Success Story

Operations

CLIENT: M.O. INC. COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

OWNER: FRANKLIN ANDERSON JR.

ANNUAL SALES: $9 MILLION

LOCATION: JONESBORO, GEORGIA

FOUNDED: 1978

SITUATION-AT-A-GLANCE

Based in Metro Atlanta and servicing the entire Southeast, M.O. Inc. (MO) is a leader in Class A & B office renovations, retail renovations and ground-up construction. The firm was founded in 1978 by Franklin Anderson Sr. and is now led by his son, Franklin Anderson Jr.

When MO first met with Ascent Consulting in 2017, the company was experiencing unpredictable project performance; they were unable to accurately predict the financial outcome of projects; and their technology systems were not being used effectively by the Operations team.

THE CHALLENGES

Given the growth of MO’s operations in recent years, Ascent Consulting determined that:

  • The company had outgrown their original processes and framework
  • They needed to redesign Project Management & Operations to perform at an elevated level of functionality and efficiency
  • A major factor impacting all of MO’s operations was a technology bottleneck that was undermining efficiency, preventing visibility across the organization
  • The MO staff needed to be thoroughly trained on new company software solutions and fully understand their technology’s ability to enhance staff performance at all levels

TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGE

Before Ascent’s arrival, MO had put several technology tools in place, but they were not being used effectively by the Operations team and were not contributing to the company’s success. Ascent worked with MO to develop and introduce solutions in the technology arena:

  • Upgraded the functionality of MO’s estimating software • Developed a method to convert bid information to construction budgets
  • Trained the staff on proper use of their Construction Management software
  • Developed step-by-step training and operations manuals to help ensure consistent processes, performance and results
  • Added a new timekeeping software solution that allowed employees and contractors to assign their time to different jobs and activities

 

The team at Ascent Consulting took the time to understand our business and design customized solutions that have truly made a difference for our organization.

ACHIEVING GOALS

MO and Ascent developed a Standardized Project Management Methodology that was customized to the company’s operations and software tools. Ascent worked with the MO team to ensure that industry best practices were merged with MO’s methods of project management and delivery.

Ascent provided detailed training and documentation of this new Methodology to help ensure its usage across the organization. The use of enhanced technology was a key part of this process.

Today, MO’s methodology delivers:

  • Real-time financial visibility
  • Proactive management of projects for improved profitability
  • Efficient processes that have streamlined and, in some cases, eliminated wasteful activities

SUCCESS

By early 2018, technology issues had been resolved and Ascent had trained MO’s Project Managers on the software, as well as project management essentials and core functionalities.

MO now has a comprehensive and repeatable methodology to take projects from Award through Closeout in a logical and profitable manner.

They have clearly identified and defined all the tasks involved in the construction and project management processes.

MO has successfully communicated its new processes, roles and responsibilities across the organization and has navigated the change process with full adoption by all stakeholders.

Project Managers are now proactive in planning their project’s schedule, workforce and core activities, and have increased capacity to manage the unique aspects of their projects. They are utilizing Construction Management software uniformly across the company. Labor and material cost management strategies have been developed and implemented, and accurate cost reporting and forecasting are in place.

 

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I now have the tools I need to make educated and informed decisions at the project and corporate level, and my staff is more organized and effective in delivering projects to our customers.

BOTTOM LINE

After working with Ascent, MO is now enjoying a measurable increase in efficiency and profitability. In addition, the company has implemented better reporting systems, which allows MO’s owner to make more informed financial decisions. Finally, more efficient operations mean that MO can now handle a greater workload without adding staff.

Kendall Pittman

Human Resources & Accounting Manager

With passions for developing HR strategies and accurate financials, Kendall joins Ascent with 5+ years of hands-on experience in both disciplines. She holds a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida, and is currently pursuing secondary education & certification in the field of Human Resources. 

Kendall has provided financial support to both the private sector as well non-profit organizations. Her accounting philosophy helps leaders connect business goals to objectives through accurate records & industry best practices. Additionally, she has pursued HR opportunities that focus on employee engagement, internal growth & development, and business-level strategic planning. 

Now, Kendall is dedicated to providing an uplifting environment to help drive further growth within Ascent. 

Sarah Red

Junior Coordinator

Sarah has 10+ years of experience in commercial construction spanning across 10 different states. during this time, she has gained experience in project & field management, also specializing in Construction Technology. Having worked on projects with value ranging from $5M – $2B, she has seen the industry from many angles.  

 

 

Sarah has worked across country and built in a variety of market sectors to perform both ground up & adaptive re-use projects. Her extensive experience has equipped her with in-depth knowledge of the construction industry, focusing on best methods of scaling technology to make her clients more competitive and successful in the market. 

 

 

Sarah is passionate about encouraging our clients to improve their business strategies, and building up the construction industry as a whole. 

Jack Austin

Marketing Coordinator

Jack is a marketing and communications professional who joins Ascent following a three-year stint in the healthcare staffing industry. 

 

Working as a member of the Ascent marketing team, Jack performs internal marketing automation tasks, analyzes web and marketing metrics, and creates multimedia content to highlight recent success stories with Ascent clients.

 

Born and raised in the Metro Atlanta area, Jack graduated from the University of Georgia in 2019 with a B.A. in Journalism and a certificate in Sports Media. He then went on to earn an M.B.A. from Georgia State University in December 2022, concentrating in the areas of marketing and business analytics.

Rhonda Hudson

Construction Accountant

Rhonda has three decades of diverse Controller experience that spans various aspects of construction, including manufacturing, mechanical, electrical, flooring, and residential building contracting. Rhonda has an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and has consistently demonstrated expertise in optimizing operational efficiencies, tracking financial performance, conducting annual audits, and building a process around the monthly close process.

In addition to her accounting work, Rhonda has a broad proficiency in a wide range of accounting software platforms and has a knack for adapting to new technologies swiftly. She has facilitated smooth transitions during software migrations and provided system training to numerous companies.

Bridgit Lawhead

Marketing Project Manager

Bridgit is a Marketing Project Manager, bringing a proven track record of managing accounts and marketing for diverse industries. Prior to joining Ascent Consulting, she was a Marketing Strategist for a small marketing agency that focused on transforming financial advisors’ businesses. Working with Marketing, Sales, and Upper Management to ensure strategic performance and management of tasks to appropriate team members, Bridgit helps manage the planning, development, design, execution, monitoring, and completion of all of our client marketing projects. 
 
Bridgit holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations from Valdosta State University. 

Kellie Barber

Office Manager

With a career spanning over 25 years in both the public and private sectors, Kellie stands as a seasoned professional and a valuable asset to our Ascent team. A dedicated, results-driven individual, Kellie brings a wealth of experience to the organization.

She is no stranger to the world of construction and has a comprehensive understanding from both the project management and engineering perspective.  Kellie has a keen eye for detail and a commitment to delivering excellence.

Nazia Hasnain

Project Coordinator

Nazia joined Ascent in the role of a project coordinator. Before joining Ascent, she served as a Web Project Coordinator.

With a rich background of 5 years of experience in the digital realm, she has been at the forefront of coordinating and managing web projects from concept to launch. With a blend of technical expertise and project management skills, she is dedicated to contributing to the success of diverse projects to ensure that projects not only meet but exceed expectations.

Gary Johnson

Consultant

Gary grew up working summers from 7th grade through graduating college for a large plumbing and process piping contractor in Mobile, AL. After graduating from Auburn University with a BS in Computer Engineering, Gary spent the next 16 years working in the industrial automation industry with The Foxboro Company and the ERP software solutions space with JD Edwards.  

The 7 years with JD Edwards were primarily focused on the construction business, providing ERP software solutions to both large general contractors and large homebuilders. In 2003 Gary acquired a small residential plumbing contracting business in Pace, FL.  Over the next 17 years, Gary grew this business to three physical locations and more than 130 employees, performing commercial and residential plumbing projects in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. 

In 2020, Gary sold the business and continued to work for the company on a consulting basis for 2 more years. The unusual background, including providing construction industry ERP software solutions as well as nearly 20 years acquiring, growing, operating and ultimately selling a large subcontracting business, gives Gary a unique perspective on the operations of a construction company. Gary holds master plumbing and gas fitter licenses in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

Stephen Crawford

Junior Consultant

Stephen possesses nearly a decade of extensive financial, operational, and leadership expertise spanning diverse professional sectors, primarily centered on construction, development, and construction management. Before joining Ascent Consulting, he spent five years as a CPA at Ernst & Young. He then made significant contributions to an electrical construction company in an internal consulting capacity. Subsequently, he pursued multiple freelance roles, including a pivotal position as a Fractional Chief Transformation Officer (CTO).

Throughout his career, Stephen adeptly guided companies through various rapid growth phases, overseeing crucial financial matters, driving strategic growth initiatives, and managing back-office functions. He holds a BBA in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy from The University of Georgia.

Zachary Hickman

Project Coordinator

Zachary brings 10+ years of project management experience as an owners representative for clients and from the developer side of the business.

He began his career as an assistant project manager with a masonry subcontractor in Florida, before moving to Atlanta.

Daphene Koch

Consultant

Daphene’s construction experience began working in her family’s mechanical construction company.

Next, she worked for a large EPC firm on projects in Texas and Malaysia. With over 15 years of construction industry experience on commercial and industrial projects. Her roles have included project manager, safety manager, construction services leader, and pipefitters helper.

While a professor at Purdue University in the School of Construction Management, she worked as a consultant to help construction companies improve processes, project management, workforce development to name a few. She has a BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University and resides in Indiana.

Hakeem Slaughter

Marketing Coordinator

Hakeem is a brand designer with over 10 years of experience. He has been a freelancer for about 9 years working with many different clients and industries under the following subjects: brand design, graphic design, web design, and social media marketing.

 

During that time freelancing, he also worked at many companies as a graphic and web designer. As well as taught disciplines of Art and Design to students varying from middle school age to college. As mentioned, he has a “jack of all trades” range but is quite proficient at WordPress and uses that knowledge to design cutting edge websites!

 

Hakeem specializes in branding, design, and creativity and is bringing his talents, skills, and passion to take Ascent Consulting to a new level!

Aimee Collier

Project Coordinator

Aimee joins Ascent as a Project Coordinator supporting our Senior and Procore Consultants. With construction industry experience both in-field and back-of-house (ranging from project site coordination to contract management to software administration), she brings a holistic perspective of the day-to-day challenges faced by our clients. Her varied professional roles include software implementation and training, technical content creation and design, and coordinating across teams to bring projects to successful completion. She is excited to direct her passion for people and processes toward our customers.