This article was originally posted on Hyphen Solutions blog
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, a key contributor to economic recovery in the U.S. has been the housing sector, which experienced double-digit growth rates since the third quarter of 20201. This growth was attributed to low mortgage rates, a strong demand for bigger living spaces and limited housing inventory. Of course, the current economy is volatile and this has impacted nearly all sectors, including the new home construction industry. Higher mortgage rates and construction costs have hindered new home building, with sales of new homes down by 6.2% from February 2021 to February 20222. The key to effective management of unexpected and ongoing challenges in construction lies in adoption and use of the right technology.
It’s true that the home building industry is more comfortable with the tangible, like bricks and mortar rather than the intangible, like digital technology. As such, it isn’t surprising Home Builders have been slow to get on board with new advancements in technology that would help them better manage pandemic-related and evergreen challenges. While supply-chain shortages, the price of materials and mortgage rates are all subject to change, Builders will always face specific challenges that are inherent to the industry, including the following.
Residential construction teams that still work with paper spend far too much time delivering bids and contracts, picking up drawings and checks, delivering invoices, distributing inspections and approval paperwork, sending out schedules, distributing change orders and making vendor payments. On-site supervisors spend an extraordinary amount of time shuffling paperwork just to keep jobs running. If your company still relies on individual forms and spreadsheets, this creates data duplication and input errors that can easily be rectified with the right digital tools.
A single platform that digitally centralizes all construction-related documents within your organization reduces costly and time-consuming processes, including print production and sharing paperwork among multiple stakeholders. Real-time, digital documentation keeps everyone on the same page, thereby minimizing human errors and inconsistencies that impact most manual processes.
Home building is unlike other industries because it involves a diverse and large cast of stakeholders. Suppliers, architects, project managers, Trade supervisors, workers, customers, back-office staff, inspectors and others work in multiple, remote locations. In order to build a successful project, it’s crucial to address the needs of all your stakeholders and the unique role each of them play. Ineffective stakeholder management can result in dissatisfaction, poor productivity and have a negative impact on your budget and schedule. A single change order can cause potential disruption and a big drop in productivity. For example, when the wrong equipment or supplies are delivered to a job site due to miscommunication, workers remain idle and on-the-clock until the issue is corrected, resulting in lost time and money.
Software that enables accessing information in real-time via smartphones and mobile apps makes communication and collaboration easier and quicker. With immediate access to essential information, Trades and Suppliers can reschedule immediately, thereby minimizing delays. Integration of data and documents in a single, cloud-based platform will allow different stakeholders to work together and share key information, properly and consistently.
Lack of Standardization
Standardizing complex home construction processes requires detailed information from many different sources. The challenge for Builders to standardize information is magnified by the number of different stakeholders responsible for this information, manual collation processes and multiple data formats. Greater standardization and digitization is necessary to improve the accuracy of tracking every stage of home building — from estimates and take-offs to homebuyer handover upon completion.
Residential construction software provides real-time information with greater accuracy and efficiency from any device and anywhere to receive and approve bids, schedule Suppliers, approve purchase orders, automate the build process and more. With all project data centralized in a single digital platform, it’s possible to generate detailed reports that offer insights on commonalities and better forecast future projects. The right solution will also allow your entire team to access information and brainstorm on how to further streamline the overall process.
Hyphen Solutions Resolves These Challenges and Many Others
Hyphen offers several solutions for Builders that address these residential construction industry challenges and many more. BuildPro connects Builders with Contractors, Trades and Suppliers during the home building process, all on one easy-to-use construction management platform that provides real-time information. BuildPro allows scheduling and executing new home build projects more efficiently and accurately than ever before due to built-in features and an array of optional add-ons to meet your company’s unique needs.
Hyphen HomeFront is a fully integrated Home Builder ERP provides the ability to efficiently and accurately manage processes that are subject to error and inefficiencies when performed manually. Features include bid management; billing and invoicing; change orders; customer, project and quote management; scheduling; takeoff and more.
BuilderGM is a software-as-a-service application that streamlines back-office project management and offers seamless collaboration between stakeholders. This solution helps small Builders and remodelers improve estimating, accounting, bidding, budgeting, document and reporting management, change orders, scheduling, client communication, vendor management and more.
BRIX is a fully integrated enterprise resource platform that allows Builders to access the most efficient solutions available for any size and volume. With BRIX, it’s easy to control job costing, purchasing, production, accounting and reporting — all in one streamlined, cloud-based back-office solution.
Hyphen HomeSight is an interactive, industry-leading virtual design technology that provides homebuyers with a fun, personalized and visually-rich experience. With accurate color representation, auto-masking technology and 2D or 3D image customization, this amazing Sales tool allows homebuyers to select options and connect on a whole new level with the dream home they’re designing and see it come to life.
If you’re still on the fence about adopting new technology, the first step in overcoming residential construction challenges is scheduling a demo. The bottom line…if you don’t adopt technology such as residential construction software, you’ll likely find it difficult to keep up with your competitors.