Elements Manufacturing

Additional custom app boosts sales opportunities for millwork manufacturer.




The Claris platform enables the manufacturer's applications, workflows, and data to work together, with data input once, then used throughout the customer lifecycle.


With a new custom app to serve as the hub for customer engagement and sales, margin visibility deepened and new business proposal output increased by 50 percent.

Kristy Stormes, general manager of Elements Manufacturing, is crystal clear about the business case for introducing efficiency into the company’s operations. “The more bids we’re able to produce on projects, the more business is coming through our door,” she says. “There was a time when we didn’t have an integrated system to support efficient estimating processes, and we knew making it easier and faster to get in front of new clients would help us grow sales — critically important during the global pandemic.”

Discover how this high-end millwork manufacturer leaned into the Claris platform for digital transformation, making broad process improvements that resulted in new sales opportunities for commercial and residential customers.

Technology fuels collaboration and creativity.

For Elements Manufacturing, creating original products, such as cabinetry and countertops, begins with a partnership. The company works closely with architects and contractors to bring ideas to life, which typically starts with a design drawing and moves through complex, in-house processes to fabricate a finished product.

“We are very technologically committed, focused on making continuous operational improvements through systems integrations and infrastructure growth. Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for our employees to be productive, and the Claris platform plays an important role in that,” shares David Wright, vice president of operations with Elements Manufacturing.

One custom app leads to another.

Before a new design project kicks off, Elements Manufacturing first needs to win the business, which involves a detailed estimating and bidding process. Traditionally, the company relied on manual data entry to develop bids for prospective clients, which included risk of human error and was cumbersome to create. The company was already using Claris to support work order processes when an aha moment occurred to tackle other problems, and the team expressed the need for another custom app.

“When we learned the Claris platform could easily integrate with our existing systems, such as our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, we envisioned endless ways to introduce efficiencies across our organization. We thought we’d won the jackpot,” adds Kristy.

The company just needed a little outside help to bring its ideas to life.

Using data to drive sales and improve margins.

Elements Manufacturing wanted to extend the value of its existing ERP system, using the data to improve two important areas of the sales process: estimates for new client bids and at-a-glance margin reporting for completed projects. The company turned to iSolutions, a Claris Platinum Partner, to create a custom application to exchange information from the company’s ERP platform with an existing SQL database.

“The Claris platform allows us to use our data in more powerful ways, opening up ideas, avenues, and integrations for better productivity. We can dream big and continue to push ourselves to work better and smarter,” David continues.

Connecting to even more use cases.

With Claris Connect, Elements Manufacturing opened doors to additional integrations, moving its server-based data to a web browser to connect with cloud-based applications already in use, such as Google Calendar. The system, dubbed internally as FMSPI (FileMaker Pro System Integration), is the hub for customer-focused activities, such as creating proposals and work orders, tracking building materials and job statuses, and delivering granular margin information broken out by individual products.

“Since our Claris solution is customized to what we do and designed by us. we have the flexibility to add new applications and new reports as desired,” David exclaims. “We input data once and it follows through the entire lifecycle of a customer engagement, giving us insights into improvement opportunities and where to leverage repeatable margin wins.”

The bottom line: 50 percent more project bids in one month.

Once the new Claris solution was up and running, Elements Manufacturing was creating new client bids through the system on day one — no training or learning curve needed. In one month, the company produced 50 percent more bids than the month prior, translating directly to the bottom line with a significant return on investment (ROI).

“During the pandemic, we’ve been able to move quickly, make pivots, and stay relevant. Our project proposals are our primarily sales tools, and thanks to the Claris platform, we get more proposals into the hands of more architects, designers, and homeowners. And that translates to more wins, more business, and more revenue,” Kristy concludes.

Use the Claris platform to design your own success story.

With powerful development tools, advanced automation, and low-code integrations, Claris can help you conquer business challenges and introduce efficiencies that lead to ROI. To learn more, download our ebook, 101 on low code.

Would you prefer to have a development expert provide consultation or build custom apps for your business? Find a Claris Partner near you.