Ready Cable, Inc. (RCi), headquartered in Fort Worth (Keller), TX, fabricates and delivers Post-Tension Cables and Rebar to GCs and concrete contractors in both residential and commercial applications, to anywhere in the country.
What Robert Lemke started in 1988 as an Illinois independent concrete contractor exploring his options in Texas to put food on the table in winter, has grown to an organization with 8 oﬃces and hundreds of staﬀ members, located in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Royse City, Waxahachie and McKinney. RCi handles projects as small as paving to high rise buildings.
Managing the workload used to be simple, but as more people and oﬃces were added, things got increasingly complicated, and manual systems and data entry became problematic.
In the beginning, a bespoke Microsoft Access DB was created for each location that fabricated cables and every oﬃce had their own QuickBooks company ﬁle. This led to diﬀerent item codes and product descriptions, inconsistent prices, and everything was disconnected. There was lots of paper and faxes trading hands and redundant data entry.
The breaking point came when the Access DB at one of their largest oﬃces in Houston, TX, started falling apart and the database builder went MIA. Production was done via hand-written work orders and ledger until a temporary ﬁx could be implemented, but the operational weakness became all too clear.
Brad Lemke, Production Engineer & Project Manager at Ready Cable, had already begun the development of a Quickbase solution behind the scenes, but now that project became a primary focus for improving operations going forward.
The Solution – Phase 1
So, in October 2018, Ready Cable adopted the Quickbase platform at the ﬂedgling Austin Location as a trial run. The beneﬁts of not requiring onsite servers hosting multiple databases were immediately apparent, as were the remote operations monitoring capabilities. By January 1st, Quickbase assumed all sales, production, dispatch, accounting, and post-dispatch support responsibilities in the San Antonio and Houston locations. In doing so, Ready Cable consolidated the QuickBooks companies into one company ﬁle. Tickets were still being sent to the main headquarters for billing, but things were moving in the right direction.
Q2QConnect has allowed us to transition our corporate inside sales team out of QuickBooks and into Quickbase; fully unifying every branch oﬃce into one live database.” – Brad Lemke
The Result – Phase 1
Now oﬃces are more aligned, and every location has access to view any and all orders entered by and for all locations for better tracking, management, and customer support. To date, all oﬃces have been brought onto the Quickbase system.
One of the biggest beneﬁts so far has been much clearer customer account visibility. Now, with real-time information and updates in the cloud, account status is always available and current to ensure orders are handled properly and clients are served at a higher, consistent standard across all locations.
With their product line consolidated into one system, managing 3,000+ products and pricing across all locations has become exponentially more manageable and scalable. This has resulted in more uniformity, greater consistency, and fewer mistakes. Team communication has also improved since everyone is on the same page and system.
And while these might appear to be all internal improvements, the result is also felt directly by Ready Cable customers. With one centrally controlled system used across all locations, there have been fewer questions about invoices and greater customer satisfaction.
The Solution – Phase 2
In 2020, Ready Cable started working with VARC Solutions to implement Q2QConnect to bridge the gap between Quickbase and QuickBooks, with the ﬁrst goal of syncing thousands of invoices from Quickbase to QuickBooks.
The Result – Phase 2
By using Q2QConnect to sync invoices from Quickbase to QuickBooks, Ready Cable started leveraging the power of Quickbase with regards to their product catalog and per-customer price levels. Building a price level system in Quickbase allows Ready Cable to waterfall product cost updates across all their customers at once…a process that used to take a minimum of an hour even for just one line-item and simpliﬁed it down to minutes at most for their entire product line and customer base.
And while Ready Cable has felt a tangible beneﬁt in terms of time savings, the intangible beneﬁt has been a greater focus on more important areas in the business. In other words, when you save 90% of the time formerly spent doing data entry, you can be much more careful and conscientious about the quality of the work and making sure all orders are accounted for correctly.
Ready Cable now routinely syncs 8,000-10,000 invoices a month to QuickBooks in a fraction of the time from before and plans to integrate additional processes and departments to leverage the full suite of features and power of VARC Solutions’ Q2Qconnect and support team.
Using Q2QConnect has been pretty darn ﬂuid. Using QuickBooks with Quickbase has been a night and day diﬀerence with accounting. This has allowed our team to focus on more impactful work and has kept Ready Cable from having to expand the team to keep up with the work.” – Brad Lemke
And instead of adding staﬀ to handle more volume, the existing staﬀ can handle their current duties and higher priority projects with the time saved.
Brad Lemke on working with VARC Solutions: “It’s been really nice. It’s been a very positive experience. They know what they are doing, how Q2QConnect and QuickBooks works, and are especially helpful with troubleshooting.”
As you can see, Quickbase is a solution that continues to evolve with ever-changing business requirements. And partnering with a Quickbase Solution Provider like VARC Solutions allows you to stay focused on your business, while VARC Solutions focuses on building scalable and forward-thinking applications and integrations.
For more information on VARC Solutions, visit https://varcsolutions.com, call 281-412-6914, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Ready Cable, Inc., and their innovative post-tension cable and fabricated rebar products, or to shop at a RCi retail location near you, with a full line of concrete tools and supplies, visit http://www.readycable.net or call Ready Cable at 817-379-6553.