Customer success story

Keeping projects, people and profits on track with Buildertrend


How one of the best in the biz is leading the charge through internal communication done the tech way.

Their success story

To be mediocre is to fail for NS Builders.

“The ‘we’ll do better next time’ mentality is not OK,” said Nick Schiffer, owner of Boston’s premier homebuilding company. “Our work needs to be of the very best quality. That’s what drives us.”

A higher caliber build calls for higher caliber communication. The type where everyone is in sync and in command. The kind of communication that can only be achieved with smart software like Buildertrend.

Industry

Custom Homes

Location

Boston

Established

2014

Winning solution

Daily Logs

Their story

A constant quest to improve through innovation

Custom homebuilder. Craftsmanship expert. Host of “The Modern Craftsman” podcast. Nick is one of the industry’s leading contractors, with more than 100,000 Instagram followers and 30,000 YouTube subscribers.

He’s also at the helm of NS Builders, a fine homebuilding and renovation company that brings a unique transparency, attention to detail and craftsmanship to every project. For this team, it’s all about creating long-lasting spaces someone is proud to call home.

“When I founded the company in 2014, I knew I wanted to build architecturally distinct homes that are the very best they can be,” Nick said. “Today, we continue to always look for opportunities to improve.”

Innovative tech proved to be one of those opportunities.

Their goal

Keeping projects, people and profits on track

Nick – and NS Builders, for that matter – weren’t always the titans of construction they are today. It all started as a two-man carpentry company. Fast forward six years, the team has expanded to almost 20 and become one of the most notable full-service general contractors in the Boston area. (Fun fact: They even operate their own millwork and cabinetry shop in house. Now that’s true craftsmanship to the next degree!)

When they expanded from a team of six to 16 a few years ago, the type of work they were offering began expanding, too. More complex and more profitable jobs started to become the norm. They needed a way to stay on top of it all – both the staff and the work.

quotes
We’re able to do more jobs and be more profitable.
Nick Schiffer, Owner

Their solution

One place to communicate everything  

Their way to tip-top tracking presented itself at the NAHB International Builders’ Show. One of the biggest and brightest booths in the showroom belonged to Buildertrend, the leading construction project management software. Nick wasn’t unfamiliar to this tech tool. He had heard the sales pitch on the phone before. But seeing the team full force in person made all the difference.

“Buildertrend undeniably makes an effort toward always improving,” Nick said. “That was the reason I decided to work with Buildertrend. They’re selling the product aggressively, but they’re standing behind it aggressively, too. They’re open to suggestions, then they actually make them. They’re really coaching us to succeed.”

To keep the ever-expanding NS Builders team in the loop, as well as their clients, a feature they started making quick use of and continue to do so is Daily Logs. Every project manager creates a new log at the end of each day, including details like who was on the job site and what progress was made. The goal is to keep it positive, acting as a form of encouragement for the team and a way to keep Nick in the know without him jumping from office to field constantly.

Further facilitating team communication is the Schedule tool. This feature lets NS Builders map out every job, add To-Do’s and link items together. Even subs are invited into the program to see where a project is headed with the Schedule.

Clients reap the benefits of this clear, concise communication, too. Through the Customer Portal, each client is given a unique login to view project progress and message the NS Builders team. It’s their one place for everything related to their job. Here they can view the Daily Logs, Schedule and images to keep an eye on their investment.

“Clients love it because they are getting accurate updates, and we love it because it eliminates uncertainty and questions of what got done every day,” Nick said. “On the sales side, I communicate upfront that this is a collaborative effort. You have the freedom to dig in as much as you want with the Customer Portal.”

Buildertrend has buttoned up NS Builders’ team so well that it goes beyond person-to-person communication. It’s owner to business, too.

Truly staying on top of every detail means communicating with your bottom line. After all, the cost of not doing so could lead to major wallet woes.

That’s where the Budget feature comes in. Nick is able to pull financial reporting that allows him the ability to asses billing, costs and how they’re racking up against the original estimate. This gives a voice to his business, allowing projects to tell him how NS Builders is performing and if changes are needed to stay on target.

“Previously, we weren’t catching job costs,” Nick said. “Now we’re catching everything. With processes in place, we’re able to do more projects and be more profitable. The benefits trickle down.”

Their success

A boost to communication is a boost to productivity

Nick Schiffer is a name many in the industry know. But the name on his team’s lips is Buildertrend.

It’s a tool they use every day to stay on track and in touch. Nicks measures the successes they’ve seen with the homebuilder app in three ways:

  • The Customer Portal adds credibility to their business and helps land leads.
  • The Budget tool makes each job more profitable as before they might have missed 5-10% of costs.
  • Internal communication pushes productivity to an unmatched level.

“We’re able to communicate better, even with more people, and have a much better pulse on any project,” Nick said. “This allowed us to increase productivity and efficiency to catapult us into a market we weren’t previously working in. We can now operate in a higher-end market where expectations are greater. Software allowed us that.”

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