Environmental Due Diligence

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Charlie Summers of Progea uses LightBox PARCEL to customize reports and foster collaboration with his team

LightBox Profile
LightBox Insights
July 28, 2022 3 mins

I’ve been in the environmental field for more than 25 years, on the client and consulting sides. I’m currently the principal and chief executive officer of Progea, a firm that assesses exposure to environmental, technical, reputational, social, and sustainability issues and helps clients mitigate project risks and liabilities. We work primarily with commercial real estate businesses, so we handle a lot of Phase I ESA reports. I manage the day-to-day operations and review every report that we deliver to clients.

How did you write site assessments before using LightBox PARCEL?

We used Word, but it created challenges. Having several employees writing a single report led to difficulties accessing and editing documents, because their work didn’t always carry over into other sections. Data such as street addresses can pose problems because they can be written so many different ways, which can lead to confusion. In the end, using Word limited what we could accomplish for clients. It’s never easy to make a leap and change an entrenched process, but I’m glad we did. It has allowed us to greatly increase our productivity.

Switching platforms can be a difficult process. How was the transition to PARCEL?

We got off to a great start. LightBox provided excellent training even when the whole firm couldn’t be in the same room at once. We appreciated the ability to repeat sessions when necessary. Once we learned how to use PARCEL, we were quickly able to customize templates and deliver impressive reports to our clients. I don’t think other products offer this level of configuration out of the box. The collaborative aspect of PARCEL is also fantastic. We might have five different people writing five different sections of a report, but they’re able to work together easily even when a deadline is looming. And I love the drawing tools—we save money not having to hire a CAD company to make simple figures for Phase I reports.

Would you recommend PARCEL to others in the industry? And if so, what would you say?

Absolutely. The sheer increase in our productivity is a huge benefit—we went from writing about 300 reports a year to almost 600. The time it took from starting a report to delivering the final version is about a quarter of what it was before. That’s a significant amount of time saved, and the process is much easier than converting a Word document to a PDF. Clients also love the security features—they don’t want somebody else’s report showing up in their inbox or their report being sent to a rival. Finally, I would tell potential users how great your customer service team is. We always get a response regardless of what time of day it is. To sum up, I can easily recommend PARCEL to others in the industry—everyone should be using it.


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