An interview from 2018 Remodeling Show and Deck Expo

Featuring Darren Knight – Product Manager, Xactware   www.xactware.com


Morris: Our Guest is Darren Knight. He’s with a company called Verisk.

Darren: So yeah, that’s our parent company. We’re actually, my company’s Xactware.

Morris: And what do you do Darren?

Darren: So we are a software and data analytics company. We bring in over 10,000 line items from across the country and manage the costs and pricing on those items, and then leverage that to help builders and contractors estimate the cost of construction.

Morris: Okay, not labor?

Darren: Labor too! Yes.

Morris: I’ve always been curious. In our Remodeling Company, we have a few men that work for us that have been working for us for several years. And when we job cost, we job cost against their labor. How they work, how they sleep, how they waste time, how they are more efficient than someone else at something, and when we’re finished job costing we know what each man in our company costs.

Darren: Right.

Morris: Precisely. And those costs plus our markup are put into are estimating system. Okay, how can you possibly tell me from a thousand miles away what my prices are that I know are in fact, perfect. What are you trying to achieve?

Darren: So what we’re trying to achieve is help people get to a bid faster. And the way we do that is providing tools within software that make the workflow quicker. And then also we provide our price list that brings that in, and within our software, we give the contractor flexibility to adjust those labor costs that we bring in and so they can put in how efficient the labor is, what all the taxes are associated with having that labor, if there’s any workers comp associated with that, and with some little initial setup, they can be up and running really quick in each job gets faster as they bid it out. And so we have over 50 analysts that are always surveying them in over 400 individual markets in the US, and those individuals are former contractors or current contractors on the side. So they’re very familiar with common practices and best practices.

James: So this system is a database that’s not stripped out. It’s populated with costs.

Darren: Yeah.

James: So you’re looking at material costs all across the country, and you’re populating the database with current material costs.

Darren: Correct.

James: The cost of a board foot of redwood or southern yellow pine or you know, what the cost of concrete is per yard, and I’m going to say that’s varies across the country and this database is online. Is that it?

Darren: Well, it’s not readily available online. It plugs into our software and we’re constantly surveying the markets. We have direct feeds in all the big box stores. So, you know what the cost of the Home Depot or Lowe’s or one of the big, big ones is going to be in Baltimore versus where we’re at, Utah.

James: And that would be true for electrical and plumbing and lumber and roofing and drywall and insulation and windows and doors and all of that.

Darren: Yeah, our parent product, our core product, is based in the insurance industry and it’s a Xactimate, and it has over 20 years of experience.

James: You guys do have Xactimate.

Darren: Yeah.

James: Oh, yeah. That’s a big software.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s where we come from. The XactRemodel program is built to cater directly to remodeling contractors. So we don’t have a lot of the tools, and we’ve stripped those out that are made to communicate with insurance companies and able to reduce the cost to give it to remodelers

James: And so is it a subscription or is there a purchase or both?

Darren: It’s an annual subscription. And one of the exciting new products we’re releasing soon is a mobile app that helps the contractor working out of his truck every day and on the go to quickly produce estimates the second that he leaves the house.

James: On an iPad or I-phone or something like that annual investment

Darren: For $5.99 a year.

James: $5.99 a year.

Darren: Yeah, that’s for the desktop app the mobile app. We still haven’t worked out pricing, but it’ll be at a very reasonable cost. Less than the desktop app.

James: And how can remodelers who have an interest in having a look at your software get more information?

Darren: Yeah. So if you go to exact remodel – xactremodel.com -you get more information there and you can also look for the xactremodel go app coming out early 2019.

James: A lot of folks that do what you do are offering a trial. Do you offer a trial?

Darren: Yeah. So the desktop app, we provide a 30 day free trial also comes with some tutorial videos to get you up and running, and we have full support that’s ready and willing to answer any questions

James: Darren Knight. The product is XactRemodel and you can check out the show notes section of our website at onthehouse.com for a link to their website. Thanks for joining us Darren.

Darren: Hey, thank you gentlemen.

About The Author James Carey

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