For years the construction industry has been heavily entrenched in the world of Microsoft technologies. From basic Microsoft Office tools, to applications like SharePoint, such tools have become an integral part of the homebuilding process. Therefore, we have begun to see an influx of third-party software systems that help builders leverage this Microsoft investment.
For example, we have seen companies like BuilderMT, www.buildermt.com, Lakewood, Colo., entering into partnerships with Event 1 Software, www.event1software.com, Vancouver, Wash., which develops Microsoft Excel-based reporting, inquiry, and business intelligence software. The tool provided to the construction-technology marketplace allows Microsoft Excel to become an interactive reporting application that connects directly to your company database.
One of the latest comes from a company named HomebuilderONE, www.homebuilderone.com, Scottsdale, Ariz. Built as a fully integrated solution that covers all processes germane to the process of building a home, the HomebuilderONE system is built on the Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP (enterprise-resource planning) platform. Form marketing to selling to options management, out to estimating, planning, construction, and maintenance, this platform hopes to manage every process that today’s builders have come to rely on.
While we have seen the fully integrated approach being touted before in construction, with mixed results, today’s software providers are looking to ensure the value of an end-to-end platform is truly realized. Part of this comes in helping builder customers understand the data that is coming out of the system and what it means to the overall level of operations at the company.
In the case of HomebuilderONE, the focus is on providing builders with business intelligence. The system comes with dozens of reports and prebuilt analysis tools. Delivering role-relevant information, custom dashboards leverage key information with Microsoft AX, helping users to get a series of clear and concise snapshots of the project.
Part of the robust nature in which HomebuilderONE is able to deliver such data is based on the way in which Microsoft AX 2012 has been enhanced. For example: using the SQL Server reporting engine in order to deliver its results, thus providing the user with a much richer experience.
HomebuilderONE is a company to watch in the residential marketplace. In fact, as Microsoft becomes even more deeply entrenched into everyday workflow processes, don’t be surprised to see the level of systems become uniquely intertwined with the technology increase.
Without a doubt, the growing relevance of Windows 8 in the mobile construction world will only continue to accelerate this trend further. For a company firmly entrenched in Microsoft technology, construction has more options than ever for taking their investment further.