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How Duolos Construction Uses ArcSite to Save Time and Secure Permits
Russ Rehm, owner of Duolos Construction in Mount Vernon, WA, found his way into the remodeling business in a roundabout way. For decades, business was good, but when the pandemic hit in 2020, the 75-year-old designer was forced to modernize and innovate his business in order to secure permits and stay compliant.
Rehm started his career as an officer and engineer in the Merchant Marine. After a motorcycle trip across the Sahara Desert, he entered the seminary and became a pastor. He would go on to receive a doctorate in theology and work as a marriage counselor for 25 years. During that time, he taught himself how to do contract work and eventually founded Duolos Construction, a remodeling business that now has a 32-year legacy of "quality work at a fair and reasonable price," according to Rehm.
Innovating a successful contracting business
Duolos Construction has built a reputation for quality work that keeps them busy. "We have all the work we can possibly get done," said Rehm. But with the constant influx of business, Rehm is responsible for securing a large number of city permits in order to keep his crew working.
The company's main focus is residential construction including plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, and more. "Anything we can do, we do."
How the pandemic forced Duolos Construction to go digital
For 30 years, Russ Rehm ran his business on paper. "I just came home and did drawings by hand," he said, "and then Covid changed everything."
Municipal buildings were forced to lock their doors indefinitely, but Rehm needed to find a way to secure permits to keep his business alive. Building departments switched to a fully digital submission process for permits, so Duolos Construction needed to adapt.
Rehm admits that he was not comfortable with computers and technology. The digital shift brought upon by the pandemic forced him to modernize and learn a new skill to save his business.
"It required an old curmudgeon like myself to get modernized and learn how to do computers and learn how to go paperless," Rehm said.
Even before the pandemic, Rehm was running into issues with strict examiners at the city who would scoff at his hand drawings. He noticed that the city and county were approving digital drawings at a much faster rate and scrutinizing his paper drawings much more than they had in the past.
"I had to find something because they didn't want this hand-drawn stuff."
Discovering the efficiency of a digital drawing process
While being forced to adapt after decades of doing business the same way might have been intimidating for Rehm, he was surprised to learn how many advantages came with creating digital drawings.
"It turned out that I really liked the system because it saves me a whole bunch of time," Rehm said. "It feels to me like we turned the clock ahead to 2030."
Duolos Construction was now able to operate in compliance with city and county codes, receive permits, and keep their business moving, all without leaving the office or job site.
Using ArcSite to deliver professional drawings and site plans
Rehm credits ArcSite for his ability to digitize his business. With accurate drawings, professional site plans, and a clearly communicated scope of work, Duolos Construction is more efficient than ever.
The business is getting ready to build a triplex in the city. While preparing to secure a permit for the job, Rehm used ArcSite to create the site plans.
"It's a simple thing. You've got the plot plan, the floor plan, the elevation. You might have one or two other drawings that detail some of the work, and ArcSite just knocks it out of the ballpark in terms of getting that done."
Rehm says ArcSite helps keep his business competitive. In the past, he would have to pay someone to go out and do the drawings, and if he didn't get the job, his business would have to absorb that cost with no return. He says ArcSite helps keep the overhead down and allows him to make changes on the fly with ease.
"ArcSite is simple enough where an old guy like me can just go and draw," Rehm said. "It's really valuable."
In a paperless world, ArcSite helps businesses compete
If your business is inundated with jobs, overwhelmed with paperwork, and looking to modernize, schedule a meeting with an ArcSite expert for a customized demo. It's the secret weapon for businesses like Duolos Construction to save time, stay competitive, and secure permits to run a successful company