Access to the right information can make all the difference in the world. For years, builders have been trying to solve the dilemma of how to share critical and timely information with trade partners. The advent of the Internet years ago promised to deliver such capabilities, but only recently have construction software providers been able to truly leverage the power of the Web to deliver the right tool for the job.

Builders have been discovering the power of the portal for meeting such a need. For example, BuilderMT, www.buildermt.com, Lakewood, Colo., recently announced the release of its Superintendent Portal. This secure, permission-based access Web portal allows superintendents to share schedules, purchase orders, documents, and job alerts, among other information.

Through a single Web-based portal, a superintendent can view critical information of all communities and starts, no matter how few or many there may be. Dashboard-driven management tools help to manage all schedules, workflow management, and transactions. This also provides at-a-glance information to help determine the status of such key components as warranty items and subcontractor activity.

From there, items are able to be examined at a more granular level through drill-down capabilities. This can be particularly critical for managing something like a PO (purchase order) from the field. This will allow a superintendent to proactively manage the item, gaining visibility into whether a PO has been issued or cancelled, for example.
BuilderMT is hoping this product will build off the success of its Trade Portal, which provides similar capabilities for the subcontractor community.

But BuilderMT is not alone in providing an Internet portal for the homebuilding community. Companies like MARK SYSTEMS, www.marksystemsusa.com, Mt. Holly, N.J., have been experiencing considerable success with such technology. The IHMS portal helps share information to subcontractors and field personnel in a timely manner without the need to synchronize data. Instead, the data is automatically pushed to the relevant personnel, ensuring all parties are working with the most up-to-date information.

Going forward it will be interesting to see new ways the technology community leverages the power of the portal. Could they become a powerful frontend to a builder’s communication infrastructure? Only time will tell.