Establishing processes to take on more projects with Marge Haley

On this episode of “The Building Code,” Zach and Charley are chatting with returning guest Marge Haley, a development coordinator here at Buildertrend. Marge is an expert on the inner workings and processes that make up our construction project management software.

Listen to the full episode to hear Marge’s insights about setting your team up for success with the Buildertrend onboarding process and how to maximize and save time on the job.

HOW SHOULD BUILDERS GO ABOUT DEFINING ROLES WITHIN BUILDERTREND?

“I’m going to start with the onboarding process. So, I train all the onboarding specialists, and they’re the ones who are trying to get people onboarded. And at that point, you want to pick your individuals that are going to be your Buildertrend stars. Not just giving it to one person. So, maybe your office crew needs a Buildertrend star, your field crew needs a Buildertrend star, and that’s your go-to. That’s going to be who designates those roles and sets that up for success. And if you put those people in place and their role is to manage the process, you’ll see people pick it up better. And someone in the office can relate to someone else that’s in the office rather than someone in the field trying to tell someone in the office what to do.”

WHAT ARE THE EASIEST WAYS FOR BUILDERS TO SAVE TIME ON THEIR PROCESSES?

“Obviously, Buildertrend is designed to save time. But the biggest thing that I would push if someone says, ‘I don’t have time to onboard this,’ or ‘I don’t have time to learn,’ or ‘I don’t have time to set up each individual job.’ I would always push templates. You can create it one time. And then you get push back, ‘Oh, I’m a custom home builder. Every job is different.’ I would push back and say, every job starts with foundation, or every job starts with demolition. There is a process that you can establish within our templates. It may save you a lot of time. Any time saved is valuable, right? Time is money. And that’s why people sign up for Buildertrend is to save time, save money.”

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Marge Halsey

Marge Halsey | Buildertrend

Zach Wojtowicz:

Welcome back to “The Building Code.” Episode 123. Charley.

Charley Burtwistle:

Charley Burtwistle.

Zach Wojtowicz:

How are we doing today?

Charley Burtwistle:

Super excited.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Zach Wojtowicz here as always. We’ve got to kind of work on that. I’m always like, “Charley!”

Charley Burtwistle:

Here I am.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Here I am. We’re still here. Doing our thing on “The Building Code.” We’re really excited today. We’re going to have Marge Haley of our Customer Success team come and chat with us, but before we do that, let’s talk about some things that are going on out there in the world.

Charley Burtwistle:

Our timely topics.

Zach Wojtowicz:

What do we got today?

Charley Burtwistle:

Well, the first one that we have is really just been about the construction industry in general. Just how to improve efficiencies and the things that COVID-19, the pandemic, has forced people to … things that people were stuck in their old ways in the past, and they realized that they didn’t want to get left behind. They had to move forward, be on the cutting edge of some of these exciting things.

So, the article we have linked today is from Construction Dive, which is a great resource. If you guys aren’t already checking it out, I would highly recommend it. But the main one it talks about is construction technology, obviously near and dear to our heart here at Buildertrend. It has some staggering stats in here, so.

“Investigating connected construction technology pays off throughout the construction life cycle by reducing”, and then here’s the stats, “engineering hours by 10-30%, building cost by 5-10%, operating costs by 10-20% and then overall decommissioning hours by 5-10%.”

So, obviously, a lot of the stuff that you’re doing in your other podcast, which I’ll pretend not to be jealous about Zach, “The Better Way,” just talking about how to improve efficiencies overall. I think this is highly, highly related to that. So, this may be a good time to talk about what you’ve been doing over there and some of the things that you guys have been talking about over on that podcast.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I’ll talk to my people and see if we can get a season to have you star on it.

Charley Burtwistle:

Come on as a guest.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. In our last episode, you get to go to Vail with CBUSA, so I get the other podcasts. And you just have to deal with it.

Charley Burtwistle:

I’d be okay with that trade off.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. I can see why. Great point. I repressed my case, but I felt like I lost.

Yeah. So, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting our sister podcast, “The Better Way,” where we focus in a little bit more on the product side of Buildertrend and really get into the details of how should you be using it in your business.

So, I had Nick Schiffer join me for season three recently, and we really got into the details of how a builder took the software and got his team to use it. Really how he got his homeowners to use it, his subs, to use it. And really understand that he was a growing business. He was rapidly expanding. He needed a way to leverage that growth and capitalize on the opportunity that was in front of him, and Buildertrend was the solution for that.

He was extremely honest. Everybody has growing pains when you’re trying to become a successful building company, and Nick was really transparent in his processes and gave a lot of really great advice for builders out there. So, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a lot of us just going back and forth, talking about my experience in my travels and how he saw it in his world. He has actually done an on-site visit as well. And we recap that a little bit. So. it was a lot of fun.

Nick Schiffer of NS Builders. Go ahead and check it out and how you can boost collaboration.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. Well, I think that’s the question that people always have. Right? I quote these stats about how much you’re going to decrease your cost and improve your hours. Well, it’s like, “Okay, how?” Right? Which is why …

Zach Wojtowicz:

I know. That’s always the question. It’s really nice to read stats, but …

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

How do you measure it within your own context and how you’re going to see that success? And that can be a struggle. And that’s kind of what Nick talked about was how do you start picking at the buffet where you’re going to improve your operational inefficiencies? Is it on sales? Is it the production of building the houses? We talked about CBUSA. It’s the purchasing procurement that is the issue. And you have to be selective. You can’t tackle it all at once. We’ve seen people fail with Buildertrend, when they try to do too much at once.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Coming up with a plan is a huge part of it, and technology is the other piece. It lets you stretch a lot further with your resourcing because they have a tool that lets them be more effective at what they do. Right?

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. I think we’ve seen people have to be really, really intentional about what they’re trying to improve and why they’re trying to improve it. Right. You can’t just sign up for a software, implement some solution, expect everything to magically change overnight.

So, yeah, I’ll have to check out “The Better Way” podcast. The sister podcast.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Season three, baby.

Charley Burtwistle:

Is that out? Season three?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Should be out.

Charley Burtwistle:

We’re live on season three. So, definitely go check that out. Be sure to subscribe, rate, review.

Zach Wojtowicz:

As always.

Charley Burtwistle:

As always.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Open to feedback. Let us know how it is on social media as well. We’re really excited to put that out for people to listen to.

Charley Burtwistle:

I was just going to say, I think this feeds in really, really nicely with our guests that we have today. Marge Haley. When you talk about improving processes and implementing Buildertrend, I don’t know if there’s anybody out there better at that than Marge. Would you agree?

Zach Wojtowicz:

We were just having a conversation at the office about the Mount Rushmore of Buildertrend and Marge would make it for sure. It’s a competitive field. We’ve got a lot of great people who work at Buildertrend. A lot of them have been on the podcast. Marge is in the top four, for sure. She doesn’t like me saying that you can see her face right now she’s mortified that I’m even bringing this up, but it’s true. Marge is one of our best people. I have the pleasure to sit next to her. We’re very close coworkers. So, maybe it’s just my opportunity to embarrass her on the podcast.

Charley Burtwistle:

Love that.

Zach Wojtowicz:

She’s a training coordinator at Buildertrend. So, we have a new hire and she teaches them Buildertrend. They’re in good hands. Marge, welcome to the podcast.

Marge Haley:

Thanks for having me guys. I am extremely mortified that you brought that up about Mount Rushmore up. That was not intended, but I do get to sit next to Zach, and we have a stellar education team. I’ve been on that team for about six or seven months now. Before that I was a technical service manager. So, I was able to work with not only with our customers, our Customer Success team, but also our Engineering team. And then on top of that, before I started the TSM role, I was a CSM, which we don’t have anymore, but I trained and onboarded all of our clients and did that for about two and a half years.

So, had a lot of experience talking to a lot of our great clients. So, got to kind of put my, I don’t know, specialties to work. I love talking to people. I love interacting, but then I also love making people’s businesses better. And I feel like I have a huge impact right now.

Charley Burtwistle:

Absolutely. And this is your second time on the pod, correct?

Marge Haley:

Yes. This is my second time. First time in person. Last time was during quarantine, so I was virtual. So, this is kind of a cool, neat experience.

Charley Burtwistle:

Absolutely.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Got the headphones on. The mics on. It is a different world when you’re actually in the studio. I wish we could get everybody in, but …

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah, it’s more natural conversation.

Marge Haley:

Yeah.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We’re trying to … We’ll work out the private jet and fly in our guests. I’ll commit Buildertrend. I’m going to get fired.

Charley Burtwistle:

Well, we got the Mount Rushmore of Buildertrend right here in office. So, hopefully she has the power to do that.

Zach Wojtowicz:

True. We got the Teddy Roosevelt of Buildertrend here. We deserve a little bit of a budget bump. Can we get productions.

Charley Burtwistle:

We got our producers in here. Yeah. They look like they’re saying yes.

Zach Wojtowicz:

A lot of nodding. A lot of nodding that’s going on. Anyway. So, Marge, what we want to talk to you about today is kind of what we opened the show with this idea of improving operations, leveraging the software. You just outlined your experience. Contractors are busier than ever. What are some ways that they find efficiencies? How do they get better at their job?

Marge Haley:

Yeah, that’s a great question. And as your intro alluded to, I found a few things that kind of stuck out. I think when I’ve spoken to so many builders over the years. I think the biggest thing that I’ve found is that when people implement Buildertrend correctly, it’s one thing to dive in and pick up all these features, but unless you do it correctly … My biggest thing and what I always stress was define roles and define roles within Buildertrend.

So, it’s those companies that try to have all of their users wear all of the hats where your office manager is also doing project manager work, and your project managers and an office manager work, and they’re both doing the same jobs, those efficiencies take a lot longer to find its place. Where if you designate roles and make sure those individuals are sticking to their roles, that’s when you really see the efficiency come to light.

So, it’s not necessarily what you’re … I mean, it does have to do with what you’re doing in Buildertrend, but as long as your staff is doing things that they should be doing, your efficiencies will increase. For sure. 

Charley Burtwistle:

So, where do, in your experience, where do customers kind of start that kind of journey to defining roles? How would you recommend they designate certain tasks, or who is using Buildertrend, what features they’re using? What’s a good kind of starting point for someone that’s kind of brand new to what you may be talking about.

Marge Haley:

Yeah. So, I’m going to start with the onboarding process. So, I train all the onboarding specialists and they’re the ones who are trying to get people onboarded. And at that point, you want to pick your individuals that are going to be your Buildertrend stars. Who are you going to have implement and manage your onboarding process? And from the beginning, onboarding Buildertrend correctly.

Not just giving it to one person. So, maybe your office crew needs a Buildertrend star, your field crew needs a Buildertrend star, and that’s your go-to, that’s going to be who designates those roles and sets that up for success. And if you put those people in place and their role is to manage that process, you’ll see people pick it up better. And someone in the office can relate to someone else that’s in the office rather than someone in the field trying to tell someone in the office what to do.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right. Absolutely. So, once they have that, roles as designated, they’re ready to get into the program, how would you coach them or train them? You know, I feel like in general things they’re trying to do, take on more projects, become more efficient, what would be some good spots to start once they’ve got off and going on the onboarding process?

Marge Haley:

So, it’s definitely what’s important to them. I think the toughest part about our job as an internal employee of Buildertrend is trying to figure out what the company needs. And it’s not necessarily the whole program. And as I’m teaching new hires at Buildertrend, I can kind of relate this back to people who have new hires come on, and it’s trying to figure out like what’s most important, and it’s not the same for every company.

So, I am always saying, well, it depends on the company. It depends on the company, so we need to figure out what’s important to the company, but to do that they need to figure out what’s important to that company. Or to their company, I guess. So, I think that’s the biggest thing is that they need to figure out where their deficiencies lie. Is that the scheduling? Is it estimating? Is it communication with their subs? And then from there, we need to start at what’s hurting the business the most.

And Buildertrend can’t tell them what that is. They need to tell us what they need. So, and then from there, our team internally can coach them in the right direction.

Charley Burtwistle:

To accomplish that task, the pain point, help them problem solve that specific … yep.

Marge Haley:

Yep.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I think that’s a piece of the Customer Success department here at Buildertrend that gets a little confusing because we have a lot of different roles within CS. You have onboarding specialists, you have implementation specialists, you have support. Where does that cross spectrum look at. When Marge and I … I started on the support floor as well. We did everything. And these days, Buildertrend has gone through a renaissance to try and get everybody really good at a specific function of onboarding because that’s a totally different conversation like Marge was saying. Imagine if you’re a new customer, you’re signing up, and you’re just like, “I just signed up for the software. I don’t know where to begin.” And now you have someone on the phone is like, “Tell me what are you trying to improve? What are you trying to fix? What are you trying to do?”

You got your account executive, who’s putting you through this onboarding process and then your OBS takes it. But there’s a lot of value in that. Having someone challenge you and what you know, and where you’re at and where you can get is something that’s built into your subscription cost, but I think a lot of companies are surprised at … because we’re talking to so many different builders about their processes, Marge, myself, the floor, in a given day we might talk to three specialty contractors, a commercial contractor, and a new home builder and one’s a semi-custom and one is a production builder. So, we have all these little nuggets that we can go and share about here’s what one person does, here’s what another one does. So, if you’ve never like talked to our support team, do yourself a favor and reach out because we probably can improve something about what you’re trying to accomplish.

Even if the software isn’t perfect at what your process is today, with a little bit of collaboration, we can usually make it work pretty well for most people, which it was always my favorite part, Marge. Working with clients, it’s one thing to go through the process and how the schedule works, but when you get a business and you’re like, “Tell me what you do. Let me get creative and solve a logistical issue for you.” That’s where we really see efficiencies get eliminated because then we’re meeting you halfway in a sense. And it takes that human interaction. And that’s what I’ve always kind of thought Buildertrend makes us special. Because we actually care enough to like, provide that for people.

Marge Haley:

Yeah. On my first trainings when I was a CSM, which is a glorified OBS at this point, we just did a lot of different things. So, we had more of a group title at that point. My first training, I didn’t even get into the program. I asked so many questions and just gathered all the information that I needed upfront to make them more successful long term. So, now it’s a little bit different because they’ve got the account executive coming up front, but at any rate it’s about what that company needs.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit about that. The size of the company. How do you shift what you’re trying to advise your client on? If you have a really small company, you got a two man show, they wear a lot of hats versus like you’re really sophisticated businesses, they’re mature, they have 40 employees. What’s your approach with that? Do you shift your training plan or do you kind of have some things that you would put in place no matter what? Talk to us a little bit about that process for you?

Marge Haley:

Well, I would say absolutely you have to change your onboarding process. If you think about trying to onboard two people into Buildertrend and use technology, or onboard 40 people, there’s definitely a change in what the needs, the roles. Are there managers? Are there people … when there’s 40 people there you can’t just say, “Well, what do you need to learn?” Because someone who does production and manages a schedule wouldn’t know how to answer questions about financials. Whereas, if it’s two people, they probably wear the same hats. Those two people probably do everything together. There’s no secrets. But at any rate there always has to be a process. I think it certainly should be our catchphrase of the education team, is establish a process. Because a lot of times companies come to us that don’t use technology, and there is very little processes.

I really do think that a part that made me successful at Buildertrend is my dad does work in construction. It’s a small company, and my infamous thing is that he would yell at me and be like, “Marge, do you know where that paper plate with that phone number is?” And I’m like, “You mean in the garbage ‘cause that’s trash.”

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Marge Haley:

I understood that type of contractor, and it’s really common for … they know that they need help. So, they come to us for that help and that onboarding process for that small company that uses paper plates and sticky notes is a lot different than that 40-person company that it has processes already established. They’re both challenging because processes are hard to change if they’re already established, but then also processes are hard to accept when you don’t have any. So, there are two different types of challenges.

Charley Burtwistle:

Well, that’s something I’ve always been in awe of from the support team, the customer success. Obviously, I’m kind of the odd man out here with you two. But just …

Zach Wojtowicz:

Did you just give them the stare?

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. I know, so left out. But your guys’ book of business is what? Two, three hundred, sometimes even more customers?

Zach Wojtowicz:

Depends on the role. The account executive can have a thousand accounts that they oversee.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right. So, when you talk about the differences between, you know, onboarding two people, onboarding 40 people, it’s not like you haven’t done that before, right? It’s the whole better together group mentality. What’d Ryan say? “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

So, you guys are using those things that you learned from this two-man company, and you’re able to kind of implement those same types of solutions. Like, “Hey, we’ve seen the success for the company just like yours.” And just like that breadth of knowledge with how large our customer base and how much our reps are having to take on. Obviously, it becomes really, really impactful.

Zach Wojtowicz:

So, I’m curious, too, Marge, I’m sure there’s some things you use keep in your back pocket to save people time, but the values, the wows. So, what are some of your tips for maximizing time for our builders and listeners. Most likely people listening, they use the product. They want to know, “Okay, what can I do to be better?”

Marge Haley:

Yeah. So, I’ll definitely turn that more towards the product itself. So, obviously, Buildertrend is designed to save time. But the biggest thing that I would push if someone says, “I don’t have time to onboard this”, or “I don’t have time to learn”, or “I don’t have time to set up each individual job”, I would always push templates.

You can create it one time. And you get push back, “Oh, I’m a custom home builder. Every job is different.”

Zach Wojtowicz:

“I can’t use that. Every job is different.”

Marge Haley:

I would push back and say, every job starts with foundation or every job starts with demolition. There is a process that you can establish within our templates. It may save you a lot of time. Any time saved is valuable, right? Time is money. And that’s why people sign up for Buildertrend is to save time, save money.

And so, setting up a template. But again, with that establishing a process around that template. There should be a reason why you have that template. There should be a reason why everything is in that template. And there should be people behind that template, not only adjusting it as needed, but then not any person should be importing that in and adjusting it. We should have somebody who is in charge of importing that template, fixing it to make sure it’s aligned with that project, and then taking that job to fruition.

So, it’s the process behind it. If you don’t have that process behind it, it’s not going to work.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We were doing a BOC, Buildertrend Online Conference. It’s a free conference that we put on every other month. If you have never attended, it might be worth checking out, see it on Buildertrend.com and sign up for free. Great way to get just an overview of different features that you might not be using. But we had an attendee, Marge, I can’t remember if you were on this BOC or not. We were talking about templating and in the chat, they were like, “If you’re not using templates, you’re not using Buildertrend.” And that just stuck with me. I just thought that was such a great … it’s more like a Fight Club line.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

You know. We don’t talk about this. No, no. We should talk about templates.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. We need that headlined on our dot com, I think.

Zach Wojtowicz:

For sure.

Charley Burtwistle:

For anyone to look at.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. If you’re looking at ways to just recreate the wheel, every job, the template feature is incredible for … and it’s very flexible. You know, you can pull in specific features, or you can do the entire job. Obviously, your process, as Marge pointed out, is going to be a little different, but we’ll work with you to figure out how, how it should work. And we can even help stage some of those templates as well. So, I think it’s worth pointing out.

Are there other things that you’d like to help with people from a maximizing time standpoint, or efficiencies or any other things that you … if you want a new account today and you had 20 minutes to help their business, where would you take them?

Marge Haley:

Knowing what I know, talking to the builders that I I’ve talked to, I would always start with the scheduling tool. I would say nearly every contractor has used a scheduling tool. First of all, it’s not a foreign process. Maybe introducing a purchase order system would be a new foreign process and that would take a lot more work to get implemented, but if you show a contractor a Gantt chart or production schedule, they’d get it.

So, right there with Buildertrend, we can set it up, reuse it, and then also get your users assigned to those schedule items. So, you’re improving communication, improving time, giving confirmation on those scheduled items, things like that, that Buildertrend offers. That’d be my first step, no doubt, is figuring out the schedule and then everything ties to it. So, it makes everything a lot easier as well.

Charley Burtwistle:

And that’s something that just continues to come up the last three or four episodes that Zach and I have recorded is just how crucial and important scheduling is in the construction industry in general. Especially during some of the times that we’re having right now with really, really high material prices and also supply shortages. Obviously, scheduling can change a lot.

So, having one central location of when things are happening is crucial. But then the really cool thing about Buildertrend, too, that you alluded to, is that schedule can also link out to every other feature that we have in the platform. So, if you have a purchase that’s happening on a certain day, link it to a schedule item. If you have a sub that’s supposed to come and do work on a certain day, they’re tied to that schedule item. They can see how those shifts and everything is affected by the changes that you make right there.

Marge Haley:

Right. So, you’re getting people to use … you’re getting all of your users to use the Schedule, which once they can use one feature, they can use all of them. And it’s just an easy place to start. It’s not foreign to anyone. I’m going to go back to that purchase order process. If you don’t do a purchase order process now, and then you assign that out to a subcontractor, it’s a foreign system, it’s a foreign object. Maybe they don’t use purchase orders with your company, and now, you’re all of a sudden throwing a lot of things at them. Whereas, if you take on the Schedule, they get the Schedule, they understand a project management schedule for the most part. And that’s just something that … it’s kind of the baby steps into the program.

Zach Wojtowicz:

That makes a ton of sense. And that also goes to kind of our next topic, which is in our previous episode with Ryan, from CBUSA, we touched on the idea of the workforce being … he said that we have more people leaving the workforce than we have people entering in it. And, you know, with that reality that businesses are going through the Schedule can replace a lot of employees or make it so that employee is more effective. Have you seen that in your experience? Sort of how Buildertrend can effectively help release some of your labor burden in the construction world.

Marge Haley:

Yeah. I’ve talked to a lot of accounts that they’ve increased production. And usually, for the most part, when I was talking to them, they were saying even with the amounts of employees. So, building more, or less employees, obviously, that’s more money in your pocket. But now, if people are leaving … or you’re hiring new individuals with the demand, onboarding into your company should be a breeze. Otherwise, they may find another route.

So, I think again, I always go back when I was onboarding accounts, is establish a process with hiring new individuals. So, when someone walks into your company, they’re not trying to figure out all Buildertrend. They’re figuring out what their process is within Buildertrend to make it easier for them. So, using Buildertrend as like an onboarding tool and establishing that process before. But I’ve talked to a lot of accounts that they didn’t have to hire as many. Their number of homes that they built or remodeled went up because of Buildertrend, because they stayed on schedule. They were able to schedule their projects more effectively with using our baseline and things like that. So, absolutely, using a software, let’s just say, definitely helped them.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. And this is actually a really cool, I mean, this is the first time I’ve talked to you guys about this thing, but up in the data science world, we have this concept …

Zach Wojtowicz:

We want to know. You guys are the little special little floor and things just kind of come down.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah, we like to seclude ourselves. Give the appearance that we’re working on important things, whether we are or not. But one concept …

Zach Wojtowicz:

That’s just universal.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. Fair point.

One concept that we allude to quite a bit, we call the Buildertrend bump. And what we were able to do is look at how many jobs people were just able to do, not just in a year, but also at one time throughout their lifespan at Buildertrend. And we consistently see, statistically, significant numbers that show adopting Buildertrend helps you not only do more jobs, but also do more jobs at once. And you see the trend line that’s up into the right, always good of just big builders and companies that are becoming more efficient and able to take on more and more work.

But then the other one, kind of the inverse of the original question, is how do you use Buildertrend to supplement some of the labor force? As we’ve also seen to Marge’s point, people are able to add more and more employees and users over time because they’re getting more efficient. They’re able to take on more jobs and all their documentation and everything is in a centralized location now. So, when they hire an employee, they don’t have to point them to a paper plate over in the corner or teach them this …

Zach Wojtowicz:

Very professional.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. “This is our paper plate stack.”

Zach Wojtowicz:

It’s our schedule.

Charley Burtwistle:

Our Rolodex.

Marge Haley:

It’s our Rolodex. Yeah.

Charley Burtwistle:

A Rolodex of paper plates. So, yeah, it’s really cool. They’re also actually able to hire more and more employees because they’re more efficient with their own onboarding process because of Buildertrend.

Zach Wojtowicz:

I’m curious now, this is totally not in our notes of things to cover, but on this Buildertrend bump, do we track financial impact, too? And we look at the profitability of these projects or do we have any analysis as far as like, what is the bottom line impact?

Charley Burtwistle:

Yes and no. If people are using financials correctly, and they have their budget all built out and everything, we’re able to see just overall financial success and revenue generated. Obviously, where we don’t have insights into is how much are they paying people? What are their kind of operating costs and things like that, so it was tough to get out of real margin standpoint. But we consistently see increase revenue, increase job count year over year.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. It can be daunting when you’re signing up for Buildertrend and being able to see the end result of it.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

You know? So, hopefully for our listeners out there, this gives you the confidence that your journey is time well spent. Getting the software in a regimented way that has a procedure that’s built behind it. There’s a lot of things you can even build into your account to help with that. In a template, created to do. That lays out, when you hire a new employee, the things they need to do in Buildertrend, so that that person can be assigned at day one and follow the procedures of what their actual operational … learn, how to manage files, learn how to do the schedule.

Whatever it is to have to … stupid little things they build it into the account. The more it keeps coming back, the better you get at it, the more value you get out of it. And I’ve seen it so many times, the light bulb moments, the, “Wow, I don’t know how I lived before this.” We have a wall in our office with feedback from customers telling us time and time again, that once they finally started to drink the Kool-Aid the impact, even though we know it has a lot of tangible measurements, they don’t know how they could have done it without it.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

So … Go ahead, Marge.

Marge Haley:

You know. I have to interrupt. As I was kind of just thinking about this as we’re talking, it’s kind of amazing that we’re actually having this conversation. When you think about it, any restaurant you go to, any university, every company uses a technology of some sort, and we’re sitting here trying to encourage people to stop using the paper plates and Post-It notes. And there’s a reason why all these companies are investing in their technology.

And it’s just the building community is a little bit behind the bell curve on it, and I think we’re making strides to get them there. But there’s a reason why every company that you go into, every restaurant, and everything has a POS system, has some sort of technology backing their business and construction is just not one of them.

And I think it’s more important than ever because unlike a restaurant or a university or any business for that matter, we have parties in different fields. So, like you have someone in an office and someone 50 miles away working on a project. So, I think more than ever, it’s so important to have a technology to bridge that gap, bridge, that communication. And so, Buildertrend, I feel, is obviously the answer for that. It just is kind of a thought I was …

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. Yeah. And take onboarding. I feel like oftentimes people think that a technology solution like Buildertrend is a very, very daunting task, but just listening to the way you talk about it is, okay, establish your pain point, what are you trying to fix? Start there, let’s lay out who is going to fix that problem, then how they’re going to fix it, and just kind of chip away at one at a time.

Going back to the original article that we started out with in our timely topics, if you want to see some of the successes that other people are seeing, it just starts with just doing it. And the cool thing about Buildertrend is that we offer all these different resources, right? So, obviously, Customer Success where they have these giant books and is a free resource for all of our customers. But then we also have Buildertrend Online Conference that you were mentioning, Zack. Buildertrend University is firing back up, I believe.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yes, we are having Buildertrend University in August. So, we can welcome people back into our office and meet them. And that’s a great way to kind of also see everything it can do and network with other builders around the country and other … the Buildertrend, BT Nation.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And we’re dubbing it right now.

Marge Haley:

Just right now.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Just right now.

Charley Burtwistle:

Off the cuff.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And we also have other pro services to, to enhance your day-to-day operations. I was an onsite consultant. If you need that extra push to get your team to buy in, have us come out to you. 

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. So, Marge, kind of as we’re wrapping up here, what last words of advice would you give from all of your time on the CS floor and training floor for people that are looking to implement technology solutions, what would you really just kind of want to drive home for them?

Marge Haley:

Baby steps. One step at a time. It’s a marathon. It isn’t a sprint. You’re not going to take Buildertrend and overhaul your business in two days or three days. It’s a process. Pick what you need, what you can see helping your business the most. Start there and rely heavily on our Customer Success team. That’s what we’re there for. That’s why we have 50 of them in the room. It’s to onboard you and get you up and running. So, take it slow and rely on us.

Charley Burtwistle:

I love it.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Well, that’s all we have today for “The Building Code.” Marge, thank you so much for joining us. It was a pleasure as always. I’ll see you back at your desk.

Marge Haley:

Yeah. See you in five.

Charley Burtwistle:

It was an honor. It was an absolute honor to get to hang out with you guys for the last half hour or so.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Yeah. Well, I don’t hear that a lot, but I appreciate that, Charley.

Marge Haley:

Yeah. Those eight hours at desk time is a lot.

Zach Wojtowicz:

You’re not going to hear that from Marge. Let’s put it that way.

Marge Haley:

No. Just kidding. Thanks, guys.

Zach Wojtowicz:

All right. We’re signing out. It’s always great to have someone in the studio to be able to connect with them a little bit. And …

Charley Burtwistle:

It’s also great she’s been with Buildertrend a long time. Some of us have seen the full evolution from where we started, where we’re at now, when she’s talking about the position she originally started in isn’t even a position at Buildertrend anymore.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And that’s the story of Buildertrend.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right. Constantly evolving.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We’re always evolving in a lot of ways. Operationally, internally, but even our product, we’re always looking to kind of adapt, change it, increase its usability. And that’s kind of what we opened up with a show talking about how industries have always kind of been reluctant to change. Change is hard. Habits are hard to change in general. Humans are complicated.

And ultimately, what stuck out to me in talking with Marge is sometimes you need that person who can open your eyes and just point you in the right direction and give you solid advice on what you should be doing. That is, ultimately, I think why Buildertrend has been really successful. We have a great product. It works for thousands of builders. But I think about all the people who have worked with those builders over the years, there’s not a lot of people who are sticking with Buildertrend long-term without at least getting some advice. Some sort of direction from the people who get to see all different aspects of builders doing a lot of creative things. I can think of my own personal tips and tricks that I’ve given my clients.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Because someone taught it to me. I didn’t think of it, but we’re able to spread the love and really get people to that great place. Where they’re really becoming power users.

Charley Burtwistle:

Right. And what I loved what Marge talked about was almost kind of flipping the script and asking the builder, “Okay, what is your biggest pain point?” Right? I feel like a lot of times people sign up, and they think that Buildertrend is going to magically fix all their problems that they don’t know what they are. Right?

Okay, so, you want to do more jobs, you want to, increase revenue. Where is that breakdown happening? Is it your client? Is your sub management? Is it your scheduling? And really diving into the disconnect between where they’re at now and where they want to go. And then they can in turn take the mic back and be like, okay, this is how you solve that problem. And this is how 2000 other builders that I work with have solved the same exact problem, too.

Zach Wojtowicz:

And there is a lot of consistency across these builders. In my experience, I know we’ve talked to a lot of people on the podcast where they are part of builder groups, or they have a relationship with people in their market, but that’s not the case for a lot of people. And I feel like our customers are really hungry for that advice and direction. And what are other people doing even with just their business? I mean, I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me to sit down and just tell them what should my project manager even be doing.

Charley Burtwistle:

Yeah. And the cool thing, and I talked about this a little bit with Marge, too, is just all the different resources that Buildertrend provides. It seems like every time we talk to somebody else I become aware of a new thing that I didn’t even know we offer here at Buildertrend.

I know my data science corner that nobody ever comes over and visits and explains to me what things are happening around the company. But you know, Buildertrend Online Conference, I didn’t even know that we were doing that every single month. Obviously, that’s a free resource that anyone can go and check out. If you want to hear more of Zach and less of me, Buildertrend Online Conferences is a perfect place to go.

Zach Wojtowicz:

We can get you on to host. Especially, us. We should do it. We get both of us on BOC.

Yeah. Charley, we’ve got more things planned on “The Building Code.” There’s always something exciting coming down. Make sure you like, subscribe, check us out on social media. Anything we want to leave this episode with?

Charley Burtwistle:

No, I think we kind of nailed it. You know, call in, talk to your customer success rep.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Use your resources.

Charley Burtwistle:

Use your resources. There probably is someday you may be talking to someone that will be on the Buildertrend Mount Rushmore up there with Marge.

Zach Wojtowicz:

You never know.

Charley Burtwistle:

Thanks guys. I’m Charley.

Zach Wojtowicz:

Zach.

Charley Burtwistle:

This is “The Building Code.”


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