Let’s be frank: the warranty phase of construction is a financial black hole that
If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, much of the content of our press release wasn’t a surprise. Buildr’s evolution from closeout services to full-on post-construction has been telegraphed, but we’re excited to make an official announcement just before this year’s Groundbreak Conference in Phoenix, AZ. Buildr “bridges the gap between construction and post-construction.” But what does that mean exactly? Let’s break down what we’ve done, what we continue to do, and what the future holds for the Buildr platform.
Better and faster closeout with Buildr
Buildr’s bread and butter since its inception has been closeout—you know, the phase of construction whose seemingly innocuous eight letters just sent a chill down your spine if you’ve ever been on a project team that’s been tasked with completing it. We work in tandem with general contractors and owners, making closeout as automated and consolidated as possible. Our goal is to erase that chill down your spine; save it for something more appropriate like remembering you left the oven on or hearing about another Jurassic World sequel announcement.
For general contractors, closeout is scorned and all but ignored. It’s the phase of construction that is most begrudgingly completed—no one wants to do it but it’s unavoidable. Snowballing the GC’s general lack of enthusiasm for the closeout process with the fact that there’s lots of ad hoc spreadsheet creation and waiting for subcontractors to follow-up, closeout’s primary drawback is that it takes a ton of time. That’s where Buildr comes in—dramatically accelerating the data accumulation process, which in turn provides a more positive experience for the closeout team. Our clients have even gone so far as to use the word “fun” to describe their closeout experience. This is a huge deal for us since the word “fun” is traditionally reserved for things like Six Flags and wakeboarding.
"Closeout time was cut in half, and we haven't received a single call from the maintenance crew looking for documents. Closeout was almost fun to do. Buildr is a lifesaver."
-Maggie Archer, Project Engineer, McCarthy Building Companies
A more positive closeout experience, of course, can only produce higher quality turnover and a good final touch point. A good final touch point between owner and GC is vital, considering 70-90% of the GC’s customers are returning.
On the owner’s end, Buildr’s accelerated closeout is equally valuable. Perhaps more importantly than time saved, owners receive a higher quality turnover package that gives them the confidence that they have all the documents and data they’re ever going to need to maintain their facility for the next century. We don't just do closeout better and faster, we do it differently by collecting the information from closeout that is actually going to be useful to facilities maintenance down the line.
That turnover information isn't just useful, but accessible—an adjective that's until now been thrown by the wayside when it comes to turnover packages. Forget stacks of binders in closets and unwieldy PDF files that result in endless calls and emails to project teams that have been off-site and on to their next project for months. Inaccessible turnover packages result in inaccessible project teams; Garbage in -> garbage out. With Buildr's revamped turnover package, owners receive fully linked documents and explicit warranty documentation with preventative maintenance instructions. The resulting output has never been this valuable specifically because we fed the process higher quality data. This hasn't been possible till now, but it's so logical you'll wonder how you managed all this time.
Track, manage, and report with Buildr’s warranty management tool
While every GC loathes closeout, they may not even consider improving the warranty phase. Generally the forgotten phase of construction, the warranty phase is the span of time after a project’s completion where the GC is already on to the next project while dealing with a past project’s warranty issues as they arise. Costs are uncapped and unpredictable. Even the most diligent and organized general contractor encounters the complication of dealing with multiple warranty claims at once on a past project while seeing to their current project. Buildr’s warranty management tool gives general contractors more clarity in warranty claims, giving them a full bird’s eye view of all claims and subcontractors across all jobs. This visibility is key because no issue can ever fall through the cracks.
Along with tracking claims, Buildr gives general contractors the ability to manage claims like never before. In the past, owners would call GC’s to report a warranty issue. Even better (though still not ideal), the owner emails the GC, thus leaving a paper trail. Next, the GC reaches out to the warranty-corresponding subcontractors while the owner, a degree removed, waits blindly. Buildr consolidates all communication between owners, GC’s, and subs into our platform so that no one’s ever in the dark and priorities are flush across the board.
Another valuable feature of the warranty tool is its ability to report. Once data begins to accumulate, the GC gains insight from all their warranties historically so that the future becomes clearer. Among the data reported on are claim statuses, statistically troublesome equipment, frequency of claims due to improper preventative maintenance, and which subcontractors are accountable for the most claims.
Lastly, it's worth noting that Buildr's warranty management is a valuable sales tool that general contractors can promise on and deliver to their clientele. There's no owner that would balk at the idea of full transparency on all warranty claims in a clean dashboard. It truly is a win-win for both parties.
"Buildr's warranty tool adds an additional layer to our client-centric post-construction services—giving us an edge when it comes to leaving a lasting impression."
-Nichole Carter, Business Analyst, Haselden Construction
Owners maintain their projects like never before with facilities management tool
When GC's use Buildr for closeout and warranty management, the accumulated data transforms into what will be used for facilities management—another selling point for general contractors since it's so valuable for owners. Through working with clients and putting construction under a microscope, Buildr found that much of the data from the progression of construction to post-construction is lost. The handover package traditionally built during closeout and given to the owner paints a picture of how things ended up, but not necessarily how they got there. Mid-construction decisions are made that go against initial planning but are for specific and logical reasons. Buildr resolved to not only retrieve the data lost between construction and post-construction, but transform it. Now, all project data is recovered and packaged for the owner to use for maintenance of their facility for years to come.
Owners will be given a new modern view of their facilities, receiving full data transparency and a compelling bird’s eye view of their entire portfolio so they can manage it smarter and longer. A 100-story building with 200 segregated facilities is now one entity—all data feeds into the whole. Owners receive access to their project in a virtual form—the entire facility is perceivable from drawings, 360 photos, assets—all readily available on any mobile device.
With Buildr, in-depth preventative maintenance instructions given directly to facilities teams equals fewer equipment issues. This means less rejected warranty issues simply because the issues wouldn't have arisen in the first place. All of this, in turn, results in a better run facility.
Buildr’s new embedded app for Procore makes for a truly seamless workflow
With Procore’s recent launch of their all-new embedded experience, the entire Buildr platform can now be embedded and implemented directly within Procore. This makes Buildr one degree simpler for Procore users, as having to switch between apps is now forever obsolete. Project teams won’t have to learn anything new since everything will be under the Procore umbrella. Another time-saving innovation means all those precious seconds lost switching between apps can be spent doing something fun—like going to Six Flags or wakeboarding.
To learn more about Buildr’s Embedded App visit their App Marketplace tile here.