“Open talk” -How to create a quality community for contractors in BUILK
“After graduating from civil engineering in 2000, I’ve worked in a construction industry for a while and found a way to work as a contractor because it doesn’t cost much. Within few years, I could make a project with a contract cost about tens of millions.”, said a founder of BUILK ASIA Ltd.
However, the lesson I’ve learned from being a contractor is that having an interest in construction or studying about it doesn’t mean that you can easily become successful in the industry.
Being a contractor is tiring
It occasionally takes several years to finish construction work. During the work, there is a need to manage people, materials, documents, purchase orders, employment and so on. In a blink of an eye, one month passes and it’s time to pay bill for materials again. If the things are in control, then it’s good. However, there are factors which you simply can’t control such as rain, flood, disappearance of subcontractor, split of partnership, and so on.
Sometimes when contractors encounter problems, they may have to extend the duration of contract or even use their own expense and so their work may be unfinished within time. If it gets unlucky, project owners pay back to the contractors late. Instead of working on project, they may have to deal with troublesome speculation. Then this may cause infamous rumors about the contractors that they deliver late, abandon work unfinished or lie. There’s even a book explaining about how to deal with bad contractors.
This can leave misconception about contractors that they are unprofessional and unreliable. However, none of contractor wants to cheat or leave project in the first place. Every contractor wants to deliver quality construction work. We understand that every work has a risk that it would not be finished in time and on budget as expected.
Started from making a program for cost control of construction work to use by oneself and share with others
We believe that technology may help with construction work to be completed on budget, so we’ve invited technologists to make construction cost control program. Once we could fix the cost control problems, we then want to share the program we’ve made with others in the construction industry.
Since BUILK.COM was founded in 2010, it allows contractors to use online cost control professionally. Having become one of contractors in SMEs before, we understand that contractors may feel hesitant to decide whether to buy software to use or not. Is it worth it? Is it better to keep money to buy site equipment? So instead of selling software or collecting monthly service fee, we provide a free business administration software. There is no quarter and the income comes from advertisement and marketing budget of construction material brands instead which works quite similar to Facebook.
What has happened over 5 years?
In the past 5 years, we have received an award which is regionally well-known in IT industry for our program. Currently, the members of contractors are continuously increasing not only in Thailand, but also in Laos and Indonesia. We need to expand storage space by using Amazon’s Cloud Service and employ more programmers to update the security system and protect the system for program users all the time.
The number of users has increased so much but ultimately, the income from advertisement is actually not enough for the cost of development and maintenance of program which increases millions of baht per year. We have shifted business model to e-Commerce business for the construction industry called Yello Smart Purchase. Since we have contractors all over the country who purchase materials online through the system, we can get building materials supplies directly from manufacturers in a lower price and reduce the cost of materials for contractors.
Construction material brands of our current sponsors
Contractors have system which builds quality community of contractors
Construction work cannot be done alone. How good it could be if you have high quality colleagues.
Quality community starts from gathering quality people. Builk will help it to happen by building a management tool for cost control of construction work. BUILK Cost Control let contractors to use the website for free and provide online tutorial materials or users to create website and learn by themselves.
We would like contractors to manage cost control well. Remaining amount becomes a profit growth. It could also save time on document work and have more time to manage site issues instead.
When there are many quality contractors as members, we would like them to have more opportunity to work together. Therefore there is BUILK Company Profile to make online construction profile to build credibility of company with construction portfolio and rating. At the beginning of each year, we also organize BUILK UP event inviting BUILK nPro Network or contractors who are proficient in using system to gather, meet, and get to know each other. It causes contractor community credible and trustable quality because at least everyone has their own cost management system.
When we see good people, we think of them as good models of quality community which we are building. Many members are ready to give advice and help the fellow contractors.
Go further together after this
There are currently about ten thousand of BUILK members but the number of contractors who can actually use BUILK Cost Control “everyday” does not reach up to thousand.
We understand well that it is difficult to change an organizational behavior and even the contractors themselves need to change their own habits. It takes a lot of effort, discipline, and cooperation from everyone involving in the business. It also requires communication skills, leadership and management skills of CEOs to bring the change to the business. Sometimes we see contractors facing cost control management problems then they think about the program and regret that they did not use the system at first.
The changes within construction business will be difficult but we believe that it is possible. There are many successful cases which the number of Pro Network is continuously increasing all over the country.
We will continue to build the quality community of contractors for free with cost control system, online company profile and hold events for PRO NETWORK contractors. We will continuously innovate to reduce cost, increase profit, and save time by suggestion of BUILK Pro Network members to help to create a stronger quality community of contractors for construction industries in Thailand and ASEAN.