Lee Building Industry Association
Customer Success Story
The Lee Building Industry Association (BIA), located in the greater Fort Meyers area of Southwest Florida, is one of the nation’s leading builders associations. Serving more than 1,000 member companies, it provides those members with networking opportunities, educational resources and a number of other valuable services. The association’s primary mission is to promote the home building industry locally to ensure its members’ success in offering quality housing to the public. Lee BIA is also renowned for its highly successful annual Parade of Homes and its numerous affiliated community service projects.
Like many large and growing organizations, Lee BIA struggled with internal data management—primarily the result of maintaining several non-integrated software applications and information systems. These systems included an antiquated membership database, a difficult-to-use DOS-based accounting package and a separate event management software system. In addition, email and faxing were handled separately as well.
Needless to say, keeping member data current had become an arduous process, as any change had to be entered into each system separately. To make matters worse, those manual data changes were often entered incorrectly, yielding inaccuracies, duplicate entries and corrupt data. This inefficient process created a lot of extra work for an already overburdened staff, not to mention costly delays in updating association records.
As one Lee BIA staff person put it: “I thought I’d never see the light at the end of the tunnel when it came to getting a handle on improving our internal operations.”
After attending a demonstration of the BuilderFusion member management system at the South East Builder’s Show, Lee BIA’s Director of Operations, JoAnn Orr, recognized that BuilderFusion was the ideal software solution to address the operational challenges her association had been facing. Using BuilderFusion, Lee BIA was able to streamline virtually every aspect of its operations. The product created a central membership database that was not only easy to use but also gave staff members a complete view into every member’s status with the association—from contact information to revenue to event attendance.
Equally important, Lee BIA staffers were no longer required to waste time and money entering—and then re-entering—member data, financial records and other key information into a half-dozen different applications. Instead, BuilderFusion seamlessly combined membership maintenance, email and fax communication, event planning, accounting and operations management into a single, fully automated system accessible on the Web.
By using BuilderFusion to create a single point of management for all association operations, Lee BIA has realized tangible results. The productivity of the association’s accounting staff rose by more than 50 percent, with similar increases across nearly every department; more accurate data has allowed the association to better service and more effectively communicate with its membership; and eliminating excessive manual data entry has saved Lee BIA hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.
“To put it simply, BuilderFusion has streamlined our association,” Orr said. “The accuracy of our membership data and the reports we are able to produce have both improved dramatically. Now when a member record or an event is changed, everyone in the organization has access to the updated information instantly – no lag time and no duplicate entries.”
Today Lee BIA has a technology infrastructure to match its dynamic and growing organization. “Almost overnight our association went from a patchwork of disconnected systems to a single tool that manages all our operations,” said Michael Reitmann, executive director of Lee BIA. “Without question, BuilderFusion is the best technology investment we’ve made.”