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How W. Bradley Electric saves on field costs by streamlining office operations with Agora

Background

  • Headquarters: Novato, California
  • Implementation Start: April 1, 2018
  • Annual Revenue: $131m
  • ENR 2019: #209

The bay area construction market has been the hottest in the country, boosted by the Silicon Valley tech boom. Amidst the boom, W. Bradley Electric, Inc. (WBE) has thrived. Located 30-mins. north of San Francisco, CA, WBE is an electrical contractor with six divisions [Electrical, Telcom, Security, Audio Visual, Traffic Signal, and IT Services] across 4 offices and a procurement staff of 5 full-time purchasing agents. In the past 6 years, WBE has grown by 80%. This growth has pushed them to look around for new solutions to increase profitability.

“You don’t want to grow and become less profitable. We see technology as playing an important role filling the gaps of where our old ways won’t work as well as they use to. Agora’s focus on how we do things adds to our edge - now and in the future.”
Leslie Murphy, CEO

The Problem 

Field workers were getting bogged down by materials management. In meetings with foremen, Ken DeGraca, VP of Operations, heard time and time again that materials were a clear area for improvement. Like most electrical contractors, WBE didn’t have a single system to handle materials – field request for materials, POs, warehouse logs, delivery receipts, invoices, and the processes to handle them were all siloed. As a result, there wasn’t an easy way to facilitate the communication and transparency. Field costs went up. When Agora reached out over email, they were excited to be in touch.

“Agora gets that materials management is a field productivity issue. When I look around at construction technology, so little is being built with the specific needs of contractors like us in mind. No one else I spoke with regarding materials management seemed to fully understand that.”
Ken DeGraca, VP of Operations

The Solution

Onboarding procurement was the first phase of implementation. Before Agora, WBE’s five purchasing agents spent 20% of their day manually entering purchase orders. This made it even harder than it needed to keep the field, warehouse, and accounting on the same page.  Now that POs are easy to create and track throughout their lifecycle, the path to improved field productivity is clear.

“I’m seeing a 50% reduction in data entry since switching over. I like that it’s easy to use, intuitive, and the quick search function has been great.”
Alberto Lopez, Purchasing Agent‍

Looking Forward

Now that it’s easy to create and track perfect POs, Agora will turn their attention directly to the field, where their deep expertise in electrical construction will shine through.

“We’re set up to provide the field with a ton of time savings, which will be a game-changer for us.”
Liz Hartmann, VP of Field Operations
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