BuildIT History 101

BuildIT was started by a couple contractors back in 2000 who had an idea... help folks like them be more productive. Since contractors use physical tools to build structures, the idea at the time was to provide "digital tools" to build systems that could be the backbone of the contractor's business. Tools such as calculators, online filing cabinets, file sharing, coordination and scheduling, and so on - tools that would be available through the Internet... so the contractor could have access to them from any Internet connected device.

The idea started to blossom. Known then as "e-tool-time" - a play on the popular Home Improvement TV Series "Tool Time" which aired from 1991 - 1999, the founders shared their story, and brought on investment and talent, and began building the product... and the business.

Denis Apchin, one of the founders and past president of the company, has used BuildIT continuously for his own award winning project management business since the system went live 13 years ago. Here is what Denis has posted on his website (www.apchin.com):

BuildIT Systems is an innovative solution to the organizational, scheduling, and communication problems inherent to construction. Denis Apchin co-founder and former President of BuildIT, recommends the services provided by BuildIT to any construction professional who wants to increase efficiency, save time and money, and, perhaps most importantly, reduce stress. When he developed the concept for BuildIT, he was responding to a need for a standardized method in the construction industry. Having experienced the oftentimes chaotic world of contracting, he sought to implement a system that would resolve the central problem of any residential or commercial construction project: that of coordination.

With BuildIT, contractors, homeowners, or anyone responsible for the completion of a project can provide schedules and organized information for all who are involved. Home builders, project managers, architects, designers, trades workers, and site supervisors can access your BuildIT account online to visualize how and when their contribution will fit into your project. By adding users to your account, you can ensure that all members of your team have access to project information whenever they need it.

Your BuildIT account serves as your administrative hub, allowing you to maintain contact information for partners and schedule appointments with clients, consultants, legal authorities, vendors, and financial associates. Facilitating strategic coordination and information sharing, BuildIT eliminates scheduling errors, improves the efficiency of your team, and makes everything easier on you.

Furthermore, BuildIT's clerical tools allow you to track assigned tasks, import and organize documents and photos, send files and information to contacts, address health and safety concerns, access contracts and purchase orders, and network with other construction professionals to generate future projects. While the extent of possibilities may seem overwhelming, BuildIT focuses on simplification, and, thus, provides online tours, training, and examples to familiarize you with the system. Soon, the many user-friendly document templates will save you hours of formatting work while providing a thorough record of your data. BuildIT even offers a mini-web site creator which will allow you to showcase your portfolio to clients. Since 2000, BuildIT Systems has offered its services at a reasonable cost, helping construction professionals across North America to standardize and improve their methods of organization, scheduling, and communication. I urge you to take the free 15-day Test Drive at builditsystems.com.

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

Trade Conflicts Report

For contractors who want to ensure they haven't double or triple booked their best subcontractors, try the new "conflicts" reporting in BuildIT.

Conflicts Report

This report works for any contacts that have been assigned to 2 or more tasks, either in the same job, or across several jobs. The system will generate a report showing:

a) the contact

b) the 2 tasks in question

c) where the conflict is graphically

From this report, you can link to several areas:

1. The contact record

2. The "contact schedule" for that contact

3. The schedule view filtered by that contact

4. The specific task

We also have a preferences area where you can set your defaults, and have the conflicts report tailored to your needs.

Besides "trade conflicts", this also works for customers that have several crews or employees. You can see where the overlaps are, and where the gaps are in the schedule that can be filled. In doing so, you can optimize your staff, and increase your billable hours per month. Graphically, you can see on the BuildIT Gantt chart across several jobs where you have gaps, and where tasks overlap.

Make your edits, then re-run the "conflicts report" to ensure you have a schedule that is buttoned up. You'll be better scheduled, and your trades will thank you.

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

BuildIT email update - June 2012

After losing thousands of personal emails to a corrupt Outlook file years ago, I vowed to take steps to avoid that pain by moving my personal and business email over to BuildIT.  I've written before on the benefits of BuildIT email.
 
Years later, I have access to a long history of email correspondence. Easy to access, and confidence knowing my email is backed up regularly and available wherever I have an Internet connected computer.
 
In an effort to continue to improve our system features and performance, we've made some improvements to BuildIT email:
 
1. Click the email tab, and you'll see a new "date range:" in the lower left menu - the default is set to "current (1 year)".

2. This "current" value can be adjusted in the email preferences page. Set it to what you consider to be "current".
 
3. In the left menu, choose the year to search or display emails for only the selected time period.
 
TIPS:

1. When doing a search on email, ensure you have the correct job selected in the yellow job picklist. This will narrow the search to just those emails that are assigned to that job. Search results will display lightning fast.
 
2. For those of you with dozens/hundreds of spam/marketing emails, it only takes a few minutes to select and delete those. Again, the fewer emails you have saved, the quicker your pages will display and the shorter your search times will be.
 
3. If you have dozens/hundreds of unread emails, you can quickly change them to "READ" by using the top right yellow "do this" drop down menu option to "set checked to READ".
 
4. Looking for a particular file that someone emailed you? Just click the "files" tab, then in the top left, click "file association:email attachments" and search for the file. Great way to get to file quickly, and see the history on that file (who sent it, when, how big the file is, etc.).
 
NOTE:

Customers with 10K + emails: if you are not in the habit of assigning your emails to jobs (e.g. they remain "unfiled"), and you have ALL JOBS selected in the yellow job picklist, and you launch a search for a particular email, the system has to search ALL records to find that email. For some customers, this will take seconds. Search times over 15 seconds can be frustrating.

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