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Bo Knows Building

Bo Taylor Fine Homes
Nags Head, North Carolina

Bo Taylor has been building homes in the Outer Banks of North Carolina since 1984. Along with his associates at Bo Taylor Fine Homes, he has become widely recognized as a leader in his regional construction community. With about 30-50 projects each year, including residential builds in the 2500 to 4500 square foot range, and an array of enclosures, complete home remodels, and large-scale additions, Bo recognized that his business had outgrown their pencil and paper system and needed to automate their project management.

"It was something that I knew was possible, and I was ready to do it. My business had been growing, and I needed to find a way to increase efficiencies. When I finally purchased, I'd been ready to do it for some time."

Initially drawn to ConstructionOffice because of it's evident ease of use and short learning curve, Bo knew that other software systems on the market would force substantial downtime during the implementation period.

"I'm a small businessman, and I didn't want to take a lot of time learning how to use software. With some other programs, they tell you that it's going to be six months before you're able to be comfortable using it. That's just too long."

Although he considers himself to be fairly tech savvy, when Bo purchased ConstructionOffice, his computer was still running Windows ME, and his wife's computer used Windows 98. "We missed the whole [Microsoft] Office explosion, but it was still real easy to pick up ConstructionOffice."

In fact, Bo said that he was able to begin using ConstructionOffice the first day he tried it even without having previous experience using Microsoft Excel or Word.

Ease of use was reason enough for Bo to give ConstructionOffice serious consideration, but his interest was amplified by the affordable cost. "Even if you buy five, it's not that expensive. And while there are some things that could be even more automated, that doesn't bother me much because I'd be doing it anyway. By using this program, I'm not having to make a copy of the estimate that I did by hand, drag it over to my wife, and have her manually enter the figures into QuickBooks. We'd do that five times a day."

Instead, Bo uses ConstructionOffice Professional XT to organize the information before his wife takes the information into QuickBooks. The time they spend with ConstructionOffice varies from week to week, but Bo says that they generally stay within an 8-16 hour timeframe.

"We seem to go through phases where there's more estimating or scheduling or contracts in a week. None of the phases ever stop completely, but they definitely go in waves. Through each of the phases, ConstructionOffice has been incredibly beneficial."

While Bo only purchased ConstructionOffice less than a year ago, he's sure that his year-end numbers will show positive growth. "I bet it's going to make me more money. It's definitely straightforward, and the frameworks are pretty detailed. I'm entering things in the estimates that wouldn't have been there before - those items that I wouldn't have estimated in the past. With ConstructionOffice, I'm counting pennies a little tighter. I bet that the end of year I will see a big difference in revenues."

Aside from counting pennies tighter, ConstructionOffice has also helped Bo get his office organized. "ConstructionOffice is absolutely helping me better manage things around here. Although we're probably another couple of months from fully integrating the system, we'll have this office managed warp speed by the end of the first quarter." But even at this point, Bo can see immediate differences. "It takes less work to get everything together for our projects. And less work means you're saving time."

Once the projects are ready to begin construction, Bo uses UDA Scheduling to ensure that they go as planned. "Having a schedule sets up expectations. When I hand my subs a schedule, they know when they're supposed to be there. With an actual schedule, there's no 'I'll call next week' or 'I'll come by next week.' It really helps out a lot."

Like many ConstructionOffice users, Bo has saved not only time and money, but he has also leveraged the ConstructionOffice system to improve customers' experiences with his company. He purchased an additional license of ConstructionOffice to install on his tablet PC, which he carries with him to the jobsite and to meetings with clients.

"If I'm meeting with someone who wants to know how much it will cost or how much it will save them if they change something, I have the information right there and I can make those calculations. They can see everything that I can provide - and all of the details."

"People are very receptive to it. It's a great presentation tool and seems to resolve an awful lot of questions. When I show my customers the estimate, I even let them see my margin calculations, so they know exactly what they're paying for. I had one customer who questioned the high percentage, and told me that another builder was going to charge a 5% smaller margin, and I said 'so where do you think the other 5% is hidden?' With my estimates, they can see all the costs, all the detail, and know where every dime is going."

Quick Facts about Bo Taylor Fine Homes

Location: Nags Head, North Carolina
Website: www.botaylor.com
Industry: Design-Build
Projects per year: 30-50
Years in the business: 22
Number of Employees: 10

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