After Trademark Remodeling, of Eldersburg, Md., experienced rapid growth in 2006 — the company grew 46% over the previous year — owner Eric Swanson was in search of a business systems solution that would facilitate and stabilize that same kind of growth in the future. He was looking for a software package that would integrate all the elements of design/build while streamlining his existing processes.
After considering several packages, he settled on ImproveBuild Remodeler's Business Solution (www.improvebuild.com), an all-in-one contact management, estimating, job tracking, and job analysis system that centralizes all project info in an easy-to-manage, customizable format.
Upon first contact, a prospect's information is entered into Improve-Build's contact management system. The system collects all lead data on one screen, allowing salespeople to print out lead-qualifying sheets or view lead data in aggregate. The job information entered will automatically populate all future job documents, thereby reducing clerical work.
From the original estimate, ImproveBuild can create a variety of job costing documents. Itemized materials quotes are lifted from the estimate and can be sent to vendors for bidding; purchase orders can be created with a single click. When an estimate is approved, the information is automatically transported into the construction proposal, complete with a payment schedule. Invoices are then automatically generated according to that schedule.
For Swanson, ImproveBuild made sense because “the program flows exactly the way we do business,” he says. He also likes the seamlessness with which it moves from one stage to the next. “From the estimate, I can automatically create the proposal, change orders, purchase orders, and vendor quotes,” he says. ImproveBuild also has the flexibility to integrate outside programs into its system. “We import estimates from HomeTech and find that we have more flexibility [in ImproveBuild] than if we left them in HomeTech,” he says.
ImproveBuild's capabilities extend beyond job completion. Swanson takes advantage of the program's warranty tracking system, and sales information can be collected and displayed in printable reports to aid in targeted marketing efforts.
But Swanson says that the biggest benefit of using ImproveBuild has been increased credibility with clients. “When we can sit down and go over a detailed estimate using a projector screen, it shows that we're a professional company,” he says. “We shoot for a 60% to 65% markup on our projects. That added credibility helps us reach our goal.” Swanson hopes ImproveBuild will help Trademark Remodeling reach another goal this year: repeating the growth it saw in 2006.