Commodore Builders, a mid-sized general contractor based in the Boston area, fiercely focuses on the needs of their clients. From the smallest fit-out to the most challenging out-of-the-ground construction project, this award-winning builder can do it all. Commodore’s stated mission is to set a new standard of excellence for the delivery of construction management services.
A little over a year ago, we reported on how Commodore Builders had improved payment processes and subcontractor relationships with the help of Oracle Textura Payment Management. I caught up recently with Chief Financial Officer Dave Jolin to get his insights on how a streamlined payment process also helps with client relationships in support of Commodore’s three claims: eliminate the surprises, elevate the experience, and execute with excellence.
Commodore’s claims apply to all aspects of running the business, not just building. In fact, their mission statement goes on to say that they believe the quality of the construction process is as important as the quality of the construction.
A contractor’s reputation, an owner’s trust
For Commodore, every touchpoint with their clients—the project owners—is an opportunity to show excellence. As CFO, Jolin knows that one of the major touchpoints is the monthly owner invoice and payment process. He and his team trust the payment management solution to get the job done every time, providing the client a polished and professional package.
Oracle Textura is a cloud application for construction payment management that helps general contractors, owners, and subcontractors to simplify the construction invoicing process. With the collaboration solution, project participants can accelerate payments, mitigate risk, improve compliance and lien waiver management, and make cash flow more predictable.
“Our focus with our customers is to eliminate surprises, which means anticipating and managing risks around processes like payments, and Oracle Textura helps us accomplish that,” says Jolin.
“With Oracle Textura, subcontractors can’t bill for changes that weren’t approved, and there won’t be any misplaced lien waivers. What our customers see is that we have excellent control of a very important process. That puts their mind at ease.”
Commodore knows that providing their clients a monthly accounting touchpoint in a way that is consistently reliable and exact in the details will give the client confidence in Commodore’s ability to anticipate risks and eliminate surprises.
Or as Jolin told me, “It’s their name on the building and they trust us to mitigate their exposure.”
Commodore tackles any size project, and the rigorous approach to the payment process to eliminate risk applies to all. Jolin tells me that on average, Commodore manages 150 jobs per year. Approximately 50 projects are through its Strategic Projects Group ranging from USD $100,000 to $3 million in project value.
The remaining 100 projects span life science, corporate interiors, public and private institutions and commercial/developer markets ranging from USD $5 million to $100 million They use the Oracle solution on all of them.
“When we first started, my project managers would ask if they had to use Oracle Textura for small projects and I would always answer, ‘Yes. No exceptions. Please stop asking,’ ” Jolin says.
“They don’t ask that anymore, because they see that the benefits from the automated workflows, the efficiency, the risk mitigation, the prompt payment, the compliance management, happen regardless of the size of the project.”
In our previous story, Commodore Builders improves payment processes and subcontractor relationships, we reported the benefits in the table below. Jolin confirmed the savings and boost in productivity are still as strong.
Commodore’s achievements using Oracle Textura Payment Management
Savings per month
Payments to subcontractors
Minimum of three to five days faster
Payment application accuracy
Managing the subcontractor payment process
60% less accounting staff time
Lien waiver and release management
30-40 hours saved per month
As Commodore states, culture is everything. And theirs is one of openness and collaboration. A platform like Oracle Textura brings everyone together by granting access to all relevant information about a project easily and efficiently.
Accountants can manage the draw process, and subcontractors prepare their pay apps without having to worry about math errors or which forms to use. Project managers use the automated workflows to keep the process moving, and the client gets the owner invoice reliably, on time, and complete with all required documents every month.
The workflows that manage the process emphasize communication between all parties to answer questions, correct issues, give notification of holds, address alerts if compliance documents need attention, and more. This fosters collaboration and openness to anticipate potential problems and work together to find realistic solutions.
“No one wants disputes. Oracle Textura gives us the capacity to work together and anticipate and fix issues before they even become issues,” says Jolin.
Using Oracle Textura to automate and streamline the payment process contributed to the efficiency improvements in the payment management process. But the additional benefit is that freeing people from the drudgery of daily administrative paperwork means they can focus on higher-level questions, think strategically, be creative, and innovate.
“Because we’re more efficient with the payment process, my teams can spend time with analytics, cost forecasting, how to better support the field teams, and how to proactively manage change requests with the owner, which saves even more time,” says Jolin.
“It makes for a better project outcome, subs and owners are happier, and my people are learning more and developing their careers.”
Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data; empower better decision-making; and synchronize activities across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.
Lucie is an experienced technology marketing professional with a current focus on payment and cost-related products in Oracle's construction and engineering global business unit. At Oracle, her work in product marketing is centered on customer engagement and creating the right content to support our customers.
She has over 20 years experience in engineering, product management, marketing, project management, and sales. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and can be found most nights at the dance studio, prepping for her next ballroom competition.