The catalyst to transform your business can appear anywhere, at any time.
For David A. Herrera, president of CAM Property Services, it came from an unexpected source as he headed into his office one morning in 2019: the radio.
“Wow, this sounds like a perfect platform for us,” he remembers thinking. He took a screenshot of Aspire’s phone number on his dashboard screen.
The timing was fortunate because the CAM team was dealing with several critical problems in the business, primarily related to their business software.
Hindered by their software’s inability to track revenue and invoice clients efficiently—if at all—the company was over $800,000 behind on invoicing and had millions of dollars in uncollected payments. They had zero understanding of how to gauge performance and rectify these issues.
Herrera immediately called Aspire and began a conversation.
“I saw some of the companies that had been using Aspire, like LandCare and a few others, so for me, that was sufficient to say, ‘Let's go to step two,’” Herrera said.
CAM Property Services is based in Torrance, CA, and provides day porter, landscape maintenance, steam cleaning, janitorial, and property repair and maintenance services to the commercial real estate industry. Omnia Pacific Construction is CAM’s construction company providing commercial build-outs, ADA consulting and remediation, and trash chute installation and repair. Both companies now operate all service lines through Aspire and their network of integrations, specifically Inova and Acumatica. The company reported over $20 million in revenue for 2022.
CAM used a software solution for more than seven years, which served their needs, but eventually, they outgrew it. In 2018, after shopping around, they landed on another software, which promised to be a single platform solution for accounting, operations, and sales.
“It seemed like a feasible solution, but it wasn't,” Herrera says. “As soon as we transferred our data, it broke our business. It was double-billing people but wasn't sending invoices. You name it; it happened—to the degree that we were angering long-term clients,” he recalls. “It was a very painful 18 months before things settled down.”
Jamie Scheel is a consultant who has worked with CAM on and off since 2000 and has played a pivotal role in its technology decisions. Scheel returned in 2020 to help the team solve their challenges with their software.
“Contracts were all over the place—some that weren’t renewed, some that weren’t started. It was just awful,” Scheel says. “I was finding jobs we hadn't billed for months, and nobody could use the program to determine what was wrong.”
The quest for a long-term solution
When considering a new business management software, Herrera and his team knew from experience that developing a custom system would be costly and take too long to get right, so they researched existing platforms.
With Scheel’s help, the company vetted Aspire and found the open API capability in their enterprise plan a significant advantage, considering they were determined to grow and needed a solution designed for scale.
“Later, Aspire’s partnership with ServiceTitan was just icing on the cake,” Herrera says.
Aspire’s implementation team spent six weeks onboarding the CAM team, guiding them as they moved their data into the platform.
“It’s not easy moving your information into a new database, especially when it's coming from a scrambled, unreliable source,” Scheel says. “But our implementation manager was very helpful and informative, and the spreadsheets were clear.”
Scheel says that data import was the biggest test because the CAM team had disastrous results with their previous data import. “Everything was in there, and it all looked like it worked properly.”
Polishing janitorial operations
John Salido leads CAM’s janitorial and day porter service lines, representing over a quarter of the business’s total revenue. The transition to Aspire transformed his divisions in crucial ways:
Leveraging real-time P&L reports and profitability trends
Salido generated one P&L statement in 18 months on the previous software.
He now has immediate insight into where his P&Ls stand at all times. He can follow trends in janitorial revenue, understand the variables he can control in operations or production, and view his bottom-line figures. Direct costs are automatically allocated to each work ticket, and Salido can view performance in real time.
“If we wanted to further drill into P&L, down into individual single account reports, we've got a view into every single transactional item, which is very helpful,” he says. “This allows us to forecast trends and see any expenditures.”
Maximizing client impact and value with site audits
“We utilize one report 100 times more than any of your other companies: the site audit function,” Salido says.
CAM has generated 2,000 site audit reports over a 3-month period; the next closest amount of site audits for an Aspire company is 200 — that company is 1.5 times larger than CAM.
“From an operations standpoint, we’re focused on ensuring our clients know that we have a system in place that will allow us to generate reports on the cleanliness of their property or highlighting any risks that need mitigating. It's a communication driver between CAM Property Services, our clients (the property manager), and their client (the landlord),” Salido explains.
Improving billing and accounting
“As far as the invoicing side in Aspire, it’s so much better,” says Jazmin Vega, accounting supervisor.
“We couldn't update billing addresses, but it's super easy with Aspire,” she adds. “Clients can change their address one month and change it back the next. Also, with our aging report, it's so much easier. If a customer wants an account statement, we can easily run and send reports to show what they've paid.”
Paying vendors has improved since Aspire provides checks and balances to ensure that what vendors have invoiced matches the services or materials supplied.
Roger Sur, CAM’s CFO, says, “Aspire’s allowed me to pay our suppliers on time. Usually, we’re net 45 days, and now it’s down to 15.”
Sur says the efficiencies and checks and balances gave him the confidence to move up some processes and provide P&L statements by the 10th or 12th of each month compared to 30 days after month close.
On the client side — CAM Property Services hadn’t collected $4 million from clients when Sur joined the company in early 2020.
“It was insane,” he says. “Our average AR is less than $1 million, and money flows. (Issues with) compliance, sending out invoices are gone, eliminated.
“It just made my life and everybody else’s life in the company easier,” he says.
Enhancing client experience
Before Aspire, CAM used standalone solutions PandaDocs and DocuSign to submit contracts to clients. Now, electronic signatures in the platform streamline the experience for the company and the client.
Recruiting top talent
“From an employee recruitment standpoint, we advertise that we utilize a platform that pays you accuratly and properly each pay period,” Salido says. “Aspire’s Crew Mobile app records our staff’s clock-in and -outs and lunch breaks, in addition to time spent on client sites.”
Hitting double-digit revenue growth
CAM is seeing improvements all across the business. The company’s total revenue for CAM Property Services and Omnia Pacific broke double-digit growth for the first time since 2007, growing 14% post-pandemic.
Herrera says the company’s account retention rate is the best in eight years, and in 2022, they beat their attrition rate goal for the first time.
“In a meritocracy, you do the work, you get rewarded for output and results, and Aspire allows us to track that,” he says. Transparency is a big deal for people who want to work in a culture and workplace where they are rewarded for their efforts—with Aspire we can show them their performance from day one.”
“The team has done a fabulous job, and I don't praise them enough, but thankfully they've embraced Aspire, and we have almost erased all those (rough) years in a short period.”
“I look forward to better things to come,” Herrera says with a smile. “I think the partnership with Aspire will be super, so I'm glad I was tuned into the radio that day.”