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It’s been almost a year since Neilcorp Homes switched to MarkSystems homebuilding management software from ECI to run things. However, Grace Badham, service coordinator at the Almonte-based homebuilder, still remembers what life was like at Neilcorp before the change. And those memories are not exactly pleasant.
“Before MarkSystems, the company ran on Microsoft® Office,” she recalls. “Every time we started a new home, we would have to begin more or less from scratch. The data was either in Microsoft Word or Excel, and everything went out to our trades by email. It was slow, and the same information ended up being entered multiple times by various departments throughout the organization. Every time that happened, there were plenty of opportunities for errors to creep in. Mistakes slowed things down even more.”
Before switching to MarkSystems, Grace recalls that it could take as long as two days to order the materials for a new home. “Now,” she says, “the same work gets taken care of literally with just a few keystrokes and a mouse click.” And as materials come in, Neilcorp’s site superintendents release them to whichever stage they are in the build. The trades are automatically notified there’s a work order open, given the schedule, and they’re ready to go!
“Working with trades is so much easier and more efficient today thanks to MarkSystems,” Grace says. “Before, we would spend hours preparing summary sheets for our trades to work from on any given project. If something changed, emails would start flying back and forth as we tried to adjust,” she remembers. “Now, we simply update the schedule in MarkSystems, and everybody gets notified right away. With MarkSystems, we can be confident that all the information needed to keep everyone on schedule is available, and everyone gets updates when they need them.”
“Even though we were in lockdown conditions and no one from MarkSystems could come out to provide on-site support, they did a terrific job of taking care of us. At Neilcorp, we pride ourselves on customer service excellence, and one of the reasons we like working with MarkSystems so much is because they take a similar approach to the service they provide their customers.”
“It helps, too, that even with all the features and functionality that it offers, MarkSystems is remarkably easy to learn,” Grace says. “Most of our people aren’t particularly computer-friendly, and there was an understandable amount of apprehension when we were getting ready to go live with the program. Once we got started with MarkSystems, though, and our people saw how simple and intuitive it is, they realized they had nothing to worry about. They could focus all their time and attention on their real jobs without having to worry about becoming IT experts.”
“If we didn’t have MarkSystems today, we would probably need double the number of people that we currently have,” Grace asserts. “MarkSystems makes Neilcorp’s world so much easier on so many different fronts. I don’t think we could handle the volume of houses that we’re building today without it.”
Want to learn how to improve productivity and communication in your home-building business? Read the complete Neilcorp Homes story here.
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About the Author