construction worker using laptop computer

An Open Letter to the Post Frame Industry

My company, Keymark, spent almost 40 years writing software for the wood truss industry.  So did many plate companies.  If you tour a truss plant, (something you should do if you haven’t already,) you’ll find an operation driven in almost every respect by robust software:

  • Quoting
  • Structural Engineering
  • Production Scheduling
  • Saw Setup
  • Table (Jig) Setup
  • Cost Accounting

What we found when we looked at Post Frame was something different.  We interviewed roughly 15 companies, contractors, and suppliers, to determine the state of the industry.  Besides construction, the primary work effort was:

  • Generating takeoffs
  • Labor estimates
  • Pricing
  • Sales proposals
  • Detailed material lists for actual jobs

The tools used included incomplete software, spreadsheets, price books, and a lot of manual grunt work.

The Results…

Long workweeks.  An average of over two hours to generate a professional proposal.  Too many errors.  Hotshot deliveries.  An industry that, in short, needed powerful automation.

As a result, Keymark, with the help of some pioneering companies, decided to bring to life a development effort intended to automate the industry end to end, SmartBuild.

Our Goal

To automate the processes that need to be automated:

  • Takeoffs
  • Pricing
  • Labor calcs
  • Proposal generation
  • Construction drawing preparation
  • Order process between contractor & supplier

In addition, we wanted to integrate the upstream manufacturers through the supply generation by connecting databases and information flow.

SmartBuild, believe it or not, is most of the way there!  The contractors and suppliers who adopted this technology early are reaping the benefits…For suppliers, convincing more contractors to buy from them…For contractors, reducing bid time dramatically and closing more sales because of an automated sales tool.

The tagline at SmartBuild – “We want to be your Technology Partner,” is way more than lip service.  We are providing the core tool to automate key functions for Post Frame.  With cooperation, we can connect the supply chain and automate data flow end to end.  Together, we can catapult the Post Frame industry into the lead in leveraging technology, in the construction industry, to satisfy our customers and grow our industry.

Let’s talk about how we can work together to realize this goal.

Keith Dietzen
CEO and Owner
SmartBuild Systems