HOT PROJECTS: Construction

Pulte Homes wanted to have a complete view of its home buyers, but that wasn't possible because the company had no method for tracking customer history. The Detroit-based homebuilder now uses SalesLogix to manage its customer interactions, "so we can be on the same page no matter where we are in the country," says Graham Epperson, manager of interactive communications. The system is being used not only to guide buyers through one purchase, but to develop a homeowner-for-life strategy that offers a changing slate of homes to individuals as their needs change, from first-time buyers to retirement communities. Pulte currently uses SalesLogix in its entire senior residence market and in eight of its traditional family home markets, with a global rollout expected to be complete by late November. Pulte's call center uses SalesLogix to track customer inquiries, and the database integrates with the company's email marketing system. The result is better information about real home buyers. "It allows our marketing teams to focus their efforts on the people most likely to buy," Epperson says. Centex Homes' cutting-edge approach to customers had no follow-through. "We had an issue where the buyer's experience of the company from a technical standpoint deteriorated over time--we had a good Web site and sales system, and after that everything turned into paper," says Charles Irsch, CIO. Centex now uses Pivotal to manage its customer experience from discovery to purchase, and has cut a number of error-prone paper replication processes out of its sales cycle. "The quote and qualification information was on individual PCs, so we weren't able to get at that information to do effective marketing--it was an island." The greater breadth of information also allows the sales staff to act in a more consultative role for its customers, many of whom are first-time buyers who may not know the complete ins and outs of the financing process. Using a CRM system to track and report on customer quotes also gives Centex management its first look into how individual neighborhoods are performing, and allows Centex to better understand trends of customers who shop in multiple housing developments before making a buying decision.
Foremen for Scott Construction were wasting as much as two hours writing and filing daily reports. So the Lake Delton, WI, paving company turned to Oncontact for help. Now foremen file their reports via laptop and satellite phone directly from the truck, maximizing the time they spend managing the job site. The same Oncontact system is used by field sales to automatically generate proposals and feed a sales pipeline, providing visibility that had once required a dedicated sales manager to coordinate. Processing payroll and truck rental payments is also down from hours to just minutes, thanks to the consolidated database, and Scott knows more about its business than it had before it used Oncontact. "Our proposals look more professional, we are more professional, and if that gives us a leg up over our competition it's priceless," says Sharon Drake, Scott Constructions' IT administrator.
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