Success Story: Momentum Builders Builds Buildings, Not Apps | CranstonIT - Blog

Success Story: Momentum Builders Builds Buildings, Not Apps


Why builders build buildings, not apps

As one of the industry’s leading building envelope contractors, Momentum Builders prides itself on solving problems. In fact, the team welcomes the engineering challenges that structural, roofing, siding or pre-engineered metal building opportunities often bring.

“We’ve developed a culture of service and problem solving,” declared Kyle Smith, Owner/Operator and Business Manager of Momentum Builders, based in Mercer, PA, for the past 35 years.

But information technology is an entirely different animal, and finding solutions to tech glitches and roadblocks can reduce even burly construction engineers to wimps.

Smith oversees administrative processes related to production, account management, sales and marketing, and ensures that all documentation appropriately flows to every part of the business. Momentum Builders operates on a small Apple
® network — Mac® workstations, notebooks and servers — an anomaly in the largely PC-based construction world.  

“Because of our long history with Apple, we now expect everything to just work and just work quickly,” Smith said.  “We depend on a smooth, glitch-free environment that is fast and flexible.”

All is good, all is calm.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Back in the early 90s, when Momentum Builders was about a decade old, the company needed a fresh look at technology to keep pace with business growth.  It needed an administrative portal that would connect the key processes of construction projects with each arm of the company — sales to estimating to production and back to sales.  It needed an entirely new database, as well as a new network and IT management tools.

All was not good, all was not calm.

Ownership at that time had a vision, but not a solution, The team connected with CranstonIT, an emerging IT services company that specialized in Apple and FileMaker technologies.  Momentum Builders sought CranstonIT because of its reputation to remediate the tasks at hand while planning, solving and projecting for future business growth.

“Patrick Cranston had the foresight to take our owner’s vision for a powerful database and execute it in a way that would evolve with our business,” Smith said. “We have significantly grown in just the last four years, yet the core of our database and IT landscape remains the same.  We haven’t had to completely trash anything and start over.”

Today, the go-to solution at Momentum Builders is its custom FileMaker app. It is FileMaker technology that drives the business, and the team regularly meets with CranstonIT to update and expand its capabilities. CranstonIT techs Brad Cranston and Topher Reed participated on the FileMaker project, while techs Dean Wagner and Marshall Lewis worked on upgrades to the email service, backup services, domain hosting and security tools.

“The CranstonIT team is incredibly reactive to managing glitches that spring up, as well as implementing new features when they see the need for a change,” explained Smith.

“It’s all there with CranstonIT — the expertise, the responsiveness, the quality of work — and it’s been a privilege to work directly with Patrick for these many years,” Smith said. “When I see a business successfully growing with the shared core values we have, and I know that I’m always going to get the same high level of support, that’s the vendor relationship I want.”

CranstonIT is an Apple-centric professional IT services company based in Pittsburgh, PA. The organization provides certified consultants, technicians and developers for IT solutions in Managed Services, On-Demand Projects and Business Application Development. CranstonIT serves small business, enterprise, K-12 education and university customers driven by Apple and FileMaker technologies in the tri-state area and beyond.

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