Watch this space, we’re the new software player in town…

November 06, 2015 by Mark Pratt

3. LE PCDC

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A little chuffed that Progressclaim.com has been compared to a $700 million company! We’re working hard to keep our first mover advantage: stay tuned for updates. Have a read of the article that Business Review Weekly wrote about us and the thoughts from our CEO, Lincoln Easton.
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Progressclaim.com part of a growing wave of technology entrants in the construction industry

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Stand between a subbie and his money and it’ll end in tears. That’s something Lincoln Easton soon learned as a construction industry accountant. It didn’t even mean cheating. If payment was slow because a subcontractor had poor book-keeping, it could get just as messy. And in the building trade, there were a lot of messy books.

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“I witnessed arguments, project managers bogged down in paper work and subbies threatening no-shows at work because they hadn’t been paid – all due to poor progress claim documentation,” says Easton, for nine years the chief financial officer of his family’s Melbourne-based company Easton Builders. It wasn’t just the one-bloke-and-a-ute type of subcontractors, either. Larger companies had inefficient methods to track and manage payment variations that occurred during a job, as well. “I couldn’t believe a business that turned over $50 million annually was basing its contract variations on manual processes,” he says.

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There had to be a better way, and in 2011 Easton started Progressclaim.com to do just that. It is software that connects to the separate systems of contractor and sub to generate, process and track cost claims that arise during a project, as they invariably do. It creates a common system that both the larger client and subcontractor work with and ensures that payment claims arising during a project are correctly formatted and comply with relevant legislation such as the Security of Payments Act. “It represents the one source of truth for the two parties to come together,” Easton says. “We fundamentally replace the Excel spreadsheets and email.”

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Progressclaim.com is part of a growing wave of technology entrants – one of the best-known of which is ASX-listed Aconex – forcing the late-adopter construction industry to boost its efficiency in ways that other industries have long-since embraced. Contract disputes add an average 6 per cent to the cost of each project, according to a 2009 industry report. Easton says his aim is to remain a niche player, handling the payment claims that subcontractors routinely make during a project. But this reveals the dilemma many start-ups face as they mature. In an exploding world of new construction-related technology offerings, buyers have to decide whether they take on numerous niche offerings offering a single service, or to go for a larger service offering a wider range of services on one platform. Progressclaim.com is “absolutely complementary” to a service like Aconex, Easton says. He now faces competition from them, however, as in August, Aconex expanded into cost management with the purchase of software provider Worksite.

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Progressclaim.com’s growth has been gradual. Starting with an idea in 2011, Easton built a prototype software in 2012 that he first tested on some commercial projects in 2012-13. He raised money by bringing Johannesburg-listed information provider Prescient on board. He also has a local private investor, whom he declines to identify, backing the business. Clients include construction company Built, Decmil and Victorian builders Buildcorp Commercial and Winslow Group.

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Progressclaim.com, which started in 2011, has an annual revenue of about $1m but Easton says it could potentially reach $30 million in four years’ time. He points to the success of New York-listed Textura, which performs a similar role and has revenue of $US100 million and says that international markets offer opportunities. “They’ve had the market to themselves,” he says. “Some partners are telling us we need to go to the US.” To do that, however, he needs to grow and says he wouldn’t mind being bought out. That may be necessary in the fast-evolving competitive space. “I’ve got an exit strategy in mind,” Easton says. “ Traditionally that’s the most logical choice.”

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Read full article here: http://www.brw.com.au/p/business/startup

 

 

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"What used to take me two days, now takes me two hours. Because Progressclaim.com is online, adminstration of the monthly payment claim cycle is less time consuming and much easier to manage. No more processing everything on a spreadsheet prone to error, and the assessment can be carried out at the touch of a button."

PAUL LINKE

Contract Administrator, BUILT

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