Jennifer Castenson is vice president of ambassador and industry partner programs at Buildxact. In this role, she provides leadership and collaboration across the various verticals involved in custom homebuilding and remodeling and the industry stakeholders involved to guide relevant product solutions.
Q: There has been a lot of technology released in the past few years that claims to make life easier for LBM dealers. Exactly how does Buildxact fit in the mix of new tech tools that dealers should consider?
A: Technology for dealers is moving from automating back-office functions like accounting and inventory control to benefiting the daily customer interactions dealers have with their customers. With Buildxact, dealers can free account managers from traditional manual tasks, like logging orders, because those tasks can now be done automatically.
Dealers using Buildxact are able to free up huge amounts of time, allowing them to redesign their sales operations to put account managers in a position to build more consultative relationships with customers. With the additional time, they can focus on collaborating, reviewing plans and offering advice. Plus, they also have the time to find new customers to grow the business.
Q: Many LBM dealers are serving customers from both ends of the technology spectrum, from early adapters to pencil-and-paper holdouts. How does Buildxact improve efficiencies in the dealer/builder relationship?
A: Buildxact’s features help dealers in multiple ways. Whether it’s helping builders prepare takeoffs and quotes or submit orders, the software streamlines the work. Builders using Buildxact can create takeoffs 80% faster and then quickly create and send professional looking quotes back to the customer.
In instances where builders and dealers are using Buildxact to collaborate, builders begin quoting more work, winning more jobs, and ordering more supplies from the dealer. In one case, a dealer saw more than one in three builders order new categories and saw overall order size increase by 49%. Plus, jobs run smoother because change orders are automated, timelines automatically adjusted and notifications automatically sent to all the stakeholders.
Q: Inventory and pricing are huge challenges right now for small and large LBM dealers. How does Buildxact simplify the process of communicating inventory levels and pricing updates to customers?
A: Buildxact allows dealers to aggregate data across their entire customer base to better understand the needs of the builders and remodelers using Buildxact. Dealers can go beyond the SKUs that builders are purchasing to understand which they are not. This kind of transparency can lead to better inventory planning, but also dealers can have more effective conversations with their customers to better understand their purchasing decisions, leading to opportunities to win back sales they might be losing to competitors.