Graber Post Buildings, Inc. was so dissatisfied with the software programs available for post frame design and the direct distribution of materials to contractors, they considered writing their own software. Then, they partnered with SmartBuild Systems.
- The time spent doing bids dropped from 3 hours to 16 minutes
- They gained 29 builder accounts through word-of-mouth alone
- They embedded SmartBuild technology on their website that turns everyone into a designer
- They made the software available to all contractors, no matter how small the business
Started by Glen Graber in Montgomery, Indiana, in 1973, Graber Post is known for its truss plant, metal products, pole barn kits, and delivery and installation services. Now the company seamlessly sells materials to a growing legion of loyal contractors, after overcoming numerous technological frustrations.
As the post frame industry’s acknowledged leader in manufacturing and material supply, Graber Post’s system for working with contractors needed to be a consistent, world-class experience.
Incomplete and Inefficient
Graber Post tried numerous post frame design systems throughout the years, yet none were adequate, much less amazing. Most companies never updated their software, others offered poor support, and all of them were incomplete in one area or another. Graber Post was disappointed no one offered a program that facilitated live design, integrated with the Paradigm accounting program, and automated the takeoff and bid processes.
When SmartBuild Systems CEO, Keith Dietzen, approached Chad Wilson, the general manager of Graber Post, it was evident that both companies had a lot to gain. SmartBuild needed an established, knowledgeable supplier to test the system and provide meaningful input. Graber Post was searching for a material supplier sales tool that automated the core functions of post frame and made them more attractive to contractor customers.
SmartBuild Systems is the pole barn industry’s only complete design system for post frame structures. Simple enough for anyone to use, this web-based software reduces the average bid time from three hours to twenty minutes and drastically decreases errors. With the push of a button, SmartBuild automatically:
- Designs a 3D model and framing
- Updates changes in real-time
- Compiles a bid and order using a custom database
- Builds a cut list for sheathing and trim
- Generates construction drawings
- Calculates price including materials, labor, and sales tax
- Creates a description of the building
- Populates the sales contract
- Emails and prints a copy for the buyer on the spot
Intrigued, Graber Post entered into a productive partnership with SmartBuild.
For over a year and a half, Graber Post and SmartBuild Systems conducted weekly meetings to improve the program, tweak features, and develop support for the software.
Then Graber Post took the SmartBuild program, along with product literature and videos, to a tradeshow to try it out with prospective customers. As the salespeople demonstrated the system — offering the software to contractors in return for buyer commitments – it became clear that relicensing the software was a powerful sales tool.
The SmartBuild Effect
With SmartBuild, we can get new contractors set up in less than a week and all of their comments are positive. It makes designing and bidding easier because they can draw up every door and window in a live session. And they can get more quotes and takeoffs done, so they save time and satisfy more customers. SmartBuild has been a big help to our business and the support team asks for lists of our ideas to keep improving the software. We’ve added 29 new builder accounts just because they heard we have the SmartBuild System that cuts the bid time to 16 minutes. — Royden Wagler – Tech Support Lead – Graber Post
Impressed with the functionality and results of SmartBuild, Graber Post asked about embedding the technology on its customer-facing website. Already in the works, SmartBuild recruited Graber Post to test the new e-Modeler for three months.
Immediately — through only word-of-mouth – daily leads began pouring into the Graber Post website. As new users were added, many large companies turned into customers.
The SmartBuild e-Modeler embeds the pole barn industry’s only complete design system for post frame structures directly onto your website. Privately labeled to your company, the e-Modeler is an amazing marketing tool that turns everyone into a designer including the DIY crowd, building buyers, farmers, and especially contractors.
Plus, the e-Modeler makes it easy to obtain high-quality leads and increase sales. Once a user designs a building on your website, they’re required to enter their contact information to receive the system output (a feature that also prevents the competition from swooping in.) SmartBuild then saves the user’s job – and emails you – so you can contact the prospect and make the sale!
Pay as You Go
After working with Graber Post for three years, SmartBuild Systems automates the post frame process from start to finish. This partnership, grown for the good of the industry, now makes this easy, intuitive software available for every contractor – no matter how small your business.
The Pay as You Go license structure allows builders to use the SmartBuild system, with the proprietary Graber Post database, and pay by the job!
Together, with Graber Post and SmartBuild Systems, everyone in the post frame industry can grow their sales, increase their customer base, and operate as a 21st Century, tech-led company.