"We saved somewhere along the lines of $33,000 worth of change orders for one project. Without PeerAssist, I would have never been able to track all these changes. I would have forgotten about them. PeerAssist definitely paid for itself a million times over just being able to track the changes."
Mikki Paradis, CEO/President
Mikki Paradis says "it's always been my intention to avoid change orders at all costs. We always have money built-in to account for repairs and things like that. When we spoke to PeerAssist, I was like yeah, I don't know if I would really use it for that intended purpose. I actually purchased the software to track materials, not so much for change orders and repairs. I was going to use it to capture the number of materials that we were loading onto the job versus what we were using".
Mikki continues and shares that "PDI Drywall ended up on a high-end condo building in Downtown Durham and the plans were vague, to put it politely, so it ended up being a lot of things not captured because they were not documented on the plans. It ended up being about $33,000 in change orders. I had never billed that many change orders on a project and it was amazing having access to PeerAssist because, without it, I would not really know how to bill change orders so effectively. We really try to avoid billing for changes so this was something that we normally did not do and did not have a good process in place for change orders.
Not only was Mikki and her team able to capture all the repairs, changes, and extra work, but they presented all the backup documentation to their clients in a very polished and flawless manner. Mikki says "my clients were like, I've never had a drywall contractor have such a professional change order system and I was thinking to myself that I did not have this system until just recently. PeerAssist was definitely a game-changer."
How much would you say you saved with PeerAssist?
"It was somewhere along the lines of $33,000 worth of change orders for this one project. Without PeerAssist, I would have never been able to track all these changes. I would have forgotten about them. PeerAssist definitely paid for itself a million times over just being able to track the changes. I would just enter a change order, send it over, get it approved, and do the work right then. The GCs also notice how professional we were submitting our change orders, so they were like - okay, well we are not going to mess with PDI because they are at the top of their game, keeping track of everything", says Mikki.
Does your team use the phone or tablet version?
"I think the mobile app is awesome and it works really well. It's not like a lot of mobile apps where they are so deficient in comparison to the desktop version. We actually use both and it depends on what we have handy at the time. A lot of my guys are like "no, I am not doing it, so we show them how to do it on their phone and demonstrate that it's not complicated and that it's super helpful, only a couple of steps and they just get it", says Mikki.
What are your favorite features?
- "The way the jobs are organized within the application is really helpful to me. Being able to have several different jobs with one client and being able to pull that up in a way that is organized".
- "I think the other piece that I really love is when at each step it is sending emails to my clients so they know everything that has been documented".
- "We can send out the documentation in a professional way that can be tracked and managed".
Advice on why contractors should consider PeerAssist?
"If I was talking with a contractor and they're like, yeah, we don't really have any software for tracking our extra work and we use paper books for our foreman, I would tell them that they have no idea how much money they're leaving on the table without having a system that is tracking everything they do. Like I said before, even if you are the kind of contractor that doesn't like to engage in change orders, being able to track the amount of value that you are bringing to a contractor at any given time is incredibly important to maintain with your client the real level of value you're bringing. As I said, I can't believe that when I tracked the change orders on this one job, I was blown away that it was $33,000 worth of time and materials that we put in to change orders. I'm losing money if I'm not tracking these things", says Mikki.
On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend PeerAssist?
"I would say 10. It's not just the value that it adds to my business, but the level of responsiveness that I've had. When I first started using PeerAssist, I would have so much on my plate and I would reach out to customer support and they would be there responding right away", says Mikki.
About PDI Drywall
Mikki Paradis is the President and CEO of PDI Drywall, a multi-family drywall and paint construction company based out of Raleigh, NC. PDI serves a lot of apartment complexes and senior living facilities and some student housing. They have been in business since 2005 and Mikiki has run the company for 17 years.
PDI Drywall has a very community-conscious type of perspective on business. They are very cognizant of the impact that construction and new construction have on the environment. We actively take steps to try and reduce that impact.
"Not everybody cares about that, so we do not do that in the sense of trying to get our clients to pay for that. That is just something that PDI is passionate about and so we spend our money and our portion of profit investing in technology, investing in using better equipment, using better products developing Drywall recycling programs. We actively participate in a carbon footprint offset program where we help to encourage the development of different kinds of technology to help reduce the carbon emissions in the carbon footprint. I would say that we're progressive in how we focus on the impact that construction has on the environment and make that something that's really important to us.
We converted all our fleet vehicles to diesel and run biodiesel on them. Which is, significantly more expensive type of fuel to use. But it also drastically reduces our carbon footprint because we work all over the state of North Carolina. We drive all over the state and that was something that we did very intentionally.
The funny part about it is that we can't be competitive with people who don't care about the environment. If we try to add those costs into our bids. We do these things at our own cost, just knowing that we will make less money, but the hope is at the end of the day we are making it for the environment and the planet. We'll be here much longer after we're gone, so it's just our piece of trying to contribute to lessening the impact that construction has on the global community", says Mikki.