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09/16/2021

BFS pushes tech toward builder efficiency

A company's accumulation of digital assets represents a paradigm shift for the business.
a man and a woman looking at a laptop

When it comes to the progress of technology in the LBM world, there’s often the connotation that it’s an industry still run by handshake deals for orders of truckloads of sticks.

 But the industry continues to make technological advancements in hopes of driving better efficiency and improved customer service to assist home builders and remodelers drive their own businesses forward.

Prior to the mega-merger between Builders FirstSource and BMC, the two companies each had digital initiatives underway.

According to Builders FirstSource Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions Tim Page, the companies deployed technology within two digital domains: improving internal operations and interacting with customers. The company will now focus on a third digital domain: using technology to help its customers operate more efficiently.

“Prior to the merger, both companies were focused on the first and second domains and achieved productivity gains from the deployment of technology tools such as delivery management, millwork configuration, and automated material take-offs,” Page explained. “We were also improving interaction with our customers through purchase order automation, lead generation tools, and sharing information over customer portals”

Since the January merger was completed, it allowed the new, larger company to learn from one another’s best practices while choosing the best solutions to continue improving its offerings.

a man wearing a suit
Tim Page, Builders FirstSource senior VP of strategy and development

“We’ll continue to drive best practices and common processes where it makes sense for the business, but beyond that we will bring focus to the third digital domain and create real value for our customers,” Page said.  “We feel that our company is very well-positioned to play a significant role in the digital transformation of the industry given our team members’ knowledge in construction and design, the ability to reach customers at scale, and trusted relationships both with builders and supply partners.”

In mid-August, Builders FirstSource completed its acquisition of WTS Paradigm LLC, a Wisconsin-based provider of software solutions and services to the building products industry.

Page said the acquisition of Paradigm provides the company with a starting point for enhancing its digital capabilities.

“Ultimately, we see a market in need of a digital platform that provides workflow and the required integrations to improve the design process and remove waste in residential construction,” he said.

A home builder’s work can be overwhelming and often extends beyond the normal workday. Building a home is a complex project. It is difficult work to manage material suppliers, align with various trade contractors and deal with ancillary service providers while also trying your best to meet the homebuyers’ expectations. The right tools will lead to reduced cost, shorter cycle times and a better experience for the home buyer.

Scalable configuration and visualization technology will enable productivity, improve construction and transform our industry.
Tim Page

“Builders don’t currently have the tools they need to do their jobs most efficiently. We’re committed to developing tools that reduce planning time, effectively integrate the design into the build process and ensure alignment across all stakeholders,” Page said. “Such tools improve communication and transparency to better meet the needs of our customer’s business, their homebuyer or homeowner customers and other project stakeholders.”

Page said Paradigm has a history of helping industry participants boost sales and become more efficient through a simplified process for configuring, quoting and manufacturing complex products.

“We will continue to invest in the core Paradigm Omni configuration technology. That technology also powers a new product, Paradigm Omni for Homebuilders, a software solution that creates a 360° virtual home design experience,” Page explained. “It allows homebuyers to customize their dream home, see how selections affect pricing and building allowances and visualize their choices — all before building begins. We believe scalable configuration and visualization technology will enable productivity, improve construction and transform  our industry.”

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