Jean-Pierre Geerts is the owner of Plumco, an HVAC and energy efficiency company in East Flanders, Belgium. Plumco provides energy-efficient installation systems for sanitary heating facilities, solar energy, heat pumps and HVAC solutions. In 2007, Plumco – like most SMEs in HVAC and similar trades – was a paper-and-pen business. The challenge with that was, plans and paperwork for large projects were literally too heavy to carry into meetings, and many meetings required travelling to jobsites or offices, parking and reviewing pages or getting signatures in person. If clients or potential clients requested changes, that meant redrawing plans and seeking approval through the same cumbersome process.
Geerts needed a single solution to solve a number of challenges. He wanted to save money, work faster and more efficiently, and increase collaboration with clients. Furthermore, as an ecologically minded professional, Geerts wanted to reduce his environmental impact. He saw that larger businesses in similar fields of construction and engineering were improving their bottom lines by going digital.
He said he started looking for PDFs that suited construction, allowing him to add data or content to make such PDFs intelligent and to do calculations and share communication. Then, he found Bluebeam.
Immediately, Geerts said he “could see the advantages of using the software on large construction sites; however, Bluebeam is also really valuable for smaller companies like ours. I can successfully compete with businesses larger than ours.”
Crucially, Revu was also affordable for an SME like Plumco. “When I first purchased [Revu], it was very important to me that it should remain affordable even with several Licenses, particularly as a small company,” Geerts said.
“We don’t have annual budgets worth thousands of euros to spend on CAD programs.” Considering that the Belgian market is made of 93 per cent small businesses of 1-5 employees, as well as specialist businesses and freelancers, the collaborative qualities in Studio Sessions are a significant advantage for Geerts, who can quickly and simply share information and plans with other businesses and clients from anywhere.
Now, Geerts has incorporated Revu and Studio Sessions into every step of Plumco’s design and build process, as well as collaborations with other contractors and communication with owners and subcontractors. Today, Plumco only uses paper for invoices, as all designs and plans are made within Revu. This has created a reduction in paper use of 92 per cent, saving Plumco thousands of euros every year. Furthermore, Plumco’s office space has gone from 150 to 20 square meters, allowing them to save on rent and office costs. Geerts can work from anywhere with just his laptop and offer a much better customer experience.
Geerts saw that Revu was the right tool “to make intelligent PDFs, as well as allowing collaboration, all in a single document.” Geerts used the customised tool sets within Revu to standardise icons for ventilation, piping, sanitary and hydraulic schemes, as well as custom columns for measurements and calculations. These tools save Geerts approximately 80 per cent of the time and money he used to spend for project quotes – and with more accurate results. “Revu enables my business to be quick and nimble. I have lower overhead costs, I can work more efficiently, and I have better visibility of my financials. This software is capable of making complex things simple,” Geerts said.
Improving client relationships
The transition from printers and ink to Bluebeam has saved time and money for Plumco, but it’s also improved relationships with clients, some of whom have even adopted Revu for their own businesses after seeing the platform in action.
From the start, Geerts can send a complete proposal of work created in Revu, as well as photos of existing space or equipment with overlays of new designs and equipment to give clients and other shareholders a sense of the completed work.
Once a project begins, Revu makes it possible for Geerts to continue that transparency as jobs and tasks are completed. Bluebeam Studio Sessions are used to bring stakeholders together over the PDF plans and make whatever changes are necessary in a virtual meeting, rather than travelling and meeting in-person. And stakeholders can readily access project tracking and timelines, the same as the professionals at Plumco.
It has now been 12 years since Geerts found Revu. In that time, Revu has empowered Geerts to make Plumco nimbler and more responsive, more profitable and competitive, but also more ecologically responsible. Today, Plumco is doing more business at lower costs and greater speed, and Geerts has the peace of mind that his company’s operations respect the environment as much as he does.
Learn more about what you can do with Bluebeam Revu.