BuildIT - a "no necktie" club

When we welcome new customers on board, and say “welcome to the club”, we are definitely not referring to a “necktie club”.

Ties and suits… this is probably not your happy place.  

Years ago, I was a technical representative for Weyerhaeuser, specifically with their engineered wood products division. Part of my responsibilities at the time was to host employees from truss companies and contract lumber yards in Denver, CO, entertaining them, and training them on using the company’s design software. Invariably, we would end up for dinner at the Trail Dust Steak House (now apparently defunct).

The deal at the Trail Dust was this… if you came in wearing a necktie (knowingly, or unknowingly), the staff would come over to your table, blaring horns and yelling, read you the riot act, then cut off your tie just below the knot… and nail it to the wall. There were 1000’s of ties – every wall was filled, but they always found room to nail one more!  

BuildIT customers would have enjoyed this restaurant… and would not have lost any articles of clothing!

When I started with Weyerhaeuser in the early 90’s, there was a dress code. Suit and tie, shiny shoes, white hardhat… and show up on job sites doing inspections on I joist framing, lunch and learns, and basically showing the customer why they were paying a premium for our products. Like the Amway business owners of yesteryear, the idea was first impressions – dress for success, and they’ll take you seriously. Later that decade, we lost the ties and started to dress more like the guys we were trying to help. We ditched the pretense, and became more relatable.

Those days are long behind me.

We here at BuildIT wear what we want, and if you ever get a chance to meet with us, we’ll be wearing jeans and a T-shirt… admittedly more colorful shirts than those grey ones donned by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.

Our customers are generally small to mid-size construction businesses, so that is who we speak to. Most are “cut to the chase”, speak frankly, get-the-problem-solved-pronto kind of guys. They are not impressed by glitz and glamour (let’s face it, they’re after construction scheduling solutions, it’s hard to bling that topic up much!). And they certainly don’t have time to read some of the content that you’ll find on many construction software websites – that stuff is better suited to “hallway warriors”, C-level staff, companies with big multi-story office buildings… which represents a very small percentage of the construction industry.

Contrast that with BuildIT – what you read here is relevant to the majority of you who own, or work for small businesses. As this NAHB article states, over 80% of the residential construction industry in the US is comprised of self-employed independent contractors. And most small home building and specialty trade businesses (with paid employees) have revenues less than $1M. 

I can certainly refer you to other construction software companies and their blogs if you need more than a simple, focused construction scheduling system. If you get charged by terms like “best practices”, “best of breed”, “best in class”, “leveraging your investment in legacy software”, “enabling data migration”, “supporting mobile extensions”, "download our e-book" … well then, fill your boots.

Keep in mind though, your superintendents and sub trades have to use whatever system you choose… and if it’s way beyond them… too may bells and whistles, distractions, and language/terms they don’t use, the implementation will fail. The suits and ties may be happy, but the jeans and work boots field staff will be frustrated. Many large companies that have pulled the trigger on such systems are dropping them en masse for simpler, easily adoptable solutions like BuildIT.

And we’re quite happy to welcome them on board, and get them scheduling the easy way.

As a side note, the Trail Dust Steak House was also famous for its “bull shipper”, a 50-ounce Porterhouse steak…. If you ordered it, and ate the whole thing, you got it for free. Could be their patrons suffered too many heart attacks to keep the doors open. On one occasion, I watched one of my students eat one... he looked like he had never missed a meal, and his face was about as red as the steak... not a pretty sight. 

Lose the necktie, and join the club.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

Which machine are you gonna feed?

We all vote with our dollars.

It's important that we get value for our dollar. As economists point out, we all want to maximize utility (or satisfaction) from our expenditures. Quite frankly, we want to pay the least amount possible, and get the best bang for our buck.  

When 2 or more products appear to offer the same thing (meet a need, solve a problem), but the prices are all over the map, then what? Choice. And there's lots to choose from.

Let's cut to the chase and focus on why you're reading this - you have a choice of which construction scheduling package to choose. So, which machine are you gonna feed? Who gets your dollars?

There's BuildIT - a niche software laser focused on construction scheduling. With the lowest subscription pricing on the planet (thank to all our secret shoppers out there for that intel !!). And our structure (agility, contracting arrangements, investor partnerships) allows us to invest way more of your dollars back into the product that you use.

And then there are some big players out there who offer scheduling... but it's only a small part of a huge feature set that can leave your head spinning. It's like being thrown into the cockpit of a 747... when all you need is an ultra lite. And when you choose them, consider where your dollars are going.

We continually get compared to a couple players out there. One company with focus on commercial project management software proudly displays a fancy building with dozens of employees, and recently announced they had over 1 million users. OK, could be true, impossible to prove... and are these "users" or "paying customers"? Big difference. Another home builder software company boasts over 25 support staff, and 60+ other employees ! Imagine the payroll. And guess who pays for that!? Complex software requires warm bodies with headsets, engineers and programmers on standby, and a bunch of suits at the C level. All paid for by contractors who may not realize there is a better, far less expensive way to get the job done.

If you've already taken BuildIT for a test drive, you've seen that you can get right to it - create a job, add tasks, and share them with others online. Get a construction schedule printed to PDF within minutes if that is your goal. Or take advantage of real time scheduling, where changes you make are automatically shared with others (with the added bonus of email notification if so desired).

If you're already on the hook with some other package, and you're looking to solve your scheduling challenges AND reduce your monthly/annual costs - then pull the pin, and get started with BuildIT.

Let's recap:

BuildIT

  • focus on construction scheduling
  • sharing schedules in house, and with outside contacts
  • lowest pricing in the construction software space
  • speak directly to one of the owners
  • easy help videos plus phone support 7 days per week
  • your dollars get reinvested into your system
  • customizations available
Big Guys

  • offer the world, scheduling is a small part of 100's of other screens
  • higher pricing, often indexed to the # of jobs you do
  • sold by commissioned sales staff 
  • support staff required if you want to get lift off (check to see if they have any construction experience!)
  • your dollars pay for fancy office space and payroll, executive bonuses
  • not set up to offer you concierge service
Which machine are you gonna feed?

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1

Refrigerator shopping

Brian Regan is one of my favorite comedians. Clean comedy at its best.  

He's got this one routine he does about a guy going shopping for refrigerators, and there are all these options... and the salesman does a great job leaning on each refrigerator as he's trying to sell this guy:

     "this refrigerator here keeps all your food cold for $600"

     "this refrigerator keeps all your food cold for $800"

     "check this out, $1400, keeps all your food cold"

And of course the salesman tries to work the guy on the expensive model with all the "bells and whistles".

Have you been "worked on" by someone trying to sell you software? Especially when you're still trying to recover from sticker shock?

And admit it... have you ever bought the $1400 model and regretted it? I did, just recently. A fancy tea kettle for my wife, stainless steel, with way too many buttons, blue lights... settings we'll never use, and to make matters worse, it doesn't shut off like our old plastic one did (with one button)... it keeps reboiling !! Maybe there is a firmware update I'm not aware of :-)

There are a lot of options out there in the construction software space. Some big companies with massive payrolls (and massive venture capital backers) are making some slick, comprehensive applications. But as one customer put it, they are just too "sexy", too much going on, to the point that while the system may have what they need, their staff can't make it work. Plus, these companies have to charge higher rates to cover their cost structure... and you are paying for it, and in may cases, hemorrhaging each month financially.

Fortunately that's not the case with BuildIT.

We've been around for 15 years and have stood the test of time. We were fortunate that at the onset, we attracted real customers who got real value from our system... and many of them have continued to benefit from BuildIT over a decade later.

The difference you'll find is that BuildIT is more of a boutique software company... we are laser focused on construction scheduling, and collaboration.

  • Team collaboration.
  • Contractors connecting efficiently with their sub trades and clients.
  • Specialty trades managing their crews.

We offer concierge service. One of the owners of the company will personally ensure you get off to a solid start, and achieve success with the system. It starts with getting one or more of your projects scheduled, right out of the gate. And if you need something customized to really make BuildIT rock for you, chances are we can build it for you in short order. It's in our name !

Plus, the BuildIT management team comes from the construction industry. We don't hire sales people whose job it is to close the deal. Yes, we want your business and will at some point ask for your credit card to join the BuildIT camp. The big difference is, we've been where you are, literally, on job sites, in plan rooms, in construction site offices, and reviewing blue prints on the hoods of trucks. 

Essentially, we "keep your food cold" for the lowest subscription pricing in the construction software space. You don't pay $1000's more for features you'll never use, and unlike most of the home builder software today, you won't be penalized for doing more jobs.

If you don't need the crisper or the egg area, choose BuildIT.

And start scheduling today... the easy way.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1