FOR YEARS, BUILDERS HAVE BEEN TASKED WITH defining, organizing, and explaining options to buyers. But with the official launch of the Envision Options Management Solution in February, 10 of the nation's largest builders are tackling this complicated process in an all-new way.

Developed by New Home Technologies, a subsidiary of the home builder consortium known as Builder Homesite, Envision is a fully integrated options management platform designed to help the industry manage the options process. Born from a collaborative effort between home builders and manufacturers, the program addresses all aspects of options management and design—including data management, design education, and options selection—and includes specific tools for the manufacturers, builders, and home buyers.

Manufacturers enter product data into the system through XML feeds or an online interface. Builders feed options data for their communities into the system and then link this data with information about specific products. Home buyers can go online and use a simple, visual tool to learn more about product specs or actually select options for their new home.

“The huge value to this project is our new ability to tap into a manufacturer's collateral online and on-demand,” says Heather Humphrey, CIO for David Weekley Homes.

Committing 50,000 homes to be a part of this process, participating builders include Beazer Homes, Capital Pacific Holdings, David Weekley, KB Home, Lennar, McGuyer Homebuilders, Morrison Homes, Standard Pacific, Toll Brothers, and Village Homes.