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About Helm Mechanical
Companies with a long history frequently enjoy greater customer loyalty and the confidence of tried and true procedures. But one thing many older businesses overlook is how these out-of-date procedures can result in unchecked losses to productivity.
Helm Mechanical is a fully integrated construction company that boasts top-shelf construction capabilities and a company-wide dedication to studying and improving plans and specifications. They focus on safety, quality, and value as they tackle HVAC systems, emergency power generation, and the manufacturing of industrial applications.
Although the foundation of what would become Helm was established over 100 years ago, as time passed and technology continued to develop at warp speed, Helm found they needed technological solutions that matched their growth and success if they wanted to stay ahead of the competition.
Years ago, Helm’s procedures were guided by a precarious string of emailed Excel sheets and handwritten documents. In order to create quotes for potential clients, crew members would have to write down information regarding how many welds they could accomplish within a certain time period, which could then be collected and used for developing the project quotes.
“It was very labor intensive,” explained Travis Voss, Leader of Innovative Technology at Helm Mechanical. “The numbers were always slightly out of date.” As a company that lays miles and miles of ductwork each year, involving thousands of welds, Helm had no accurate way to determine weld times and therefore faced enormous challenges providing accurate quotes.
In his search for a more precise, visual solution to track these action steps, Voss looked into Microsoft’s Power Platform and knew it would be the right fit for his team.
Helm reached out to Aerie in hopes of creating a customized Power App that could easily be used by team members to track their weld times and apply that data to future estimates.
Through a series of sessions, the Helm team met with Aerie developers to watch as Aerie built their app, providing them the opportunity to ask questions and learn how to use the program as it was being built. “It was much more hands-on from our end,” Voss said.
The app Aerie developed to track welding projects is easy to deploy through SharePoint, manages the entire process for deconstruction, and creates construction jobs and budgets. Bringing an entirely new level of accuracy, this app quickly supplies accurate historical data through a user-friendly interface, allowing Helm and their clients to save tens of thousands of dollars on future projects.
Voss explained that having all of this information easily accessible and manageable is a huge time saver. “We have workstations in the shop where our guys can open the app in a browser and enter their weld times directly. There was no time wasted collecting sheets and compiling data.”
Overall, Voss was pleasantly surprised by the attentiveness and care Aerie’s team showed his employees as they trained on the new program.
“They were very responsive,” Voss explained. “We are not programmers, to say the least. So, for them to be so empathetic and understanding of our experience, decode what we were saying, and put it into a package that solved our issue – that was very impressive.”