Customers / BuildOps

BuildOps clears its data import bottleneck with Flatfile

  • Industry

    Field service management software

  • Website

    buildops.com

20%
Decreased time to launch
25%
Decreased per-project person hours

When your company works with contractors and subcontractors who keep hospitals, power plants and commercial real estate running, you're responsible for a lot of people and moving targets. With data files and records coming in from customers, vendors, and teams across the country, the volume of data can quickly become overwhelming.

BuildOps has developed an all-in-one software platform that enables commercial contractors to drive their sales, service, and project management all from a single platform. BuildOps simplifies everything from processing invoices to getting project quotes, dispatching field and project teams, scheduling service and inspections and more. The result is a birds-eye view of all projects combined with the ability to execute tasks with surgical precision.

BuildOps customers serve data centers, hospitals, power plants, and other large-scale critical infrastructure and it has enjoyed steady growth with a recession-proof business model. With new contractors coming on board every day, BuildOps realized a major opportunity—particularly regarding its ability to manage the data onboarding for its surging client roster.

In 2022, BuildOps implemented Flatfile to streamline the workflow, removing the data flow bottleneck and enabling it to decrease its overall time to launch by an estimated 15%-20%. The result was a faster onboarding process that allowed BuildOps customers to get their focus back on the field and take care of business.

"It’s one of the more important tools in our implementation toolbox. Without tools like Flatfile, scaling would be almost impossible."

Scott Patterson, Director of Implementation

A growing business is a good problem to have

As BuildOps business grew, its success put more pressure on its implementation managers, who were tasked with getting new customers up and running. Their customers come to them with in-house database files, spreadsheets, and, in some cases, handwritten records. BuildOps calls this its "master data," which includes information about the customers' properties, their vendors, and the products their teams use to get their jobs done. All this data needs to be imported into BuildOps before they can get started on the platform.

"Flatfile is one of the levers we’re pulling to make our process more scalable, repeatable, and automated."

Scott Patterson, Director of Implementation

"There’s a wide degree of variability between customers," said Karande. "We request that our customers share data in a standard format, but that doesn't always happen. Often, they'll send it to us in whatever format they have, and it becomes our job to clean it up. And we have to be very careful not to introduce new errors that could further delay their rollout, costing everyone more money."

Historically, BuildOps implementation managers performed this task manually, which might take weeks to complete. But as their business grew, BuildOps knew it was time to automate.

"We considered building a data import solution on our own," said Karande. "But that was just going to be another piece of software for us to develop and manage. Eventually, we decided that it would be better to look for a ready-made solution built by a team whose core focus was this particular task. That is how we came to choose Flatfile.”

"The implementation process was fantastic. The Flatfile support team was always available and super responsive to our needs."

Arjun Karande, Chief Architect

Easy implementation with direct business impact

BuildOps now automates its customer data import process using Flatfile. Using machine learning (ML), Flatfile automates decisions about how data is formatted based on thousands of previous use cases. Now, users can sort through and correctly format large data sets in minutes rather than weeks. A human-in-the-loop layer suggests corrections and remembers decisions for later reuse. But the real power of Flatfile lies in its highly customizable APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow developers to customize Flatfile for their specific business and to trigger its functionality from within other applications.

Using Flatfile APIs and the Flatfile Software Development Kit (SDK), developers can create highly specialized solutions that integrate seamlessly with their existing workflows.  

"It really helps that Flatfile is an API-first platform. It has a great mix of human-in-the-loop operation and deeply embedded APIs that make using it easy, flexible, and powerful. "

Arjun Karande, Chief Architect

Since implementing Flatfile into its workflow, with the reduction in onboarding time and reduced reliance on engineering resources, BuildOps has realized an average 20%-25% decrease in per-project person hours. It estimates that Flatfile is currently saving 60-90 person hours per month across the team.

“Flatfile is one of the levers we’re pulling to make our process more scalable, repeatable, and automated,” said Patterson.

Best of all, getting started with Flatfile was super simple.

“The implementation process was fantastic,” said Karande. “The Flatfile support team was alway available and super responsive to our needs. It wasn’t long before we got comfortable using it on our own.”