Homebuilder | Malalcahuello, Curacautín, IX Región, Chile

Casas de Montaña

Pablo Arriagada founded Casas de Montaña in 2011. Six years later, the company began developing projects in the Andes, mainly on the Chilean side. Specializing in mountain construction, the company has built more than 72 amazing cabins since 2017, designed by its architecture department.

Picture of Pablo Arriagada | Casas de Montaña | Knowify case study

Favorite thing about Knowify

First of all, the dashboard, which gives you an immediate overview of where you stand in each project. And second, how easy it is for employees to look up project information about each phase in the field.

Priorities

Paperless
Communication
Ease of use

Top features

Dashboard
Mobile app
Project management

Growth requires digitization

When Casas de Montaña started taking off in 2017, Pablo immediately decided to work on the company’s growth projection. This projection had to address three main aspects: (1) changing its headquarters location, (2) adding new professionals to the team, and (3) implementing an integral solution to manage all areas of the company. The first two were easy tasks for Pablo, who already had experience dealing with such matters. But the latter presented a challenge. As Pablo admitted, “[finding] a system that could help us in our operations took us several months, until we finally found Knowify.”

Casas de Montaña has two branches: real estate and development. Pablo manages a team of 36, including the office staff and the construction crew. At this stage of growth, Pablo was eager to streamline his back office and simplify tasks like preparing quotes, coordinating projects, sending purchase orders or quotes, and tracking materials. This process, according Pablo, “is bureaucratic, slow, tedious, and with the technology available nowadays, it was unthinkable to me that we had to continue using paper, collecting physical signatures, and other such things.”


“With Knowify, believe me, no employee will ask to go back to the old system.”

Pablo Arriagada

Ease of use and learning curve

Once the company’s priorities—digitization and communication improvement—were identified, the staff spent over three months researching the construction management softwares available on the market, including Latin American, European, and American systems. Some of the systems, despite meeting most of the company’s requirements, did not solve the problems in a “dynamic, fast, intelligent and ultimately attractive way.” Pablo found many of these systems overly structured and therefore unable to offer him the flexibility his business needed to thrive. “When we found Knowify, one of the main things that caught our attention was the simplicity of the platform.” Knowify’s comprehensible and user-friendly dashboard immediately gave the team a sense that the system’s analytics are worked in real time rather than compiling past data and reports, as many of its competitors did.

Pablo points out that when starting to use Knowify, “there is a learning curve that you can hardly do anything about.” It took two to three months for Pablo’s employees to adjust to the new system, and many of them initially resisted the change. Despite understanding that the company’s old ways were inefficient, some viewed the technology of Knowify as outside their comfort zone. But after that adjustment period, Pablo reports, “once [they] learned the basics, believe me, no employee wanted to go back to the old system.” This meant huge progress. Pablo was able to successfully restructure all of his departments, and once the team embraced the technology, they were working more efficiently than ever. “So the message is: be patient.” Pablo’s team needed a short training period to learn the basics of Knowify, and his employees made mistakes along the way. But, “after that period, there is an immediate improvement in every area: efficiency, time and, obviously, costs.”

Immediate impact on decision making,  management, and operations

Pablo shares with us that once Knowify is fully deployed it has an immediate impact on three different aspects of the company: governance, management, and operations.

From a governance standpoint, the Knowify dashboard allows Pablo and his directors to know the status of his business at all times and to quickly assess which actions are needed for each project. It is a quick and intuitive way to learn the breakdown expenses by project and by phase.

From a management standpoint, Knowify allows Pablo and his team to keep track of each process in terms of purchases and contracts. For instance, the tool allows them to avoid duplicating purchase orders and overbuying products.

From an operational standpoint, nothing beats the ability to obtain terrain information easily. “Having a photograph of each phase of the process—beginning, middle, end—is really solid proof of the project’s traceability.”

Refugio OSLO construido en Chile por Casas de Montaña
Picture by Casas de Montaña from one of their projects: Cabin OSLO.

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