Expense or Investment? That depends on your perspective!

Expense is a nasty word. Nobody likes "expenses". We all try to reduce or eliminate them. Expenses eat away at the bottom line and rob us of potential resources that can be put to better use.

As a board member for a non profit, I regularly look at Profit and Loss Statements, Balance Sheets, and review "expenses". If we can reduce or eliminate them and get the same level of service/utility, then bonus. It's like a win for the organization. "A penny saved is a penny earned", and off we go. So I do understand our customers who come to BuildIT and are in the tension of wanting a solution to their scheduling problem, but wanting to keep expenses down.

Investment on the other hand makes you feel very different. Smart people invest, with the intent on receiving some form of return. When you invest in something, what is assumed is that you have taken time to consider how this will impact you/your business in a positive way.

When it comes to a subscription for the BuildIT scheduling system, people can view this as either an expense, or an investment. Those that see BuildIT as an investment always subscribe, full stop. Those that subscribe and continue their subscription month after month, year after year, only do so because they realize a return on investment. That return comes in various forms:

  • Increased income
  • Increased production/volume
  • Faster turnaround on projects
  • Happier customer and other stakeholders
  • Fewer communication issues that eat away at profits

So when someone claims that they don't want to move forward with a BuildIT subscription because "they are trying to limit, reduce or eliminate" expenses, they view that subscription as a net loss to them.

Others see BuildIT as an investment. They move forward and often realize a rapid and ongoing positive return on their investment.

The software hasn't changed. It's a constant. The only thing that's different is the customer, and their perspective, which is clearly revealed in the language they use and their ultimate decision to move forward, or take a pass.

(Interesting to note that often the person who passes on BuildIT because they see it as an expense is an employee.... and on the Profit and Loss Statement, that employee shows up as an "expense" themselves ! Their boss is banking on their employment generating a profit at the end of the month/year. Some employees are great producers, and net contributors to the bottom line (some business owners will claim their people are their most valuable asset!). Other employees, well, they don't last. Astute HR managers/owners can see who is an asset/contributor, and who is a liability, or who will be a liability as depicted in this hilarious video!)

So what's your perspective?

Have you honestly done your research? Do you know what it's costing your team NOT to have a scheduling and collaboration tool that keeps everyone on the same page, with scheduling and critical job information at everyone's fingertips? Most businesses don't do that calculation. But a lot can be said of "most businesses". And you don't want to end up where most businesses end up in 2 - 5 years.

Think investment.

Think "return on investment".

Consider the costs of status quo and what brought you to BuildIT in the first place looking for a "solution". Then try it out. Even if you're straddling the expense/investment fence, a short paid trial of 2 to 3 months will at least prove it one way of the other. And when BuildIT proves itself as an investment to your business/team, you win!

Your "investment broker" is standing by :-)

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

Scheduling for ALL types of contractors

I was reminded again today of how broad a reach BuildIT has in terms of our customer base.

While we do have residential builders and renovators using the system with success, we also cater to a variety of other contractors and specialty trades who come to us frustrated by the popular options out there that are overkill or not really applicable to their unique needs.

Once such contractor in Nevada is a fibre optic cable installer, who does work for some large organizations. What was important to them was real time sharing of scheduled tasks, progress, and related files... and they found the perfect fit in BuildIT.

In our customer's own words...

Our company has used BuildIT for the past couple years for managing job schedules and keeping our people,and our customers, on the same page. In particular, the Nevada Department of Transportation staff who we liaise with on several contracts have found BuildIT highly effective in providing visibility into where we are at daily on any given job. The site staff at Swinerton Renewable Energy we work with are able to see daily updates and related files via the BuildIT system right on their devices, which reduces the number of voice calls we field for progress updates.

Brandon Rather - Edge Communications Inc

If you're a contractor who is just after a better scheduling system, this may be your scheduler of choice. Give BuildIT a try. You'll save a bunch of $$ on your monthly subscription over the "competition", and you'll have just what you need to get the job done and keep your people on the same page.

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

Construction App Graveyard - Keep your Distance

As of March 2017, there were an estimated 2.8 million apps for Android users (and 2.2 million in the Apple App store). Apps are everywhere, and they are being built and launched every day.

"There's an app for that" is part of our language today, so much so that even that phase is now trademarked by Apple.

The construction software space has been inundated with apps and specialized construction software that promises you the world in exchange for a one time purchase or monthly subscription. You'll never be able to test them all - you don't have enough time on the clock!

To winnow the field, you'll have to be very specific in your search, discover what they don't offer that is critical to you, and short list those apps/systems that best fit your needs.

Having been around since 2001, we've seen construction software companies rise and fall. Some were great systems with a decent user base and rich feature set, but still, they went by way of the dodo bird. And with their demise, a slew of builders, contractors and specialty trades were left scrambling to retool with a new system.

I recently went through a list of some construction websites that I had saved, and thought it would be good to see where they are now in their development, or whether they still had a pulse. It didn't take long to see that many are history.

While not an exhaustive list, here is a sampling:

  • www.hammerati.com
  • www.constructionprofitsystems.com (some videos still exist)
  • www.mytrades.ca
  • www.ebidroom.com
  • www.buildlinks.com (these guys started with $2.5M in funding back in the day, ouch!)
  • www.myct.com.au

You can search on each of these, and find some remnants online of what they were, what they promised, but the sites more or less are down... for good. Other sites are dying on the vine. They still exist, but haven't been updated in years. www.constructionbusinessonline.com for example. No updates since 2014.

One "project management suite" in particular got my interest. We'll call it ABC software. The founder of ABC subscribed me to their list back in 2011 so I received all their marketing pieces about how their system was the best, and it would save me time and money, and do everything for the contractor.

While ABC's website is still up, the founder has moved on to another company (quick check on his LinkedIn profile), their blog hasn't been touched since 2013 and their last Facebook post was early 2014. So... all those customers that were "running more productive and effective businesses using the [ABC] construction software suite" - where do they go for support, or who do they call when they can't access their data anymore?

I called one of their "customers" today and he confirmed my suspicions. It all started out great, but in the end, they couldn't reach anyone at the company, and finally were forced to move on to another software system.

Do you want to take that risk with your data? Your business? And quite frankly, your time which you never get back?

Three of our "veteran" customers who opt to subscribe annually and renewed this month for another year of service (a multi family home builder, factory built home manufacturer, and custom home builder) have been with BuildIT now for 14, 13, and 8 years respectively. They have been using and benefiting from BuildIT longer than most of our competitors have been in existence !!

So, when you are deciding on software, you should pay your respects at the App Graveyard before choosing to bet on Software X that just made its debut and hasn't got a track record yet. Then take BuildIT for a test drive and see why we're the rock solid choice.

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