Redefining the Possible
On Center Software
On Center Software has redefined what is possible for general contractors, estimators and construction professionals by improving accuracy, efficiency and revenue, and reducing costs, errors and reworks associated with takeoffs and estimations through its complete suite of construction automation management (CAM) solutions.
On Center Software’s award-winning and highly innovative takeoff, estimating and project management solutions have greatly altered the landscape of the construction industry. These solutions have improved profitability and viability for a number of customers around the world, both large and small, who have come to depend on the company’s trusted software solutions and support.
According to fun facts listed on its website, On Center Software has made 15,237 gallons of coffee since 2014, 2,770,573 lines of code have been written, and 351,603 eQuotes have been submitted since its founding. But more importantly, there are 13,000 active companies in 60 different countries currently using its software while hundreds of thousands of companies have downloaded its free Plan Viewer.
Kyle Hamer, Vice President of Marketing, provided some insight into how On Center Software came to be. “On Center was founded in 1988 by Leonard Buzz. Leonard was a drywall contractor who saw the evolution of technology and knew there had to be something that could be done to make the way he built bids easier.”
The introduction of Quick Bid® was the beginning of the company’s rise to success. Quick Bid® enhanced the accuracy of bids and enabled customers to take on more projects. The software supported customers in itemizing costs, labor rates, change orders and material information, storing this information in an easily accessible format.
In 1996, On Center Software launched On-Screen Takeoff® (OST), the first estimating software of its kind. Estimates and calculations could be done with ease thanks to this product, which automatically saved takeoff calculations, storing that information for quick and easy access. Change orders, revised specs, and job changes are now a concern of the past. With a digital print, the estimating process could be streamlined to reduce time and effort required to produce accurate results. OST was unmatched in the industry and it still remains On Center Software’s flagship product.
Hamer explained that the adoption rate of OST and Quick Bid® disproved the statement, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” as there were many companies flocking to this new software and the advantages it guaranteed. That’s how President Angelo Castelli became involved with the company.
In 1994, Castelli was working for another company when he convinced the owner to invest in On Center’s software. It was a decision that would take them from a relatively successful company to an extremely successful one without the need for expanded overhead to support the growth.
In 2014, On Center Software introduced the cloud version of takeoff, called Oasis® Takeoff, which set out to connect the field with the office. Oasis® Takeoff supports projects from beginning to end, providing consolidated and easily accessible information anywhere, anytime. Oasis® FieldCenter is a cloud-based field management solution that was devised to provide real-time access to projects and information to support communication and collaboration between the field and office personnel.
On Center’s Contractors’ Suite was introduced to provide the seamless integration of takeoff, estimating and project tracking. It included OST, Quick Bid® and Digital Production Control (DPC). DPC monitors labor, production and output to ensure timelines and budgets are met. These are all different examples of innovation in action.
When asked where its commitment to innovation originates, Castelli explained that innovation is driven by customers. Listening to and understanding customer needs enables On Center Software to meet the evolving needs of the people who rely on its software each day in an industry that is rapidly changing.
“Innovation really comes from our customers,” said Castelli. “It comes from us being very interactive with our customers and listening to their needs and what their challenges are. They are the ones who live it day-in and day-out. They are the ones who can tell us where they need those efficiencies or where processes are lacking.” A feedback loop has been built directly into the company’s products to ensure that contractors can provide input when an idea comes to them. The request feature is right at their fingertips and provides On Center Software with the information it needs to be able to design a better, more efficient and more applicable product.
On Center Software’s offerings are not only good for business; they also contribute to an improved quality of life for those who rely on the technology. Hamer provided an example of how the company provides a much more meaningful impact than just what construction software can bring to the industry. He explained, “If you focus on the customer and their needs, thinking about how you can make their life better, you not only make their job easier, you make it easier for them to catch their kid’s baseball game at 5 o’clock or make it so that they can take a family vacation without having to worry about what is going on in the office.”
To be sure, companies can still be productive while re-establishing a work-life balance for their employees. Employees get part of their lives back while the business still has an opportunity to grow without any added overhead.
Part of On Center Software’s success has been its ability to develop and launch solutions in the market before the technology is rendered obsolete, a challenge faced by any company that specializes in cutting-edge technology with an industry-specific application. “It’s almost as if the construction industry met Silicon Valley in our office,” described Hamer.
Castelli explained, “There are a lot of tech companies that are in the construction space, and those are typically founded by somebody who is a tech person or who wanted to solve something through technology. From its onset, On Center has been by contractors, for contractors.”
Indeed, much of the talent at On Center Software comes from the very industry it serves. “We have great people who have great character and are people that want to help others and want to succeed, and that helps our business a lot. The fact that we’ve got people that come from the industry helps with knowing the internal balance, sharing that with the group,” said Castelli. He added, “We have a great environment where people collaborate openly and work together to solve the problems of the customer and you don’t feel like you are in silos. We’ve done a great job in the last 15 years that I’ve been here to deliver those products and we’re always looking at how we can get better and how we can enhance our product delivery process.”
On Center Software is renowned for its tech support. Though the products are built to be stable and reliable, there is always service and support available via telephone 24 hours a day, five days a week. “We make sure there is someone there to answer the phone; it’s not an automated system. We want to make sure people know we are here for them,” noted Castelli.
“We’re built to be as intuitive as you can expect for a piece of software right out of the box and we have some of our customers that will do their best to use the software on their own. It’s efficient enough for them but where we find more people are successful is [when they access our] online videos and tutorials,” said Hamer.
Hamer described the many training resources offered by On Center Software. “We have over 200 five-minute or less tutorials and we have four four-hour videos of in-depth training on the products. We offer online classes where people can train virtually, or once a month they can come into our office for two days to do the advanced or rigorous training.”
In 2015, On Center Software was acquired by Roper Technologies. “They invest in the long-term growth and sustainability of products. They find really successful companies with strong leadership teams, they buy the companies and invest for the long-term,” Hamer explained. Roper Technologies has the resources and capacity to support growth long into the future. Roper also recently acquired Construct Connect, a partnership that will greatly benefit On Center Software, further expanding its capabilities to improve the user’s experience.
“We’re working very closely with Construct Connect. They have five offices throughout North America and we could wind up leveraging some of those resources as well,” said Castelli. This is one of many partnerships On Center Software plans on building to strengthen its position in the market.
The goal of On Center Software continues to be to “make the lives of estimators, project managers and owners easier through better technology and better solutions so they can be competitively positioned for more jobs and have less errors,” said Castelli. He explained, “With the next generation of technology that’s going to be coming out here, we’ll be going from more of a desktop solution to more of a SaaS (software as a service) solution that’s a mix of browser-based and application-based solutions. That’s our short term goal to deliver change in the market… I’m hoping that we can continue doing what we have been doing as far as being a leader in the industry, providing great solutions to help contractors become more efficient and more profitable.”
It’s no wonder that since 2004, On Center Software has received over 22 different awards recognizing the impact it has made on the construction industry through its innovative suite of software.
On Center Software has unlocked the secret to streamlining the construction process, from design and engineering, through to construction and operation, making it more collaborative, efficient, productive, cost-effective and profitable for the customer, transforming the industry in the process.