In the end, after trying two management software packages that didn’t provide the range of features that Monmouth Custom Builders, in Deal, N.J., wanted, the company hired a programmer to create a Web-based program to manage its remodeling and new-construction workflow.
Though it’s a pricey solution — costing $40,000 (up from the original $25,000 budget) and two years in development — vice president Jon Levy says the program is invaluable for his $7 million company.
The main goal was to provide project managers the authority to do their jobs and yet include a safety net so “they can’t make big mistakes, like paying a subcontractor too much or charging too little for a change order,” Levy says.
In the past, if a client wanted a change order, the project manager turned to Levy for the cost. Now, the project manager asks for a subcontractor bid and enters it into the system, which automatically fills in the profit percentage. The system sends a notification to Levy for approval, and the project manager clicks a button to send a copy to the homeowner for their signature. The homeowner views the project manager as the authority on their project. “We trust our guys,” Levy says, “so they can trust our guys.”
The program also adds the change order invoice to the job contract, so the company doesn’t forget to charge the homeowner. “It prevents those types of human errors,” Levy says. “It eliminated all this paperwork.”
The change order also has to be entered into the system for the project manager to have access to the funds to pay the subs or purchase materials.
The system’s notifications keep Levy in the loop — not just on change orders, but also on punch lists, schedules, selections, and budgets — yet free him to concentrate on managing the company, estimating, and selling. The program also helps Monmouth staff manage administrative tasks including vehicle maintenance, employee driver’s license renewals, and insurance.
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.
More REMODELING articles about construction software:
CompuTool Web-Based Construction Management Software
Integrating Technology: One way to magnify efficiency
Efficiency Up: Software helps cut time spent on scheduling