Use these tips to set up Builder MT or the purchasing system your company decides on.

  • HIRE A CONSULTANT. Don't try to do this by yourself. Find a consultant who can show you a home builder system he or she has installed and can help you sort out which package to use.
  • GETTHE STAFF TO BUY IN. Take your supers, production staff, and accountants off-site and discuss your processes. Make them see the vision and how the new system will help their jobs as opposed to having them feel threatened. Designate one person to take notes.
  • PLAN AMEETING WITH YOURSUBCONTRACTORS. The subcontractors will resist the change to purchase orders from invoices because it takes a certain amount of pricing control away from them and makes it much tougher for the subs to issue partial payments. But once they understand how the purchase order system saves them paper work, and they make the adjustment in their accounting system, most will agree that they get paid faster with the new autopay system.
  • PLAN YOUR STAFFING NEEDS. Managing a Builder MT project at a 100-. home-a-year builder requires at least one $50,000 to $60,000 person to manage the project and two lower-level clerks to manage the bidding and enter the change-order information into the system. One caveat: Keep pushing your technology program forward to improve your processes as well as to keep your technology manager from becoming bored. That level of employee will not want to become a data entry clerk and bid manager once the system is operational.
  • STAYTHE COURSE. Technology projects are never straightforward. Expect delays, resistance from the staff and from subs, and maybe even a resignation or two from employees who don't want to change. It's tough, but the president of the company or technology champion has to stay positive, on message, and committed to the long-term vision.