Using and prioritizing cost codes within Buildertrend

On this episode of “The Better Way: A podcast by Buildertrend,” our experts Reece and Zach are diving deeper into best practices for using cost codes.

Tune in to this episode to learn how to prioritize your cost codes and hear about what features and functionality our experts recommend for using cost codes in Buildertrend.

WHAT DO I PRIORITIZE AFTER ESTABLISHING MY COST CODES?

WHAT IS THE COST CATALOG AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

  • The cost catalog helps to eliminate the need for overly specific cost codes
  • Each cost catalog item will fall under a parent cost code
  • The cost catalog can have pre-determined descriptions, units costs, quantities and markups to save you time
  • You can update pricing in the cost catalog, which will update pricing throughout Buildertrend

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Reece Barnes and Zach Wojtowicz | Buildertrend

Intro:

Welcome to “The Better Way,” a podcast by Buildertrend. We are here to help you simplify and establish processes that will make meaningful changes to your company and help you achieve your goals. There’s a better way to run your construction business, the Buildertrend way. Tune in this season as our consultants, Reese Barnes and Zack Wojtowicz will help you master your financials.

In this episode, we’re sharing the ins and outs of using cost codes in Buildertrend. Learn what to prioritize after establishing cost codes and recommended features and functionalities within our software.

Reece Barnes:

Thank you, everybody, for joining the second episode of Buildertrend’s financial series. My name is Reese Barnes. I’m an additional training consultant, and I’m here with my cohost, Zach Wojtowicz. Zach, how are you?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Good, man. How are you doing today?

Reece Barnes:

I am good. Good. Ready to keep diving into the series here. Obviously, the last time we had discussed our fundamentals of cost codes, that is the basics. Why do we have them? Why do we use them? What is the importance? This is going to be getting a little bit deeper into the granularity. What features do we have? What do we do? Thank God Zach is here because he will be able to give you so much more depth than I will be able to as he is the scholar, and I am the talker. What we’re going to be going over today in the granularity, Zach, what do you think?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. If you tuned in last time, you know how important the cost code element to this. And if you got the email or are listening to this on the podcast, make sure you check out episode one. The presenters, they could use some work, but the information is fantastic.

Reece Barnes:

Bar none.

Zach Wojtowicz:

So useful. It’s going to really benefit you in the long term to think about how those cost codes are set up, how they’re structured. And today, we’re going to look more at, okay, I’ve got my cost codes set up, what do I do now? What’s next? What can I actually start doing in Buildertrend? You’ve been teasing us for so long about how important the cost code is, and I just want to get using it now. And that’s the thing we hear all the time, I just want to use it. Where do I start?

And so, we thought it’d be good to recommend some features in the program that many users don’t ever get to for whatever reason. They’re busy. It’s hard to adopt software, obviously. Maybe you wouldn’t be listening if it were easy.

Reece Barnes:

Oh, Zach.

Zach Wojtowicz:

So where do I go? Where do I start?

Reece Barnes:

We are going to start …

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

Oh, were you going to keep going? I cut you off. That’s fine.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Oh, no, you go, you got this. Where are we going to go?

Reece Barnes:

I was going to say, we want to basically give a little synopsis, high level here of what we are going to prioritize after establishing our cost codes. But then, A, like Zach was saying in a few more sentences than he probably should have, the recommended features and functionality of using Buildertrend’s cost codes.

So first, where do we start? Like we touched on the last time, cost codes really are the first step to using Buildertrend financials. You’ve got to have them, they’ve got to be sharp, they’ve got to be relevant in order for you to truly get all of the value out of Buildertrend’s financial suite. But ultimately, Zach’s going to start going into the granularity of the features, Cost Catalogs, Templates, Estimates, Proposals, making sure the Budget is reading all of that. Zach, I’m going to stop talking. You can pick up.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right. So, one of the first things we want to talk about today is the concept of what’s called the cost catalog. Now, Reece, when you hear the word catalog, tell me what do you think of? What does that word really bring up in your mind?

Reece Barnes:

I think it was Christmas 1996. I was going through the Cabela’s catalog, circling all the things that I wanted. It was basically just a big compilation of all their product and specific outlines and details. I’d circle it. I’d hand the catalog to my parents who I thought were Santa, and they wound up under the tree.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

That’s what I think of when I think of catalog.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right. And in that catalog, it would have had price. It would have had the details. It would have had the different options that you could purchase of different materials. If you were looking at a new jacket, you might have different colors and different vendors and all those things. And at the end of the day, that’s what Buildertrend’s catalog is really set up to do. It allows you to really get into more specific products of things that you’re able to provide for your customers.

Reece Barnes:

On the last podcast, we were talking about cost codes. Obviously, now this is the cost catalog, and we were talking about cost codes being kind of the overarching bucket. Is this where we get to the specifics?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

That’s more or less what the cost catalog is. This is the, if you want the specific and the detail, then really that’s where the cost catalog is going to come in.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah, yeah. I always use the analogy, and I get some weird looks, but, hey, why not? This is what I use when I’m with my clients. I always use the example of think of it as like a tree trunk and the branches.

Reece Barnes:

What’s the tree trunk of what’s the branches?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Your cost code is the truck.

Reece Barnes:

Okay.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Okay, the things that make up the catalog, though, are the branches.

Reece Barnes:

Got you.

 Zach Wojtowicz:

So, you can have one appliance code, and I used this in our episode one as kind of the example because everybody I run into has an item called appliances. But you might have a specific vendor that you are using these appliances from, so you would have a cost catalog item called refrigerator, oven, range. This is where you can get more specific. Better yet, in the description of these items, you can have color, you could have vendor, you could have a standard price, a standard markup. These are things that are saved in relation to the cost code.

So now, I have a nice, condensed list for my budget. But when I go and build my proposal, I can choose things from my catalog and say, I need this for this job. I need this for this job. I need this for this job.

Reece Barnes:

Yeah, okay. So, without the cost code, you can’t have the cost catalog?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly. So, you’ve got to get the floor built.

Reece Barnes:

Okay, you have to get the cost codes.

Zach Wojtowicz:

You’ve got to have the tree trunk to have the tree branches, right?

Reece Barnes:

It’s like Buildertrend’s just a big forest full of trees and then plenty of luscious branches being the cost catalog.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Nailed it, yes. So, the whole idea behind the catalog and why it takes so long for people to get to this point is if they never have a good cost code list, why would we recommend them to set up their catalog? Or a lot of times, that list that they do have for cost codes is their catalog, and it’s just easier to import that because that’s what you’re used to doing. But if you’ve now taken the time to go through and audit your list, condense it, make it nice and tight, you can get more messy in Buildertrend and save a lot of time when you’re going and setting up a proposal or an estimate. Or these can also be applied to bills or POs or to select some of the Pro Features that we offer.

Reece Barnes:

Got you.

Zach Wojtowicz:

It can really speed up a lot of your day-to-day operations because you’re able to just pull from the catalog and say, this is the item that I’m using. You don’t have to fill out the details. Now, is there some setup for this? Absolutely. We have some limitations right now to be able to show you how all this works, but this is something, if you’re asking, what do I do next? I’ve got my cost codes, now where do I go? This is a great place now. You’re a great candidate to be able to use this and really get a nice rich feature that isn’t really implemented as much as we’d like to see.

With that, what’s cool is you can update the pricing from within Buildertrend. And if that catalog item is used somewhere in the program that’s not approved or hasn’t fished …

Reece Barnes:

That’s big. Okay.

Zach Wojtowicz:

… it will update the pricing wherever it’s used.

Reece Barnes:

That’s big.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Huge. Because now I’m updating a price in one place and anywhere it’s being touched. I can just have it updated on the fly, so any proposals I’m working on that haven’t been finished yet, right?

Reece Barnes:

That’s the big part, though, isn’t it? It’s finished.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

If you have an approved proposal …

Zach Wojtowicz:

Project.

Reece Barnes:

… not going to change it.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Nope, will not.

Reece Barnes:

Again, cost catalog associated with the cost code. If I’m working within the actual proposal, and I’m not done, and I update my cost catalog, then that’s going to pump those numbers into my proposal.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right. Exactly.

Reece Barnes:

Beautiful.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And even cooler is you can take those items that you’ve set up, so you’ve got the code. You break into items and now you can say, okay, these five items, they make up a common group that I sell to people. Maybe I have a framing package of items that make up all my wood lumber, and all I need to enter is how much square feet apply to these items, and now, I’m pulling in an entire chunk of my estimate with one click. All of this takes a little set up, but you can really get some cool and effective estimates with just a few importations of groupings because those items are all set up.

So, you got to get your codes first. Now that you’ve got that, you can get your catalog. And then once you get your catalog, you can put them into groups. And now, you have a really great estimating tool to just plug and play and pump things out.

Reece Barnes:

Here’s my thing.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yep.

Reece Barnes:

In short, is the juice worth the squeeze? How long, obviously, that’s going to vary by type of contractor, how many products you offer, whatever… I want to use this. It sounds awesome. How long is this going to take? This is me working 60 hours a week building homes. How long is this going to take for me to get the cost catalog built out or one of my employees or whoever?

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s how much time did you spend on your codes at this point? If the codes are good, then it’s going to be substantially less. And my experience with builders is a lot of times they already have a pricing sheet set up. So, if that is already there, now you’re just taking your already existing pricing sheet and making it the catalog and tying it to the code. This can all be done in Excel.

Importing it into Buildertrend is super easy. You just have to have the Excel file formatted to meet our system requirements. This is a recommendation that I will give you, which is to reach out to your coach and say, I’d like to get my cost catalog set up. I heard on the web series that this is a place I could go to improve my usage, and they can provide that for you, so that all you have to do is match it to your codes, and they can walk you through it.

But I’d say five to six hours is a realistic number to get this set up. But if you look at the time savings on every estimate that you’re using in the program, it is going to be worth the squeeze as you so eloquently laid out.

Reece Barnes:

Hey, you’ve got to roll those in sometimes.

 

Zach Wojtowicz:

Now, this also feeds into another thing of where do I start now that I have cost codes? Which is templating, and templating is a really important piece to Buildertrend, regardless of financials. If you’re not using templates, then you’re not really using Buildertrend, in my opinion. And I hear this a lot, well, I’m a custom homebuilder …

Reece Barnes:

Hey, hey, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, okay. I know a couple of custom home builders. They don’t sound like that.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I know.

Reese Barnes:

Come on, keep talking, sorry, sorry. Yes, you’re right though. That is something that I hear, too, on my calls, custom home builder, I don’t have a schedule that looks the same. I don’t have this. I don’t have that. At the end of the day, we can find something to template that’s going to make you more efficient. You’re going to manipulate. You’re going to do the stuff. But instead of doing everything from scratch, you’re going to drop it in with a template and then manipulate. It’s not a zero to a 100 usage. It’s a zero to 60, 30, 80 is what it looks like.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Absolutely. Templating is about moving up your starting procedures on any project, no matter who the builder is. I have worked with high-end custom home, $30 million mansions in LA, and they’re able to utilize templates effectively. And it doesn’t make it a 100% done. It’s not just plug it in, and you don’t have to look at Buildertrend again. It’s a tool, right?

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

But if they can get 70% of the project in place, that still saves them a substantial amount of time when they’re talking about managing their project and setting it up. We want to focus today on the actual proposal and estimating template. But just from a philosophical standpoint, templating is Buildertrend, Buildertrend is templating.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

You are putting data into the system, so that you can reuse it again. And for companies that fight us on this, they need to open their eyes to the fact that this is the best way to use the system. It’s begging you to reuse data, right?

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And that’s why you’re putting it in there.

Reece Barnes:

So how cost catalog is relevant to estimating. Sorry.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah, how do we tie the knot here? Well, you think about your Excel sheet that a lot of our builders use, we talked about this last time. That’s where you start when you’re trying to get cost codes. Well, in a way, that’s a template of a new project. An Excel sheet is a template. We’re now transitioning that into Buildertrend. I’ve got cost codes. I could build a sales proposal for my different types of projects. Maybe I do kitchens, maybe I do bathrooms, maybe I do kitchens and bathrooms, a little double action and so, I have different proposal templates for those types of projects, right?

Reece Barnes:

Got you.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Within that proposal template, I’ve already formatted what cost codes I typically use. We know things change. What is our most frequently expected costs on a kitchen? And I even encourage people, make it more. A little tip, it’s easier to delete stuff out of Buildertrend than it is to put stuff in. So, if you have a template that’s anticipating the absolute busiest scenario, it’s able to just pull it back a little bit and make it fit this project rather than have to add things to it. So, try and go a little further than you normally would. What’s cool, though, is if I am in a situation where I am a production builder, or I have something that I know I’m always paying the same prices for, …

Reece Barnes:

Massive.

Zach Wojtowicz:

… and I set up my catalog, I can use the catalog to build my templates. And now, when I’m updating that catalog in one place, I might have six templates tied to that catalog, but they’re all going to be the most up-to-date pricing.

Reece Barnes:

Bingo.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Now, your salespeople aren’t accidentally using the wrong Excel sheet or the outdated one or something that you have to redistribute. That’s human error. You’re able to manipulate it once it’s become a real proposal. Once I pull in a lead, if I don’t want it to be tied to the catalog, I can undo it and make edits at that point. But it’s going to be the best way for me to administer the way that I create my numbers for my client, right?

Reece Barnes:

Saves time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Saves time. Everything’s tied together.

Reece Barnes:

Checks and balance, quality check.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yep.

Reece Barnes:

Consistency.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yes. That’s the biggest thing, right? Chaos comes to people who are just kind of running without a plan. Putting templates in place is the plan. This is what we use, and this is how we use it, and this is where the data’s coming from.

Reece Barnes:

Right. It’s the framework. You’re going to manipulate it. We understand that. It’s still going to save you two hours in job setup.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yep, right. So, those six hours you spent building the catalog, now your proposals are pumped out, and yeah, you might have to update your pricing every three months, which will take a little time, although not as much as you think. You can just update it using checked actions in the catalog set up. But you’d probably take that, if I were to lay it out on paper and say, yeah, you have to put a little time up front, but look at what it’s going to do in every project. It really speaks for itself.

So, how is that different than estimate templates? Well, if you’re a core user, the estimate is just pulled from the proposal side of thing. But if you’re a pro user, you have access to a comprehensive document called an Estimate, which has selections. So, my allowances that I set up, my bids that I set up and any general items that I set up can all derive a nebula of things in my Buildertrend account that build my budget.

Reece Barnes:

What is a nebula?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Just a connection of things.

Reece Barnes:

Like a tree.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. Yes, always back to the forest. So, if I have my most common bids templated using my cost codes, if I have my most common allowances using my cost codes, when I use that estimate template in my job, those things are already set up and cost coded. And now, I’m just editing the amounts. But the structure is already in place. I’m just releasing it to myself with the specs on the bid, or I’m just updating how much the allowance is really for, and I can tie everything into my general items. And now, I have a single document that reflects the budget that I’m building in different parts of the program, but it’s all coming into one place.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

But you can do a lot of that up front. So, as soon as I import the estimate, guess what? Now, I’m just managing the project and getting the numbers.

Reece Barnes:

Okay, I don’t want to be redundant and add any more time than we need to, but you were mentioning when you’re building all of these templates and you’re utilizing the estimates and we’re using the cost codes and the cost codes are tied to templates, the cost catalog is used at what point? Because on the estimate, you’re using the line item cost code, where is the cost catalog?

Zach Wojtowicz:

You can absolutely use the catalog on the estimate, too.

Reece Barnes:

So, would it be an either/or? It wouldn’t be I’m using both, it would be either I’m using cost codes or cost catalogs, it’s going to be a preference thing?

Zach Wojtowicz:

You could use a combination of both.

Reece Barnes:

Because your catalog is tied to your cost code?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly.

Reece Barnes:

That makes sense.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Because you’re always just splitting it out. And when you’re looking at your estimate in Buildertrend, you might see the same cost code repeated. You might see this is appliance, appliance, appliance. Well, when it goes to your budget, you’re going to see it one time. But because you’re splitting out the items through descriptions, you’re still able to see the range costs this, the microwave costs this and the oven cost this, but it all uses the same parent code.

Reece Barnes:

Got you.

Zach Wojtowicz:

So, your budget’s clean, but you’re still able to derive detail in the estimate. And then you can get real fancy and group them and display what you want and not display what you want to your customer to see and make it look the way you want. But ultimately, the goal is I’m putting my estimate in here because I’m building my budget while I create my estimate. And I think a lot of companies kind of use that as a separate thing. And Buildertrend kind of, in a good way, forces you to consider your budget while you’re building your estimate.

Reece Barnes:

Love it. No, that makes a ton of sense.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right. And again, just templating from a philosophy standpoint, you have to be using this in Buildertrend, and that can be in the financials as well. I think a lot of people think you can’t use it on that part, every project is so different. Look for the common variables and use those as leverage to save you time moving forward.

Reece Barnes:

That is, yes, templates, you have to use it. It’s one of those things, if you’re not going to use it, why are you using Buildertrend?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

That’s with a lot of features, though. Obviously, we’re focusing on financials, but at the end of the day, use the customer support, use our consulting services if you need them. Reach out, use the Help Center, get Buildertrend Learning Academy certified. Do all of these things and use them strategically to make yourself better because, yes, we do have clients that can pick and choose features, and it works for them. But if you don’t really understand the full structure and intentions, which is huge, of the features, then you can miss it. You can miss a ton of value. Little plug there.

But yeah, that’s such a big part. It’s never a zero to 100. It’s more times than not, a zero to 80, zero to 90, zero to 60. What are we going to use? How are we going to use it? And is it going to make us more efficient?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. And I find a lot of people are hungry for a plan. Where do I go? And documenting how that’s going to look. And that’s one of the main goals of this series is figuring out what’s the plan? What do I do after I get my cost codes? Well, after you’ve got these things in place, you can move on to the next thing. But painting that picture of I got my codes, now, let’s go to the catalog. Now, I’m building my proposal. Well, that’s my budget now. And then what? Where do I go from there? And emphasizing that there is a path that you can carve out for yourself, but you have to really dedicate the time to learn that as well, but you’re not alone either.

Reece Barnes:

You’re not alone. And that’s genuinely who I talk to every day is people that, they might be getting frustrated or they might be hitting a little bit of a roadblock. It’s really just understanding that it is going to take time, implementing Buildertrend is going to take time. It’s worth it though. Because when you take six hours to build your cost catalog, and you save two hours on creating estimates and proposals, I mean, if you’re doing more than three projects a year, it was a wash.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Right.

Reece Barnes:

So, it’s one of those things, it’s a give and take. You have to. You have to, have to, have to put the time in up front. If you don’t, pay our consultants, we can do it for you. But to stop shamelessly plugging, let’s kind of go into the budget a little more. That’s one thing that I know, everything gets pumped into it. And we’ve got a lot of clients that’ll say, I did an estimate, but it’s not showing up here. Why are my numbers different than they are in QuickBooks? Or whatever the case is. Budget’s big. And if we can get the budget, Zach, to at least elaborate on the budget and the importance of it, that’ll clear a lot of questions.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. And everybody has a different procedure of how they track their budget and what they consider the budget. For the majority of builders, this is kind of the ultimate goal. Whether they’re aware of it or not, when I’m working with them, I’m figuring out how they estimate. I’m figuring out your cost codes, and I have one thing in mind, which is to try and make it so that Buildertrend is your go-to place when you’re trying to get information quickly. Because a lot of people, when they’re trying to figure out how they did on a project, they’re doing it after the fact. They’re doing it when the project’s over. They’re looking at their profit and loss. And they’re looking at did I make money?

Reece Barnes:

Yeah, for sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And that is a way to run a business, and it works, but there are better ways.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And you can run an estimated versus actual report in QuickBooks, and that’s fine, but that requires a lot of other variables. Do they have a login to QuickBooks? Do they know how to run that report? And if they don’t have a login, who are they bothering to run that report, and how often?

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

So, you can streamline a lot of those efficiencies. In episode three, we’re going to get into that QuickBooks integration. So, I’ve got to leave it for then because we’re running out of time today.

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

But the power of getting your budget into Buildertrend, whether that’s by building your proposal and estimate in Buildertrend or importing it into Buildertrend after the fact is going to be irreplaceable. Because then it unlocks all the other features that come with Buildertrend that lets you compare, this was my target, and this is what I actually spent. By logging into Buildertrend and clicking the budget button and looking at it and seeing it. And then using that to group it into, I want to look at my spec homes versus my custom homes with a customer versus my production homes, and you can get really fancy with it.

But bottom line, without cost codes and without utilizing the full potential of what we offer from a feature standpoint, you’re losing out on just the ease and the ability to remove that communication barrier or frustration where I’m having to bother someone in accounting or having them run the report and email it to me. Whatever the case is, the project manager can look at this and say, okay, this is what I projected. This is what I spent, all in one place. So, you’ve got to get it in.

And we integrate with a lot of different takeoff softwares, which have to be speaking the same language, and that’s where the codes come back in. So, I am always thinking about this. Bottom line, we have to get things in your budget in Buildertrend.

Reece Barnes:

So, budget sounds awesome. Cost codes sound awesome. Cost catalog sounds awesome. Where do people miss the mark? How do clients get to the point to where they have cost codes. They spend all this time doing the cost catalog. They’re doing estimates, purchase orders and whatever, and it’s not reflecting in the budget. Obviously, we’d probably have to step back and see specific feature by feature. But what would you say are some of the biggest mishaps that our clients have when they’re utilizing the budget wrong? No, there is no right, when they’re using it wrong?

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s not so much that customers use the budget wrong. It’s that the structure of how they set it up could be improved and then they’re not leveraging the full functionality of the program. So, one example that I can give you is a lot of customers bring us out to teach them how to job cost in Buildertrend. What’s the difference between a bill and purchase order within the system?

Reece Barnes:

Sure, what is it?

Zach Wojtowicz:

How is that functionality different? Well, the reality about that is a lot of companies, when they’re job costing, they’re just looking at bills. So, transitioning to a purchase order system in general is really more of controlling your pricing up front. A PO is like a sub-contract where you are dictating the terms of this is what I plan to pay you for the service. This is what your bid was based off of. I’m locking it in at that point, right?

Reece Barnes:

To subs, okay, sub-spenders.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yep. So, the cool thing, and what people fail to understand is if I PO what I budget for, and I wait for my sub to invoice me after the service has been completed, after the work is done, Buildertrend will effectively tell me when I fill the PO out. And the payment against the PO,  hey, the invoice isn’t matching. It’s either under or over, right?

Reece Barnes:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And so, now you’re catching things in the moment. You’re able to identify up front.

Reece Barnes:

Real time.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Real time.

Reece Barnes:

Okay.

Zach Wojtowicz:

The estimate said it was this. The PO was for this. Why isn’t the invoice from the sub the same as this? And if you really can get into this situation, and it is possible for all listeners who maybe doubt me, many companies use the PO system in Buildertrend to tell the sub, no, this is what we’re paying you, right?

Reece Barnes:

Sure.

Zach Wojtowicz:

If you invoice over the amount, you signed off on this document, they take a hard line in the sand and say, this is what the work required, and you approved for that amount. But literally, without adjusting the PO amount, you can’t overpay on it. And so, you’re saving money alone by adopting this PO system. And in the budget, you’re able to really get a handle on where you’re at when you overspent, rather than in QuickBooks, when you’re looking back, seeing that the numbers seem off, and then having to dive a little deeper. Or even in the estimated versus actual in QuickBooks desktop, running the report and seeing it at some point. Whereas you could just look straight into Buildertrend and see it in the moment.

Reece Barnes:

So the big thing, the big takeaway, the budget is the reflection of what you have done in Buildertrend?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah.

Reece Barnes:

If it’s wrong, you’re wrong. We’ve got to go back and do something right. Am I right?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Well, if it’s wrong, yeah, you overspent …

Reece Barnes:

I’m just saying if the numbers aren’t reflecting the way that you want to, is it possible for there to be a system issue, or is this a user issue that we need coaching, train on?

Zach Wojtowicz:

The budget is just a reflection of your estimate.

Reece Barnes:

Okay, yeah. That’s ultimately what I was getting at is because a lot of people, and this isn’t you’re wrong, it’s just how do we correct? And when you do have those issues, don’t get frustrated, be eager to find out why. Call and ask us.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And keep in mind, the system has an intention behind how it should be used, and that doesn’t always align with how you currently do your business. And that’s not a slight to say that you’re doing it wrong, it’s just that it’s hard to write a software that fits everybody’s customized needs. And so, trying to align your operations with as much as what the software is able to do, with us giving you creative solutions to the things you need, you really can find the balance of how you can leverage Buildertrend to help you learn more about your financial operation of the company.

Buildertrend is not perfect as far as how it works for everyone, but it works for thousands of customers as far as how they run their operations. There are many success stories of people getting their budget in place and saving money. I’ve been in the room. I went to a builder in Pittsburgh where I saved them $50,000 on an estimating error …

Reece Barnes:

Love that.

Zach Wojtowicz:

… pointing out how they could track it. I’ve been to Arkansas and helped them see how they can use bids to lock in those prices and make it so they’re not accidentally making the wrong decision when they are creating their estimate.

Reece Barnes:

When used right, Buildertrend’s cheap.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Exactly. It can pay for your software. It can pay for your subscription.

Reece Barnes:

A couple of times. $50,000 is like a hundred years of Buildertrend subscription.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I’ll trust you on that one.

Reece Barnes:

Yeah, I don’t know, something like that. Do you want to close out?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah, let’s do it. So big things to take away here. You’ve got your cost codes set up. Your catalog would be your next place. Get that in your templates. Think about if you’re not going to use the proposal or estimating, how are you going to get your budget back into Buildertrend, so that you can really unlock it. And next time, we’re going to get into everybody’s favorite topic, you thought cost codes were exciting, let’s talk about how QuickBooks and Buildertrend operate.

Reece Barnes:

It’s going to be a big one.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Let’s dispel the myths out there.

Reece Barnes:

On the QuickBooks integration one?

 Zach Wojtowicz:

We can’t start now.

Reece Barnes:

I know we can’t, but I want …

Zach Wojtowicz:

Too much background. You’re giving them too much.

Reece Barnes:

I want it to be straight. I want straight-up, no BS, give me what it does, why would I do it? Thanks for listening guys. It’s always good. I’m Reece Barnes.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Zach Wojtowicz signing out.

Outro:

Thanks for listening to “The Better Way.” If you’re a Buildertrend customer, schedule a training to learn more. And all listeners, be sure to rate, review, and subscribe to “The Better Way” wherever you get your podcasts. Also, visit buildertrend.com/podcast to sign up for the email notifications when the next season drops and explore our other podcast, “The Building Code.” Don’t miss our next episode focused on integrating QuickBooks.


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