How a Houston builder uses Dropbox to collaborate with contractors

Photo of construction workers for Dropbox Business blog post

Over the past century, Tellepsen Builders has become a cornerstone in the development of Houston, Texas. Having completed some of the city’s most notable projects, including Texas Children’s Hospital and Lakewood Church, the company has built a reputation as a pioneer in their sector. In its fourth generation of family ownership, Tellepsen began looking for ways to continue their evolution into the fifth. Here’s how they’ve become leaders of the digital transformation of the construction industry with the help of Dropbox Business.

Improving collaboration across all teams

Construction is one of the largest sectors in the world economy—yet it’s also one of the least digitized. In a 2017 report, McKinsey estimated the industry could add $1.6 trillion in global value by adopting digital technologies. Tellepsen saw the opportunity to use tech to simplify work for their project managers—the driving force behind their company.

“We can have way over 30 projects running at any given time,” says Lee Nugent, IT Director at Tellepsen. “Our people are on these remote sites full-time, trying to manage budgets, schedules, subcontractors, billings and contract documents. So it is critical they are productive and mobile.”

Unfortunately, their file servers and VPNs were making it hard for project managers and field staff to share large files—especially when they were experiencing connectivity problems on-site. They needed a solution that could help their team keep work moving forward on the go. So they turned to Dropbox.

Saving hours every week

Working on multiple projects across multiple locations can get complicated. But since Tellepsen deployed Dropbox Business across the company in 2015, their project managers have been able to seamlessly collaborate with subcontractors, no matter where they’re located.

“The impact of Dropbox Business has been transformational. Instead of struggling to share large files with our subcontractors we just send a shared file. It is helping save two hours of work per project, per week.”—Lee Nugent, IT Director, Tellepsen

“We’ve been able to streamline how we interact with [contractors], reducing the management overhead involved while enabling our teams to get on with the job at hand,” says Lee.

And the change has had a transformational impact on the way they work. “Instead of struggling with FTP servers, now they share a read-only Dropbox folder with subcontractors containing all critical files,” Lee explains. “Preview and load times are good too, helping save two hours of work per project per week.”

And with the mobile app, project managers can devote more of their day to working on site. That’s helped them deliver higher-quality work, right on schedule.

Simplifying admin tasks in the office

Though supporting project managers was their main motivation, Lee says deploying Dropbox Business has brought unexpected benefits in the back office as well.

“File recovery is simple now and we have much more control over access and permissions,” explains Lee. “It has simplified admin tasks in the office and freed up time for others to add value further up the value chain too.”

Reducing support requests with Dropbox Smart Sync

When users save large volumes of data locally to ensure file access, mounting storage problems lead to slower performance on laptops. And that’s exactly what the Tellepsen team experienced. As people needed to expand their hard drive capacity, support teams were bombarded with simple requests—and hardware costs kept growing.

“It was costing our IT support team about four hours of their time [per week] to resolve the problem, rendering them and the user inactive,” says Lee. “Now, with Smart Sync, local storage has halved and support requests have vanished since the cloud is handling all our data.”

To find out how other top architecture, engineering and construction companies use Dropbox to seamlessly collaborate on projects, download our eBook, Build more efficiently with collaborative tools.

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