Improving employee engagement with easy scheduling
Fully Custom Homes
Kansas City, MO
Design & Build
About Owen Homes
Owen Homes is a design-build firm, specializing in customized new construction, remodel and exterior projects in Kansas City, Mo. When the company was established in 2004, owner Luke Owen had a passion for design and entrepreneurship stemming from years of working residential construction for his father.
Eliminating Internal Inefficiencies
Every year, the company manages an estimated 30-35 projects with most project timelines spanning 8-16 months. Prior to using Buildertrend, a lot of pressure was put on the project managers who oversaw the ins and outs of every project, because there was no central location to house all the data pertinent to a project.
All project information was tracked on paper, or electronic documents and spreadsheets with the current, most updated versions available only to the project managers. This left other team members involved in the project with no direct line of sight into the status of a home design or build unless the project managers kept the project folders updated but it was usually best if they reached out to the project managers directly.
This meant project managers often worked long days, answering emails and phone calls from trade partners, the internal team and Owen Homes’ customers. The long hours took a toll on the project managers causing internal inefficiencies and miscommunication that decreased employee morale across the board.
To overcome these challenges, Charielle Sowers, director of business development at Owen Homes, was interested in a solution that centralized information for current projects to take the burden off project managers as well as streamline collaboration between the internal team and customers of Owen Homes. Additionally, she was interested in a solution that increased efficiency, ensuring that not only are projects completed within the agreed timeline, but also improved profitability, allowing the team to improve project forecasts.
Charielle believed a scheduling program would help solve some of the business’s most pressing challenges with employee retention and to better serve its customers. The only issue was that the program could only be used in the office, which unfortunately excluded employees on the job site. Charielle discovered Buildertrend, a cloud-based project management platform designed specifically for construction management, which allowed both team members in the office and on the jobsite to collaborate concurrently. “The lightbulb in my head turned on when the Buildertrend team presented the platform,” Charielle said. “Buildertrend was exactly what we needed.”
Increasing Profitability with Buildertrend
Moving Owen Homes’ data to the Buildertrend platform was seamless. “The Buildertrend team helped us onboard remotely,” Charielle said. “The Buildertrend team even sent us a welcome package to help us get started quickly.” After getting on-boarded by the Buildertrend team, Charielle first trained Owen Homes’ project managers on how to utilize the platform and fully leverage its capabilities to enhance team collaboration and processes.
“Since using Buildertrend, we’ve been able to take on larger, more complex projects which has increased our profitability.”
– Charielle Sowers, director of business development, Owen Homes
Since utilizing Buildertrend, Charielle has measured improvements in efficiencies, sharing that anyone from the team can log in and instantly get insight into project updates. “Real-time visibility into project schedules has helped our company in a number of different ways,” she said. “Things can change on the job site at any moment. With the project schedule we can easily navigate through those changes and move on to the next part of the project quickly.” By tracking projects in real-time, Owen Homes was able to find gaps in the teams’ schedule that allowed them to increase the number of projects they worked on at a given time.
The Buildertrend platform also gave project managers a bird’s eye view of each build, which allowed them to better forecast when subcontractors were needed onsite. “Giving our subcontractors a better idea of when we’ll need them allowed our project managers to get in front of our subcontractors’ availability, decreasing delays and allowing projects to stay on schedule,” Charielle said.
Improvements in Team Morale
Charielle believes that Buildertrend has had a direct impact on improving the company’s work culture. “Buildertrend allowed our team to connect on another level, whether it was internally about projects or even with our customers,” she said. “Without Buildertrend, we wouldn’t have been able to run as many projects as we’re working on today. Buildertrend allowed our team to be a team.”
Since using Buildertrend, Owen Homes completed more than 150 projects today. “Since we started using Buildertrend, we’ve been able to take on larger, more complex projects which has increased our profitability,” Charielle said. “Today, the whole team uses Buildertrend religiously, and it is core to our projects’ success.”