UDA Case Study
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ConstructionOnline & OnSite Mobile Apps - Revolutionizing the Industry

Warner Custom Homes
Spotsylvania, Virginia

David Warner, Owner & President of Warner Custom Homes in Spotsylvania, Virginia, is gaining a competitive edge in the market through his dynamic use of ConstructionOnline & OnSite Mobile Apps, ConstructionSuite, as well as his involvement in the Green Movement. In the past year, Warner Custom Homes has taken advantage of those resources and quadrupled its business, largely in part to their innovation, communication, and organization.

By bringing technology to the forefront, David keeps his clients and team members connected using ConstructionOnline and OnSite Mobile Apps for iPhone, both of which are made easier with the seamless connection to ConstructionSuite, the industry standard in project management software for construction professionals.

David Warner has been a part of the construction industry for years, starting on the sales end of the spectrum, selling products through the building trade. When the time was right, he made the move to starting his own business. "I've always had an interest and desire in becoming a builder. Everything fell into place and I got started," said David.

The time for David to start also happened to be the exact time the housing market fell apart. "Since I started right when it went bad," said David, "it gave me the time to organize myself, get prepped and really learn the business - both financial and construction side." Starting at what seems like an inopportune time actually gave David the advantage of letting the market 'weed out the weak' businesses, leaving only the strong and resilient.

Passion and excitement are integral parts of David's success story, but his love for what he does convinces his potential clients that David is the right man for the job. "I really love doing design, helping homeowners create what they are looking for - from the plans to the framing, but more importantly, including the homeowners in all the phases of the project," said David.

His passion helps convince potential clients that he'll do the job well, but he proves they've made the right decision over and over again throughout the process. Whether it's open communication with clients or the latest technology he uses to stay connected, it's easy to understand why Warner Custom Homes produces extremely satisfied clients.

David believes open communication is extremely important in every part of the construction process. Builders who have made it their goal to incorporate the homeowners throughout their complete experience have an edge over their competitors. One way he has a competitive edge is with ConstructionOnline, the industry standard in teamwork and collaboration. ConstructionOnline gives his entire team a centralized location to share information and communicate, making communication easy and accessible throughout the entire process.

ConstructionOnline - My Team's Go-To Place to Stay Up to Date

Warner Custom Homes has created a profile on ConstructionOnline and has invited team members including vendors, subcontractors, clients, etc. to join him by sharing projects. "For each project, I set up a number of folders, whether those are specs, site plans, or photos, and I can post these files for them" said David.

When David needs to ensure his team members see a recently uploaded file on ConstructionOnline, he can now send out announcements to his contacts. Announcements are posted to the project page, but can also be emailed individually, "My clients are loving ConstructionOnline. I met with two people this morning and they are thrilled." said David, "They're very excited to see the status of the job on a daily basis. It's great for me too because I can post change orders for them to make sure they get those." ConstructionOnline makes communication between contractor and client instant, and incredibly easy.

One of the most exciting features for David's clients is the photo sharing. David uses OnSite Photo for iPhone, which is a mobile app that allows David to take photos of the project's progress each day, instantly upload it to ConstructionOnline from his phone, and his clients can log in and see what's changed that day. "OnSite Photo is great for taking progress photos of the homes under construction... keeping my customers up to date keeps them happy," he said, "they love the photos!"

And it only gets better with the family of OnSite Mobile Apps for iPhone, David is able to expand collaboration even further. He uses OnSite Video to record and upload short videos to ConstructionOnline, and he uses OnSite Files to view his key files, folders, and customer information from the convenience of his phone.

"OnSite Mobile Apps have definitely changed the way I work on the go," said David. "Instead of worrying about being in the office all day, these apps allow me to have access to my files even while I'm on the job site," said David. "Now I can work in the field all day, leave in the afternoon, and concentrate more on taking care of actual business. It has cut down my office time tremendously." At the end of the day, OnSite Mobile Apps save David time, and since time is money in this industry, they've been a huge asset to his business.

ConstructionSuite makes Integration Simple with ConstructionOnline

David creates another competitive edge with his use of UDA's industry-leading project management software, ConstructionSuite. ConstructionSuite provides David with a comprehensive management solution that includes Estimating & Job Costing, Scheduling & Calendars, QuickBooks Integration & Change Order Management, as well as other features like Automated Contracts & Proposals, Contact & Lead Management, Reports, and Project Workflows.

"When I found ConstructionSuite, I was looking for estimating software," said David, "but as I got into it, I saw so much that was going to help me down the line as my business grew." David's top priority in software was a strong estimating system, but he also needed something to help him stay organized and keep track of his change orders. ConstructionSuite does all of that for him.

"Estimating is the feature I use most," said David, and his QuickBooks Integration has made things easier as well. "Tying in with QuickBooks is a big help. I enter in my information into my estimate, and then when I pay my bills, I can actually keep track of everything from an estimating standpoint to actual costs." Bidirectional QuickBooks integration enables users to share information between ConstructionSuite and QuickBooks, including account and item information and actual costs.

ConstructionSuite is full of automated wizards that prompt users for the information needed for proposals, reports, and even initially creating projects, estimates, or scheduling. The automated wizards completely streamline David's work while ensuring he doesn't miss any steps. David says, "Basically, as something pops up, I enter in the information as requested, and it then makes you manually enter in specific information on a per job basis... Getting a project set up takes me only a few minutes because of these wizards. It's nice and easy."

David is also an avid user of the Automated Proposals and Reports, as well as the Project Workflow feature. ConstructionSuite includes Project Workflow templates that are tailored to the type of project you're doing, whether it's a single family residential or a commercial project, and they are completely customizable. "I set up my own workflow and it really acts as my guideline," said David, "Its an easy way to make sure I'm taking the proper steps and it really works out well for me because I have a long laundry list to go on for the entire project."

David is able to use the ConstructionSuite software for all of his construction management needs, and then seamlessly send information to ConstructionOnline with the use of a TotalCare Only Feature - SuiteLink. SuiteLink lets ConstructionSuite users simply drag and drop information they want to see in ConstructionOnline, such as contracts, proposals, change orders, etc. and it automatically gets transferred to ConstructionOnline. SuiteLink users can also sync their projects and contacts with ConstructionOnline, saving users hours of time and potential errors. SuiteLink is included in all TotalCare Memberships.

The ConstructionSuite Difference

David had previously used basic Microsoft Excel for his estimating needs by creating simple worksheets. "I knew I needed something more sophisticated than that, especially if I was going to get busier," said David. He did his research and knew that UDA's ConstructionSuite was going to be the right fit for him. With the help of the ConstructionSuite system, David has done just what he set out to do - provide professionalism and integrity throughout the construction process, present a strong presence on site, and create high quality custom homes.

"From an organizational standpoint, ConstructionSuite has helped out tremendously. It keeps me organized from the estimating to the scheduling, and the contacts list to the lead tracking... It allows me to make sure I'm touching base with leads on a regular basis, and from an overall company standpoint, ConstructionSuite has kept me very well organized."

David also takes pride in going the extra mile for each client by adding something extra. "The thing I really enjoy doing are those personal touches that mean something to the owners," said David, "for example, I'm working on this one particular home whose owners are originally from England. I'm adding this personal touch with an incredibly unique coal stove that really brings the homeowner back to her hometown." David tries to do something special for each of his clients, making him unique and memorable, and earning him great reviews.

Since using ConstructionSuite, David has been able to manage his continually growing business. "I'm a one-person guy. I'm the supervisor, here on the jobsite all the time, plus I do the books," said David. "ConstructionSuite helps me do all that, and I'm learning things every day that make my job easier." The busier David gets, the more challenging it is to do it all himself, but David prefers it that way. "Right now it's just me," said David, "but I'd kind of like to keep it that way because I like the contact with the homeowners, keeping those communication lines open, and being here on the job."

Yet another way Warner Custom Homes creates a competitive edge is by being a leading provider of green homes in the Spotsylvania, Virginia area. "Everything I build is to green building standards," said David, "My current projects are all Energy Star Rated homes. The energy conservation standards and the tax benefits for the homeowners are big selling points, and since most builders are going to be moving in that direction, I'm a step ahead."

Warner Custom Homes proves its expertise in green building by participating in EarthCraft House, an award-winning green building program designed for the unique climate conditions of the Southeast. Addressing the vital need for energy, water, and resource efficiency in buildings and homes, EarthCraft Virginia is a leading provider of green homes, recently earning a National Energy Star Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing from the United States Department of Energy. Warner Custom Homes is a certified EarthCraft builder in Virginia, which requires completion of training, acceptance into the EarthCraft program, and registration as an Energy Star Provider.

Warner Custom Homes has been successful because of their diligence in gaining an edge on their competitors. Additionally, David's passion and excitement enable him to create immaculate homes, while his innovative use of new technologies makes him incredibly unique in the industry. Whether it is his use of ConstructionOnline, Onsite Mobile Apps, or even ConstructionSuite, David has learned the perfect combination to run his business successfully while keeping his clients involved with the use of cutting edge communication and collaboration technology.

Quick Facts about Warner Custom Homes

Location: Spotsylvania, Virginia
Website: www.warnercustomhomes.com
Industry: Residential, Custom Homes & Renovation
Years in the business: 3

For additional questions regarding the 2010 UDA Innovation Awards, contact arauch@uda1.com

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