It's ALIVE! Announcing c|d8a

Since I exited CWNP in November of 2012, took some time off to get rid of a minor bit of cancer, and set my sites on the Atlanta startup world, I’ve been working on this project nonstop.  It started out as a consumer smartphone app for storing & reporting tax deductible receipts (which I still think is needed in the marketplace) and pivoted in July to a B2B service aimed at CRE construction lenders and litigation services.  That’s when the fun really started as I gathered a team of software developers and met so many smart people who tugged and nudged us through the customer discovery phase.

The old adage (a startup will always take twice as long and cost twice as much as you expect) held true, but now we are here.  c|d8a is alive.

c|d8a takes the time-consuming grunt work of manual data entry out of processing monthly CRE construction draw packages, and stores all the data securely for analysis, reconciliation, and litigation discovery purposes.  Here’s how it works.

  1. Upload your monthly draw package documents (PDF, unlimited files, pages, & storage)
  2. An hour or so later, get a confirmation email that “your draw is processed”
  3. Use the data in XL or view, search, sort, and filter the data on cd8a.com

Time spent doing manual data entry? Zero minutes.  Simple. Secure. Swift.  That’s what our clients experience.  Here’s how we provide our value, behind the scenes, during that “hour or so”…

In the commercial construction world, the monthly draw is the mechanism through which everyone gets paid. It’s the financial package that starts with hundreds of invoices from contractors and subcontractors and ends at the lender(s), with a check to those contractors and subs 30-45 days later. Every month for every CRE project every invoice for every contractor has to be collected, recorded, reconciled, analyzed against the budget, approved, and – finally – paid.  It’s the “recorded” part where c|d8a comes in.

From our customer discovery research, we learned that the typical draw package for construction projects $25M and up is somewhere between 200 and 1200 pages, and about 70-75% of these pages are invoices. Every invoice has to be entered into a spreadsheet to be analyzed and reconciled to the lender’s budget as well as other software to get the contractors paid. That data entry is painful, taking 6-10 hours per project per month, every month for the life of that project (usually 2-5 years). That’s an entire day just preparing to do your job.

c|d8a does all the data entry in that “hour or so”.

By completely removing the manual data entry from the draw process, we free up the analyst, asset manager, or accountant to focus their time on (a) making sound financial decisions for their client or company, and (b) handling more clients.  Think about that: if you manage 5 projects, and I tell you that I’m going to give you five more days each month, what would you do with that time?

The data that we capture (common fields on every invoice) is delivered to our client (1) in a downloaded .csv file, easily opened in XL, and (2) visibly on the secure portion of our web site, so the client user can easily find (and download) any original draw document, search, sort, and filter by any field in the data, and have ready access to every previous draw from every previous project in one place.

Why should such data need to be stored securely online?  That’s where we learned, again in customer discovery, of a very unique problem in the CRE construction world: every CRE construction project has disputes…legal disputes. And many of them go down the ugly, expensive road towards litigation. What’s the most expensive part of CRE construction litigation? Discovery. It takes many lawyers many hours to manually sift through many boxes of many paper draw documents from many projects that were completed many years ago.

Not. Any. More.  c|d8a saves 99% of time in the draw data entry process, and 80-90% of time (and, hence, the cost) of litigation discovery.  Here’s an easy way to remember “seedata”:

You got it!  Now calling all CRE construction lenders, loan processors, CRE developers, and construction litigation attorneys!

What do you think about that?

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