How Buildertrend’s Budget tool provides end-to-end tracking to keep this team in financial control.
Customer success story
Streamlining pool construction schedules for this specialty contractor
See how this pool construction company used Buildertrend’s pool app to get organized and better communicate with their team and clients.
Their success story
Cronulla Pools is a small but mighty business making a splash with their concrete swimming pool construction in the greater Sydney, Australia, area. Kate Lainson and her husband, Matt, started the company in 2018 and added eight employees to their team.
The Lainsons started out in a time of growth for Sydney, particularly in the development of several dual-occupancy properties. With their connections to many local builders, they were able to jump on opportunities and give themselves a leg up in the industry.
“We gained some experience on some smaller pools, which led us to building 35 pools in our first year,” said Kate. “And this year we’re on track to finish around 75 pools.”
How were they able to sustain such a large amount of growth in such a short period of time? With Buildertrend on their side.
“We first signed on to Buildertrend to better manage the financials of our projects,” said Kate. “And then we quickly realized with managing upwards of 70 projects at one time with several schedule items that we needed something that would give us better control.”
By adding Buildertrend to their toolbelt, the Cronulla team streamlined scheduling, financial and communication processes that allowed them to keep expanding, and quickly.
Our people drive our success
Cronulla Pools is a family-owned and operated business run by a team of individuals who are passionate about building perfect pools for their clients. Kate doesn’t hesitate when asked what makes her business unique.
“Our people,” she said. “We definitely put a lot of focus on our communication, transparency and coordination throughout our projects. We also engage with trades, so we all work very well together.”
While most of their team didn’t come from a swimming pool construction background, they’ve come together with their own strengths that have led to the company’s success. The team is well-rounded with a number of skillsets that set Cronulla Pools apart from their competition.
“We feel like we’ve employed people with strengths,” said Kate. “And it might not have been building pools, but what they can bring to our business is incredible.”
One of those incredible people is Jess Gibson, the Cronulla team’s project coordinator. Jess works closely with Buildertrend to ensure processes run smoothly for everyone involved, and this has allowed them to say yes to a wider variety of projects.
“We don’t shy away from a challenge,” said Jess. “We’ll take on challenges that sometimes others won’t. So, when someone says ‘No, that’s too hard,’ we say, ‘We can do it.’”
Streamlined scheduling and communication
With the rapid growth of the company and projects piling up, the Cronulla team knew they could no longer manage everything with just their financial platform and old-fashioned pen and paper. They needed more.
“We were using just Xero, and we quickly realized that it wasn’t cutting it in terms of project management for us,” said Kate.
When first starting out, the Cronulla team had all their project information in Buildertrend’s pool app, but because they were so busy, it wasn’t being kept up to date. Once they learned how to save files, notes and other details that could be linked to their schedule, there was no turning back.
“The thing that’s really changed the way we use Buildertrend is capability to link to Schedule items,” said Jess. “Now that we’ve got that working, we’ve simplified our schedule and added the necessary information to the proper places like Owner Invoices, Daily Logs or To-Do’s. And now, the rest of it just flows.”
After they scratched the surface of Buildertrend’s potential, they unlocked endless opportunities for continued growth and success.
Complete transparency with subs and clients
In addition to better financial management, the Cronulla team was looking for a complete project management system that would keep track of timelines while allowing their subs and clients to be engaged with their swimming pool construction projects.
At the outset, Matt was solely in charge of managing all pool builds. However, it soon became too much for one person to handle on their own. That’s why they turned to Buildertrend. The Schedule, Daily Logs and Sub and Customer Portal features that Buildertrend offers have become essential in helping the team’s multiple project managers keep things organized.
“As we’ve grown, a great way for Matt to understand what’s being done on site and what they’re doing is through Daily Logs,” said Kate.
Using Buildertrend’s guidelines, they’ve also set up their Daily Logs in a way that prompts more in-depth responses from their project managers.
“Instead of just adding one-liners, they are now prompted with what they need to ask or what they need to answer,” said Kate. “They’re also encouraged not only to take photos of specific things on site, but also entire site photos, which helps to feed the content for our social. Great before and after photos.”
Buildertrend is also encouraging open communication with their subcontractors. Although it may take some time to get them on board, it’s not long before they see the value.
“There’s a level of responsibility we put back on our subs because they understand how tight of a schedule we work toward and how busy we are,” said Kate. “And there’s a source of truth for them in Buildertrend, so they know when they’re required by us.”
Buildertrend as a whole keeps everyone involved on the same page, eliminating confusion while adding a layer of assurance and accountability on all sides.
“It’s a great way to keep a record of what we’ve done, why things haven’t been done and any issues. It just gives us an element of security.”
And their subs aren’t the only ones using Buildertrend’s pool app. Their clients use it, too.
“Our clients say, ‘How good is Buildertrend? I can’t believe more builders don’t use it,’” said Jess. “They love it.”
At Cronulla Pools, their clients see everything they see. Daily Logs are automatically sent each day, and they set Owner Invoices up, so clients know when they’re coming. The Customer Portal puts important information in their clients’ hands and gives them a level of comfort in knowing what’s happening on their swimming pool construction project.
“The difference for us is most of our builds, the clients are living on site,” said Jess. “They can go in and look at our work each day. Oftentimes, we don’t finish everything we’re doing, so for our clients, it’s really nice to be able to go in and have a little context around why things may seem unfinished, or this looks the way it does.”
The Cronulla team now has the power of Buildertrend behind them to streamline communication, create transparency for their subs and clients and sustain their continued growth.
“Buildertrend has helped us with scalability and transparency,” said Kate. “It’s extremely important for us to always keep our clients in the loop and Buildertrend really helps us to effectively communicate with our clients throughout the project.”
Custom pool by Cronulla Pools
The rapid growth rate of Cronulla Pools would not have been possible without Buildertrend’s help to manage their swimming pool construction projects. By using Buildertrend for streamlined schedule management and open communication, the Cronulla team will continue to see success.
“Without having a program that does this for us, there’s no way we would be able to run a business with 70 pools on the back of a piece of paper,” said Kate. “Buildertrend helps us at a company level to be able to manage all these projects. Without that support, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are today.”
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