How Buildertrend’s Budget tool provides end-to-end tracking to keep this team in financial control.
Customer success story
Custom builder delivers a superior client experience with the help of Buildertrend
This custom home builder ensures a superior client experience by creating processes that can guarantee time, price and quality on every project.
Their success story
Overseeing a team of six foremen while running logistics in the office keeps Ryan Jenkins very busy. As the supervisor of projects at Tass Construction Group in Sydney, Australia, he knows prioritizing processes keep jobs from falling behind by ensuring necessary organization and efficiency.
While the foremen take care of job site tasks, Ryan drops in regularly to make sure projects are running smoothly and the teams have everything they need. He also likes to make certain that clients get taken care of.
Custom home building
“I’m there to support the foremen and their teams, which across all our sites is about 30 people,” Ryan said. “My role as supervisor is to keep the clients happy, and by doing so, the job and the service I produce speaks for itself.”
When his friend, and co-owner of the company, Ben Tass hired him four years ago, they were doing one to two projects at a time that started at $500,000. Today, they run up to eight projects simultaneously with price points in the $800,000-plus range.
Managing that many projects and site teams at one time wouldn’t work without a solid system for tracking information and keeping everyone on the same page. Running efficient job sites is made possible by Buildertrend’s construction management software.
“What makes us different now is our organizational skills,” Ryan said. “We’ve got really good processes in place. We pride ourselves on being organized and thorough.”
Guaranteed time, price and quality
Ben and Aaron Tass founded the company six years ago when they combined their skills of carpentry and engineering. Over the years, they’ve grown their construction business by providing a top-notch product and measuring their success through the experiences of their clients.
“We want our work to be as high-end and quality as possible,” Ryan said. “And we really pride ourselves on our service – whether it’s making sure the clients are happy or checking in on the neighbors.”
Typically, construction businesses will focus on maintaining great relationships with their clients, which is essential. But it’s not always the case when it comes to the neighbors. At Tass Construction Group, they understand the importance of keeping everyone happy – even the families next door.
“We build houses in high-density areas and tight-knit communities around Sydney,” Ryan said. “So, it’s crucial to our projects that we keep the neighbors happy as well.”
New ideas like this are the norm at Tass. A fresh mindset and openness to change have helped propel them to where they are today.
“We also pride ourselves on our culture,” Ryan said. “We’ve got a pretty young team, and we’re really savvy at finding new technology and new ways to do things on site.”
It’s easy to see how their forward thinking combined with their commitment to a high-quality product has led to a guaranteed experience for their clients.
“We guarantee projects will be done on time, we guarantee there will be no hidden costs, and we guarantee quality,” said Ryan. “If something’s not right, we’re going to fix it.”
Increased organization to prevent setbacks
When Ryan started at Tass, they were tracking their projects in an Excel document. Soon after, it got to the point where it wasn’t manageable anymore. When they only had two jobs going at a time, their old process was fine – clunky, but fine. Once they expanded to doing three or more jobs parallel to each other, Ryan knew they needed help.
“We needed some sort of software,” Ryan said. “Something that was going to have all our information for the jobs in one place while allowing access to everyone involved.”
Ryan and his construction team were having problems understanding how much the client wanted to be involved. Their old process created a gap in client communication that made it difficult to catch change orders. With Buildertrend, they’re able to spot those types of setbacks earlier.
“Buildertrend really lined up with our service and has allowed us to catch client changes early on, so we’re not incurring any further costs,” he said.
Checklists, checklists, checklists
The Tass team keeps their homeowners updated at every step in the process using Daily Logs. Clients can see every update or change right away, so there’s no miscommunication.
“We give our clients 10-plus photos of their job every day,” Ryan said. “So, by the end of the project they’ve got a few hundred to 1,000 photos of their project from start to finish. Having features like that is really unbelievable.”
They also use the Customer Portal to showcase their project management setup to potential clients through a mock Buildertrend account. It’s helped them to establish trust from the start while giving their clients confidence in knowing they’ll be continually updated.
Another feature that has changed the game for Ryan is the Schedule. At the start of each day, the first thing he does is review the schedule and updates for every active job. He can see what work was completed the day before as well as what’s on the list at each site for that day.
“I can literally sit at my computer and get a really good idea of what’s happening,” Ryan said. “And if I really need to, I can go in and look at the time clocks while I’m looking at the daily logs just to make sure we’re not spending too much extra time on things we didn’t factor in.”
Like the Daily Logs and Schedule features, Buildertrend’s To-Do’s feature has also lent a hand in keeping job sites efficient for the Tass crew. To-Do’s have really helped them add structure to their internal checklists.
“We use To-Do’s for things like our pre-construction checklists, site-establishment checklists, post-build checklist among several others,” Ryan said. “We follow these checklists throughout the build, and they’re linked into our schedule items.”
Their checklists have expanded as they’ve adapted and found better systems over time. The result: They’ve avoided mistakes and rework.
“These check points are in here because they’re pain points we’ve had with previous jobs,” Ryan said. “If an issue arises on site, we figure out a way to mitigate that for future jobs. It’s a great way to help communicate it to all six foremen, so the issue doesn’t happen again.”
Ryan also uses To-Do’s for his final finishes lists when he does the last walkthrough on a home.
“When I visit the site at the end of a job, I’ll walk around with my phone, create a to-do list and attach photos of things that need to be fixed,” Ryan said. “I can then have a chat with the foreman, and they then have a clear understanding of what needs to get done with a visual representation.”
Ryan mentions that they’ve really only begun to scratch the surface of what they can do with Buildertrend. This year they’re hoping to streamline their selections process, so it’s easy for their team and clients to gather selections and input them.
They’re continually working to implement more of the platform’s tools and functions to further speed up and automate their processes – ultimately increasing productivity on their job sites.
“It’s really good knowing that Buildertrend’s a way to communicate to all of our team at once without having to call them all into a meeting,” Ryan said. “I can implement a new process, and they’re going to pick it up from one job to the next.”
Now that they’ve mastered the Schedule, Daily Logs and To-Do’s, Ryan and his team started implementing more of the financial features within Buildertrend. He’s hoping their new method for cost codes will help them collect data and report on areas where they can improve.
“We’ve changed our cost code system three or four times, but we’re hoping our new system will help us see where we could be more efficient,” Ryan said. “We can run a report with our cost codes and time clock to compare with what we’ve quoted to see where we’re not being efficient. It’s going to help us hone in and get our numbers accurate for when we quote future jobs.”
In addition to everything else, it’s also helped them save money.
“With the checklists and schedule there, it just makes our sites way more efficient,” he said. “If your job’s not scheduled correctly, then you will lose money.”
Custom home with pool by Tass Construction
Efficient job sites
With their schedule templates, Tass Construction Group has 178 different schedule items already built in. That’s only going to grow, Ryan said. But these expanding checklists and schedules are exactly what keeps their teams on track.
“Some builders just use their schedules as phases, demolition, groundwork, framing, etc.,” Ryan said. “With Buildertrend, we’re able to do it completely different. That’s our efficiency with To-Do’s being able to keep processes the same from job to job.”
Ryan knows firsthand that when builders try to sustain more than one project at a time from an Excel sheet, it’s not manageable long term.
“If you’re looking for efficiency and have more than one job open at a time, you’ve got to have Buildertrend,” Ryan said.
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