KB Home is now live on HomebuilderONE
With a rich history as a pioneer of sustainable and innovative home design, KB Home (NYSE: KBH) is leading in a new area — Digital Transformation; successfully transitioning off JD Edwards Homebuilder and now live on HomebuilderONE for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations.
The need for change
KB Home and others in the industry have long recognized the need for a new technology solution to sustain their growth and competitive advantage. With no future roadmap for JD Edwards Homebuilder and faced with the complexity and expense of maintaining highly-customized solutions, KB Home needed a platform that could grow with them and rise to meet the evolving needs of customers.
“We wanted to find a solution and a partner that was willing to focus on the unique needs of the home building industry and help us transform our business for the future,” says Greg Moore, Chief Information Officer, KB Home. HomebuilderONE is poised to become an industry standard solution in the U.S., that enables homebuilders to work together on common functionalities that can help improve efficiencies and eliminate the need to implement costly, time-consuming customizations.
“HomebuilderONE is a good fit with our existing Microsoft technology infrastructure enabling us to focus on delivering quality finished products and exceptional customer service now and in the future,” Moore adds.
Now live with more than 100 users across multiple business units including one operating division, KB Home is enjoying a substantial improvement in the user experience with HomebuilderONE. With Net Sales, Starts and Deliveries performing well and business as usual, the experience has been positive.
Designed specifically to meet the home building industry’s complex processes and unique requirements the native capabilities allow staff to focus on tasks that are critical, view data in graphical form, extract business insights and make informed decisions. With seamless integration to Microsoft Office, data manipulation has never been easier.
Wayne Horowitz, SVP Finance for Central Florida Division, is excited about the power of the solution, “one of my favorite features about the product is the ease with which large data entry tasks can be reduced to a few clicks using the Excel publish feature into HomebuilderONE which still ensures that validation and security are not compromised. Something as simple as adding columns to an inquiry allows me to filter and view information the way I’d like to see it…We’re in the 21st century.”
Go Live Experience
While not without challenges, the implementation has beaten the reputation of large-scale ERP implementations; with David Attenborough, Chief Product Officer for the HomebuilderONE solution describing the go-live event as “rather uneventful – which is good!”
“So far, it’s one of the best go-lives any of us have seen. KB Home is a best practice, with high user adoption and solution ownership, challenges are mostly confined to what you could reasonably expect when asking users to follow a new business process,” he concludes.
When it comes to change management, Greg Moore has advice for others embarking on their digital transformation journey: get executive buy in from the top levels of the organization. “Implementing an ERP solution isn’t just about changing your technology platform. It’s a cultural shift in how you do business and it is crucial to build the right team, engage with them through the process and commit to the change across the business,” he says.
David Attenborough agrees, “digital transformation is about the reinvention of an organization through the use of technology, not replicating legacy processes. We’re excited to partner with an innovative company like KB Home, their commitment to business process engineering and pursuit of continual improvement is inspiring.”
Moore concludes, “Choosing a partner that would work with us every step of the way, providing advice and best practice solution is critical to the success of this project. Sable37 has an industry focused solution, and the skills and experience to support us throughout the journey. They understand the capabilities of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform and how it can help us achieve our business objectives.”
Brad Niles, Senior Director of National Accounting, acknowledges that change requires flexibility and is looking forward to the next phases of implementation. “We’re at the start of our journey and I expect to see great results when we have all KB Home Divisions live on HomebuilderONE. Moving from a highly customized solution to an industry standard has required us to make some compromises as part of our initial implementation, but ultimately, we know that we’re making changes today that will allow us to be more efficient and streamlined for the long term. In addition to the state-of-the-art, homebuilder-focused tools in this new solution which are already benefiting us, embedded Business Intelligence providing real-time information will be ground breaking for our executives and managers.”
Industry Defining Moment
KB Home and the HomebuilderONE team have felt the eyes of an industry watching their progress.
“With the lack of a viable alternative to legacy ERP, the homebuilding industry has been waiting to embrace a change, waiting for a pioneer. Now that KB Home is live, the tide has turned, with many of the Top 25 homebuilders in the USA reaching out wanting to start or progress a conversation,” says Attenborough.
MJ Sargent, HomebuilderONE Vice President of Customer Solutions and Success has worked in IT for Top 10 homebuilders for 20 years. She says that KB Home is leading the pack in future-proofing their operations.
“Attracting and retaining the next generation of talent is critical to the long-term success of homebuilders. With HomebuilderONE, KB Home can better meet the needs of a generation that is tech savvy, expect immediacy and don’t want to rely on IT to get the answers they need”, said Sargent.
“HomebuilderONE makes adjustments fast and simple, with a native integration to Microsoft Excel users can extract, change and load while still retaining business logic and security. Previously, this could take hours and would often require the assistance of IT. It’s a game changer”.
“A real milestone was with onboarding. A new employee started in procurement during the go-live week. In the past, her onboarding could have taken weeks. Thanks to the intuitive design of HomebuilderONE, she was up to speed in a matter of days,” concludes Sargent.
With Phase IV already underway, the HomebuilderONE team continue to develop new features and enhancements to enable the remaining 13 divisions and 700+ user roll out.
“Following the success of the go-live, we’re seeing the appetite for change increasing within KB Home, they are excited to add more functionality, faster”, says Attenborough.
Dale Ahrendt, Vice-President of Value-Engineering for KB Home says this is only the beginning. “As we move forward we expect to see additional gains with our core platform, which in time will create a very comprehensive and integrated solution. Our Land team, as an example has taken a quantum leap forward in functionality and is now near paperless – this not only creates a much more efficient working platform with our partners but supports our KB Home sustainability efforts to minimize the reliance on printed materials. We see similar forward movement in other disciplines, both now and in the future. We believe these significant improvements will dramatically enhance our value proposition for our customers with increased operating efficiencies- which will help us focus more on our customers and less on the “system.”
While no project is without its challenges, Greg Moore is positive about the future. “HomebuilderONE is our core business enabler and it sets us up for success in the future. As we grow rapidly, efficiency is a key to ensure that we sustain our growth and stay competitive. This flexible, industry centered architecture will help us get there,” says Moore.
HomebuilderONE, powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is a modern, intelligent cloud application designed to meet the unique needs of the homebuilding industry.
Designed by Sable37, a DXC Technology company, HomebuilderONE is the new industry standard, offering unrivaled functionality, flexibility and world-class data security for production homebuilders.
As a platform for growth and competitive advantage HomebuilderONE helps your increase your profit through visibility of margin at every stage of engagement; land development, estimating, sales, the build process and ‘extras,’ warranty, finance and reporting.
About KB Home
KB Home (NYSE: KBH) is one of the largest homebuilders in the United States, with more than 600,000 homes delivered since their founding in 1957 and 10,909 homes delivered in 2017. They operate in 35 markets in 7 states, primarily serving first-time and first move-up homebuyers. Their point of differentiation is offering customers the ability to personalize what they value most in their home, from choosing their lot, floor plan, and exterior, to selecting design and décor choices in the KB Home Studios. In addition, they are an industry leader in sustainability; building innovative and highly energy- and water-efficient homes.