How American Asphalt Saved 800+ Hours on Certified Payroll with Miter

Tobin Paxton
Monday, October 31, 2022

American Asphalt is a family-owned and operated asphalt and concrete paving business serving Southern California since 1989. The team – comprised of 50 employees – prides itself on its high-quality work across residential and commercial projects, large and small.

We sat down with Office/Accounting Manager Michelle Murillo who oversees all internal operations at American Asphalt, to learn about how Miter’s software has helped American Asphalt turn payroll into a critical business advantage rather than a resource drain.

The Challenge

Before Miter, American Asphalt was drowning in paperwork. The team was using Paychex alongside a mix of paper and excel-based tools. 

Michelle’s team manages a high number of asphalt and paving jobs. They move their team to new locations daily. A straightforward striping job could take 3 hours total to complete and come with 4 hours of paperwork to handle timesheets, run payroll, and create compliance documentation!

As the paperwork piled up, the pressure mounted and the office team was exhausted. The field crew at American Asphalt was frustrated with delayed or inaccurate timekeeping and was struggling to complete Certified Payroll reporting to get paid on time! It was clear that the days of running payroll and inputting data into accounting manually needed to end. 

Michelle had the authority to shop for a new solution, so she did just that. Diving deeper, she highlights some of the specific problems she wanted to solve:

  1. Managing multiple pay rates across public and private jobs
  2. Simplifying weekly job cost reporting with fully-burdened labor costs
  3. Clarifying her monthly fee for payroll processing
“We really needed a company like Miter that understood both sides of the equation: construction payroll and certified payroll reporting.”

The Solution

American Asphalt’s evaluation process was incredibly thorough, and the team retained strict qualification criteria in deciding which tool to onboard with. During the process, Michelle’s team interviewed 10 different vendors and demoed 4 in the final round before selecting Miter based on ease of use and construction-specific features like prevailing wage rates and job costing.

Once American Asphalt switched to Miter, Michelle didn't have to do all the heavy lifting during the transition. We were hands-on and took that work off of her plate. She just came in after the initial setup to run ghost payrolls and clean up the platform before going live.

Once live, Miter helped simplify workstreams and delegate responsibilities across her team, reducing time and back office overhead spent on manual tasks like onboarding employees, calculating payroll, and running weekly job reports. 

Our purpose-built software eliminated data entry errors. And clean data from the field unlocked business insights through simple, flexible reporting. 

The Results: 800+ Hours Saved

Michelle can’t help but smile when she shares how much time she’s saving.

“If you take my usual 30 to 45 minutes per day, per job, and then multiply it by an entire year, that's hundreds if not thousands of hours. That's where the major win is.”

Key outcome #1: Certified payroll in one click. 

AA&C now has all of their compliance reporting available in real-time. They track jobs by awarding body, set up clear prevailing wage rates, and store all documentation all in one place. They went from ~2-3 hours of paperwork per job to ~15 minutes.

Key outcome #2: Paperless employee onboarding. 

Paperless onboarding eliminates the back and forth with new employees. As new hires prepare for their first day, the AA&C team send a text message link to capture relevant onboarding details. This process has eliminated stacks of paper throughout the office by an order of magnitude.

Key outcome #3: Team leverage. 

AA&C is now taking on more work with the same team. And people aren't pulling their hair out from being stretched too thin. It only took AA&C a few months on Miter before they realized the value and decided to onboard their sister company onto the system as well.

On a personal note, Michelle is less stressed and working less than her usual 55 hours a week before Miter. 

“I leave on time, I don't have to work evenings, and I no longer spend my weekends in front of my computer. I went on vacation, something I hadn’t even considered for the past couple of years – I went to Hawaii, enjoyed the heck out of that, and didn't have to worry.”

Summary

On top of strict time savings, Michelle emphasizes the value of easy, automated reporting when it comes to understanding labor costs and reporting for workers comp. 

Now Michelle can successfully job cost and assign tasks in Miter and run those reports when she needs them rather than being stuck entering them every payroll.

“The savings with Miter are massive. It helped us unlock valuable bandwidth to focus on growing our business, win more work, and hire a stronger team.”

The Pros of Working with a Modern, Construction-Specific Vendor 

Michelle saw clear upsides of working with a modern, construction-specific company. Throughout our partnership with Michelle’s team, our product roadmap has resonated with American Asphalt’s unique needs.

Michelle liked that we weren’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution and that American Asphalt was not just another number in the books to us.

A Seamless Migration and Onboarding Process

For Michelle, one of the most refreshing parts of the transition to Miter was that compared to other migrations with other payroll companies, there were far fewer headaches and work.

American Asphalt made the transition for the start of the calendar year, going live in January – a hectic time of year for Michelle as the accountant and for the company as a whole.

While a holiday-time transition could’ve been stressful, Michelle says that our “extra hands” meant she had plenty of bandwidth to keep everything running smoothly.

On-Demand Support and Training

When American Asphalt onboarded with Miter, just Michelle and one other employee handled the certified payroll side of the equation. 

Michelle points out that the Miter team was well-trained, knowledgeable about the nuances of construction, and deeply committed to moving fast and delivering results quickly.

Miter’s Product Velocity

One of Michelle’s most significant pain points with Paychex was the lack of flexibility and adaptability to American Asphalt’s specific needs. Critically, Paychex was not proactive when it came to introducing new features built for construction.

In contrast, Miter only works with contractors, so we can prioritize and deliver features that are useful to that audience much more regularly and consistently than other legacy systems.

Some of these features include:

  • Multiple pay rates 
  • Detailed compliance reporting
  • Job management and costing
  • Daily field reporting (with notes and photos)
  • HR software for certification tracking
“We're seeing changes and improvements all the time. Miter’s working behind the scenes to deliver more to their customers. The platform has already evolved considerably in the year we've been working with them.”

How Miter Makes Life Easier Through Automation

Payroll and Accounting are hard! Add in the specific compliance considerations for construction, you've got some seriously tough sledding.

Miter has helped the American Asphalt team significantly cut down on manual tasks.

Access Core Business Insights at the Click of a Button

Michelle can export and filter reports from the Miter system to get information out exactly how she needs it, delivering reports that she can use.

These reports are critically important because, as an accountant, Michelle is reliant on data quality and availability. She constantly updates the system with payroll information to better understand labor costs and reporting.

Miter reports are easy to obtain, read, and sort – all of which dramatically cuts down on time spent versus the multi-platform approach required by Paychex.

Now, there's no more work triplication – she just enters info into Miter.

Miter helps American Asphalt set up jobs in the system so that Michelle can enter the data. When the certified payroll reports come out, that information is already there, looks nice, and works perfectly. She can then export that and import it into other portals.

Improving Workload Management with Miter

Compared to the Paychex experience, Michelle says that the difference with having Miter on board is the ability to handle workload better, faster, more efficiently and more accurately.

It took extra time and resources to get the American Asphalt team up to speed and ready contractors to be on the job site on their first day. Now, with Miter, Michelle has developed an internal system that helps the team stay in front of the jobs they’re working on.

Easy data entry that she controls means that when she runs payroll, everything she needs is already there to pay training fees, etc. – automation makes it simple.

It takes a lot less time to input payroll, and the savings there are not just time savings but cost savings as well. Like most construction companies, summers are generally the busiest times of the year for American Asphalt.

Michelle feels like they were skating by this year – getting everything done with additional space to work on internal projects they hadn’t been able to get to before.

They've gone digital, are organizing themselves, and are catching up with HR-related data they didn't have in place because they had been so overwhelmed.

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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