Customer Success Testimonial - Dirk Jackson (Builder) - PlusSpec

We recently received the following testimonial from Dirk Jackson, and we loved it so much that we wanted to share it with the rest of you.

Dirk sent us an email and also left the comment on our Podcast Blog page HERE.

We love hearing from our customers, so if you are like Dirk and are loving what PlusSpec is doing for your business, please send us an email!

Dear RubySketch,

Just wanted to share a bit about the massive impact PlusSpec has had on my business since I started to play around with it, after my free introductory demonstration with Drew Povey in July of 2015.

I came into the construction game late in life (over 60) finding I had more of a passion for it, and getting more satisfaction from being involved, than I have from anything I’ve ever done before. Being naturally curious and always looking for better (and easier!) ways of doing things, I was intrigued when I came across PlusSpec and saw what it could do. Perhaps it was my business background that enabled me to see its potential to radically transform the way construction is done. Now, just over 3 years later, I’ve experienced some of that even though I haven’t come close to tapping all the advantages PlusSpec provides.

Starting from scratch, and having no previous 3D modelling experience, I just dived in and started building models of projects. With some excellent private one-on-one coaching from Drew, I was surprised how quickly I got to the point of being able to put together a fairly complex structure – and to do it in a reasonable amount of time. Of course my first efforts took quite long, but I’m getting better and faster all the time. Perhaps part of the reason is that, for me, it’s a lot of fun!

But PlusSpec is not a toy, it’s a very powerful tool built on the SketchUp platform that provides so many capabilities. One of the benefits I’ve gained is the ability to simulate in an easy to understand and interpret 3D form, every stage of the building process. This give me a way to quickly communicate the mission to my team, and check that our assumptions about how the work we’re going to do stacks up are correct – and will actually work!

Just as an example, we’re doing a project at the moment, a 3-level extension on a home on Port Melbourne, with a rooftop deck that includes a 2.5 tonne planter box! With a ground floor that has a clear-span kitchen/dining/living area, you can imagine the structural steel work is quite interesting! Things could get pretty ugly cost wise and schedule wise if there were any mistakes made with the steel, so I’ve used the model I did in PlusSpec to show how it actually comes together and relates to the rest of the structure, so we could check everything and avoid any issues popping up on site. By doing this we found a number of potential problem areas that we were able to address with design alterations and now we can be confident that it will all come together the right way. Real peace of mind!

Another way I’ve used PlusSpec to great advantage is creating opportunities for increasing the scope of a project – in collaboration with the client. This has resulted in clients authorising substantial additional work, adding further to our income and profit. As we know, the man in the street generally can’t picture from a 2D drawing what something might look like when constructed, so by modelling a proposed variation in 3D so they can see what they’ll get, makes it so much easier for them to like the idea and agree to go with it. Using this method on a recent project I was able to create more than 20 variations totalling $400K (yes, that’s not a typo – $400,000) in additional work! A 30% increase on the original budget! And the clients were happy to do it! Win-win.

There’s a lot more I still want to do with PlusSpec, particularly getting all of the benefits of using it in the estimating process. I’m already finding it very helpful in this area, but I know I can use it better. I’m also training someone on my team so they will ultimately do most of the PlusSpec work, so I can spend more time on my project management duties – and selling more projects with 3D PlusSpec presentations!

If you’re a builder who wants to take your business to the next level – PlusSpec is the tool that will help you get there.

 

Dirk Jackson

Drew Povey joined RubySketch in 2015 and now heads up the Melbourne Office. He has a Masters of Architecture, a B.A in languages, and a Diploma of Business.

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