MarkSystems™ software provides substantial gains in business insights, productivity, and profitability
Few resources are more valuable or cost-effective for home builders than the MarkSystems™ program from ECi Software Solutions.
When it comes to gaining a detailed and accurate understanding of just how well his business is performing, working smoothly and efficiently with trades and other key construction partners, and having the ability to quickly respond to sudden changes in the marketplace, Jim Haffner relies on MarkSystems.
The vice president of information technology at Capital Homes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Haffner is an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience on the IT side of the home building business. He knows just how easy it is to see precious profit dollars on a project vanish because of inaccurate or outdated information, inefficient processes, or failure to quickly adjust to changing market conditions.
Fortunately for Haffner and the rest of the Capital Homes team, problems like that are very much a thing of the past since the company switched to MarkSystems.
Integrated accounting provides job costing functionality
“Before we made the move to MarkSystems, pricing our homes prior to executing contracts was largely a matter of gut feel and guesswork,” says Haffner. “We didn’t have a good handle on where the money was going during the production process. All too often, it was a surprise — and frankly, not a very pleasant one — to see the final margin on a house after it closed.”
Back in the pre-MarkSystems days at Capital Homes, says Haffner, the process of figuring out what kind of margin a house really generated was tedious and labor-intensive, with the accounting team having to go through all the purchase orders on the project manually before they could calculate the final cost.
“It was very clear that we needed better job costing if we were going to price our homes properly for the markets we serve,” Haffner recalls. “At the same time, it was just as clear that other critical areas of operations also needed upgrades and improvements.”
“Working with key trades and other construction partners was taking up an inordinate amount of valuable staff time. Our accounting team would get a constant stream of phone calls from our vendors wanting to know when they were getting paid and how much,” he recalls. “We knew we needed better job costing ourselves, but some of the people who were supposed to play a role in that area were spending all their time on the phone!”
Haffner and the rest of the management team started searching for a solution, and it didn’t take long to find one. “We looked at other programs but MarkSystems was really the only one that gave us all the features we needed,” he says.
A true end-to-end solution
Haffner also points out that MarkSystems functions as a genuine one-stop resource for the full range of construction applications and requirements, which also made a big difference.
“Unlike some of the other options we looked at, MarkSystems doesn’t have to rely on other software companies to write add-on modules for their software. We had a single point of contact for all our software needs and we knew would be able to talk to the people who actually wrote the module if we had a question about it.”