Founded in 1983 by brothers Dan and Frank, Colacurcio Brothers Inc., Blaine, Wash., started out as a small excavating contractor. The company quickly grew and in 1986 Chris Colacurcio, now CFO/Controller, joined his brothers in the family business. Licensed in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, the core of their $14-16 million (annual revenues) contracting business is heavy/highway construction; utility, excavation and site work; and bridge and railroad work.
"Three years ago," said Chris Colacurcio, "we jumped into the commercial building market in a big way." Adding a general construction division created significantly more paperwork. "But," stated Colacurcio, "even though I added a whole building division, I didn't increase my office staff." With just six people in the office–including Colacurcio–and an average of 48 in the field, this was possible, he said, "Because the sophistication and integration of my accounting software enabled my staff to handle the extra paperwork."
When trying to track a lot of paper, one solution is to add more staff. Another is to give your existing staff better tools. "I'm a big fan of better tools," said Colacurcio. That's why, in 1999, Colacurcio started thinking about project management software.
"In today's construction world, it is imperative to keep track of everything," he said. "The speed with which you are able to go through the paperwork process greatly affects the bottom line on jobs. After watching my project managers and superintendents tracking their jobs using spreadsheets, word processing documents, notebooks, binders and faxes, I began to search for a software tool that would help us integrate all of those functions."
The better tools option is nothing new to Colacurcio, who initiated a change in accounting software in May 1983. "At that time," he explained, "Colacurcio Brothers had clearly outgrown a general accounting package. We had turned the page on being a small contractor and it became necessary to either greatly increase our administration, and thereby our overhead, or find a better way to do the work."
Colacurcio began a methodical search for new construction accounting software. "The first thing I did was find every construction accounting package I could. I quickly realized that a lot of what was out there just didn't work for our situation. Others were eliminated because I wasn't seeing the stability that I wanted."
Once he had narrowed his list to a few choices, Colacurcio intensified his scrutiny with software demonstrations and discussions with actual software users. When it came time to make his final decision, Colacurcio chose Dexter + Chaney's Forefront Construction Management Software.
"Everything I needed was addressed in the product," Colacurcio stated. This included fully integrated modules for accounting, equipment management, remote connectivity, data sharing and reporting. "In addition, Dexter + Chaney's commitment to the customer's needs was huge. Its ability and desire to mature its product were apparent. Its commitment to quality and stability was there."
For more on the story, read the August issue of ROADS&BRIDGES.