Onni Group's customer story

GCPay is a Win-win for Onni Group and its Subcontractors

Onni Group is a builder of communities for people to live, work and play. One of North America’s largest and most established developers, they’ve been in business for over half a century and have expertise across cities including LA, Seattle, Chicago, Phoenix, Toronto, and Vancouver. Onni believes in planning for the future and giving back to those in the community through long-lasting relationships that span generations. GCPay had the pleasure of having a conversation with Krystal Brown-John, Onni’s Director of Business Process, who has been hands-on with GCPay since Onni starting using it, while also moving up the ranks in Onni’s accounting department to her current position.

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Krystal Brown-John

Director of Business Process

Company Info

Offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Phoenix, Mexico, Toronto and Vancouver

The Challenge

Onni was manually billing between 50 and 60 jobs a month with some of the larger projects utilizing over 100 subcontractors. Krystal elaborates “It was quite the process with everything reconciled individually. So, per project per draw, we had everything reconciled on Excel and then re-entered back into our ERP system, as well as we kept track and managed all our lien waivers on Excel. In Canada, stat decs were filed and recorded as well. So, everything was done very manually.” All that duplicate entry and reconciliation made for a lot of potential error, even from the vendor side, creating even more back and forth to make sure everything was in sync. And there was still the approval and compliance process for each draw. This all required so much time from the Onni team.


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“It was just predefined, pre-setup, and just almost ready to go, so it just made everything super easy. And then for the few things that we needed and tailored for us, they said it was no problem, and they were able to help with that right away.”
Krystal Brown-John
Director of Business Process

Decision Making

When it was suggested by a VP at Onni that they investigate digital software that would make all of this easier, the accounting team was eager to check it out and found GCPay through a Google search that led to a demo. What piqued their interest in GCPay was the simplicity of it all after comparing it to other more complex software.  “This looked like something that our subcontractors, who sometimes need a little bit of assistance on the technology side could use, Krystal tells us, “This looks like something that everybody could easily use, and it was just that simple and easy for everybody. You could easily understand the interface and then as well as the workflow that went in behind it. So that was really what clicked for me.” Krystal and her team also liked the lien waiver side of the software, stating “It was just predefined, pre-setup, and just almost ready to go, so it just made everything super easy. And then for the few things that we needed and tailored for us, they said it was no problem, and they were able to help with that right away.”

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Solutions & Results

Using GCPay changed the way Onni did everything. Krystal shares “I would say that GCPay has really cut our time down in the contract and processing time probably about half. It eliminated having to manually re-enter all those pay apps as well as the communication back and forth with the vendors, going back saying, “Hey, you need to fix your billing,” or “Hey, we actually need you to be up to date on your insurance,” or, “I need all your lien waivers before I can proceed.” GCPay has really taken all of that away, so it is quite seamless now. It has really allowed our accountants to focus on making sure that we are doing the rest of the job as well.” It made pay app routing and approval a breeze for them, as well. According to Krystal “Once you set it up, your approvals are already set, every pay app knows where it’s supposed to go, and the PMs can go in daily and review what’s there.”

And integration with their ERP software was another non-negotiable consideration. Onni wanted something seamless that ensured that they eliminated the double entry in their ERP, drastically reducing human error. The integration has allowed them to make sure that they are not over-billing or double-billing and that subcontractors are constrained to the contract that they signed off on. However the biggest problem that the integration has solved is the waiver and insurance aspect. Krystal conveys “Not being able to submit your draw or your progress claim without having everything up to date was really a game changer for us.”

Because of all the benefits of GCPay, including ERP integration, approval routing, compliance and lien waiver management, Krystal and her team see so much time savings each month. She shares “It has reduced everything, all the extra communication, that double-entry, making sure that everything is sent to the right person at the right time. And again, the insurance and the compliance portion has been a definite game changer. No more follow-ups back and forth with the vendor. So, it has really, really cut back on that, and we’ve been able to focus on making sure that everything is coming in a timely manner, and then vendors getting paid.”

How do Onni’s subcontractors feel about using GCPay for their pay apps and progress claims? Krystal tells us “I think it’s made life a lot easier. I’ve heard really good feedback. Having them be able to log in and type those numbers in and then have it carry forward that balance every month made a big difference. It didn’t allow them to overdraw, which means they could realize that they were entering it in on the wrong line. It has improved our relationships with our subcontractors, just having that platform where everybody can see what’s going on all at the same time.”

In terms of the onboarding services provided by GCPay, Onni found the process was very smooth. Krystal continues “Because GCPay is already integrated with the ERP we’re using, they already had everything ready and such a great staff of people able to walk me through that onboarding and training process. The GCPay team was amazing, always there to help with any little bump that we came across during the integration.  They also did some group subcontractor training for some of our subcontractors who needed a little bit more help.”

And Krystal has kudos for the GCPay support team, as well. “It feels like the support team is always on standby for us, and they’re able to fix all our problems pretty much immediately. The online chat function is amazing. There’s somebody there, and you can just get an answer right away and get your issues resolved. We’ve also directed our vendors to GCPay support, and they’re able to get their answers resolved right away.”

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