Back in 2016, when I was working as a tradesman in London, my team had a box on the floor of our office. At the end of every shift, anyone who had purchased materials that day would toss their sales slips onto the pile. Things got messy, fast. I can still remember the late nights spent at the end of the month trying to decipher smudged digits so my accountant wouldn’t have to.
Much has changed in the building trades since I left the United Kingdom, but amazingly, the bookkeeping process remains antiquated. While today’s builders typically take a picture of their receipt and send the image to the front office, mistakes are still common. One accountant told me recently that image-reading apps are imprecise while a lack of standardised processes for transmitting photos – some builders use WhatsApp, others SMS – eats up any time saved.
Buildiro 2.0 – which will be available in the Google Play and Apple App stores next month – has been designed to eliminate these inefficiencies. Going forward, materials ordered or paid for in the updated Buildiro app will generate a digital sales ticket, and this proof of purchase can be automatically uploaded to any accounting system. Not only will this new e-invoicing feature aid tradesmen navigating the UK’s Making Tax Digital scheme, it will also close the books on the monthly accounting nightmare.
I’m so confident that Buildiro 2.0 will revolutionise the way tradesmen search for materials and process their purchases that we are creating an affiliate marketing programme to incentivise industry accountants to share the technology with their clients. Every time a tradesman shops for supplies on Buildiro, saving time and money sourcing items near their job site, the affiliated accountant will be compensated. It’s the very definition of win-win.
When I first developed the idea for Buildiro, it was out of a desire to make our industry more efficient. Improving the accounting process is key to this effort. After all, wads of illegible paper are more than an accounting headache; they are also a metaphor for an industry aching to innovate.
With so much competition and ever-diminishing margins, today’s tradesman needs to hustle to build a business and expand a client base. Technology can help. From mobile apps that manage finances to websites that allow customers to leave honest reviews, builders now have access to a plethora of online resources. But in a field full of handheld gadgetry, where to begin?
Profitability, minimising costs, maintaining a good level of cash flow, stock levels and good customer service are key for any business. It’s not just about having the right job management software although that does help!.
Homebuilding and Renovating Show-London, International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century, UK Construction Week Birmingham 2019, Digital Construction Week and ConTech 2019 are the coolest UK construction conferences not to be missed this autumn.