Conversations with Customers: Construction Management Solutions

Last week I mentioned our new blog series called “Conversations with Customers” and I’m excited to continue it with a new conversation. This week, I spoke with Adam Trimm of Construction Management Solutions, headquartered in Sierra Madre, CA. Read more about how Adam is using Onehub as a central location to access information.

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Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Can you tell us a little about what CM Solutions does, and what role you play in the company?

Adam Trimm (Construction Management Solutions):

We are a construction management company; also specializing in claims consulting, project controls, and 4-D project scheduling. We work primarily with agencies and contractors involved with large public works projects, waste water, roads/highways, and bridges.
I am an associate. I do project management working with the client, but I also wear many hats.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): How did you hear about us?

Adam Trimm (CMS):
I think through a web search, in hopes of finding something better than SharePoint. We had a serious issue (sharing information outside our network), I’m sure SharePoint is good if you have a full time person that can manage it and develop features as needed, but we were having a real hard time with it and wanted something simple.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): How are you using Onehub today?

Adam Trimm (CMS): My colleague and I share duties on several projects so we use it internally for file sharing where we both need access to the same files. It keeps us from emailing files back and forth. We also have some projects with larger clients where the client’s project manager has access to their own hub for an easy way for them to access large files that we need to send them.
We keep one Hub to share files between some employees of CMS marketing operations, and then we have project hubs that we share with our larger clients. We do all of our schedules in 4D, and link 3D drawings in our scheduling software that creates a virtual build-out of our projects. This process creates a very large file that we can turn into, say, an .avi video file that we then upload to Onehub and send to our client so they can see the project build before any ground is ever broken. These large files made it necessary to use Onehub.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): When you were evaluating alternatives, what led you to choose Onehub?

Adam Trimm (CMS): The user interface was VERY simple. In a good way, it doesn’t have frivolous bells and whistles. Another one we looked at is a construction management specific solution that everyone in our industry knows. Everyone has been saying they wished there was “software like it that was simple to use without the million useless bells and whistles that make the software so convoluted.”

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): And Onehub accomplishes that need?

Adam Trimm (CMS): So far it’s been great, exactly what we were looking for. Everyone likes using it and has been happy with it.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): What benefits are you seeing from your use of Onehub?

Adam Trimm (CMS): Everyone operates very independently so whether we’re on project sites, or home offices, or the main office, or wherever we may be on any given day; this is a nice way to give us a centralized location to access information. Sort of an easier alternative to FTP.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Thanks for your time.

Adam Trimm (CMS): Thank you.

Conversations with Customers: Jen Francis Design

We’re excited to announce a new blog series called “Conversations with Customers” . Every few weeks we will feature a new customer and share with you their successes while using Onehub. We hope that each interview opens up new ways to use the service and even unlock some new ways of thinking about your current business processes. We will feature companies from all industry types and sizes, each who are using Onehub in their own unique way. This week I had the privilege of interviewing Jen Francis of Jen Francis Design, a graphic design firm located in Warwick, New York. Read more about how Jen is utilizing Onehub as a client extranet.

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Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Tell me about what you do? What is your specialty?

Jen Francis: We do everything from print to web, logos, brochures, annual reports, ads, trade show booths, websites with content management systems, and our clients range from everything from pharmaceuticals to food service.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): How are you using Onehub today?

Jen Francis: We use Onehub as a client extranet solution to share files and collaborate with our clients.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Can you give me an example of a client that you work with and how you’re using Onehub with them?

Jen Francis: We’re doing a pro-bono project for the library in our town here, and they ran a photo contest for their annual calendar, we had over 200 entries and needed to pick 13 winners for the calendar.
Everybody was flooding my inbox with these large images, since we needed high res images for the calendar. So we sent out a Hub invitation for each person that won and they were able to go in and just upload their images to the Hub so they weren’t bogging me down.

We use it a lot, say we’re building a website for a client, we set up a hub and everyone on the project can upload their content to it – from the sitemap to the images. It allows us to better collaborate with the developers, we can upload the hi-res images for them to download.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Based on your evaluation of other solutions, what led you to choose Onehub?

Jen Francis: It was a variety of things, the price for what you get… a lot of other solutions either didn’t give you enough storage space, workspaces, or were difficult to manage. We looked at some solutions that were way too costly.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): What are your clients, partners, and colleagues saying about the Onehub service?

Jen Francis: Well I personally think it’s very intuitive, the people that know their way around the internet are instantly comfortable with it, or those who have the basic knowledge of how an ftp site would work.

You really don’t need instructions, you just go on and immediately know what to do and it’s not hard to find your way around, everybody seems to be very pleased with it.

And it’s great for our printers too, instead of having to upload to all our different printers’ FTP sites, and trying to figure out all the different ways to send files through their sites, we just upload everything to Onehub and they can grab what they need. It is also great for when I want to work from home for a day, I have all my files on Onehub.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Would you say you’ve been able to save time or money with Onehub?

Jen Francis: Definitely, instead of building a custom extranet, or having someone build a custom ftp site for us, Onehub is much more robust compared to the amount of money we would have to have paid to develop one. It just didn’t make any sense to reinvent the wheel.

Kurt Ricketts (Onehub): Jen, Thank you for your time.

Jen Francis: Thank you very much.