Truth in Advertising!?

Oxymoron is defined as a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms.

Truth. Advertising.

Contradictory?!

Can't say that I'm finding much truth in the advertising I'm coming across lately, maybe I'm just skeptical.

Or, it could be that we talk to 1000's of contractors across the planet, and we hear "the other side".

Flipping through the pages of the most recent Construction Executive magazine (March 2009 Issue), I was drawn, obviously, to the construction software ads. I'm always amused by the claims, and the cut throat competition out there is getting nasty.

I wouldn't say any of these are our competitors. We are a niche software product, for small to mid sized contractors, with a particular focus on construction scheduling, file management (organization) and communications.

But the "big guys" are out for blood.

For instance...

Software A

  • states they're so far ahead of their competition, it's not even fair
  • claims they are the leader in construction management software since the early 80's (was there even software back then?! can't remember, perhaps the VIC-20 or Commodore 64)

Software B

  • warns you to "beware of imposters" - those that offer integrated construction solutions... but apparently don't in B's humble opinion 
  • claims if you use other software besides theirs, you'll be left dead in the water (ouch, this is serious business)

Software C

  • claims to be America's #1 construction accounting software (sorry Canada, and the rest of the world, we're only talking America here)
  • has a pretty picture of the CEO on practically every ad (still trying to figure that one out - I guess he's the guy that's writing huge checks for ad space... with your money!!)

So which of these software companies are telling the truth? And how on earth are you and I going to test any of their claims?

Personally, I have never knowingly spoken to any contractor that has used, or is using any of the aforementioned programs, so I'm not here throwing mud. But I do want to raise the issue of whether you and I are getting the truth in any of these ads (or any others we come across). Because, if we buy something based on a claim that ends up being untrue, well, how would you feel?!

A wise colleage said to me years ago... "The truth is good enough." He followed up with another maxim that "it's only true when it's true for you."

So now for the "truth" about BuildIT.

  • We're web based - nothing to install, nothing to maintain, no software headaches - period.
  • We're small - you call us, you'll speak to one of the owners of the company
  • We have extremely low overhead - your subscription goes to pay us - to build a better product - for you
  • We've been around since 2000, so in "Internet" years, we're old
  • We have never advertised in Construction Executive magazine
  • We generally don't do print advertising - most of our leads (including you most likely) come through the Internet from search
  • We're inexpensive, so you should see a return on investment within the first 30 - 60 days if you get lift off with the program

BuildIT has a great system that has helped many contractors over the years get control of their scheduling. It has helped them get more organized, and thus has been responsible for gaining efficiencies, building profits and avoiding costly mistakes, that if all added up... who knows what that number is. But I'll bet it's a big number collectively.

Recall the sage advice - if you think BuildIT is the best fit, test your claim, and see if it's true for you. Try BuildIT on a monthly basis, and if you don't see massive ROI in the short term, cut it loose... and you haven't sunk $1000's into some bloated software product that promised the world, and made some rather clever, if not misleading, claims.

Keep in mind, according to a recent article in Construction Executive, it's highly unlikely you'll use even 50% of a software product's capabilities... so why pay for the excess!? Determine what you need, what you're highest priorities (must-have's) are, and if they have anything to do with scheduling, file management, or improving communications within your team (and with those outside your organization), then there may be a good fit here with us.

(By the way, notice anything wrong with the compass graphic above!? - remember, "truth in advertising").

See you on the inside!

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

Essential Services

At the present time, we are in the midst of economic turmoil.

Record job losses.

GM on the brink of bankruptcy.

Housing starts are at a crawl, and forclosure auctioneers have never been busier. 

Some very telling trends are underway as well:

  • grocery store "house" brands are in demand (lower prices rule) 
  • garage sale advertisements on "Craigs List" are up 100% over this time last year
  • more folks are buying frozen dinners in leiu of going out to restaurants
  • "free" is in, whether it's clipping coupons, or using complimentary Internet access at public libraries
  • Netflix memberships are growing rapidly (cheaper to rent movies than go to the theatre)

 

In these times, we are compelled to take stock of our "out-go" as our "in-come" is reduced or threatened in some way.

That means cutting back on the things that were nice to have... but not essential.

So what are essential services, when it comes to contracting busineses?

Anything that keeps you IN business, AND, keeps you PROFITABLE - that would be a good place to start.

Construction software systems are the backbone to many solid businesses out there that are weathering the storm. But not all construction software is "essential". Some of it is "bloated", and some is just plain too expensive.

We're getting reports back from the field, customers of brand "X" software, who say they "can't afford it" anymore. They may like some of the features of brand "X" but the monthly, per project, or annual maintenance costs are causing them to hemorrhage financially. 

Of course, these companies admit they still need something to manage their job scheduling, stay organized, and keep their people (employees, subcontractors, clients) in the loop. Some of these folks are seeing savings of $2K or more just by switching over to BuildIT.

We have the right combination of features - the "essential" ones - those that keep you organized and in control. Knowing where you are, what you need to do next, and have your key folks not "miss a beat" on the jobs you have running concurrently - that will keep the ball rolling in the right direction. Fewer mistakes happen. Margins are protected (you're not dipping into them to fix problems caused by the #1 issue in construction - miscommunication). Profits happen.

BuildIT also has a cost structure that can't be beat in the marketplace.

It means these customers get the job done, create income with much less "out-go", and enjoy the profits they worked hard to earn.

This could be your story !

BuildIT - the "essential service" for contractors.

Take it out for a spin, and see what the buzz is all about.

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

If my 13 year old can do it...

My daughter is doing an online course for school. She had to submit her assignment by email.

Problem: she had to email 2 large files - both were over 10 MB (megabytes).

For you non-techies, a MB is big, 10 MB is very big.

Try sending emails with attachments that are 5 MB or higher, and you usually run into problems - your recipient doesn't get your email, or get's the email body, but without the attachment.

So I suggested she use the file sharing system in BuildIT. She did, and it was a piece of cake.

Here's how:

1) She launched a free test drive, then 2) uploaded the files to BuildIT, then 3) sent her teacher a "sharing link" to the files.

The cool thing is, she can even see now IF and WHEN her teacher downloads the file to view the assignment.

(Sometimes, a little BIG BROTHER can work in your favor - like seeing if one of your subcontractors or vendors has viewed the contract drawings you sent them in order for them to provide a price.)

I was amazed at how easy it was for her, not only to create the test drive, but to do the steps to upload the large files, then send the sharing links. Within minutes, the task was done... and I wondered if I should hire her to do customer support for BuildIT full time !!

So if you have any hesitation about launching a BuildIT test drive, and you don't have a teenager handy, give me a call, and I'll walk you through the setup. I'll even help you get your contact details and logo uploaded, and your first job and schedule polished off. You'll have lots of time to "play with the system" later, but for now, let's both get the job done, so you can be on your way.

C'mon, if a 13 year old can do it, you certainly can too !

Cheers!

 Scott Hutchinson (a proud father of one clever daughter !)
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1