Feature spotlight: Daily Logs

Show Notes

On our second “Feature Spotlight” episode of The Building Code, Andy McCarville – a technical services manager – joins us to chat about Daily Logs: what they are, how the feature has grown within Buildertrend, and how our customers are using it.

If you’re unfamiliar with Daily Logs, they’re basically journal entries. Using Daily Logs, builders can jot down details of a project, what needs to happen that day, general messaging about what’s going on, etc. These are easy to get out to the team and subs without spending a lot of time on them. How has the Buildertrend Daily Logs changed over the years within Buildertrend? It just used to be a couple fields: the description area and a field for weather notes … and you had to manually enter the date. Today, Daily Logs is just an all-around better and smarter feature, including pre-filled dates with the ability to backdate, weather conditions at the click of a button and more intuitive fields that save everyone time.

Here’s a little story to put this feature’s importance into perspective? One of our customers attended Buildertrend University and told us it’s hard to catch up – let alone work ahead – between managing his current projects and trying to sell more jobs. But what helped him to manage these relationships and projects was Daily Logs in Buildertrend. If he got a call from a homeowner, and he/she left a voicemail, he would first go through the last two weeks of Daily Logs, so that he was completely up-to-speed on what was going on with the homeowner’s account and project before calling them back. Truly, that’s what it’s all about.

Now that we know the facts of Daily Logs, what about some fun facts about Andy?

  1. Andy has a shared Instagram (@dan4andandy9) with Dan Lipari, his best friend and our guest on “Feature Spotlight: Lead Management – Episode 8.”
  2. Since we recorded this podcast, Andy and his wife, Jori, welcomed their third child into the world. It’s a boy!
  3. Andy’s favorite feature in Buildertrend just so happens to be Daily Logs … and sometimes Change Orders. If Change Orders are more your jam, you’ll be happy to know that a future “Feature Spotlight” episode is in the works.

Buildertrend University

The Better Way, a podcast by Buildertrend:

Looking to improve how your team plans projects with the top residential construction management platform this year? Pick up Buildertrend project planning pro tips on the newest season of “The Better Way, a podcast by Buildertrend.” Subscribe and stream all six bingeable episodes on your favorite listening app now.

Follow us on social:

Instagram and Facebook

Listen to “The Building Code” on YouTube! And be sure to head over to Facebook to join The Building Code Crew fan page for some fun discussions with fellow listeners.

Transcript

Tom Houghton:

You’re listening to “The Building Code.” I’m Tom Houghton.

Paul Wurth:

I’m Paul Wurth.

Tom Houghton:

Today on our episode, we’re joined by our very own Andy McCarville.

Andy McCarville:

Yes, yes. Thanks for having me, guys. I appreciate you letting me be on.

Tom Houghton:

Andy, why don’t you go ahead and give our listeners an idea of what you do here for Buildertrend. You’ve been here for a very long time, so give a little bit of your background for us.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, so I’ve been here eight years, Tom, and I’m a technical services manager. I started as a-

Paul Wurth:

What the heck does that mean?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, yeah. I’ll get into that.

Paul Wurth:

Okay.

Andy McCarville:

I started off as a Buildertrend coach for a client services manager, client success manager. I did that for about six years. Then I moved into a role as a technical service manager, which basically if a client has an idea or suggestion, I try to take down as much information, organize that as much as I can, and get that to our engineers. Then our engineers take the ball and run with it and try to implement that suggestion or idea into the program.

Andy McCarville:

Then we have people that call in about issues they might run into. Well, we try to diagnose those as technical services managers, try to recreate that issue and shoot that up to our engineers as well, our developers, and they fix the issue. Then we let the customer know when it’s fixed. We’re the go-between between our customer success team and the development and engineering team.

Tom Houghton:

You’re like the important… the crucial link between the two.

Andy McCarville:

Sure. Yeah. I think we’re important.

Tom Houghton:

I think you are.

Paul Wurth:

Typically, our TSMs are the most knowledgeable of our product, right?

Tom Houghton:

Yeah.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. I would say the tenure as a customer success manager blends into that TSM role so the longer you’re with Buildertrend, the more you’re capable of being a technical service manager.

Paul Wurth:

For all the listeners, this is our second installment of we’re calling the feature spotlight.

Tom Houghton:

That’s correct.

Paul Wurth:

The intent of the feature spotlight segment is get away from the normal interview process and dive into Buildertrend. We’ve chosen Daily Logs and so today we want to talk about that feature and for all the listeners, if you’re a client, hopefully you find out about things maybe you don’t know, some of the functionality there. If you’re not a client, we can talk to you about how using a feature like Daily Logs can help your business because pretty much every feature has one common thread, which is we’re going to help streamline or save you time or money. We’ll talk about that. Then we’re going to go into fun facts about Andy.

Andy McCarville:

Oh, boy.

Tom Houghton:

That’s my favorite part.

Andy McCarville:

Just the fun facts about Andy or fun facts?

Tom Houghton:

All the above.

Paul Wurth:

Okay.

Andy McCarville:

Agreed.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

You get really excited about that.

Tom Houghton:

I do.

Paul Wurth:

All right, so Daily Logs. What is a daily log?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. Simplest terms, it’s a journal entry. Wayfair, a customer, one of our clients, a builder to go in and jot down what took place on a project on a specific day. It was one of the first things that I went over because it’s so easy to use. With a builder that’s brand new using our program, a client, I would hop into Daily Logs right away and just say, “Hey, if there’s one thing you can get going on today, it’s being able to jot down what’s going on with the project and get that information out to a number of people without having to spend a lot of time.”

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. I feel like the layout of it just walks you through some simple steps, right? Name, date’s automatically there, you can add the weather conditions, add photos real easily.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. It really started off as just two fields, the log area or description area and then a separate field for weather notes. That was stuff you had to manually enter in. We’ve transitioned this tab a lot over the years, and now you are prefilled with a date or you can backdate if you need to put one in for yesterday, if you forgot a day. Then you can check a box that basically automatically puts the weather conditions at the point of you putting that daily log in, which is a very nice feature.

Paul Wurth:

It’s a great feature. It’s a common term in construction. The definition would be this is how you communicate things that have happened on the job site. But what I’ve seen in our clients, and maybe you can attest this, Andy, is that it’s not just that. Because it’s so easy to use, it’s actually our most popular feature, probably because of the ease of use and flexibility. I’ll let you talk about the flexibility, but I want to talk about different scenarios in which you can use it. I preach this when we talk to our prospects and I think your team preaches when you talk to our clients is a daily log is not just that single incidence when a team member from your team goes out to the field and says, “This is what happened today.” It can be so much more than that.

Andy McCarville:

Sure.

Paul Wurth:

What I always say is two ideas. Number one, end of the week, Friday, your team talks about what happened on the week and it’s for the client. If you’ve got a client involved and you want to give them a weekly summary, take 30 seconds, use the voice-to-text feature, say, “Here’s what happened today. Add all the photos from the week, maybe a video.” I know you like that.

Tom Houghton:

I love the video.

Paul Wurth:

We’ll let you get into that. Patience. Then send that out to the client. Because one cool thing about the daily log is you can decide who gets to see each one. Permission levels and notifications.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Another good one would be let’s say you’re taking… An office manager is taking a phone call from a client.

Andy McCarville:

Sure.

Paul Wurth:

Why just have that conversation and just that silo? You can teach your team to take that conversation or even while it’s happening, type it out, put in a daily log and share with the team so everybody knows what’s going on.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, yeah. Obviously, it’s a way to connect. There’s gaps. There’s communication gaps all over the place. This is one way to seal that gap just using that daily log.

Paul Wurth:

And keep a history of who said what when. You’ll find that theme within our product a lot of places, the time and date stamp and who said that and where it left off.

Tom Houghton:

I like your use of the internal, using it internally not also externally. Then of course, you can set those permissions right there at the very bottom of the daily log.

Andy McCarville:

Sure. You can also default that. There’s a setting tab where you can go in to your daily logs and you can determine right there who you want to share that daily log with across every daily log that you create. You can set those defaults right away when you set up your account for the first time so that way you’re only sharing daily logs as a default with maybe internal users. Then you can turn on the option to share it with your sub or your customer.

Tom Houghton:

Can you do that on a per job basis?

Andy McCarville:

No, that is across-

Tom Houghton:

It’s across the whole of the account.

Andy McCarville:

Yep.

Tom Houghton:

Okay.

Paul Wurth:

The other thing you can do is you can template your area of notes. There are a certain percentage of people who come to our business and have already got maybe a written form of a daily log and they’ve got it structured the way they want.

Andy McCarville:

That’s right.

Paul Wurth:

Some common things would be like employees on the job, subs on the job, where the delivery is today, what equipment was on the job, whatever it is, whatever’s important to your business. Through the help of your Buildertrend coach and onboarding, you can actually get that templated so that’s the structure of your log.

Andy McCarville:

100%. You have the ability to go in and format it. There’s a few things that you can’t… You can’t bold things or you can’t highlight or make colors or anything like that. But you can go in and structure it the way that you’d like. That way someone has a structure that they can follow when they’re going through and filling out a daily log.

Andy McCarville:

Now, custom fields is something we haven’t even knocked the door down on yet in this conversation. That’s a huge part of this tab as well is being able to utilize custom fields. We have so many great opportunities for you to build out the custom fields that you want to track information. You can run some reports off of those custom fields. Not to mention that we have just now, in the last month, created a tool where you can print one daily log at a time if you need to. Something a lot of our realtors were looking for. You can only print out all of them at once.

Tom Houghton:

Previous to this, you were just printing out the entire selection of Daily Logs?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

That’s a lot of paper.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, a lot of paper. Now you can just-

Paul Wurth:

You’re saving trees in your job.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. You can identify one daily log and just print that one daily log out.

Paul Wurth:

Custom fields and daily logs is widely used for a lot of reasons. But what are some good examples?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. You mentioned one earlier with the equipment. If you have a few different things that you’re wanting to track as far as where your equipment is on what project, that sort of thing, then create a custom field dropdown with your equipment options. That way the site manager can select which equipment they’re using on that day. One thing that a lot of people don’t know is there is GPS tracking on daily logs when you’re using your mobile phone too. Right there, you can GPS stamp where your equipment is within that daily log.

Paul Wurth:

I’ve turned GPS off on all my personal devices. I don’t want people to know.

Tom Houghton:

Feeling a little too tracked by the man.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. You too, right?

Tom Houghton:

No, I’m good.

Paul Wurth:

Your whole life is a GPS. Your Tesla, everywhere.

Andy McCarville:

Then there’s internal users, sub-trades, partners, that sort of thing, where there are prefilled dropdowns that you can create as custom fields where you want to just let everyone know who’s out on site that day, who’s visiting, that sort of thing. You can track that information as well using a custom field.

Paul Wurth:

We’re going to keep going down the daily logs string of how great it is. One thing I want to bring up is comments, right?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

You’ll find comments on pretty much every feature where it applies. But what is a comment?

Andy McCarville:

Comment is a way to just continue a discussion without having to edit the original daily note, the log that was created.

Paul Wurth:

A business owner is reviewing his daily logs from his project managers from the day, and Chris is the project manager and he said, “Hey, here’s what happened today.” Bill’s the business owner. He can go in and go, “Hey, Chris, what about this?”

Andy McCarville:

Sure.

Paul Wurth:

It’s inside that daily log with a time and date stamped.

Andy McCarville:

Yep.

Paul Wurth:

Then we can reply back.

Andy McCarville:

Exactly. There’s notifications built right into it, so that way the person’s pinged right away that a comment’s been added and they can go in and add additional comments.

Tom Houghton:

We can of course set those permissions so that way they stay internally amongst the team or you could have comments outside?

Andy McCarville:

Absolutely.

Tom Houghton:

Going to the clients?

Andy McCarville:

That’s built into the comment right there so when you’re adding it, you can determine whether you want to share it internally, with your trades, with your customer.

Paul Wurth:

Perfect. One last story I have is I talked to one of our clients at Buildertrend University. What he said is daily logs are so important for him because they were working on five or six jobs at a time, like most people do. You’re not just working on one job. As a business owner, you’re probably out trying to sell the next job, plus manage relationships with the jobs you’re doing with your clients.

Paul Wurth:

What would happen, if he got a call from a homeowner, he would have them leave him a message and before he called back, he would go find that job, go through the last two weeks of daily logs, so he was super informed of what was going on and then call the client back. He said when he started doing this, the clients appreciated it and just his relationship with them totally changed.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Did you follow me there?

Tom Houghton:

I did.

Paul Wurth:

Okay, good.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. I guess my follow-up to that would be then… This is taking us down a rabbit hole with this story, but I guess was he not sharing the Daily Logs with the clients then?

Paul Wurth:

No, not every week. Because a lot of the daily logs are for internal purposes only.

Tom Houghton:

Oh, okay.

Paul Wurth:

Like the project manager is telling the owner or the office manager or the whole team this is what happened today. Typically, and maybe you can speak to this, they’re really choosing once or twice a week and that’s a different kind of log, right? You don’t want to get into the minutiae of what happened or mistakes that were made.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

They can choose when to share with the homeowner.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, absolutely. Not every daily log’s going to be shared with the owner. I think a lot of builders think that the owner doesn’t want to see a daily log, which could be farthest from the truth. I think owners really want to see that information if it’s once or twice a week. That way they know what’s going on, on the job without having to send a text or send a message or make a phone call.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah. I think again they’re going to be surprised to hear that most people want to be in the loop on this stuff. Again, because I think also the benefit, it may seem like a big ask, but the benefit is then they’re not going to have to ask you all the questions of what happened on the job today? Why does my house… Why is it missing a roof still or something?

Paul Wurth:

Missing a roof? I mean, really.

Andy McCarville:

Any way to shore up communication and just be as upfront as possible with your customer, I think is a definite positive.

Tom Houghton:

For sure.

Paul Wurth:

Before we get into Tom’s favorite Q & A part-

Andy McCarville:

Well, I did want to… We didn’t bring up photos very much.

Tom Houghton:

We didn’t bring up video either.

Paul Wurth:

We didn’t?

Tom Houghton:

You said patience. My patience has run out.

Paul Wurth:

Fire away.

Tom Houghton:

Let’s go with photos first.

Paul Wurth:

Well, yeah.

Tom Houghton:

Let’s talk about photos.

Andy McCarville:

What’s great about Daily Logs is the ability to attach photos. I think a lot of people that are utilizing that. Now that you can take that photo and throw it right into an album now too. That used to not be a capability within our program to where you could copy a photo from one album to another. Daily Logs is its own album. You can copy that photo from a daily log album to one of your master albums that you have set up in your photos tab. But it’s just a great tool because pictures tell a thousand words, right? That’s a saying, I’m pretty sure.

Tom Houghton:

It is.

Paul Wurth:

It’s close. I don’t know if-

Tom Houghton:

A picture’s worth a thousand words.

Paul Wurth:

That it?

Tom Houghton:

That’s why I say videos are so much better because there’s…

Paul Wurth:

Good segue.

Tom Houghton:

See?

Andy McCarville:

With that, you can only type so much. Just let the photo do the talking, right?

Tom Houghton:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Am I right or am I right?

Andy McCarville:

It’s what I’m saying.

Paul Wurth:

Just to recap, every photo you take in, let’s just round numbers because it’s hard for me to carry the one, a hundred daily logs.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

There’s 3,000 photos and a hundred daily logs. Those are all automatically organized into an album for me in your photo section and now you have the ability to go to the album and say, “Hey, I want these 10 to go to the owner view or the view where the owner has in the photo.”

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. That’s exactly right.

Paul Wurth:

That’s great. Thanks.

Tom Houghton:

One more quick thing about the photos that we haven’t talked about is how it could help in a liability issue.

Andy McCarville:

Sure.

Tom Houghton:

Our producer, Brooke, just give us a great stat from a landscape company that saved $45,000 on a claim because they were taking photos and they had the proof in the daily log.

Paul Wurth:

That’s incredible. I’m sure there’s a lot of those stories. If we have listeners out there that have those stories, I think Brooke and our marketing department would appreciate.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah, and you can email those stories to podcast@buildertrend.com.

Paul Wurth:

Excellent. Love that email address.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, it’s a great one.

Tom Houghton:

It’s an easy one to remember.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Okay, now you get to talk about video.

Tom Houghton:

Okay, so videos. I feel like a lot of people use Daily Logs most likely as project managers.

Andy McCarville:

Yes.

Tom Houghton:

Right? They’re going out on the site, they’re taking videos. You can use those videos in your marketing if you just give them a couple tools. Cheap tools that we talk about, stabilizers that you can get for your iPhones or your Android, and you can take video of the job site. It’s a dual purpose. One, it can go to the daily log so you’ve got a record. But the second thing is then you can actually keep that stored at Buildertrend because of course, unlimited storage. Shout out there. Fantastic tool.

Paul Wurth:

Right.

Tom Houghton:

But you can use that in your marketing really easily. There’s also of course the tie-in in Buildertrend where you can share this stuff on Facebook, on Twitter. Our integration’s there. That’d really make it a solid play for photos and video.

Paul Wurth:

Well, one thing that people don’t realize until they start doing the video is there’s audio. You can just take 30 seconds, walk the job, and even though you’re not on camera, talk people through what you’re talking about. “We got this framing done today. You can see that this is done and we’re going to do this tomorrow.” It’s a good way to effectively communicate. You’re right.

Andy McCarville:

Absolutely.

Paul Wurth:

Now, let’s get to know Andy McCarville.

Tom Houghton:

With three fun facts with Andy.

Paul Wurth:

Three fun facts.

Andy McCarville:

Okay.

Tom Houghton:

Fact number one, Andy. Heard you’re somewhat of a social media star.

Andy McCarville:

Okay.

Tom Houghton:

Because you have an Instagram account, correct?

Andy McCarville:

I do.

Tom Houghton:

With our previous guest in this segment of the spotlight segment.

Paul Wurth:

Dan Lipari and Andy McCarville. You guys have been coworkers for a long time and you guys had created your own Instagram account. For what reason? I have no idea. Just to be funny?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah. We’re best friends at the office so we just decided… We go out to launch or we’re at a Buildertrend outing or something like that to take a photo, pop it on that Instagram account, Dan4andAndy9.

Tom Houghton:

We’ll put a link to that.

Paul Wurth:

We’ll put a link to that. Don’t try to figure that one out.

Andy McCarville:

Four was Dan’s baseball number and nine was mine.

Paul Wurth:

That’s really cute. Hey, you know what? I just thought about this. We played against each other.

Andy McCarville:

Did we?

Paul Wurth:

Yeah. I came up to Lincoln Pius, your high school, because you were a junior and I was a senior, and we played.

Andy McCarville:

Roncolli?

Paul Wurth:

Roncolli.

Andy McCarville:

Lee Pius.

Paul Wurth:

That’s right.

Andy McCarville:

You guys probably won.

Paul Wurth:

No, you guys smoked us.

Andy McCarville:

Okay.

Tom Houghton:

Second question, Andy. You’re a father to two children and-

Paul Wurth:

And one on the way. Beautiful wife, Jori.

Andy McCarville:

My beautiful wife Jori, yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Third child on the way?

Andy McCarville:

Third child on the way.

Paul Wurth:

Exciting.

Andy McCarville:

We’re talking days, people.

Paul Wurth:

Days.

Andy McCarville:

Any day now.

Tom Houghton:

We’re in critical countdown.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Tom Houghton:

Final question for you, Andy. What is your personal favorite feature in Buildertrend?

Andy McCarville:

Ooh, geez. Daily Logs is a great one. I always brought up change orders and the trainings as my favorite tab. Just because of how easy that tab is to use, how you can really get information to your customer and get them signed off on that change order as quickly as possible. Very powerful and it’s a money maker.

Andy McCarville:

One thing that I heard, another story just from being at trade shows, things like that, people would come up to me and say, “Change orders alone, that tab, with maybe one or two jobs, pays for Buildertrend.” Just using that tab and collecting money on those changes that customers think just fall off trees. Using that change order tab, getting that contractual agreement, that binding agreement and holding them accountable, they’ll pay you.

Tom Houghton:

I asked that question as a segue because that will be our next feature spotlight, change orders.

Andy McCarville:

You thought I was going to say change orders?

Tom Houghton:

No. Well, I mean, I hope you did.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, cool.

Tom Houghton:

I like that one.

Paul Wurth:

It’s a good segue.

Tom Houghton:

It’s a good one.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah, that’s good.

Tom Houghton:

Thanks. Andy, thank you so much for answering those questions.

Paul Wurth:

Congratulations.

Andy McCarville:

Thank you.

Paul Wurth:

To you and your beautiful wife.

Andy McCarville:

I appreciate that.

Paul Wurth:

We’re excited for you.

Andy McCarville:

Thank you very much. Hey, we’ll post a picture of the baby on the show next.

Tom Houghton:

Oh, yeah. That’d be great. Buildertrend.com.

Paul Wurth:

With your permission, of course.

Tom Houghton:

Yeah, of course.

Andy McCarville:

We’ll see how the [crosstalk].

Tom Houghton:

We’ll blur out the face. Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

You’ve been known to make beautiful babies, but we’ll see.

Tom Houghton:

You never know. Third time’s a charm. Should be the best, right?

Paul Wurth:

There you go.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah, I was the third.

Tom Houghton:

You were the third?

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Tom Houghton:

Look how it turned out.

Andy McCarville:

I was a gorgeous baby.

Tom Houghton:

Thank you again, Andy, for joining us. Make sure you check out the show notes at buildertrend.com/podcast to find out what… Do you know what the gender is?

Andy McCarville:

No.

Tom Houghton:

It’s a surprise this time, right?

Andy McCarville:

They’ve all been surprises and this is the third.

Paul Wurth:

Yeah, tiebreaker. You have a boy and a girl.

Andy McCarville:

I do have a boy and a girl, yep.

Tom Houghton:

Check out the show notes page to find out which Andy had, a boy or a girl.

Andy McCarville:

Yeah.

Paul Wurth:

Mystery.

Tom Houghton:

Also, don’t forget to subscribe and rate our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll see you next time on “The Building Code.”

Paul Wurth:

Appreciate you.

Andy McCarville | Buildertrend


Places You Can find us

Get updates for The Building Code

Be the first to know when new episodes are released.

By clicking ‘Submit’ you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions Agreement and Privacy Policy.
Return to top