- Dahlsens reduced weekly hours to service customers from 4 hours to 1 hour
- Builders generate quotes 5x faster
- Order accuracy increased, reducing follow-up calls and emails
- Dahlsens increases market share
Dahlsens is one of Australia’s leading building material suppliers having operated in Australia since 1877. In 2013, the company faced stiff competition from Big Box retailers and pivoted away from supplying the DIY market to focus solely on its trade business.
“With an ever-increasing competitive landscape in the DIY retail space, we decided to return to our heritage of looking after local builders. In making this change, we knew that pricing would still be very competitive and that we would need to uplift our services significantly to satisfy the needs of our individual builders.”
Today, Dahlsens employs more than 1,300 staff across four subsidiaries, exclusively focused on delivering whole-of-house to builders, renovators and trades.
Dahlsens account managers take pride in the high level of personalized service offered to its customers. For example, they spend significant time with customers not just helping them place orders, but also supporting estimation, scheduling their jobs and helping with strategies to grow their businesses.
In 2019, Jamie Dahlsen, General Manager of Innovation & Technology, saw an opportunity to improve efficiency among the small and medium builders and trades, who make up most of their customer base.
“We noticed that the majority of our small to medium-sized customers suffered from a lack of organized business activities due to an absence of any digital project management or estimating systems,” Dahlsen said. “Most of the major software providers for builders at the time provided large, complex platforms suited to larger enterprises.”
So, if Dahlsens could help the builder find affordable business software, simple enough to use, their builders and trades would likely grow while providing Dahlsens an efficient way to offer superior customer service.
In 2019, Buildxact and Dahlsens formed a true partnership aimed at helping drive efficiency and growth. Buildxact was offered to Dahlsens builders, and those builders who signed on grew and became more efficient in multiple phases of their business.
Dahlsens’ builders reduce takeoff time by up to 85% percent
For instance, on Buildxact, Dahlsens’ customers reduced the time needed to complete takeoffs. In one case, Jason Amos of McMasters Homes reduced takeoff and quoting time from three business days to four hours–an 85% improvement.
As builders completed takeoffs and quotes to customers faster, they became more responsive and won more work. Overall, builders said they shaved a week off the amount of time needed to prepare and send customer quotes.
“The ability of my customers to be able to quote quickly is one of the key benefits of Buildxact,” said David Lewer, a Dahlsens account manager. “If they’re waiting for three or four days for a dealer to come back to them, that’s a wasted opportunity. Buildxact makes the builder much more professional because they can get the quote back the same night or the next morning in a beautiful format, completely done. As result, my customers have grown their business.”
Dahlsens saves 3 hours per week per customer
In 2021, Dahlsens also supplied live price lists in Buildxact, and this gave builders the ability to estimate and use up-to-date pricing to order directly from Dahlsens within the same software environment. More than 200 builders signed up, and as a result, Dahlsens saw a massive increase in efficiency and sales.
Dahlsens account managers reduced the time spent on administrative tasks from 4 hours to just 1 hour per week. Account managers reported spending more time truly collaborating and consulting with their clients, Dahlsen said.
Customer John Peros, Managing Director of Peros Built, said he appreciates the time saved with integrated price lists.
“Dahlsens’ price lists being provided to us through Buildxact is an absolute blessing to my business,” Peros said. “It stops all those phone calls in between and waiting for prices and quotes. I can look up an item, and the cost is there, on-demand. It’s just incredible.”
Customers like Simon Mannah from Prescom Constructions said he saw more accurate cost estimates.
“The integration of Dahlsens with Buildxact has eliminated a lot of human error and made my purchase orders faster to send across and more accurate. Having updated pricing, especially with the constant rise in material prices, has been a godsend to keep up with the market and ensure we are the most competitive at all times,” Mannah said.
Customers consolidated spend with Dahlsens
As builders completed estimates, quotes, and orders with less effort, Dahlsens also noted other trends:
- More than 1-in-3 builders began buying new categories;
- These builders consolidated their vendors, choosing Dahlsens more often;
- Of those who bought new categories, those builders increased order size by 49 percent.
Over the past two years, Dahlsens customers have grown while becoming more efficient. With this stronger customer base, Dahlsens revenue also grew. In 2021, Dahlsens doubled its market share from the previous year, according to purchase order activity generated within Buildxact.
“In short, our customers are delighted with this partnership, and this has made us more efficient, has helped us grow sales, and will continue to enhance our customer relationships over time,” said Jamie Dahlsen.
Moving forward, Dahlsens plans to continue improving services offered to their customers using Buildxact by using the existing digital connection between the Dahlsens and Buildxact systems. Furthermore, Dahlsens plans to use data-driven decisions to manage inventory and supply stocks. Simply put, past buying patterns logged with Buildxact can predict future buying behavior, according to Jamie Dahlsen.
“If we get permission from our customers to see other information in their Buildxact environment, such as scheduling, we can see if they are working effectively, and from that we can start pre-empting and managing our stock levels more effectively for those customers.” Dahlsen said.
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