The BuildPay Contractor Curtain™

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Growth in construction is expected to continue to accelerate into 2020.Projected to be one of the fastest growing industries by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and a report from Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Center (CIC), the construction industry as we know it is changing rapidly.

With growth will come new technologies that promote worker safety, efficiency, job site visibility, and payment connectivity (ahem, BuildPay). Internet-connected devices and applications will connect everyone on a project in ways that have never been possible.

Given the scale of our industry, construction has always been too big and too fragmented to centralize controls. But succeeding despite construction chaos is also something we need to admit we take some pride in. Right or wrong, new technologies are disrupting the way we’ve always done things (like for decades!). At risk are our trade secrets, project buyout pricing, and the general privacy that good old-fashioned paper processes provide…if you can’t see that’s coming to an end…you’re probably nearing retirement (in all due respect – thank you for your service).

So, in this new age of emerging operability, cloud-based platforms, and more-and-more transparency – how do you avoid revealing competitive advantages and key relationships developed over a long time?

The information you chose is protected with BuildPay’s Contractor Curtain™. Think shower curtain that can be pulled to protect your privacy or opened when you just don’t care. The functionality is simple: the value of any agreement you make, payment you approve, or material you buy should only be visible to you and the people that should have that information. Any other users on the project you chose can view percentage complete values – just like today.

At BuildPay, we know full-well that exceptions are the rule in construction, so we built the Contractor Curtain™ with flexibility and familiarity in mind.

A construction boon is overdue, but the technology to improve our industry’s productivity-potential is a more than a few laps behind “overdue.” The emerging technologies in this space will change the sites we work at, and BuildPay’s objective to deliver major payment advantages will let you do what you do best: build. Well, at least stop chasing your money.

All construction has one thing in common: it’s all supposed to get paid for. BuildPay is the only company that’s connected at every stage of the project lifecycle and is leveraging advantages from the promises that we make sure are kept.

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Insurance Companies

Banks & Lenders

Project Owners

General Contractors


Material Providers

Material Manufacturers

Lenders: Competitive Advantage

The golden rule sums up lenders’ advantage the best. “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.”  While the bank has the gold, they compete with other banks, who also have the gold.  Their rules are necessary, they do not need to be changed.  There are many companies that argue the execution of the rules are inefficient, but efficiency really does not substantially improve protections for banks or add construction success for customers.  A shared ledger allows banks - as the trusted source of project funding - to set the rules for project payment releases, monitor the project health and all but eliminate any chance of lien.  Cash-flow-lubricated projects attract competition to accelerate work at more competitive prices with superior protections for virtually every player in the chain.

Insurance: Competitive Advantage

Insurers’ obligation to pay is the most potentially powerful tool insurers have, but is very difficult to systematize and scale given the daunting challenges of insurers collaborating with a huge, highly fragmented and complex construction industry.   Since all construction has chronic payment risk and inadequate cash flow, it makes sense for property insurers to use their irrevocable obligation to pay to attract the construction industry.  Since cash flow is most attractive at the project level, inter-industrywide collaboration between insurers and the titans of construction is less important than mechanizing a platform that can be scaled from one project to many thousands of projects.

Government: Competitive Advantage

In some cases, opportunity for small subcontractors (with limited financial wherewithal) is only one part of the total equation.  Some very talented and well run companies still cannot automatically get the trade credit, working capital and cash flow they need to keep pace.  The struggle is unnecessary when the government funding source can allocate contractor-planned and approved payouts directly to these subs.  Similarly, the subs themselves can allocate material budgets to the ledger to enable them to procure all the materials they need without the material provider taking on risk.  Working capital constraints are greatly alleviated, cash flow accelerates and there is no need for trade credit.  Government agencies can see activity on the ledger for each bid project.  Bids improve.  

Why would construction lenders need to change their highly refined processes?

Success for construction lenders means providing their customer with the funds needed to build the project they want.  To protect the bank’s interests, protective draw schedules are put in place to assure the project is done – and done without liens.  Albeit necessary protection, slow draws cost project time and money.  Some oversight, work and material providers avoid working on bank-funded projects, charge more or require large owner-deposits. This is especially true for classes of product that are fabricated offsite and installed after fabrication is complete, when providers are still not paid until after the next draw.  Customers pay interest on capital needed for construction, with process requirements attached that add to the construction cost and delay project delivery.  In a world where settled business models (think taxis) can be unsettled in months (think Uber), this one probably has disrupters’ attention.

Why do property insurers need to change?

Success for property insurers is making their customer whole as quickly as possible and protecting their loss ratio from significantly inflated reconstruction payouts; especially overblown demand-surge prices following disasters.  Insurance reconstruction is the most inflated of any type of institutionally funded work and is getting worse.  Claim departments are startled by the rate of new disadvantages to mitigate, using tools that have not been substantially redesigned in decades.

Why would government funded projects need payment changes?

Many government entities endeavor to help smaller subcontractors and material providers have the opportunity to be awarded contracts.  In some states women and minority owned enterprises are guaranteed a portion of publically funded construction.  Most contractors we talk to are supportive of this mandate, but it comes with unique challenges.  Providing opportunity alone does little to help solve problems with deficient working capital, trade credit at material providers and enough rapid cash-flow to keep up with fast-paced project schedules.  In some cases contractors help these subs as much as possible, but obviously there are some challenges beyond their control.  These problems work their way to the top like air bubbles in concrete.