Years spent project managing residential building sites had served only to increase her frustration at trying to bring projects in on time and within budget.
Communication and streamlined systems seemed thin on the ground, and Belinda found herself on the phone all day trying to knit together all the working parts.
“Some of it was trying to do things like get the tradesmen to turn up when they were needed, getting each of the sub-contractors to know exactly where things were at, keeping everyone involved knowing what’s going on at the same time. It was immensely frustrating.”
Belinda was sure there was a better way – and in 2008 she found it with the launch of Rave Build Management.
Intended to bring the construction industry into the future, the cloud-based business offers construction management software that provides all the tools needed to cut out the nuisance factors and deliver projects in the most efficient manner possible – from pretty much anywhere.
The business streamlines all those pesky working parts. It makes plans and specs, contractor lists, updated information and checklists, materials handling and document data instantly accessible. It assigns tasks and simultaneously communicates with everyone involved in the project at the touch of a button. It also sets up clear audit trails for dispute management – nothing has been left out of the loop.
Belinda works remotely from a neatly fitted out cubby off her lounge room in Maungakawa, and a team of six works from Hamilton.
Rave Build has become something of a standout. It has been operating in Australia for over a year, and was a winner in the 2015 Webstock, BNZ emerging businesses awards, with judges declaring it had “real traction that’s hard to beat”. The win also netted the company financial support through New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s (NZTE) Better by Capital programme, one designed to assist businesses in accessing capital for international growth.
The Webstock competition pinpoints companies considered the most likely to succeed in the United States, and Rave’s win saw Belinda fly to the Kiwi Landing Pad in the US to pursue a raft of business opportunities.
“We now have the US actively on the horizon,” she said. “There are many things I learned through meeting the heads of some big New Zealand-owned companies now in the US. One was that if you want to be successful over there, you must appear American; you have to set yourself up as a US company. It’s been a long road, but we’re getting there.”
Belinda has been hailed for the company’s slow and steady approach to growth. It’s made for a company that has powered over $1,200,000,000 worth of construction projects and transformed the way the construction industry does business. There is a constant stream of referrals, and those using it say it saves them hours of unnecessary work every day.
From the start, others could see Belinda was onto something. Around nine years ago she took those early ideas to a friend and established Waikato businessman, Dallas Fisher.
“He told me to “get on the helicopter” with it, he said it could be great if I looked at the bigger picture,” she said. “I did a business plan through NZTE and came out with Business Plan of the Year. Through that I got a grant that paid Deloitte to make me investor-ready.
“It was very full-on. Martin King came on board as an angel investor, and Barry Ward and David White provided sweat equity. The rest is history.”
And the name?
“I sat down with some of those clever noodles. One of them had been building a house and found it a painful experience. He said the industry was likely to rave about this business – so Rave it was.”
By Viv Posselt