Ark & Co Projects: Removing Construction Project Oversight by Bringing All Critical Project Data to Buildern
Ark & Co Projects is an Australian-based construction company, a 2023 Master Builder’s Awards Regional Winner specializing in luxury residential houses. They have been in the business for almost eight years and their main goal is to provide exceptional quality homes through building from scratch or renovating existing ones.
One of the key challenges that Ark & Co Projects faced was having scattered project data, making it especially hard for their Director, Steve, to oversee multiple projects at once. This resulted in delays, miscommunication, and added stress for the entire crew.
To solve this issue, Ark & Co Projects turned to Buildern – a construction project management software that brings all critical project data into one centralized platform.
With Buildern, the on-site crew and project managers can easily access all necessary information, such as documents, plans, schedules, progress updates, and more, in seconds. This has greatly improved the efficiency and productivity of the company, allowing them to complete projects on time and within budget.
Read the full story of how Ark & Co Projects successfully implemented Buildern and its positive impact on their business operations.
The Challenge: Ensuring Flawless Team Collaboration and Project Results in the High-Stakes Field of Luxury Residential Building
Picking a high niche of luxury residential construction requires not only superior craftsmanship and attention to detail but also an incredible amount of coordination between the entire project team – from suppliers to subcontractors, architects, engineers, interior designers, and more. In such a high-stakes field, any delays or miscommunication can result in costly mistakes and damage the company’s reputation.
Clients in this niche expect nothing but the best, and that’s exactly what Ark & Co Projects strives to deliver. There is no chance of missing deadlines, reworking, or miscommunications. Luxury clients expect to be wowed with exceptional finishes, so the Ark & Co Projects team must ensure that their projects run seamlessly and efficiently.
Additionally, material costs and labor expenses are already high in the luxury residential niche, which means that any delays or mistakes can quickly eat away at the company’s profits. A single misplaced order, for example, could lead to additional costs and delays in the project timeline.
So, as in every construction project, especially with the added pressure of the luxury residential niche, communication and data management are key. Only a solid and unified project management solution can ensure flawless collaboration and project results.
Ark & Co Projects’s Specific Challenge
What did Ark & Co Projects experience specifically that led them to seek a project management solution?
A company member, Mel Dever, shares with us that the #1 issue was the need to track all projects easily. The large team of on-site and office-based workers needed to have all data accessible in one place, and they needed to have it available at any time, from any location and with any device – not just a laptop in the office.
“The main challenge our business faced was easily tracking our projects. Having all the information for the project in 1 place that everyone could access at any time.“
The hardest part was that some subcontractors and suppliers were not on board with using software for project management. So, the company management heavily depended on traditional methods of communication such as phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings – resulting in excessive back and forth, too much time spent on administrative tasks, and a lack of real-time updates.
“It ultimately put a lot of pressure on Steve, our Director, as he needed to be across everything on the project.“
The gradually increasing pressure made the company realize they needed a centralized solution for all their project data – one that would allow easy communication, real-time updates, and efficient collaboration.
The Solution: Trying Buildern Along with Other Software Already in Use
At the time of their search for a solution, Ark & Co Projects had already used several software applications where some critical project data was stored. There were different solutions at hand – mainly based on usage, such as software for accounting and estimating, scheduling, task management, etc.
Additionally, the choice of the software depended on what systems are more acceptable for the clients and partners of Ark & Co Projects. If a certain partner used a specific software, then the company would also consider using it to adapt to their system and create minimum disruption.
It was also the lack of construction project management software that the company was well-versed in, which led them to have chaotic project data storage, scattered inboxes, and unorganized communication channels.
So, the decision was made to choose a project management software that would allow the integration of all other solutions already in use.
Buildern came as the perfect solution – combining all the necessary project management features in one platform and allowing easy integration with other software.
The first phase of the solution adaptation was to use Buildern only for the newly registered projects to test its effectiveness and user-friendliness, not hurrying with the full replacement. However, the upcoming months proved the efficiency of Buildern and it was soon implemented for all ongoing projects – even those not finished at the moment.
Valuing Buildern’s Customer-Centricity and Readiness to Tailor to Specific Business Needs
There were two distinguishing factors that made Buildern stand out for the company.
Firstly, it has a customer-centric approach and willingness to tailor its solution to meet specific business needs. Buildern is an open-to-ideas company constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance its platform for the benefit of its clients. Not rarely would the Buildern team organize feedback sessions with the clients to hear their suggestions and ideas for new features or improvements.
“The main thing that we like about Buildern is that they value our thoughts and input on how to improve the software from a user’s point of view. Other companies were not interested in what we needed the software to do“.
The price point was also quite appealing, considering Buildern’s ROI in terms of time savings and increased efficiency. The Professional plan that unlocks unlimited projects with advanced reporting comes at $360/per month for four users, and there is also an Enterprise plan with 30+ users available for custom pricing.
Considering the rates of luxury residential projects, which can easily reach millions of dollars, the price of Buildern seems very reasonable for the value it provides. There is no more chaos in data storage and progress tracking.
The Success Story: The Final Transition of Ongoing and New Projects to Buildern from Other Software
Having different projects running on different platforms was a challenge at first, but the team quickly adapted to using Buildern as their central platform for project management.
The ongoing projects, the due dates of which were shortly and were not affected by the change, remained on their previous software until completion. Mel shares with us how it was.
“We waited for a good time with where our projects were at. Initially, we ran both software just while we finished a large project. Then we started all our new projects in Buildern.“
And while Buildern was proving its efficiency and effectiveness, the company’s long-term plan was to eventually bring all project data onto Buildern, even if it meant transferring existing projects from other platforms.
The key reason was the convenience of having all data in one place and the ability to track and analyze data for future projects. With Buildern’s advanced reporting feature, the company could now access insights and analytics on their past projects, helping them make more informed decisions for future ones.
“For the lingering projects, we selected a date – for us, it was the new financial year, and copied all the info over into Buildern.“
Easy Data Transfer from Other Software to Buildern
“It was easy to import all the data into Buildern,” says Mel. Knowing how many clients may discover Buildern and decide to switch to it while having existing projects on other software, the team has adopted easy data transfer options from other platforms to Buildern.
Transferring project data is simple and straightforward, whether it’s a CSV file or an Excel sheet. Clients can also choose to import specific data depending on their individual needs.
There is also Buildern’s. Buildern’s customer support team is always available and ready to assist with any questions or concerns related to data transfer. So, Ark & Co Projects had no trouble bringing all their existing projects onto Buildern and finally having a centralized platform for efficient project management.
Embracing the Chance to Share More with the Team
When Mel speaks about the key benefits that Buildern unlocked for their company, she mentions the ability to share and collaborate with the team more efficiently.
“We were able to communicate easier with our field crew.”
There is a project overview section in Buildern, which is available for all invited and authorized users, where project progress and data are updated in real-time. One glance is enough to see who is working on which project and how far along they are. It’s also instantly clear if the project is running according to a predefined budget and schedule or if there are any delays or cost overruns.
And with the historical data forever saved in Buildern, the company can now better reflect on what the team has achieved, how they improved, and what areas need more attention.
Actively Using Daily Logs and Selections Modules of Buildern
“The site diaries and also the client selections function,” shares Mel, pointing to two tools they actively use in Buildern that were not previously available in other software they used.
The Daily Logs module is an efficient and organized way to track daily site activities, progress, materials used, and any other relevant information. It allows the team to have a clear overview of what happens on-site every day without physically being there. The best part is on-site workers can add any daily log from the job site using their smartphones. There is no more lost data or missed updates that make it hard to keep track of project progress.
On the other hand, the Selections module is quite a helpful feature for Ark & Co Projects clients. It allows them to make selections and decisions on materials and finishes for their projects directly from the Buildern platform. The admin team can create selections and allowances inside Buildern, adding all available options along with their price, images, detailed descriptions, etc., and share it with clients, mentioning the due dates for finalizing selections as well. Clients can then make their choices, and the admin team can see all updates instantly without any back-and-forth communication required.
Trying to Bring More Partners to Buildern
And when it works well for their projects, they prefer to have all partners on Buildern as well.
As Mel tells us, “We are hoping to implement more and more of Buildern’s features on our projects. We would love for our suppliers and subcontractors to get on board and start using Buildern.“
Thus, with every project stakeholder on Buildern, it becomes a one-stop solution for all project-related communications and updates. The central hub connecting contractors, clients, suppliers, and jobsite workers is the best way to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal for successful project completion.