Web Links Builders and Buyers During Production Cycle
Two home builder members of NAHB recently were able to step up communications with their customers and improve efficiencies throughout the production schedule by using simple but powerful Web-based solutions from BuildLinks.
Based in Morrisville, N.C., BuildLinks is a member of the National Council of the Housing Industry — The Supplier 100 of NAHB.
BuildLinks integrates project scheduling, online selections and change-order tracking into a single platform that eliminates paperwork, reduces expensive errors resulting from miscommunication and increases profit margins by improving overall efficiency.
Full-service Bradford Building Corporation, a member of the Home Builders Association of Metro Orlando, takes pride in its ability to customize homes to its affluent buyers’ specific desires and satisfaction, but found that this objective was not always easy to meet with 75% of its customers located away from the company’s central Florida operations and fully half of them coming from overseas.
Bradford Homes used BuildLinks to keep everyone on the same page, even when they were not on the same continent. Customers log in from the Bradford Web site where they can see pictures, request change orders and review production updates, right along with the company’s field supervisors and subs. Buyers also can select products online, prompted by e-mail alerts synchronized with the production calendar.
“When you boil it down, we spend most of our time telling people where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to be doing,” says Cam Bradford, owner and director of operations at Bradford. “We needed a tool to improve communication and create efficiencies throughout the entire process.”
Trouble Branching Out
When it was experiencing some difficulty branching out into production building, custom builder Kent Homes and Associates of Wilmington, N.C., a member of the Wilmington-Cape Fear HBA, found that it needed new procedures to maintain profitability yet protect its hard-earned reputation for customization and craftsmanship.
Working closely with BuildLinks’ professional services team, Dan Kent found the efficiencies he needed to realize his vision of an online design center offering more than 1,500 selections, including detailed descriptions, pricing and upgrade options.
Kent Homes’ buyers can personalize their homes online in BuildLinks rather than having to visit a showroom. When home buyers approve their selections, trade contractors and suppliers have access to new and accurate information immediately, thereby reducing mistakes.
“The entire home buyer’s selection process for the first section was completed in less than three weeks, and the folks at Kent Homes didn’t have to lift a finger,” says Kent. “Completing that process manually without BuildLinks would have been a completely different process — one that would have taken a tremendous amount of time and effort.”
For more information on BuildLinks, click here.
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