When Hunter Murphy, owner and operator of Sandstone Site Services, founded his company in January of 2020, he had only 9 employees. Working hard to position his company as a trusted source for home and apartment construction in the Central Florida area, Hunter had the opportunity to expand in 2021 with the opening of Sandstone’s Jacksonville office.
Now with over 70 employees, Hunter is looking to bring Sandstone to the next stage. For that, he turned to SharpeSoft.
Sandstone Site Services, a civil construction company based in central Florida, wanted to make substantial improvements to their estimating processes. These included better security, better communication to the field on how a job was bid, as well as a generally streamlined information flow. As a rapidly expanding civil contractor company specializing in apartment building construction, it was imperative that funds and costs could be quickly and accurately determined with full transparency.
Prior to joining the SharpeSoft family, Sandstone utilized traditional spreadsheet-based systems for their estimating needs. For a growing company, this quickly became untenable. After shopping around for other potential solutions, Hunter and Sandstone ran into additional issues.
“We looked at all the big names, and we ended up settling on one of the top companies in the industry due to the entire environment they provided. We at the time had two full time estimators…The implementation was super lengthy, and I don’t think we were ready for what we were taking on there. As we got it implemented, we started having challenges getting our estimators’ buy-in. It was taking a lot more time to get the system into a fashion where they could produce estimates quickly.”
“We use other software for our earthwork and takeoff. When your estimator can go through a takeoff on a large project through AgTek in four hours, then have to spend another six hours producing an estimate, it doesn't make a lot of sense.”
“We never got the software into a position where we could quickly produce estimates and knew we could trust the numbers. It wasn’t easy to understand where the numbers were coming from. We had a lot of issues with clients where they would ask us to change a few items, we would go and change those items, and then all the pricing was different.”
New technology should never be made so opaque that it deters potential new users. SharpeSoft offers multiple different methods of training, from interactive video content to hands-on training in person. Detailed help documentation also shows users exactly where the numbers are coming from, from markups to rounded bid item prices.
Getting in Contact
Tired of having to deal with more problems than the ones he’d originally signed up to have fixed, Hunter was ready to make a switch. Taking on the monumental task of being the company’s primary estimator at the time, Hunter reached out to one of his former estimators for help integrating his current estimating software with Sandstone’s trusted takeoff solution.
While discussing the importance of implementation and a user-friendly environment, SharpeSoft entered the conversation. After some research, Hunter made the call to SharpeSoft to schedule a presentation.
Interaction with SharpeSoft
“One of the biggest things that made me feel comfortable moving forward is that Will did a good job of establishing a family atmosphere; once you're a part of the family, you're then taken care of. At the larger companies you can start feeling like just a number. You call tech support and you get someone who doesn't know you, and you don't know them. They really don't understand your company, or what you’re truly asking. They're just doing their job, but it seemed like Will and Johnathan understood what we do.”
“[During the presentation], Will would say ‘a lot of guys in the industry create estimates in such-and-such a way’ which is helpful for a company like Sandstone. We have our own way of doing things, but it’s nice to know how other guys are doing things. When you start hearing from people that they like how you set estimates up, and that it's similar to how other people have set things up, it's reassuring to know you're keeping consistent.”
At SharpeSoft, we pride ourselves on providing a friendly environment backed up by over 30 years of professional construction experience. We understand that cooperation and full comprehension at all levels of a business arrangement are how these relationships are built to last. We look forward to years of healthy business with Sandstone!
How has SharpeSoft Helped?
“At this point we haven’t even had our second meeting, and I’ve been pumping estimates out of the Estimator.”
With a 15 day implementation period guaranteed, Sandstone was able to achieve near-immediate results after making the switch to the SharpeSoft Estimator.
“It’s super easy. It is way easier than other software solutions. The way you build out your database and the way it was set up, it’s kind of mind boggling why others aren’t that way.”
Ease of use is a top priority when it comes to estimating software. Numbers can often be misplaced unless tracked properly, without mentioning potential feature bloat of other services.
"I like how we started with a blank slate, and as I'm building each estimate moving forward, I'm adding to the database."
SharpeSoft’s databases are built from the ground up specific to each user. As more estimates are completed, the database becomes progressively filled out with items most useful to the user, providing an overall increase to speed and efficiency. Once the database has been completed once, there’s no need to do it again, the items are already easily within reach.
Would you recommend SharpeSoft to others?