This article on Houston Construction originally appeared in Hotelier Magazine.
When the team at Houston Construction finishes renovating a hotel lobby, guestroom or restaurant, operators can be sure the team hasn’t missed a single detail. In fact, the Concord, Ont.-based company has constructed a 35-year career by building trust with clients and becoming a preferred vendor by tracking every facet of their projects.
In the past, the family-run company typically marked down any lingering problems on a spreadsheet as they moved from room to room, looking for any deficiencies in the construction. But earlier this year, all that changed when Houston Construction began using a new software program to log issues by simply taking a picture with their smartphone.
“If it can’t be repaired at that time, we’ll log it for later,” says Peter D’Amato, president of Houston Construction. “We’re also able to assign people or trades to resolve that deficiency.” Painting issues, for example, can be assigned to a painter, while wiring problems can be routed to an electrician. Because the data is stored in the cloud, it’s accessible from anywhere. Workers are also held accountable with a subcontractor management tool. “Everyone is tracked. If the painter or the electrician takes care of something, they mark it as being complete and that’s the only way it gets removed from the list,” he adds.
Although Houston Construction didn’t create the software, called Closeout, identifying its potential for the Canadian hotel sector is the type of outside-the-box thinking that helped the firm nab the 2015 Pinnacle Award for Supplier of the Year. Sales might be another: the company projects to finish the year with a 28-per-cent increase in sales, recording one of the most profitable years in the history of the company.