Oldcastle Precast is the leading manufacturer of precast concrete, polymer concrete and plastic products in the United States. With more than 80 locations nationwide, products are always close at hand. Oldcastle works with contractors and local building firms to deliver on their projects in a timely basis. The company’s goal is to provide a one-stop shop for building materials ranging from roofing and siding, all the way to asphalt and concrete. Specifically, their project management business unit works on client projects using their 1,200 local companies that are part of their network of operations to execute. Oldcastle distributes materials to the client location and a timely project delivery ensures maximum revenue and client satisfaction. In the past few years, Oldcastle has grown largely through acquisitions of various materials, distribution and project management firms. While the acquisition activity expanded their reach and audience, it also led to a lack of systems consolidation that negatively impacted customer satisfaction. To increase the quality of customer service and ensure their place as the leading manufacturer for the next 10 years, Oldcastle had to standardize on technology across the company to streamline operations and set the company up for future success.
Acquisitions without integration
As a first step towards a consolidated infrastructure, Oldcastle made significant investments in cloud solutions that would form the foundation for corporate and acquired entities. In an effort to have a consolidated view of project status and details, they had been using manual, custom coded point-to-point integration to connect CRM tools such as Salesforce and MS Dynamics AX and project management tools like Clarizen, Box, PieceTracker and GoFormz; however, this proved challenging. Not only were these custom point-to-point integrations difficult to build, they were not scalable or cost effective. As Oldcastle continued to expand via acquisitions, the lack of a centralized, scalable, and repeatable integration solution made it increasingly challenging to integrate the acquired on-premises systems and data into the central cloud infrastructure.
Keeping up with the business requests for customer data was challenging because each new request required the creation of a new integration from scratch, which took months. This caused employee frustration because the business did not have up-to date client and project data they needed to meet their timelines.
With new investments in cloud technologies and 200+ active on-premises applications, they needed to be able to connect applications both in the cloud and on-premises. In addition, as Oldcastle was moving increasingly to the cloud, they wanted their integration platform to be cloud-based as well. As a result, Oldcastle needed a hybrid integration platform to meet the full spectrum of their needs.
Hybrid integration platform enables agility
After looking at various integration platforms including ETL and data integration vendors, Oldcastle selected MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™ to integrate all aspects of their new infrastructure and drive greater enterprise agility. The hybrid integration capabilities and long term vision led Oldcastle to select Anypoint Platform, which can run both in the cloud and on-premises.
The first project with MuleSoft was creating a project automation platform to allow project managers to track projects from creation of sale throughout the lifecycle and completion of the project. Oldcastle chose Salesforce as the single source of client data and began integrating Salesforce and Clarizen. Clarizen, a project management tool, provides details around a project status and budget; however, before MuleSoft, project managers had no way of seeing if a project was on budget, who the key stakeholders were and the current timeline of the project itself. Once Salesforce and Clarizen were integrated, project managers could log in to Clarizen, and view all client and project details in one location, ensuring all projects were delivered on time and under budget. With all data integrated in one location, project information is updated on a daily basis, ensuring a satisfactory project delivery.
The second project they chose to tackle was integrating GoFormz with Salesforce. Prior to MuleSoft, the project management team had no way of knowing about equipment problems that had the potential to impact the project timeline. GoFormz enables the on-site project management team to create reports about any problems with equipment being used in the field. Now that the two applications are fully connected, the problem report is pulled directly into the client’s Salesforce account and the project manager can resolve any problems immediately, ensuring that equipment issues don’t affect the project timeline. Additionally, when clients call in with questions on status it no longer takes a 4-hour phone call to research and address the client’s issues. With all information in one place, the support team can address questions in real-time.
“MuleSoft enables us to answer customer questions in real-time, rather than within a four hour phone call, improving overall customer satisfaction,” says Houston.
Anypoint Platform provides better insight into and control over budgeting, project management and timelines, equipment quality and maintenance, and ultimately higher customer satisfaction, helping Oldcastle run more efficiently and ensuring their leadership position in the Future.
Speed of innovation
Oldcastle has been able to improve operational effectiveness with the new integrated and consolidated infrastructure. They no longer have to worry about how to integrate inherited on premises applications from acquired companies. Anypoint Platform can easily and quickly connect applications from acquired companies, bringing the client data into Oldcastle’s corporate Salesforce, as well as connect acquired applications to the rest of the Oldcastle infrastructure. This flexibility provided by Anypoint Platform also allows the team to test out various cloud applications as the time to integrate is greatly reduced and integrations are now loosely coupled. Now the team can experiment and innovate to see what works best without affecting the client data the business needs to be successful.
The speed to create integrations between applications has also enabled the team to be more responsive to the business. Now when a request comes in from an employee, they can quickly spin up the integration needed to meet the employees’ needs, such as integrating client data from a newly acquired entity. They have seen a 4X increase in productivity due to a decrease in manual processes.
As Oldcastle continues to expand and drive new business, they plan to expand their API strategy to provide integration development capabilities to developers on-site at the various business units. Now that IT has proven the ease of use of MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, they plan to exponentially increase the amount of services provided to employees.