How One Family Construction Company Saves 400 Hours a Year By Going Paperless

By katie simpson on December 1, 2014


  • Went Paperless
  • Saved over 400 hours this year
  • Faster invoicing
  • More accurate records

Apps Used

  • Time Card
  • Equipment Inspection
  • Work Order


Great Lakes Fusion

Great Lakes Fusion (GLF) started in 1998 as a small construction company specializing in the Landfill Industry as a Methane Gas pipeline installation and repair contractor. Since that time, they have grown into a multi-faceted construction company with the expertise to take on most any project in the excavation and construction industry.

As a family run business, they’ve worked hard for the past 17 years to grow their company. But with that growth, their paper records became a heavier and heavier burden on their business.

This burden was affecting GLF in various ways. Forms, from equipment inspections to work orders, were supposed to be returned to the office every night. However, if employees were working at job sites far from the office, these forms could come back days or even a week later.

As their team grew to over 30 employees, this delay also put pressures on the back office. “Time cards wouldn’t come in until Monday”, Jamie GLF’s office manager, said, “With payroll going out on Tuesday, it put a lot of pressure on our office.” GLF decided they needed a solution to these slow and cumbersome processes.

Solution & Results

In April 2013, they decided to go with GoCanvas, the global leader in mobile apps for the construction industry. GLF found the transition to paperless processes easy and full supported in taking their construction company paperless. “Employees picked it up easily” Jamie said, “It’s been a simple transition.”

GLF found itself in the same position thousands of GoCanvas customers have; the GoCanvas platform—with 20,000+ customizable mobile apps, the app builder and real-time data collection—was revolutionizing their internal processes.

GLF has seen real, measurable results from implementing GoCanvas as their paperless solution for construction projects. Some of their immediate benefits include:  

Measurable Time Savings

Previously, GLF struggled with a growing burden of paperwork. Job site timecards, for instance, would come in on Mondays, and payroll would have to be finished by the next day. This time crunch put pressure and stress on the office. Being on paper, they would need to be organized and typed up again into the database for processing.

With GoCanvas, this process has been dramatically streamlined. Foremen now collect time cards on their smartphones. These mobile time sheets now go straight to the cloud and is immediately available to the office staff on the same day.

This streamlined paperless process has given GLF measurable time savings. Switching to GoCanvas saves them two hours a day. Over a year? That’s over 400 hours they can use towards growing their construction business.

Faster Invoicing

In additon to saving time in the office, GLF also has a faster sales cycle as a result of paperless workflows. With all their construction projects, GLF relies on work orders to invoice customers. From the week’s work orders, the office sends out billing every Friday. But if a form didn’t return until Friday afternoon, GLF couldn’t bill the customer for another week, slowing down their sale cycle dramatically.

With GoCanvas, these issues have been largely eliminated for this construction firm. All work orders are immediately available in the cloud. This makes it easy for the office to create and send invoices straight to the customer. If a form is missing fields, then the field employee won’t be able to submit the form. This forces completion of inspections with all necessary documentation.

By eliminating paper forms, GLF has dramatically sped up their sales cycles with paperless billing. What once could take weeks to send to customers now happens in a day or less.

Improved Data Accuracy

Working in the field at job sites and on construction projects, it’s easy for conditions to change. Yet with paper, employees would have to start over their work orders if something happened. This meant additional work on already long shifts.

Today with GoCanvas, GLF employees can edit their records while they work. Is the well drill taking longer than expected? That can be added into the report. The shift to mobile ensures that employees spend less time reporting, and can focus on great work for customers.

With drop down lists, employees in the field capture important information faster. They also use reference data. This feature allows them to pre-populate parts of their app with information from their own system, including pricing and equipment information.

By taking their construction company paperless, employees spend less time trying to find information, return forms with fewer mistakes, and focus more on doing great work.

Flexibility to Meet Evolving Organizational Needs

As a cloud-based, mobile platform combined with an easy-to-use app builder, GoCanvas provides this construction firm the flexibility to quickly add new features and functionality to any of their mobile apps. As needs evolve and change, GoCanvas apps can be updated easily, with no programming required.

For instance, as GLF’s equipment changes, Jamie can go into her GoCanvas account and update the equipment inspection. Within seconds, the updated equipment inspection will be available for all her users. These real time updates ensure easy transition, with limited possibility for errors in future inspections.

Other mobile app alternatives make this process cumbersome or costly, weakening the effectiveness of their platforms. With GoCanvas it is a frictionless process at no additional cost.  

With GoCanvas, GLF has replaced all of their paper forms with mobile apps and paperless workflows. They’ve cut down administrative work, and receive more accurate information from the field. Going paperless and using electronic documents allows them to continue to grow as well and provide the best quality work to their customers. 

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