For 20 strong years, Building Service, Inc. (BSI) has partnered with Khameleon Software to successfully manage their demanding project delivery life cycles. Since 2002, their collaboration has proven to be mutually beneficial, with both companies making leaps and bounds in the office furniture industry.
Through Khameleon’s advanced software system, BSI received the ability to streamline their entire project work order, from start to finish. This allowed their business to scale with fewer setbacks. To date, BSI has opened almost 122,000 projects since being on the Khameleon system.
On the other hand, Khameleon gained a long-lasting relationship with one of the leading office furniture dealerships in the United States. Over the years, this has helped Khameleon not only shape its software services to meet the growing needs of the industry but has also introduced them to new markets.
In this case study, Christina Melk, the lead on the BSI Customer Service Group, and Doug Angelone, the CEO of Khameleon Software, explain how the prosperous relationship between their companies began and how it has helped both of them reach new heights in the office furniture industry.
“We needed someone to improve our database operating system and BSI chose Khameleon. Since then, we’ve been constantly improving our capabilities.”
With their 75th business anniversary right around the corner, it’s safe to say that BSI knows the ins and outs of the office furniture industry. However, in the early 2000s, BSI quickly realized that they needed a stronger software system that could handle the large project orders that they procured every day.
Luckily, BSI was formally introduced to Khameleon in 2002, which prompted the beginnings of a long-term business relationship.
“The way we got started with Khameleon was through our primary manufacturer and supplier, Herman-Miller. Since we represented Herman-Miller in the Milwaukee area, they knew us well. They also knew that Khameleon would be a great fit for us to improve our project management and project accounting capabilities. And the rest is history,” states Melk.
From the get-go, Khameleon and BSI were a perfect match.
How Khameleon Streamlined BSI’s Project Orders
In the business of office furniture, each project is very complex. These robust project orders have a million different pieces and parts that need to be put together, installed, and managed.
This is where Khameleon comes in.
“Since BSI has a fairly intricate model of what they deliver, we knew that we were a very good fit for them right out of the box. We could provide them with the project order and accounting processes that they needed,” says Angelone. “At the same time, they have continued to build the relationship with us, from being on Khameleon’s advisory board as well as being a sponsor for the Herman-Miller user group.”
To this day, Khameleon offers amazing capabilities to project-based dealerships that other systems simply can’t provide. These processes help dealers like BSI to streamline and improve the efficiency of their business.
“BSI was one of the first office furniture dealers that we ever worked with. They helped drive our product direction to accommodate the nuances of their type of business.”
From the moment Khameleon began working with BSI, they knew that there was something special about their partnership.
Since Khameleon encourages its partners to discuss desired software updates and ideas annually, BSI really expanded Khameleon’s abilities to meet their industry’s unique needs. Furthermore, BSI has also helped like-minded companies that use Khameleon to advance their project accounting processes.
BSI Advocates Khameleon’s Labor-Management Capabilities
According to Angelone, “BSI is very disciplined. They do a great job with project accounting. Whenever we talk to people who are interested in improving their project accounting capacities, we always refer them to BSI.”
Through this tight-knit relationship, Khameleon has been able to improve BSI’s project delivery goals and expand their efficiency further. At the same time, this has helped Khameleon innovate their platform to new heights and take the office furniture industry to the next level.
“Khameleon helps to force the implementation of best practices. A lot of people try to shortcut steps in the process and you just can’t.”
One of the most beneficial aspects of BSI’s collaboration with Khameleon is the platform’s ability to train associates to abide by the full project order process.
Within BSI, customer service and accounting are the heaviest users of Khameleon in the company. Since the organization is so complex, it takes a strong team effort to fully train new associates to use the software.
“In our industry, you can’t skip steps. You can’t do one thing without the other. Luckily, Khameleon does a great job of training our associates to follow the steps and help our business run smoothly,” states Melk.
Once users understand the ins and outs of the software, the magic really begins to happen.
“Depending on the size of the order, I can place an order from start to finish in 10 minutes.”
According to Melk, project initiation is a very important procedure that must be completed properly every single time. BSI has a lot of big customers that expand across multiple sites around the nation. With so much furniture flying around, the company knows that there is only one way to successfully start a project: through Khameleon.
Khameleon gives everyone the ability to initiate and establish a project so it is visible to the entire organization. This is key because, without this feature, the organization cannot track the time for that project.
“These big projects take time to figure out how much it will cost (project accounting). You have to spec it out. Khameleon allows us to track how much it costs to put together a bid. It gives us the ability to map out pricing and profitability right upfront. We can also customize projects for time entry. The platform saves us so much time and money,” Melk exclaims.
It is clear that Khameleon helps BSI tame the beast of project initiation with their buttoned-up initiation process.
“Consequently, when BSI decided to enter the audiovisual industry, it gave us the push to recognize that the AV market was also a good fit for us.”
Over the years, BSI and Khameleon both expanded to new markets. Because of this feat, Khameleon recognized that certain integration updates and installations would be necessary to fit the needs of both the office furniture industry and the AV industry.
“We found it worthwhile to invest in the dTools integration for this reason,” claims Angelone. “With dTools, our AV clients don’t have to endure the very manual process of order entry.”
Melk agrees. “To be able to do the import with dTools, that really hit it home for us. Once our AV off-shoot, Smart Spaces, became its own entity, they launched Khameleon as their software system and have grown exponentially due to the partnership,” states Melk.
New integrations like dTools are added and updated consistently to ensure Khameleon’s users are always provided with the most up-to-date technology available. Many of these integrations are advocated for through the annual Customer Top 10 program.
“Khameleon’s Top 10 program gives us a voice to advocate for enhancements that would make our lives easier.”
Through technological advancements implemented from the Top 10 program over the years, Khameleon has saved BSI’s project delivery lifecycle so much time from start to finish.
Consequently, these upgrades have also provided other companies in the industry with the tools they need to properly manage complex project orders. Over time, these enhancements have made Khameleon the perfect software service for project-based dealerships and system integrators like BSI.
“We have a good partnership with Khameleon. Thanks to them, we have consistently improved our capabilities and advanced to new heights.”
For the last 20 years, Khameleon and BSI have worked hard together to improve the efficiency of demanding project delivery life cycles commonly found within project-based dealerships.
Through their mutual partnership, they entered new markets and relayed innovative ideas that would ultimately advance Khameleon’s software system and improve complex processes like project accounting, work order management, and sales forecasting. In the end, their collaboration helped them both successfully scale within the office furniture industry.
Interested to see how Khameleon can take your business to new heights? Request a demo and discover how your project-based dealership can benefit from Khameleon’s state-of-the-art ERP solution.