Data-driven Construction Helps Builders Mitigate Risk and Strengthen Profitability
For many years, construction pros have relied on experience and gut instinct more than on data, but that’s rapidly changing. Many banks, investment groups and insurance companies now need a construction data analysis to help identify potential risks before okaying a construction deal. And in the field, builders need easy access to actionable information – both at the lot level and company-wide – to help boost quality, control costs and manage trade partners.
LP helps customers, in part, by sharing data and industry insights. This is particularly helpful for smaller builders trying to compete with bigger builders in their market.
LP views itself as more than simply a manufacturer; rather, it values the depth of the relationships it forms with customers. It is an example of a building solutions company using data in transformative ways to help customers. “We’re leveraging data to better understand how we can bring value to contractors and homeowners,” says Liz Hunt, an LP marketing automation specialist. “A great example is the LP BuildSmart® app, which allows our preferred contractors to manage their homeowner leads. Not only are we helping connect homeowners with qualified remodelers, we can also identify which areas of the country have the most demand for LP® SmartSide® products.”
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But LP doesn’t work alone in this endeavor to support customers. They turn to other industry resources, like IBACOS, to understand and address industry challenges.
“Our company is really a knowledge provider that leverages technology, not a software company in the homebuilding space,” says Glenn Cottrell, managing director of Builder Solutions at Pittsburgh-based IBACOS, makers of the PERFORM® lot-level quality inspection platform that offers on-site installation tips for hundreds of building products (including several LP solutions). Cottrell’s team recently helped create a digital guidebook and library of installation illustrations to support in-field technical standards for Toll Brothers, America’s fourth largest homebuilder.
Using PERFORM on a smartphone or tablet, a field manager can quickly validate that the job site complies with Toll technical standards. It’s also an excellent on-site training tool. “If supervisors are inspecting a shaft liner installation and want to make sure it’s done right, they can pull up a side-by-side checklist and illustration. If improvements are needed, a supervisor can show the trade contractor exactly what’s expected.”
Like most other industries, homebuilding is getting too complex to rely solely on experience and instinct. Homebuilder data analysis is an inextricable part of everything from project financing and risk management to quality assurance and customer satisfaction.
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Pier and beam design was among the most popular foundation techniques until the 1960s when concrete technology improved its floating slab system. Many builders use slab-on-grade construction—especially in warmer regions. We’re going to find out why professionals Jordan Smith of @jordansmithbuilds and Kyle Stumpenhorst of @rrbuildings chose pier and beam over slab-on-grade for the All-in-LP Build in Bellville, Texas. But first, let’s delve into pier and beam foundation.
From destructive hurricanes to fierce tornadoes, it seems news of catastrophic events is happening with alarming frequency. In fact, on March 3, 2020, an EF3 tornado tracked less than one mile from the LP Building Solutions headquarters in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, ripping through homes and businesses. While no traditional building can withstand the tremendous forces of disastrous weather events, it reminds us that embracing resilient construction and adopting stronger building codes could help protect our families, friends and neighbors.
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