Tracy Moore, a DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen design franchise owner in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, goes from EMT2 skeptic to believer
When DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen design franchisees visited a design center in Springfield, Illinois, owned by Curt Trampe — who serves as a mentor franchisee — they learned more about the benefits of EMT2, DreamMaker's cloud-based software for business and remodeling management.
Franchisee Tracy Moore, operating a DreamMaker remodeling business in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, initially was skeptical about EMT2. Tracy had been satisfied subcontracting his carpentry projects instead of hiring employees to complete them. The EMT2 software, however, uses a proprietary employee-based system to calculate project deadlines, and it involves commissions based on completion time. It helps to attract top-notch lead carpenters and rewards them for being effective managers. This creates a win for the owner, the carpenter and the client, which adds up to a significant competitive advantage and ability to earn higher profits as a company.
Having employees, though, wasn’t Tracy’s favorite way of doing projects. He was happy using what he called a “glorified spreadsheet,” and he was satisfied using subcontractors.
But at a Next Level Group visit to Curt’s business, Tracy saw how EMT2 works for the DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchise and its employees. This software aided Curt greatly — his business doubled, and he moved to a larger space with high traffic.
Tracy was involved with the EMT2 database testing because he wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be complicated and expensive for franchisees who only subcontract their projects. But the more he learned about EMT2, the more he began to question how he does business.
“I watched other people on EMT2 get more familiar with it and incorporate the production commission pay scale that goes well with it,” Tracy said. “As I see other people using both these together, they’re doing quite well. Not only that, but EMT2 gives you good information on quality of leads, sales management reports (KPIs), keeping up with leads and producing quality projects. We can do all those things with the systems we have in place, but it’s not consolidated. EMT2 is an easier access point.”
When Tracy saw the light
Tracy had an epiphany during his Next Level visit.
“Why reinvent the wheel?” he asked himself. “Why not embrace this thing, put it into use?
“If we have problems with it, let’s talk to Doug (Dwyer, DreamMaker President and CSO) about it.” Tracy said. “If there are issues that deal directly with us, then we need to see what we’re doing wrong to make it work. There are plenty of people out there using this program, and they’re doing it well. It’s helping them get where they want to be. I want to be in their position.”
Tracy and business partner overcome hardships
When Tracy and his business partner, Erik Anderson, bought into DreamMaker, they returned home to North Carolina from their franchise training to a dead remodeling market. It was December 2008, and the real estate market was tanking. Their previous business, Anderson-Moore Builders, had been a $3 million annual operation with 20 employees, that had been in existence for more than a decade. They had hoped that jobs with DreamMaker would supplement that business with $1 million more. Because of the recession, from 2008 to 2010, they had laid off their employees and went straight to subcontracting all jobs. Their annual revenue dropped sharply, and Tracy and Erik were busy finding jobs for their former employees. Those were two tough years, but Tracy and Erik bounced back.
“You got good people working for you. You don’t want to let them go. What do you do? You try to wait it out. I made bad decisions. We all do. Hindsight is 20/20,” Tracy says. “If I had known the day everything went crazy that it would be such a long process, we would have restructured immediately. DreamMaker tried to get us to do this earlier, but we were slow to change, and I do not want to repeat that mistake.”
A return to staffing, and high hopes for the future
Tracy hired his first employee since 2010 in late May with plans to add two more in the third quarter. The capabilities of EMT2, and the success of Curt Trampe and others who have used the program, gave Tracy the hope that he could achieve a “well-ordered and profitable business” using employees instead of subcontractors..
“I have full confidence in EMT2,” Tracy said. “There’s been a lot of input from a lot of people with a lot of thought in this thing. It’s foolish for me to sit back and say, ‘It won’t work here.’”
For Tracy and many other DreamMaker franchisees, EMT2 presents an incentive for lead carpenters to complete jobs on time or ahead of schedule without overspending on materials or wasted trips to the supply store. The software also projects deadlines on each project. These deadlines bring out the star performers in production and weed the others out. From the lead carpenter’s perspective, EMT2 provides a way to make good money in a production capacity for those who are extremely efficient.
“Employees are necessary,” Tracy says. “If we work diligently and hire the right person, it can be enjoyable as well. Turnover is going to be a part of employment, but the positive is having a system to attract star performers.”
With EMT2 projecting deadlines and providing a visual scorecard, lead carpenters have the facts to share with production team members to maintain a competitive atmosphere.
“These guys get together on a daily basis talking about what they did yesterday and where they stand,” Tracy says. “If you get that type of information daily, you have control. You can’t do anything about yesterday, but you can make some of it up today. Having that daily feedback lets you know if you’re doing well or are below par and in need of stepping it up.”