ConstructConnect is a leading provider of construction information and technology solutions in North America. Their subscription-based SaaS platform helps trade contractors, general contractors, and building product manufacturers with the bidding process for commercial construction projects.
After successful adoption of the subscription model, the company expanded through both acquisition and organic growth. This success led to complexity as well as the need to scale, optimizing existing offerings and integrating new products at varying levels of subscription maturity.
Zuora Billing, including add-ons like Zuora CPQ, helped ConstructConnect automate processes and reconfigure pricing and packaging as needed; providing scale and flexibility.
Over the course of one year, ConstructConnect successfully scaled to consolidate their expansion. With Zuora, they quadrupled the output of their team, doubling the number of invoices processed by the billing organization, all while cutting the number of headcount by half.
As an early adopter in the Subscription Economy®, ConstructConnect has already experienced the benefits of the recurring revenue model. Over the past decade, the company has leveraged their position as the leading SaaS platform for the construction industry to build the largest network, the most robust project data, and the leading estimating tools in the industry.
Their success has demonstrated that launching a subscription revenue model is only the beginning of the Journey to Usership™. As the model matures and proliferates, it brings additional complexity and the need for ongoing operational improvements. Not only does a subscription company need to scale as the size of the business grows, it needs to be flexible enough to manage a wide range of continually changing products.
“Success and expansion leads to complexity,” explains Dave Storer, Controller and VP at ConstructConnect. “We found ourselves with products at different phases of maturity in terms of subscriptions. We had eight different businesses providing a myriad of different services to different customers, including everything from one-time, on-premise software licenses to evergreen repeating ecommerce walkups.”
ConstructConnect had to figure out a way to manage this range of business types without blowing up their product catalog or their invoicing rhythms. And more specifically, each segment of the business had different needs from their counterparts in accounting. They needed a subscription platform that could not only manage complexity when it arose, but help them get ahead of problems through strategic planning. Zuora was there to help.
With Zuora Billing and Rev Rec, Storer and his team were able to streamline and automate processes as transaction volumes, complexity, and the need for real-time analytics increased. Zuora gave ConstructConnect the means to power automated renewals and gain deep insight into customer behavior.
These insights have enabled Storer and his team to take a leading role and have a seat at the table when strategic decisions are being made. “Accountants and IT folks are typically oriented further back in the business process that starts with lead generation and quotes driven by sales,” said Storer. “Zuora has helped us orient our work towards sales and ultimately the customer.”
Those customer-centric benefits include Zuora’s Self-Service Subscriber Portal, which allows ConstructConnect’s customers the ability to adjust their subscriptions on the fly, increasing customer lifetime value (CLV) and net dollar retention (NDR). Zuora also offers omnichannel support (B2B, B2C, ecommerce, reseller) managed in a central location with unified billing.
But perhaps even more important than scaling ConstructConnect’s subscription business to handle more customers is the flexibility Zuora Billing provides to launch new programs or roll out updated offerings more quickly and easily. “We can take a handful of configuration choices that are available out of the box from Zuora and create a lot of different ways to satisfy what the customer needs,” says Storer. This gives the entire organization a clear lens through which to understand how changes affect the product catalog.
The Zuora platform has become a catalyst for discussions between Accounting and the other functions. “The product catalog in Zuora CPQ is a really good pivot point for all stakeholders—Accounting, Sales, IT, Product Development, Product Management—to form a cross-functional group to evaluate how we go to market,” says Storer.
“Because the features of Zuora operate in such a commercially sensible way, we find that what’s best for the customer also tends to work best for Billing and Sales,” says Storer.
For ConstructConnect, the payoff comes when a product change is successfully implemented at scale with minimal friction among the various teams. And the payoffs keep coming. ConstructConnect now sends around 170,000 invoices per year with a team of four; a year ago, they sent half as many with twice the amount of staff.
What’s next for ConstructConnect? In 2022, they are looking to increase the ease and flexibility of their customers’ payment experience. They are also continuing to simplify and curate their product catalog based on deep insights from the large amounts of data generated by their larger scale.
“Zuora has enabled us to move from the Optimize phase to the Scale phase of the Journey to Usership™ by helping us live and breathe the logic of the subscription model,” says Storer. “With Zuora, you are not buying a software, you are buying a philosophy.”
“Instead of spending time trying to reconcile accounts, we spend a lot of our time discussing go-to-market strategy. That’s a big change from traditional accounting.” – Dave Storer, Controller and VP, ConstructConnect
“I feel much more engaged as a business partner and a decision-maker, helping to really change our business and serve our customers. Zuora has enabled Accounting to be more value-added.” – Dave Storer, Controller and VP, ConstructConnect