Future-proofing homebuilding: Schell Brothers' vision for a tech-driven industry

Dive into Schell Brothers' remarkable journey of harnessing technology for business growth and efficiency.

The homebuilding industry, often slow to adapt to change, is facing a wave of innovation that is set to redefine the way homes are built. At the forefront of this wave is Schell Brothers, a homebuilding company committed to using technology to improve processes, enhance customer experiences, and secure their future growth.

The impending tech revolution in homebuilding

The homebuilding industry is a multi-billion dollar sector that is ripe for disruption. According to McKinsey1, the construction industry lags significantly behind others in productivity gains, with the potential to boost productivity by as much as 50-60% through real-time analysis, increased automation, and improved document management.

The leaders driving innovation at Schell Brothers

Schell Brothers CEO, Chris Schell, and Director of Innovation, Lance Manlove

Led by CEO and Co-Founder Chris Schell, a visionary with a unique blend of engineering and business acumen from MIT and Harvard, Schell Brothers is at the forefront of incorporating cutting-edge technology in homebuilding. Under Chris' guidance, the company has continuously leveraged technology to address inefficiencies in the industry, setting an example of what modern homebuilders should aspire to be.

"Change is inevitable. Innovation, however, is not. You have to decide to innovate," Chris states. "I think there's an opportunity for homebuilders to differentiate themselves in a very significant way if they can figure out how to scale and do custom efficiently."

Supporting Chris in his vision is Lance Manlove, Director of Continuous Innovation at Schell Brothers. Lance, with his mechanical engineering background and a wealth of experience from the defense DOD space, has been instrumental in creating software solutions in-house to streamline and improve the company's processes. His expertise in Six Sigma lean manufacturing and process improvement has been critical in helping Schell Brothers maintain efficiency while managing a vast array of home customization options, the company's trademark.

"Homebuilding hasn't really changed in 100 years. There's a lot of opportunity for process improvement," Lance observes. His pursuit of the perfect software to solve the issues at scale led them to Higharc.

Leveraging Higharc to close the tech gap in homebuilding

Schell Brothers streamlines onsite review of home plans with Higharc

Impressed by Higharc's capabilities, Schell Brothers saw Higharc as the missing piece to complete their software suite. "We had been searching for a way to create a 3D version of our home plans, not just a rendition of that plan, but the actual plan and the options that the customer is selecting," Lance explains.

With Higharc, Schell Brothers expects to see a reduction in design time, an increase in design center upgrades, and decreased days under construction once the first homes are sold thru the system.  Higharc's platform is not just another piece of software, but a tool that can unify their systems and provide a central place where the 3D model of the home can be the single source of truth for the entire business.

The road ahead: Schell's innovative expansion strategy

Homes under construction in Schell Brothers’ new Lewes, Delaware community

Capitalizing on homebuilding software advancements has not only helped Schell Brothers enhance their efficiency and customization offerings but also enabled them to expand to new markets more easily, leapfrogging competition from other regional builders.

Chris Schell summed up Schell’s commitment to innovation: "You have to be willing to do the things today that others won't do, in order to have the things tomorrow others won't have."

As Schell Brothers continues to build beautiful homes and enrich lives, they stand as an example of a modern homebuilder who uses technology effectively to stay ahead. Their story serves as a blueprint for other homebuilders looking to innovate and future-proof their businesses.

Watch our video interview with Schell Brothers below, and check out the rest of our builder interviews on Higharc’s YouTube channel.

1 Source: McKinsey

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