In homebuilding, the efficient management of service work orders can be the key to project success. However, this process is often carried out by disjointed technology systems, leaving builders unsure whether or not they are duplicating information or processes.

Technology providers continue to work towards integrating solutions that help alleviate such concerns. One option is to work with a fully integrated solution that encompasses the entire workflow process under one software suite. However, this integrated approach does not apply for builders that are taking a best-of-breed approach to technology.

News this week of BuilderMT, www.buildermt.com, Lakewood, Colo., integrating with Punchlist Manager, www.punchlistmanager.net, Denver, Colo., hopes to address such concerns. The Punchlist Manager product enables communication between builders and homeowners and trades via the Internet. By integrating with BuilderMT WMS (workflow management system) builders will be able to manage pending requests (open or closed) and process service work-orders in realtime.

In addition, BuilderMT users can collaborate using a scheduling tool within Punchlist Manager, which helps verify when and where field technicians and trade partners are scheduled for inspection and repair. Builders will receive automated notifications and alerts, while also being able to capture signatures, take pictures, and complete checklists for inspection and quality control.

One innovative feature to Punchlist Manager is its “owner portal” that allows customers to access pictures, documents, and status updates about their homes, and a “vendor portal” for work-order access, scheduling, and purchase orders. By creating customizable quality-control checklists builders can have access to detailed scheduling and reporting tools.

Key to the integration is the fact both systems leverage .NET technology. For example, using Punchlist Manager’s Mobile Manager for .NET, users manage, schedule, and complete work orders, quality assurance, and quality control walkthroughs in the field using devices such as smartphones or tablets. Integrated into BuilderMT’s WMS, the construction and close-out processes can be managed with cost efficiency and accuracy.

As we head into 2013 expect to see more integration, more partnerships, and perhaps even a bit of merger and acquisition activity to keep the market for construction technology hot. For homebuilders looking to make a rebound with their IT investment, such integrations and partnerships could be the key to ensuring success on the project.