MarkSystems - WoodFalls Development
All information is real time on MarkSystems. This makes our Purchasing and accounting run and function smoothly.
What I like most about MarkSystems is the fact that I only have 1 software that I am using for scheduling, budgets, Purchase Orders and Invoicing. Prior to MarkSystems I was working out of 3 different programs.
What I like least about MarkSystems (More of an ITK issue) is that the VPO's are not able to be emailed to vendors. Most of our vendors are not sitting at a desk so an email on their phone would be beneficial to speed up orders and processes.
Response from ECi Software Solutions
Thank you for your recent review of MarkSystems! We appreciate your feedback and have forwarded on your comment about VPOs to our product team. Thanks again for being a MarkSystems customer.
- the ECI Marketing Team
Enterprise Software that Scales as you Grow
Growth is very important to our company and this software has allowed us to grow beyond our previous software solution. We are continuing to grow and the software will scale with us, but as we grow our needs are expanding as well. Mark Systems will have to continue improving it's ability for management to have visibility into it's data for it stay relevant for us.
Completely integrated builder software.
Online portal for inside and outside users.
Ensure strengths of internal controls.
Complex internal cost tracking system.
Does not have metrics or dashboards included that can help management.
Some of the interfaces for entering data are slow and a little encumbering to use.
We build just over 100 homes a year and are anxious to do more. We transitioned to Mark Systems from Quickbooks and spreadsheets. As a growing company, those tools were weak and were a serious burden to our company, so we looked at home building software and decided on Mark Systems. It's an understatement to say that we needed a new software system (we weren't even using purchase orders at the time).
The implementation was difficult but that was due in large part the the fact that we were unorganized. Basically, it would have been very difficult no matter what software we chose. It's taken about 12 months from when we started using the software to utilize the majority of the programs/functions available to us.
Customer support is excellent and this is really important to us, especially since we are new customers with new software. You can imagine that at first there are many questions that come up.
This software will give us the tools to grow beyond our market and still have the control we want.
The biggest issue I have with the software is the ease of use and visual interface. I've used a lot of operating systems and programs and Mark Systems has their work cut out for them. In general, there is a lot of work to do in this department but in particular the sales system (including tracking contacts) and reports. Yes, they work, but it's not intuitive.
One feature I loved and miss in Quickbooks was the widget showing bank account balances on the home screen rather than pulling reports.
Mark Systems Review
It has all you need
Mark Systems Review
I love using Mark Systems and working with their staff. We have never been able to keep track of our cost better
I like most about this product that it allows us to build estimates for custom houses and custom options
Not all reports allow you to select all or selected companies to print. We have about 10 different companies and have to print some reports one at a time.
I'm a three year user of Integrated Homebuilder for our company that builds about 135 homes a year and I am fluent in all aspects of the software.
Before Integrated Homebuilder, we used Quickbooks and Excel and when we reached 75 homes per year we realized we had outgrown those tools. Communication with subcontractors, cost reporting, variance reports, budgets are all features that we needed and didn't have. Another big feature we needed was to be able to write the contract in the system and that directly translated into the construction process. Then it's ready for the warranty system, basically a one-stop-shop.
The implementation was challenging for us, but thats because at the time our building processes were very unsophisticated and we needed assistance getting us up to speed. Integrated Homebuilder's customer support was very helpful, answering our questions and giving us pointers so that we could progress through the implementation.
I went to the Builders Show in Las Vegas in 2010 and talked with many software companies. After much consideration we went with Integrated Homebuilder. Choosing the software company was going to be a big project and not something to be trifled with, therefore, the decision process was taken very seriously. I know we made the right decision going with Integrated Homebuilder and I recommend it.
The fully integrated platform for Integrated Homebuilder is extremely powerful in connecting all operational facets of our organization. We have been live on the system since January 1, 2012 and have been able to internally handle a 40% increase in our starts with the same backoffice staff. We look forward to further developing our use of Integrated Homebuilder throughout the company as we move ahead.
The ITK portal for our Trade Partners and Field Managers has revolutionized the way we communicate with our Trades. There is a learning curve for all users, internally and externally; but once the user understands the setup and how to get the information, it is easy to navigate. Implementation is a significant undertaking, as in any software startup, make sure you have the buy in at the highest levels in order to get the needed data from all areas of the organization. There are many things we discovered once we went "live" that would have impacted how we set up the original data during the implementation and data gathering phases.
Overall, we are very happy that we took the plunge last year and invested in Integrated Homebuilder. We would not have been able to handle the business growth we experienced this year using our old systems software packages unless we added significant overhead to our company.
We have been users of IHMS since 2002 and remain happy that we made the move.
We were using a program that had strengths in general contracting but was difficult to use for homebuilding. We identified 3 potential products after our first phase of due diligence.
We chose Mark Systems for many reasons. First, it truly is integrated under one roof and supported by one organization that stands by the product. Secondly, the overall cost control functionality was impressive. Controls and safeguards going from budgets to contracts to work orders to approval using the Internet tool kit works wonders.
Having vast control over the options is very important to us -- from having only options available to the particular plan to adjusting selling pricing in group ranges to ensuring all options chosen are paid for and paid to the subcontractor.
All newly acquired software requires a learning curve. The support staff at Mark Systems are always pleasant, available and knowledgeable. They have low turnover, if any, and we have been able to continue relationships as we make progress, adding software features to our operations.
Best Homebuilding Software on the Market
It incorporates all aspects of homebuilding into one system. It allows me, as a purchaser, much greater control of how I buy, and it allows a small amount of people (overhead) to manage a large number of builds in a given time.
Not much. It takes some time to implement and get over problems as you transition, but it is well worth the effort.
We are a small home builder in a small market. Prior to the recession we built an average of 20 homes per year. We wanted to grow within our market and expand into other markets. Over the years we had been running our business with a combination of different software for CRM, scheduling, accounting (Including purchase orders), selections and warranties. We looked at enterprise systems before and didn’t feel like we as a company were ready for one.
In 2010 we decided the timing was right. After a very thorough investigation and selection process we selected IHMS from Mark Systems. IHMS was designed as a single database system which we believed was beneficial. It had been around long enough to have a good track record and most importantly, it was designed as an enterprise system for home building. It was not a product for commercial construction adapted to try to fit home building.
Occasionally the decisions we make turn out to be spot on. We believe that we chose the right system and we also allocated enough resources during implementation to get the conversion done effectively. We brought in temporary help in terms of expertise and extra labor to assist our own team members. This helped keep to our project schedule while keeping the day to day business going.
The system itself is very well thought out. It is obvious that Mark Systems has incorporated feedback from the users to create a robust system. Seldom is there functionality that we need that the system doesn’t provide. Sometimes we had to adapt to a different way than we were used to, but we also learned new and better practices by having to conform.
We knew that a fully integrated enterprise system would require a disciplined approach to running our business and that turned out to be almost accurate. The discipline required far exceeded what we expected. However, far from being a bad thing, the structure and discipline required to use an integrated system like IHMS has made us a better company. We now spend much more time in planning and preparation than in correcting errors in the field. We are on track to close 71 homes this year and having a single system has helped us significantly.
Mark Systems has been a pleasure to work with. They are very helpful and responsive to issues that come up. When we call real people answer the phone. In the year that we've been operational we have created strong relationships with many of the Mark Systems team members.
All in all we believe that we made the right choice in both the timing of moving to an enterprise system and in choosing IHMS from Mark Systems. I would make the same choice today.
Provident Homes Corp is a regional residential builder providing both luxury single family homes and townhomes in conservation communities. Working with our customers is everything and handling multiple customers accurately and efficiently is always the challenge of a residential builder.
Because Provident Homes Corp builds in both larger developments and on custom single lots, Provident Homes Corp requires a central system to manage not only the accounting of our company but all the other critical pieces such as Sales, Scheduling, Warranty, Costing, Budgets and more.... In the past we were learning multiple programs and having to maintain those multiple programs, access those multiple programs remotely, have those programs properly talk to one another and then manage the inevitable discrepancies between all the different programs.
Mark Systems really makes the residential construction process and sales process smoother by centralizing all the critical information into a place where Sales Agents, Customers, Employees, Administrative staff and even subcontractors can go for up-to-date and accurate information that can be accessed at their computer or smart phone.
Mark Systems is very well thought out and constantly improving. The program is robust, so you cannot learn it overnight but it is intuitive and easy to learn. Most importantly, if you do have questions, all of the staff at Mark Systems knows the product and there are specialists and support if needed.
The reporting is amazing and easy to understand. Users have the ability to easily extract large amounts of data into spreadsheets or other databases if needed, or you can just select from the numerous reports already built into Mark Systems. The program is stable and easy to deploy remotely and can be easily accessed from smart phones or other PDA-like devices.
Provident Homes Corp has been overall very pleased with the system, especially since the introduction of the new multiple price-out option. Once you've built the information / database into Mark Systems it is an amazing program, and it continues to impress our users as the information is a great tool for analyzing efficiencies and weaknesses as a company, while keeping your customers informed, on budget, on schedule and happy they chose to work with such an organized and professional company.
When choosing an all in one Residential builder software, Provident Homes Corp would not consider anyone but Mark Systems.
Integrated Homebuilder Management System (IHMS)
Overall IHMS is a software package that does everything we need it to do to run our business. In better years, we used to sell thousands of houses each year using this software with over 130 concurrent users. The web portals saved us a lot of time and money and allowed our company to be more productive. The company overall is very supportive of our software upgrade requests and is very customer focused.
Easily the best feature of this software is that there is one integrated database for all features of this software. This makes it easy for reporting on data, integrity of the database and the overall user experience. You don't need to back out of one module and enter a user\password to enter another module, everything is integrated and just works.
This software package has everything we need to run our homebuilding business. A customer web portal, a trade partner web portal to notify trade partners when they've been paid and what work we require them to perform and when to perform it. A robust General Ledger module to report our numbers to wall street and a Sales System to accurately sell options and keep track of prospects.
The support we've received from the company is tremendous as well. Everything from hand-holding during an upgrade to training and general questions is handled with the highest level of quality.
There are a few areas where I wish the documentation went to a more granular level.
Upgrades from one version to the next are also a little more involved than just running an upgrade.exe program. Usually I request help from the company to ensure everything is upgraded properly.
We are a semi-custom production home builder in Montana. We build unique, affordable green homes, in a community setting. We have been using Integrated Homebuilder for two years now. Previously, we used five systems to do what we are doing now with just one. We wanted to consolidate from these multiple systems to one database, and we were looking for a solution with web portals to allow communication between owners, trades, field staff, and office staff. Integrated Homebuilder has an Internet Tool Kit that accomplishes this well.
The Integrated Homebuilder team helped us through a structured implementation plan. We were up and running quickly, about 2-3 months with all data gathering, and in person support at the beginning and end. They offer wonderful support from a well trained, kind and responsive staff, customer support has been exceptional.
No software is perfect, and Integrated Homebuilder has room to grow. The system is built on a solid foundation of homebuilding best practices, refined over many years. Accounting, Job Cost (including variance tracking), Purchasing, Options Management, Scheduling, Sales, Warranty, Portals and more are all included. They're all linked together in a single database that adds significant benefits to homebuilding companies that use the system. The management team at Integrated Homebuilder is genuinely pursuing continual improvement, and is moving this product forward in exciting ways. They listen to their clients, to everyone's benefit.
After two years with this software, we are still confident that we made a wise choice for a technology product and partner to power the bulk of our operations. If you are a homebuilder looking for a great system to manage the entire homebuilding process with full support, you will certainly be pleased with the Integrated Homebuilder team.
Main Street Homes is the largest privately owned home builder in the Richmond, VA area. We have 5 furnished models in different locations around the city. Approximately ¾ of our sales come from visitors to our model homes that want to select their floor plan from our portfolio and add features from a list of predetermined options offered.
We were looking for a completely integrated software package to manage our prospects, contract implementation, buyer’s standard feature selection as well as special request, purchase order system, construction scheduling, trade communication, accounting, warranty and managerial reporting to replace the software and many spreadsheets we were using previously.
The Mark Systems folks were instrumental in the setup and early operation of the system. Training was provided for each department both onsite and through webinars that allow employees to be up and running quickly. Access to key support personnel at Mark Systems specializing in the variety of disciplines required to operate our business was provided to minimize any disruption in the flow of information and process should a question arise.
We are presently on version 3.1101.2a. Our goal is to use every aspect of IHMS from prospect registration to final warranty service recording through the buyer website. Presently we have 60+ jobs in the field with 20+ active subdivisions. We offer 30+ models with an average of 3 elevations each and over 1200 options. IHMS reporting allows us to analyze all aspects of our business including the profits on a base house w/ options separate process.
The constant R&D has provided the improvements for both operational and functional efficiency. MSH has realized benefits that allowed us to streamline some of our processes which has increased the capacity of employees.
I have used Mark Systems IHMS since 2002. Working as a Controller for three separate Developer/Home Builders, I used Masterbuilder and Timberline software prior to Mark Systems. I am so thoroughly sold on IHMS that I started my own business as a consultant to Home Builders who use Mark Systems.
It is the only construction software I found that integrates all departments in the business and reduces overhead costs while at the same time improving reporting. With a current builder I consult, we have gone from a stressed working group to a team that wants to expand operations into new markets. I worked with them on their conversion to Mark Systems when they were closing thirteen homes in a month. Now a year later they are managing without the stress and looking to grow.
Mark Systems continues to improve their product with the latest version IHMS3, a Java-based system.
Extremely flexible. The software allows you to make it work for you and your business. The vendor is always open to suggestions and willing to work with you to benefit you the most.
There are slight inconsistencies. 1) You're not able to use the down arrow with the drop-down tabs. 2) House information isn't in the edit window for PO/WOs. 3) It doesn't allow for a review of PO/WOs between the point of generation and release. 4) It doesn't allow for a PO/WO to be put in a holding Status or under review so that it isn't moved forward in the schedule progression.
We have been using Mark Systems IHMS for over 10 years. The strength of Mark Systems IHMS has been their one integrated database that works seamlessly with each of their home building modules. Each module works flawlessly with the other because it's all integrated in one place. When trade partners go to the vendor portal website, they are looking at live payment information. When a salesperson is selling options to a customer the pricing is right because it comes from the one main database. When my executives want to do a price or margin analysis, the data is accurate without the need to jump through a lot of hoops. Having our company all look at the same "picture" of the data makes us more efficient and productive.
I appreciate that IHMS is always looking to improve their product.
I appreciate the support IHMS provides. They are always very responsive and helpful.
I have had frustration with warranty reports in the past, and the tedious process of exporting the data into Excel. However, the recent enhancements have addressed those issues, and the reporting is now much improved.
Integrated Homebuilder has been an integral part of our company successfully transitioning from “Custom” to “Production” home building. Integrated Home Builder has an intuitive structure allowing for ease of operation and stellar performance. The program is capable of handling seemingly endless numbers of models, elevations, options and communities. The ITK module is the best tool our superintendents and trade partners have for managing all their daily operations including work orders, purchase orders and scheduling. Overall a 5 star rating!
Accountant approves of Mark Systems IHMS
IHMS Review - Estimator
Entering in new takeoffs is pretty easy.
The inability to easily process changes (the idea of stage-releasing as the only way to catch late-addition selections). And I don't like the idea of releasing a house without being able to review/adjust everything beforehand.
It completely integrates all aspects of homebuilding. The entire system works together. The support team at Mark Systems goes above and beyond to make sure that all questions are answered.
I would like to send emails to the customer base from the sales center.
Very productive tool for homebuilders and property developers. Recommended.
1. I liked the UI and Specifications. Very fast even with slow RAM.
2. Liked the Customer Support. Helpful
Very good if it can automatically pull and update prices from Big stores and show in Dashboard .Currently department has to put everything manually . Automation is always good.
I would recommend this if they spend extra time in learning.
The system can flow easily together, and some of the personnel go out of their way to help. I like the Roundtable Seminars. I was only given permission to attend once, but I would love to attend more to learn more.
The training is not "training," per se. All of the reviews employees had of the different areas were actually the training, and we didn't realize that's what we were doing. It teaches you from the perspective that you use it and are familiar with what you are looking at.