SBA Communications and Tribridge Use Technology to Integrate Business Models

Published: August 19, 2013

Based in Boca Raton, Florida, SBA Communications is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure in the United States. SBA owns multi-tenant towers and is a premier provider of site acquisition, zoning and construction services to wireless telecommunications companies. SBA’s customers include all of the nation’s leading wireless communications carriers and wireless technologies. SBA leases tenant space to the big 6 wireless carriers on more than 3,000 multi-tenant towers, and has participated in the development of more than 20,000 antenna sites in 49 of the 51 major wireless markets in the United States. SBA’s workforce and remote locations scale according to the capacity needed for current projects. At peak, SBA has 1,700 employees and 40+ remote locations nationwide.

SBA began with its Tower Ownership business, owning and operating multi-tenant towers that it leased to the Big 6 wireless companies. SBA later added a Tower Construction and Services business to build and service its own towers, and to build and maintain customer towers across the country.

With extensive corporate activities and two growing business units, it was critical for SBA to better track workflow, automate service management, handle goods and materials, manage purchase and shipping, create and track construction and materials schedules, and manage a remote workforce — and fully integrate all operations with core financials.

SOLUTION

SBA originally implemented Great Plains in 1998, but its original consultants could not provide the extensive services that the company now required. SBA turned to Tribridge to help them extend their existing Great Plains installation, add functionality, integrate solutions, and expand their network to further support their business critical applications.

Microsoft Great Plains is the heart of SBA’s solution. What used to take weeks of manual input and process, Great Plains efficiently batches and creates all transactions from 40 locations. The solution’s major applications include Microsoft Great Plains, FRx Reporting, WennSoft Job Cost, Property Management and Operations System (PMOPS), Construction and Ownership Reporting System (CORS) and the HR Reporting System. SBA’s Tower Construction business depends heavily on WennSoft modules, which are fully integrated with Great Plains.

The WennSoft Service Management Series focuses on construction-based project accounting and is a comprehensive dispatch, scheduling, invoicing, and maintenance contract program. WennSoft Job Cost allows construction division project managers to easily setup jobs, manage the jobs’ financial status, and control costs associated with the jobs. WennSoft also saves time on billing, revenue recognition, labor tracking, subcontractor management, region/area/territory summary, and tax calculation and reporting.

Real-time reporting gives SBA’s management critical data to make timely and proactive decisions. SBA and Tribridge took hundreds of reports from several different financial reporting modules and migrated them into one central repository. The repository now contains 350 reports for end-user access, all pulling real-time data from the property management and Great Plains systems.

The Property Management and Operations System (PMOPS) manages all of SBA’s tower leasing and operations issues. PMOPS is integrated with invoicing data for straight line revenue recognition calculations, and integrates with other database systems. Other major database applications include the Construction and Ownership Reporting System (CORS) and the HR Reporting Systems.

BUSINESS BENEFITS

Great Plains saves money, time and staffing costs by centralizing operations from more than 40 remote offices, and is capable of handling twice as many. FRx Reporting is crucial to driving operational data by producing company-specific, division-consolidated, and company-consolidated financial statements. WennSoft Job Cost is instrumental to construction project management, billing, workflow and tracking. Its integration with Great Plains saves significant labor and manual data entry by allowing the entire company to report from the same General Ledger.

SBA’s HR reporting system manages a geographically remote workforce. SBA also has excellent business intelligence and tracking with PMOPS, which integrates customer, invoice, vendor and ground lease payment data from the PMOPS system into Great Plains Receivables Management, Orders (SOP), and Project Management modules. The CORS system keeps all construction and service reports accessible and populated with real-time data.

CONCLUSION

SBA is growing rapidly through customer wins and business acquisitions. As a result of their work with Tribridge, the firm’s leasing, construction and service businesses report to a central General Ledger and access a central repository for business intelligence data. Great Plains, WennSoft modules, PMOPS, CORS and other applications help SBA to successfully manage a remote workforce, oversee thousands of construction projects, keep headcount low, streamline leasing and maintenance contracts, and batch and automate financial operations.

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