Over the past several years, Berlin, CT-based Tri State Materials Testing Lab has seen a significant increase in the number of new projects. Their challenge was to find a software solution that would help them to effectively scale their operations and to sustain their rapid growth. They were looking to improve in four target areas: scheduling, reporting, invoicing and quality control. Overall, Tri State was looking for a solution that would align with their digital transformation strategy.
Tri State is a full-service inspection, testing and engineering firm serving the construction industry in the tri-state region which is made up of New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. They offer a wide range of inspection and materials testing services including concrete, reinforcing bars, masonry, asphalt, soil, structural steel, and fireproofing as well as special inspections and specialty services such as ground penetration radar, window testing, piles monitoring, and concrete and asphalt coring.
Tri State spent a significant amount of time looking at software solutions that would offer a holistic approach to support their digital transformation strategy. When they got down to three choices, MetaField was one of them. They chose MetaField based on several factors.
The first was the completeness of MetaField as a solution for all of the different challenges that the firm was facing, along with the simplicity of the software.
“My target users for the software are primarily field inspectors. I wanted to get a solution out to them that was simple to use because of the age difference between our field inspectors. Some are tech savvy, some need a little bit more time to get accustomed to it," said Shawn Chaudhary, director, Strategy and Business Development. "Really it came down to what’s a good solution that solves the challenges we’re facing, but also is simple to use for our field inspectors.”
Another factor that made MetaField attractive was its competitive cost model for a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. According to Chaudhary,
“I also liked the continuous improvements Agile Frameworks has in their program—releasing new enhancements and new features. That was a big deal for me. I didn’t want to find a product and in three years the software is at ‘end of life.’ Continuous improvement is important.”
During the selection process, Chaudhary also valued Agile Frameworks’ thorough ROI process, presentations and overall communications.
“The relationship felt a lot better than some of the other software companies I was dealing with. Initially we want to solve the challenges that we’re facing today, but also account for and look towards the future state and growth of our company,” said Chaudhary. “The capability that MetaField has to scale and grow was an attractive feature for us.”
Tri State does about 100 different types of inspections and uses more than 55 different inspection forms. MetaField’s Do-It-Yourself forms engine allows Tri State to easily customize the inspection forms they need for their field staff. In MetaField’s dashboard, project managers can easily see the reports that are coming in from the field. This view enables the project manager to have more control over the reports that are sent out to clients.
MetaField’s laboratory information management system (LIMS) has been a big game-changer for Tri State. In the past, keeping up with concrete breaks was difficult. For example, if they have 20 or 50 different breaks they would have to enter each break one by one. With MetaField’s batch upload capability, Tri State can enter all of the breaks at once, which has been a big time saver for them.
“MetaField has been phenomenal for our company. From our president to our managers, to our field inspectors. All levels have really seen the value and benefit this program brings to our business. I receive positive feedback from not only our employees but also our clients,” said Chaudhary.
Tri State has been able to completely automate logging in their inspection reports—generating a report number, filing it into the correct folder, etc.—a 100% improvement. They also have decreased the time from when an inspector fills out a report to the time a client receives it by 75%. Before it would take anywhere from a week to 30 days to get out a report. The positive response from their clients has been a big win.
MetaField has changed Tri State’s processes and the way they do business. According to Chaudhary,
“It really gives us a competitive advantage in the field because it is something that we can promote to our clients. We talk about it in our bidding proposals. It is a technological advantage that we have over other firms.”