Published May 9, 2024 . 0 min read

Alessandro Electric, Inc.

Alessandro Electric Inc.

Alessandro Electric, Inc. (AEI), a northern California-based electrical contractor established in 2005, specializes in education, state, and federal projects, boasting 120 employees and an annual revenue of $25M. With high- and low-voltage divisions, project sizes range from small-scale to $11M endeavors. However, despite their success, AEI faced challenges in their Work in Progress (WIP) reporting process. Manually providing project financial details to project managers proved tedious, leading to inefficiencies in project cost review and communication with the President and CFO.

Termed “Penalty Box” meetings, the monthly project review meetings with the CFO were long and stressful, with project managers often unprepared to discuss project performance in adequate depth or detail. The previous WIP reporting method required extensive time for report exporting, formatting, and distribution of reports, with each project manager spending considerable hours in meetings with the CFO, often resulting in the President’s intervention for financial evaluation.

Key Highlights:

  • WIP reporting accuracy has improved, leading to more efficient reviews for the CFO and President, resulting in a time saving of 4 hours per month in preparation.
  • Getting greater transparency and quicker results on past due change orders and billings, as well as reducing and preventing underbillings across all projects.
  • Stronger grasp on and understanding of past and active project financial performance by the Project Managers.

Easy Implementation

The decision to adopt ProNovos for WIP reporting was influenced by the need to streamline manual processes, such as exporting and formatting reports, which hindered timely access to information for project managers. The implementation process involved providing access to the accounting database, participating in implementation meetings with ProNovos, and creating user accounts. Subsequently, staff were trained to integrate the software seamlessly into their workflow, aiming to reduce stress, time, and effort while enhancing the accessibility and accuracy of information. Customization and integration requirements included integration with Foundation Accounting Software and custom filtering options to accommodate the organization’s complex cost coding system and multiple divisions on the same project.

For me, the primary focus in using ProNovos with project managers is to provide a consistent interactive and easy-to-use monthly WIP & Billings process, which ensures their engagement in reviewing cost, projecting cost, avoiding under billings, monitoring and closing purchase orders timely, which everyone wants to use because it increases their performance and accuracy while making their jobs easier and saving them time.

Clint Alessandro
President, Alessandro Electric

Improved WIP Reporting and Cost Forecasting

ProNovos has significantly enhanced Alessandro Electric’s WIP reporting and cost forecasting processes. WIP reporting accuracy has improved, with quicker monthly updates now possible due to the platform’s efficiency. Colleen Alessandro noted, “It’s been a really positive experience. It has significantly expedited our monthly reporting process. Instead of constantly asking project managers about their cost projections, they now input them in advance, which is a major improvement.”

Before implementing ProNovos, the lack of completed invoices in the financials posed a significant challenge, throwing off key performance indicators (KPIs) and hindering the ability to identify active under-billing promptly. This meant that the organization was often unaware of under-billing issues until much later, potentially three months down the line when reviewing the WIP report. Now, project managers have the capability to actively monitor billings during their own review process. This proactive approach enables them to swiftly identify and address any under-billing, preventing potential financial discrepancies and ensuring greater accuracy in project financial management.

Integration with Foundation Accounting Software and custom filtering options have made reports easy to digest, even with a complex cost coding system. ProNovos enables project managers to make adjustments on a cost-code basis, improving accuracy and facilitating proactive decision-making. Overall, the monthly reporting process has been enhanced, and the efficiency and accuracy of WIP reporting have saved time and reduced stress.

It’s been a really positive experience. It has significantly expedited our monthly reporting process. Instead of constantly asking project managers about their cost projections, they now input them in advance, which is a major improvement.

Colleen Alessandro
CFO, Alessandro Electric

Greater Engagement in Project Financials

Alessandro Electric has experienced improvements in project financial management and efficiency. The interactive dashboards have empowered project managers, making them more self-sufficient and freeing up Clint’s time to focus on strategic business initiatives. Now, with information in hand, that has ensured timely closure of purchase orders and increased engagement in cost codes and billing accuracy. This increased engagement extends to the thorough review of monthly billings, labor hours, costs, commitments, change orders, past billings, cash flow, and payment history. These reviews often lead to client conversations and quicker resolutions for past-due change orders and billings.

We’ve definitely seen improvements in Days Sales Outstanding and AR Aging. By showing Project Managers where to find and prevent under-billings, we’ve empowered them to manage their project’s financials more effectively.

Colleen Alessandro
CFO, Alessandro Electric

The platform has seamlessly integrated into the monthly project review and billing processes, facilitating comprehensive assessments and client interactions. Most notably, ‘penalty box meetings’ have transformed, as there is no longer a need to hunt down costs during meetings painstakingly. As Clint Alessandro notes, “Project Managers are more proactive in tracking their costs, which streamlines the process significantly. While I still provide guidance occasionally, the improved data quality means our meetings are much shorter now—often just around 20 minutes compared to the previous two-hour marathons. It’s a clear indicator of how much smoother things have become.”

“When I presented the billing analysis of the project to the project managers, they saw the graph illustrating their costs, billings, and cash received to date; it was a game-changer. They could visually grasp the trends and how important their billings are to the company’s cash flow,” Clint said.

Additional Benefits

In addition to the significant improvements in WIP reporting and cost forecasting, Alessandro Electric has experienced several additional benefits since implementing ProNovos. The introduction of the project review feature holds promise for further enhancing efficiency in monthly reviews with project managers. The Accounts Receivable Collection module has proven invaluable, allowing Colleen to automate emails to clients for timely follow-up and payment collection; as she attests, “I’ve found the AR collections feature particularly useful. It allows us to send emails to clients, ensuring timely payments, which has been beneficial.”

Overall, Alessandro Electric’s experience with ProNovos has been overwhelmingly positive. Colleen highly recommends the platform to businesses seeking to enhance their financial perspective on projects and streamline project tracking, stating, “I would highly recommend ProNovos to any business looking to enhance their financial perspective on projects and streamline project tracking. ProNovos provides a comprehensive overview and simplifies project management.” Similarly, Clint expresses his strong endorsement: “I have and will continue to strongly recommend ProNovos.”