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