About the Author
MarkSystems Senior Consultants are not only experts on the software, they also bring their experience in the residential home construction industry to each implementation. This month, we feature Ron Olson, Senior Consultant with MarkSystems. We sat down with Ron to learn more about his experience in the home building industry, what makes an implementation successful, and get his advice on what builders need to look for in a new system.
Tell us a little bit about your background. How long have you worked in the new home construction industry and been in your current role?
I graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a BS degree in Economics and continued in a Masters of Accounting program. I obtained my CPA certification and worked in public accounting for five years.
Overall, I have worked in the construction industry for over 35 years, with more than 20 years in residential. I first worked as a Controller for a commercial builder and later moved into residential construction as a Controller/CFO/VP Finance.
I grew up in Connecticut, moved to California in the 90’s, and moved up to Washington State in 2009 where I continue to reside.
How have you seen the home building industry change in the last few years?
As an industry, residential home building changes very little. The economic up swings and downturns are what most people are familiar with. Since 2009, the industry has been in an up swing enabling very good success for most builders. Costs of land, labor, materials, and entitlement fees have made housing barely affordable. There have been fewer new builders in the market with a number of consolidations or acquisitions by major builders.
How many builders have you helped during your time as a MarkSystems consultant?
I’ve worked with MarkSystems for over four years and in that time, I have helped more than 100 builders, some directly with implementation as well as assisting them with business, accounting, and MarkSystems best practices after implementation.
What are some of the most successful implementations you've seen and why do you consider them successful?
The latest, very successful one, was EPCON Communities. Their implementation was successful because we had a great team of skilled experienced people to guide them through the process and help set up the system to meet their needs.
In prior implementations I have done, a big reason for their success was because the client placed education and learning as top priorities. Since MarkSystems impacts every department, having support like that from the builder makes implementations go more smoothly.
Ongoing learning is important even after Implementation. With one client, I worked to help them build their business to its current level of success. They too have continued to learn and have recognized that the business of home building is more than just building a house.
What's your advice to builders looking for a new software system?
Get a system that grows with you. A system that allows all departments to work together as a unified group, and that captures all the data needed to enable quick decisions for profitability. While looking for a new system is never easy, keeping these three items in mind when searching for a solution will help guide you in making the right choice.
What's your favorite feature in MarkSystems?
I like the system as a whole, but what has always been very popular is the Internet Toolkit (ITK).
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About the Author