About the Author
MarkSystems Community User of the Month is Jami Mossholder, Systems Analyst with Paran Homes, a home builder in the South Eastern US, serving the Raleigh, NC, Nashville, TN, and Atlanta, GA markets and on track to build more than 200 homes this year. In this interview, Jami discusses the challenges of her role, how COVID impacted the business, and the changes she is seeing in the industry.
Tell us about your background in the home building industry.
I have been working in the new home construction industry for a little over 5 years.
I started out in construction, working as a purchasing coordinator. From there my role expanded from processing Variance Purchase Orders (VPOs) into estimation and exploring opportunities for increasing efficiency and minimizing errors with the company’s purchase orders. When I left that company and went to work for another builder, my natural curiosity for technology and software took center stage and I went to work as a Systems Analyst.
I am always looking for ways for software to minimize “paper pushing” and keep everyone on the same page regarding what each and every job should entail. At my current company, this meant pitching and leading the implementation of MarkSystems home builder software, replacing the multiple different software interfaces that were in use, in order to provide better visibility and Operational data.
How do you see your role evolving over the next few years?
As with most industries, technology plays an ever-increasing role in construction. The ability to transmit information seamlessly between our sales team, office personnel, construction team, and trades has never been more important. My role is constantly evolving as I work to better understand all facets of our operation and adapt to challenges in order to facilitate clear communication and address weaknesses in our processes. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the only thing constant is change. The ability to adapt and keep rolling is key!
What's the most challenging aspect of your job? What do you do to overcome that challenge?
The most challenging aspect is also the most rewarding – it is absolutely vital that I am able to balance the needs of each department with the needs of the company overall. Each portion of the construction process has its own priorities and challenges to overcome. We make it a priority to evaluate issues as they arise with each job, and investigate what we could have done differently to prevent the issue. Then we discuss and adapt our processes as necessary. In today’s world, you have to be open to self-reflection and adaptation. This applies to companies as well as personnel.
How have you seen the home building industry change in the last few years? How has COVID impacted your current operations?
Like many other companies, we faced an immediate and unexpected need for our office staff to go remote. MarkSystems’ home builder software allowed us to do that without any major disruption in our ability to keep the company operating and meeting our objectives. We could continue to build, write contracts, and meet our targeted deadlines even with our accounting and purchasing staff suddenly working from their laptops instead of our corporate office. Our operations have been able to adapt to the changing times. We have been able to clearly project out the impact of increased lumber costs as soon as we received them, and were able to identify the impact that increased raw material cost would have on our bottom line. We have had to adjust our projected schedules to accommodate increased lead times with many trades. Our operation has been working to adapt to each challenge and just keep moving forward.
How long have you been using MarkSystems?
My current company went live in MarkSystems in June of 2019, but prior to that, I used the software as a purchasing agent for about three years.
What’s the one MarkSystems’ feature that you or your team can’t live without or helps you be more productive/efficient?
This is a tough question! The import/export feature for updating prices and contracts has been vital as the cost of goods has fluctuated pretty violently and our trade partners work to keep up with the changing times. But I have to say that comes in second to the very important feature being a cloud-based software – the flow of information between all departments that need access to it, regardless of where they are located, has helped us to navigate the ever-changing workplace of 2020.
What was the best career advice you received? Do you have any tips or advice for those entering the home building industry?
All experiences can be learning experiences if you so choose. The home building industry isn’t for the faint of heart – it can be very stressful putting together the most expensive purchase of someone’s life. There are a million moving parts and many different personalities that need to function together to make it happen. But at the end of the day, these aren’t just houses -- we are building the place that someone will call home. It is incredibly rewarding, and I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing.
Favorite thing to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy puzzles, trivia games, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.
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About the Author