How Adams Plumbing Landed 12x Bigger Contracts Using Miter

Tobin Paxton
Monday, November 7, 2022

Adams Plumbing is a fast-growing national plumbing company. As they grew, the team realized they needed two things: a radically upgraded payroll platform built for the 21st century, and a tech partner who understands unions. That’s why the Adams team came to Miter.

We sat down with Rene Garcia, Assistant Estimator & Office Manager at Adams Plumbing, to unpack how Miter helps streamline their payroll while making union compliance effortless. 

The Challenge

After joining the union in January, Rene realized she needed someone familiar with union codes to help her navigate fringes, regulations, and reporting. 

She had used QuickBooks Desktop for years since it seemed like the default option. After all, Adams' original team was only three people. Once they joined Local Union 228, she knew more employees would be coming and going or joining their full-time ranks.

It was time for the Adams' team to find a software partner to help navigate union fringes, regulations, and reporting.

Paperwork like W-4s and deductions “just doesn’t happen on its own,” Rene tells us. During our first meeting, she even pulled out her phone to show us the endless WhatsApp texts she’s been getting from people, asking for times and schedules for the week. Notably, Adams' plumbers don’t usually come into the office, so there are few opportunities to share project details in person or share paperwork. 

Rene was forced to create a manual fix: opening WhatsApp, checking 50+ messages at any given time, and adding that info to QuickBooks. She knew she needed an upgraded solution.

The Solution

Since January, Adams has started pulling in union workers to help on any of the multiple large projects the team has. Fortunately, Miter makes it easy to onboard new workers in two clicks. 

Rene tells us that new hire paperwork is a breeze. That’s because Miter helps workers effectively onboard themselves. After that, they just plug their hours in, and Rene is all set to run payroll. 

On top of this, Miter’s software calculates union fringes in real-time, manages complicated overtime rules, and creates certified payroll reports to ensure compliance from end to end. If they were still using QuickBooks, Rene would have to input every piece of info manually.

Now, using Miter's modern platform, she only needs to follow three simple steps:

  1. Input the job and what week it ended
  2. Click “create report” in Miter 
  3. Sign and send the forms

She can download the reports in XML format and simply upload everything to the DIR portal — something that used to take her hours. 

“Miter makes it easy for workers to onboard themselves and input hours — all virtually. Now, all I have to do is initiate payroll.”

The Results: More Jobs & Larger Contracts

Rene shares that the Miter difference is night and day and that the results speak for themselves.

In her words: “We’re working twice as many jobs and are taking on individual contracts that are as big as an entire year was previously.”

Key outcome #1: Saving 5+ hours per week capturing data from the field.

Just how much time does Miter save across everything Rene just mentioned? She tells us, “Oh my God, it saves hours a week — I mean, it literally saves me hours every single week.” 

On average, she’s saved at least five hours of back-office work per week. No more headaches or wasted time with reviewing manual time sheets and running payroll through QuickBooks. 

Key outcome #2: Reducing back-office workload related to Union requirements.

Adams is currently working roughly ~8-10+ jobs with the same amount of back-office elbow grease required when they had ~2-3 jobs. They have saved templates for all Local Union 228 reporting.

Key outcome #3: Taking on jobs with up to 12x bigger contract sizes.

Adams hasn’t just doubled their number of current jobs. Their standard contract size has also jumped from $40,000 per job to $500,000 per job as they have more confidence managing the additional complexity required.

Summary

For Rene, Miter has unlocked new potential for Adams' growth and her personal sanity.

Easier workflows, more efficient processes, and hours of time savings mean that Rene can focus on projects and opportunities that were previously left untouched.

“Miter gave me back hours of my time every week. I’ve been able to focus on growing Adams as a company and bid on more jobs – and, I still have time to catch my breath.”

Miter Streamlines Payroll So You Can Focus on Growth

With the Miter team by her side, Rene didn't have to do much to onboard with Miter. She simply sent us some essential info, and we took care of the rest. 

She sums it up in her own words: “I love the Miter team. They're always there at a moment's notice, even if it's a silly question, I just email them and get a response back immediately.” 

Simplifying Communication with Your Field Crew

Through chat and timesheet approvals, Rene’s crew can put in their hours daily. 

With Miter’s chat and notes functions, they can also easily send her updates (i.e., if someone needs to miss work for a pre-planned doctor’s appointment or has a sudden family emergency). 

These integrated chat features make communication that much easier. 

“I can facilitate everybody knowing what's going on, which is a big help. Easy communication is a huge help when you have a big crew like we do now.”

A Foundation for Easy Reporting & Payroll Compliance

As subcontractors, Adams has to comply with four different entities with different regulations: the union, the DIR, Davis-Bacon, and their general contractors. 

When it comes to running payroll as well as certified payroll: 

  1. Rene delivers monthly reports to the union
  2. The union provides Adams with work recovery money to minimize job costing
  3. Then, Adams can bid jobs a bit lower, and the union will cover that amount

Luckily, Miter automatically generates reports with job costing and gives Rene the applicable fringe benefits. All she has to do is print and fill them out. 

This means less work is required when it’s time for her to pay fringe benefits to the union (on top of other fringes to other departments) once a month. In Rene’s words, “The certified payroll reports are so easy. It was insanely time-consuming before – and Miter made it seamless.” 

Time Saved = More Revenue for Your Company

Before Miter, Rene spent all of her Mondays doing payroll, and certified payroll spilled over into her Tuesdays. She spent at least five hours on Mondays just doing time cards. 

Now, Miter does it all for Rene, so payroll is all done by 1 PM on Mondays. Since joining Miter, Adams has been taking on more projects (AKA more revenue). Instead of spending her time on taxing back-office processes, Rene can redirect valuable time to other tasks.

How Miter Helps Contractors Accelerate Growth

Adams started with just three people. Now their team scales to 15 or 20 employees working up to eight jobs simultaneously. In the last nine months, Rene says they’ve been able to take on new efforts to continue driving this growth — all thanks to Miter. 

With all of the time she’s saved, Rene has been able to go to the Valley Contractors Exchange, look for jobs, get bid dates, navigate plans, and get quotes to start writing proposals. 

In short: Miter gives Rene the time and the bandwidth to both bid and win new jobs. 

If she were still running payroll, she says she simply wouldn't have the time to do this. For instance, Adams is currently working on a CDCR $500,000 project — as compared to their previous smaller projects that hovered around $50,000 max. According to Rene, a project of this size is something they couldn’t have secured without Miter – and the time savings it generated. 

“We have a $300,000 job we just got for a high school. We wouldn't be where we are today if we didn't have Miter making my job much easier.” 

Miter Builds the Features Your Team Actually Needs

Since Adams onboarded with Miter, Rene raves about our consistent feature roll-outs and upgrades. A few of her favorites include: 

  • Integrated chat — As mentioned, this allows for seamless comms with the entire team. 
  • QuickBooks integration with Miter payroll — At first, Rene managed payroll in Miter while manually entering data into QuickBooks. This integration saves even more time. 
  • Easy Union Fringe reporting — This makes it quicker and easier to report to unions. 
  • Miter expense cards — These reduce reimbursements and improve job costing. 

Rapid Turnaround on Product Requests

Miter built out our DAS form feature after Rene suggested it — in hopes of simplifying reporting to their local union. She shares that, when she initially brought it up, she expected a beta version to take at least a few months. So she was shocked when we got back to her within two weeks. 

In that time, Miter met with their union and set everything up on our platform, allowing Rene (and any Miter user) to send DAS forms online. No emails or physical documents required. 

And, according to Rene, the union will be recommending Miter to all of their contractors. 

How Adams Uses Miter Expense Cards

Miter’s expense cards are another time-saver for Rene, especially when paying for materials and gas. Before Miter, Rene was stuck wrangling reimbursements with a growing stack of receipts. 

Now, she only needs to log onto our platform and check to ensure no one’s spending more than necessary on their Miter expense card.

She can also track expenses more closely, which helps Adams better understand and predict future bids and job costs. 

“Miter is always changing, trying to improve and be more with the times. We’re excited to keep growing alongside Miter.”

Tobin Paxton

Tobin is a sixth generation Texan currently living in Northern California. He loves working with customers and leading the team of Mitosaurs who onboard, train, and support Miter users. Our mission at Miter is to help contractors build great teams. Our workforce management, HR, and payroll tools help contractors of all sizes hire faster, make smarter decisions, and invest in their most important asset: their people.

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