Lighthouse Electric Simplifies and Standardizes Its System to Bridge Gaps Between the Office and Job Site
In the more than three decades since its founding, Lighthouse Electric Company Inc. has become the go-to resource for technically challenging electrical construction projects on the East Coast. But the company lacked a centralized control system, instead relying on spreadsheets and emails to communicate information between departments. This system led to inefficiencies and a breakdown in communication between people in the office and out on the job site.
Looking to optimize business operations, Lighthouse Electric found that Quickbase could help to connect all levels of the organization and get information to the right people in real time. Since first using Quickbase, Lighthouse Electric has built more than 20 integrated, process-enhancing applications that have helped to modernize and standardize the business.
- Enterprise growth and change outpaced the technology infrastructure
- Communication primarily done via paper, spreadsheets, and email making it difficult to track
- Lack of real-time information to assist with critical decision making at job sites
- Difficult to quickly locate data and documentation about tools, safety, inventory, production planning, sales opportunities, etc.
- Quickbase online control system for fast and easy information sharing
- Developed a Tool Rental System application for automating tool ordering and inventory tracking
- Quickbase platform as a launch pad for 20+ online apps that serve as a centralized ERP backbone
- Automate systems mean employees no longer need to physically check on the status of tools in warehouse
- Business information is now quickly accessible by decision makers with self-serve customer reports
- Positions Lighthouse Electric Company at the forefront of an electrical construction information revolution and digital transformation
- Enhanced visibility and transparency into the business processes
Searching for a Custom Tool
A continuous improvement and process-oriented business, Lighthouse Electric Company, Inc. (LECO) is known for its field talent and cutting-edge innovation in electrical and technology design construction. Catering to commercial, institutional, and industrial clients, it is one of the largest electrical contractors on the East Coast.
Recently, the company formed a prefabrication division to design, build, and ship kits and sub-assemblies to construction sites. To maximize efficiency, a centralized control system was needed to replace spreadsheets, documents, and emails shared between field, design, and manufacturing teams. LECO also wanted to automate inventory tracking and management to simplify tool rentals and maintenance.
“Instead of buying expensive manufacturing, production control, and asset tracking software that would be hard to adapt to our processes, or invest in creating a traditional coded solution, we opted to build our own custom tools with Quickbase,” said Robert Salaj, Director of Operational Excellence at LECO.
Standardizing the System
Fast and easy development of a Quickbase prefabrication application now provides users with automatic updates on orders, designs, and manufacturing status from real-time dashboards. Automated alerts and notifications facilitate better communications about when kits need to be at jobsites for seamless hand-offs.
The new Quickbase tool rental system has turned telephone tag and the need to physically check on the availability of tools in the warehouse into a highly visible, seamless process. Orders are now submitted in the field and automatically entered into the system. With full visibility into the availability, location, and maintenance status of all rental tools, fulfillment is coordinated much more efficiently with a lot less work.
The need for tools, materials, and information at the point of installation—combined with the initiative of employees, IT, and business process owners to improve operations daily—have fueled the development of over 20 integrated, process-enhancing apps.
“In the past, we were a multi-million-dollar company running projects primarily with job folders on shared drives,” said Salaj. “Quickbase is now supporting almost everything, integrating departments, and driving an information revolution that is a real game changer in differentiating us in this industry."
Quickbase applications are modernizing and standardizing processes across systems from Tools, Inventory, and CRM to job and safety management. Users are now more productive in their jobs and can easily collaborate and keep current on all aspects of a project.
In addition, all that daily activity is being tracked and funneled into a centralized repository that enables decision makers to quickly self-serve their own custom reports or provide a conduit for executive level reporting.
“I think the epiphany of value comes, where in three clicks, you can understand the entire health of an organization and job,” said Salaj.