Currently Reading

Home Builder Shares How Tech Conquered Disorganization

Advertisement

Home Builder Shares How Tech Conquered Disorganization

Once left in a labor lurch, home builders are leveraging advanced construction management and scheduling software not only to carry on, but to carry their business to new heights


May 4, 2020
construction hard hats on table with computer and phone
How Homes by Taber selected a software system and what that technology has done to make the builder more efficient, productive, and collaborative. | Image: stock.adobe.com

Labor shortages have pulled the proverbial plug on production and efficiency for home builders. Sixteen different construction trades still face serious deficits of skilled workers, according to a summer 2019 report from the National Association of Home Builders. Fortunately, technological advances in the form of streamlined software solutions can counter those workforce woes with increased effectiveness and efficiency that help save both time and money.

Among the misperceptions about software platforms is that they are static solutions that can’t adapt to special business requirements or preferences, and that scheduling functions must fit into the larger accounting system, not the other way around. Companies have enough demands on their business, and they should be able to demand that construction management and scheduling software fits their approach and needs. For example, Homes by Taber, in Oklahoma City, Okla., uses a web-based software tool that handles scheduling, vendor and buyer portals, punch-item management, and safety assessments while offering a full reporting package. 

Software platforms won’t do the framing, rough carpentry, or masonry for a home builder, but they can help a company be more organized and efficient. Builders will be able to do more with less and put personnel in the best position for success. Many builders manage construction scheduling in a disjointed way with emails, phone calls, and other antiquated, inefficient tactics. Before upgrading to a management and scheduling platform, Homes by Taber had superintendents “fighting” over the same trades because they didn’t know who was working on what. 

 

How Tech Reduces Confusion

Construction management software reduces confusion, with advanced metrics and reporting, allowing a builder to drill down in detail by dates for a particular vendor, home, subdivision, etc. The checklists can eliminate a lot of phone calls and text messages, and frees up time that a builder can use to focus on moving houses.

The software also maximizes collaboration. In fact, the platform currently handles more than 450 Homes by Taber projects and is accommodating 85 employees, 135 vendors logging in four to five times a day, and 73 additional people who work with vendors. The “self-service,” easy-access portal makes vendors and contractors part of the team, which reduces follow-up. 

 

Software can also increase collaboration. The “self-service,” easy-access portal in the software that Homes by Taber uses makes vendors and contractors part of the team, which reduces follow-up. 

A construction management and scheduling system must be effective, but it also must fit the approach and setup of the builder, each one having a different mix of products and platforms to integrate. A huge priority for Homes by Taber was finding a system that is able to adapt to code modifications and changes with very quick turnaround. And for the most efficient data and workflow, it is absolutely essential that any builder software product provide the ability to exchange information with applications provided by other software vendors. An open, well-documented API, or computer interface, makes it easy and inexpensive to quickly develop integrated data-sharing solutions, often in less than a week’s time. 

 

Tech Should Be Tailored to the Builder

The software should accommodate the builder and adjust to its requirements, not the other way around. After all, the priority is the business’ processes and objectives. Builders need to be able to continue working in a way that makes sense for them.

Homes by Taber’s software provider helped integrate its purchase order system so that all purchase orders are live in our construction management system. Now trades can not only see the project schedule but also how much they’ll get paid for a job.

The more knowledge one has, the more effectively one can act or react. Being able to plan out jobs far in advance allows builders and vendors to forecast material needs and allocate labor to various jobs in a more efficient way. For example, a door manufacturer can look in our portal to see how many doors are needed over the next three to five months. The purchasing team can then use that knowledge to negotiate bulk pricing with vendors because they are aware of the quantities needed.

 

Being able to plan out jobs well in advance allows home builders and vendors to forecast their material needs and allocate labor to various jobs more efficiently.

Responsiveness goes beyond the flexibility of the home building software architecture. Customers should be able to get technical issues resolved quickly and effectively. After all, when home building pros have to attend to a glitch or malfunction, it means they’re not focused on job No. 1. 

Labor shortages can mean lost time, money, and opportunity, but technology is here to help. Before advances in construction management and scheduling, a personnel pinch would most certainly lead to project delays, cost overruns, and the inability to expand one’s business pipeline. Homes by Taber was mired in a disorganized system that even had personnel butting heads. By choosing an efficient, productive, and collaborative software, Homes by Taber was able to save time and money by maximizing data and streamlining its process. The results after three years of implementation are nothing short of impressive: Homes by Taber reduced cycle time by 28%, or approximately 45 days, which ultimately has a direct reflection to the bottom line.

 

Written By

Travis Davidson is chief operating officer at Homes by Taber in the Oklahoma City metro. The Oklahoma native has worked in just about every aspect of home building, including sales, estimating, construction, and purchasing.

Related Stories

Building Technology

KB Home Launches AI-Powered Chatbot for Customers

KB Home announced its launch of an AI chatbot platform aimed at answering home shopper questions…

Prefab + Panelization

Prefab Methods Struggle to Compete With Traditional Techniques

While prefab methods may seem like a quick fix to many home building problems, the transition is…

Construction

Interested in Off-Site Construction?

Curious about how off-site construction could help the industry? Building Systems Week is right…

Advertisement

More in Category




Advertisement

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.