Manage and automate FF&E procurement at scale with Fohlio. Schedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today. Join us on Thursday, October 7, 2021 as we sit down with some of the top procurement professionals in the AEC industry. Travis Reese and Heather Parker discuss how their procurement workflows have thrived despite the pandemic. Featured image by OCG.
Tell us about your firm and your role.
OCG is an interior design, construction management, and general contracting firm, started by Cody O’Kelley who has been doing construction his whole life. He was Vail Resorts Development for about 12 years. Cody started his one firm, OCG, but Vail Resorts continues to keep Cody on retainer as an essential part of their company, which is a testament to his quality of work.
Kelly is an interior designer. She and Cody started their own company, which became OCG. Their specialty is commercial, residential, and retail design.
I am the accounting manager and systems integration administrator. OCG was looking to Heather to lead the effort to integrate Fohlio into its existing systems: accounting, purchase orders, and invoicing.
What was most useful about Fohlio for your company? What was the gap the software was solving?
We looked at Studio Designer and Fohlio. It was a matter of learning the system and learning how the information flows in and out. If Kelly were only doing interior design, and if we didn’t already have an accounting system (QB), then maybe Studio Designer could have taken that place. But with the construction aspect of the business and being able to put everything into a division, Fohlio is important for that.
There were several projects already in different stages. As we take on more projects, our goal is to have all the projects 100% in Fohlio and run their data through there.
For adoption, Humam was always there to help me, especially when I started with the program and was learning. I had a lot of questions. One thing that is really important about Fohlio is how he and the team just listened to the suggestions and implemented several features to make it more suitable for our needs.
Everyone organizes things mentally differently, so I know the suggestions we had wouldn’t work for others, but the Fohlio team really implemented a lot of what I had input on. I’m looking forward to working with them more to create more improvements because that would mean it would be even more powerful.
Are you using Fohlio all the way from design into completion of installations & closeout?
Kelly starts with specifications and exports reports out from Fohlio to send to the team and subcontractors. She also notifies the project manager and the purchasing team for orders. Specs that are changed can be highlighted to let PMs know of changes. The whole team is not yet logged in, but management and accounting are logged on. Those logged on export reports and send them to the team. Later on the whole team will be onboarded and logged into Fohlio. Field team refers to PDFs that are exported. One big improvement is that the PO dashboard can be used to send POs to suppliers. Order tracking is great, but we are improving on the template format for that at the moment. We use the program to communicate more. Everyone is on board to learn the program and use it even more.
Since the pandemic started, what sort of challenges are you facing that may not have been issues before?
The issues are the same for everyone: item availability and keeping up with what is actually available. Procurement is a big thing. I have my priorities for the day, but if there is an order that needs to be made, that has to be prioritized over everything else since lead times are very long these days.
We have tried to stay local for some things, but not all.
Lead times: It can be the typical 2 week lead time, but these days it will be 6 weeks to months… one of the items we ordered will take 8 months.
Comparing lead times and cost: From the interior design side, a lot of the projects are custom. A different combination of components can be specified that makes each order unique. Every day lead times are checked. Order tracking is used to monitor changes on a daily basis. Reports are exported weekly to twice a month to clients so they can be updated on the status of the delivery.
It is more organized now with Fohlio. Everything was on multiple excel sheets prior to using the software. It is important to the client that they can see the pictures of the items on the Fohlio report along with all the important data.
The difference between Fohlio and QB reports is, we get detailed reports from Fohlio, invoice from QB and then a cover sheet. This is something we are interested in developing this with the Fohlio team.
Forecasting lead times, tracking orders and maintaining transparency can be challenging during these times. What’s the difference between how you do these things now compared to before?
Pre-pandemic, everything was on Excel. OCG wasn’t using Fohlio for anything but specs. The adoption of Fohlio into a greater part of the system occurred during the pandemic. The firm grew during the pandemic because business grew. There was a greater demand to build and renovate homes in Vail.
Sign up for the webinar here. Manage and automate FF&E procurement at scale with Fohlio. Schedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.