Customer success story
HDR Remodeling is a full-service residential design-build remodeling contractor, serving Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont and the greater East Bay Area.
Their success story
HDR Remodeling is a full-service residential design-build remodeling contractor, serving Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont and the greater East Bay Area. Providing homeowners with quality design, construction and remodeling services for the last 30 years, the company has developed the philosophy to re-imagine homes for the way we really live today.
HDR’s Theory of Evolution
For what seems like forever, a single question has challenged businesses: “How do you prepare for transition without sacrificing quality?”
Philip Anderson, founder and president of HDR Remodeling, is familiar with this challenge. The one-person handyman company he started in the late 1980s has transformed over the years into a boutique remodeling firm that manages up to 15 large household renovations each year. “We work with a very sophisticated clientele,” said Philip. “These are million-dollar homes owned by people accustomed to advanced technology.”
Good teams plan for change. Great teams use change as an opportunity to become even better. As HDR Remodeling continues to grow, and as Philip plans for his own retirement, addressing the company’s evolution has provided the perfect opportunity to evaluate and elevate their processes.
Master of Multi-Tasking
As Philip prepares for his retirement, others have stepped in to oversee production, sales, and design. With more chefs entering the kitchen, it was vital that their processes were clear and organized. To ease the growing pains, the company selected Buildertrend as their project management tool in order to streamline processes traditionally done via spreadsheets and pen and paper.
“Buildertrend allows us to do several things, especially on the construction side,” says Kevin Mond, who oversees HDR Remodeling’s business development and sales. The software enables them to manage a larger portfolio of projects than they were able to in the past. The online platform makes it possible for one project manager to keep track of multiple jobs simultaneously, which has allowed HDR Remodeling to increase their scale of work without diminishing their quality of service.
In fact, Buildertrend has helped HDR Remodeling increase their reliability. Philip traditionally meets with every customer at the end of each project. During the design phase, HDR Remodeling provides customers with an estimated construction completion date. “We always hit that date within about a week,” Philip says. “People are blown away.” He credits Buildertrend for helping them make this possible.
The Power of Process in Buildertrend
Organization is essential to HDR Remodeling’s successful growth. Here are a few ways they’ve used Buildertrend to work more effectively through transitional stages.
Use the Calendar to full effect. This is the number one feature HDR Remodeling uses. It is reviewed weekly by the HDR Remodeling team and their customers. Many of their customers don’t live in the house during the remodel, so keeping the calendar up-to-date means the customer always knows the progress of their project. “The amazing thing for our customers is with Buildertrend they always know who is going to be in their house,” says Philip. Whether it’s a notification of a delivery or that a subcontractor will be on the property, “the customer feels so much more comfortable. And they don’t have to panic if nobody is there, they can just check the calendar.”
Don’t rely on your own memory. HDR Remodeling uses the Change Order feature regularly. “We always talk with the homeowners in person about any significant changes,” says Kevin. After that, their customers can look online and approve or decline a change order. It also means the customer and HDR both have a record of what was approved in the event of a dispute.
Track your process visually. HDR Remodeling takes advantage of Buildertrend’s unlimited document storage to share and store photos of the project as construction progresses. This helps them in several ways as a design-build firm. First, if someone in the design department isn’t able to go to the site, he or she can stay on track with progress. “Our project managers put images in every three days,” says Kevin. If there are questions such as “How was this framed?” or “Did we use the right type of dust containment system?”, it helps the entire team to have access to the images. Second, customers or HDR Remodeling team members can review the images from anywhere, at any time, which “has made our communication so much easier,” said Philip.
Buildertrend: A Sales Secret Weapon
As the first point of contact with potential customers, Kevin enjoys the boost Buildertrend provides in the sales process. “It’s one of my secret weapons,” he said, “and I know it sets us apart from other design-build firms.”
Introducing Buildertrend software to new or prospective customers showcases HDR Remodeling’s seamless process. It also helps Kevin screen to ensure potential customers are a right fit for HDR. “It’s nice for them to see we are a company that wants to stay on top of things,” said Kevin. While the software does add a cost to the overall project, Kevin recognizes this as a natural filter. “If a customer isn’t interested in paying for that overhead, they probably aren’t right for us,” he said. “But most appreciate it.”
Small Company Attention, Big Company Support
Philip and Kevin acknowledge there are a lot of competitive products available for construction project management. They’ve remained with Buildertrend over the years for good reasons.
“Buildertrend actually listens to our requests,” said Kevin. When they have found something within the software that hasn’t worked to their satisfaction, Buildertrend has been receptive to their suggestions and made changes.
What Philip values is that while he and his team have worked with a variety of Buildertrend employees, “everyone is equally helpful,” he said, “They make it feel like a small company.”
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