 can now easily maintain and access records going back to when the application was deployed.

Along with the application’s tracking capabilities, our team also created a custom reporting system. We created unique, detailed reports for IBP’s quarterly filings which were submitted to the EPA to undergo the EPA approval process.

Additionally, we created customized reports of IBP’s clients. Because they require detailed information for their projects on a daily basis, 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 the 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 informs IBP if a project has passed or failed the Energy Star certification program.

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



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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 accessed much faster and more efficiently 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.

 

Software Updates

 

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

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

 

Having a Specialized Tech Team On-Call

 

For other Pixis Software clients like IBP, internal IT departments won’t necessarily communicate issues and solutions simply to other team members. However, 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 lingo. 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 accounting 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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Construction software integration for better project tracking and reporting

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