Buildxact provides end-to-end construction management software for small residential builders. Professional Builder talks to the company’s David Murray about the solution.
A time-poor builder in a competitive sector needs to work smart as well as hard and a new entrant into the UK market is providing a tool for the trades to achieve just that. Buildxact is the ideal companion on your journey through any job, from estimating to pre-construction, project and customer management, integration with accounting software, and much more.
Already well-established as a market leader in its native Australia since 2011, Buildxact has since migrated to New Zealand, Canada and the US. Wherever the company is in operation the mission is to improve profitability and ease those all-too familiar pain points that builders experience around business management, estimating and admin.
“We’re a full end-to end service provider – right from the first contact with the client – and that includes anything from a take-off tool, to bill of quantities, and quotes,” explains the company’s CEO, David Murray. “Once the job is won it can be run through Buildxact, even incorporating invoicing and access to your accounting provider at the final stage. At every point, it is about forming more effective and profitable lines of communication between builder, merchant and homeowner for the benefit of all concerned.”
Builders will know all too well that accurately pricing jobs can eat into their downtime from the tools but Buildxact can recover those lost hours of precious leisure and family time. The system operates on the basis of fully populated templates for the whole of the build process, of which there are 150 in total, and whatever is not required for that job can simply be deselected. As a result, the user can be confident that nothing has been omitted from the quote, and the estimate can be compiled in a fraction of the time.
David reveals more of the functionality: “In Australia our estimating service is linked to the country’s leading merchants and that’s a model we’re following here. The platform allows the builder to share his quote with his account manager and obtain an accurate price for the materials. It’s a win for both the tradesperson and the supplier, because the former will obtain precise and up-to-date prices – with the goods delivered exactly when they need it from their preferred merchant – whilst the latter is likely to increase the business they’re doing with that particular trade business.”
Professional and detailed
When a builder quotes for a job the first time a merchant will often hear about it will be when a purchase order is placed, but not so with Buildxact: “We’re streamlining the supply chain by giving the merchant and builder a much a clearer idea of what’s coming down the line. When price rises do happen, for example, these are automatically communicated to tradespeople integrated with Buildxact and flagged as red on the quote. The builder will not then be able to submit that quote to their own customer until they’ve entered the alteration into their cost base.”
A professional and detailed document can then be delivered to the client. At the same time the homeowner can also digitally interact with the builder via a secure portal, with all communication pertaining to that job in one place. What that provides is an unrivalled level of transparency to the builder’s client, which can only enhance the company’s reputation. “Requests for quotes to sub-contractors, any emails relating to the project, photos of defects of materials supplied and extras over and above the original quote – all of that information is pulled into Buildxact in an easily accessible format and that’s where the service moves into the realms of job management. Similarly, planning approvals, compliance documents, and certificates of insurance can all be stored. If you have a dispute with a client even long after the job has been completed, all of the records are to hand.”
Moreover, the job management element includes schedules of works, where a sub-contractor will be automatically notified when they’re required on site, both through SMS and email. Where a typical build might involve multiple sub-contractors the ability to manage those relationships on one platform, from quote to schedule, is an invaluable resource that will greatly simplify those working relationships and avoid conflict. There are also future plans for the subbie to be able to take photos of their completed works and share them on Buildxact in order to demonstrate that the work has been completed on time and to the required standard.
At the simplest business level, when margins are tight builders need to be sure that they’re making money on the work they do, and Buildxact is equally a tool for improvements in profitability. It allows the tradesperson to view what they’re spending at every stage with what has been priced, through a cost/quote comparison and a simple dashboard will display cashflow status, including payment milestones, and supplier costs, which can then be incorporated into accounting software.
Buildxact is a flexible solution where tradespeople can choose exactly what they want to engage with. The Entry level will provide estimating capability, whilst Pro adds the aforementioned end-to-end job management solutions. “The overwhelming feedback we get from our users is that Buildxact has won back time that they can spend with their loved ones,” concludes David. “Added to that is the peace of mind, that comes from being in full command of your cashflow and the certainty that you haven’t misquoted. All that adds up to a very liberating experience.”
For further information on Buildxact visit Home – Buildxact UK