Editor’s note: You can read the entire interview below to learn which portals have been Rae July’s favorite and least favorite, but we recommend listening to the podcast.
Megan Ellsworth: Hi, my name is Megan Ellsworth with Roofers coffee shop. And I am back again with Rae July from Chinook Roofing for an RCS influencer topic. This month's topic is how has your experience with customer portals been? And I'm excited to hear what you have to say, Ray? So how has your experience been?
Rae July: Hey Megan. So my experience with customer portals is usually a hit or miss. It depends on the portal that is being used. So for our residential side of our business, we use a portal called SupplyPro and we use that portal because that's what the builder is using. And so on their end, it's called BillPro on our end it's called SupplyPro. I love it. It's one of the best ones that I've used. It's very easy to navigate. All of the information that you need for, you can find plants fast, you can find contact information, you can find everything about the home in that portal. And I love it.
Megan Ellsworth: Oh wow.
Rae July: There has been other portals that we've used that have been really clunky and there's not a lot of information stored in there. It's kind of, I would say maybe it's as far as cost goes, it's probably on the cheaper end.
And so you don't really get the value out of it. And it can be very difficult for our production team when they're going through these portals to find the information they need, because they need things like addresses, the superintendents name, what color the roof is going to be, all those things they need to find. And it's very difficult to find those in a portal that isn't designed properly.
And so it's hit or miss. There are some that I enjoy. I just love using them because they're so easy to use. And then there are others that not so much, and it's kind of a headache.
Megan Ellsworth: Okay. Does that also depend on which builder you're working with there? Do you work with their customer portal or do you have one that Chinook uses kind of all the time?
Rae July: So we use the builders customer portal. So we export that information from their portal into our system. And so every builder uses a different portal. So you'll have like I mentioned, SupplyPro for example, there's about 10 or so builders, we work with that use that portal. And then there's other builders that use a different portal. And so again, and it would've been great to streamline it all and have everyone be in the same system. That way you go into one system every day and you're checking the schedules there as opposed to having to go to, I think we go to maybe five or six different portals [crosstalk 00:09:02] production. So you have to go through five or six different portals just to find all the information they need. So it gets tedious.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. Yeah. But that is nice that some of them use all of the same and that you can kind of just export into your system so you don't have to always keep looking. So that's nice.
Rae July: Right. Yeah.
Megan Ellsworth: Well it seems like this question was made for you since you work with so many different customer portals.
Rae July: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Megan Ellsworth: But is there any other ones that you like besides the previous one you mentioned?
Rae July: Let's see, there's one called Buildertrend that... It's pretty good. There's also Procore that I liked. I like Procore because I think Procore is very well done. On a whole is just very well done.
But a lot of these portals, you get the information that is put into it by the builder. So some of them can do a lot of things, but if the builder isn't utilizing it the way they should, then it becomes very tedious for someone like me who has to be the user of the information, but Procore, Buildertrend, SupplyPro we actually really like using those because I think they just user interface and you know, it's not a whole lot of mouse clicks to get the information you need. Yeah. It just, it works for us.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. Nice. Well, any last words or maybe advice for someone looking for a customer portal to use?
Rae July: I think again, the ones I mentioned, I think if you're looking for a customer portal, those three should be the top three that you're looking at. Obviously cost is always an issue. You know, what is your budget regarding? Because these portals cost money. We have to pay a fee to use these portals as well as the builder.
And so I think that if you're looking for a portal to use that can do a lot of things that can give you a lot of options. Those three, I mentioned SupplyPro Buildertrend, and Procore are three great resources, but again, if you're looking again, price being an issue, there's Trey Topia. There's some of our builders have their own specifically designed portal. Some people use SharePoint works. So yeah, it just all depends.
Megan Ellsworth: Okay. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me today.
Rae July: You're welcome, Megan.
Megan Ellsworth: And I will be talking with you next month for August.
Rae July: All right. See you next month.
Megan Ellsworth: See you then.
Rae July is an Estimator at Chinook Roofing & Gutters in Fife, Washington. See her full bio here.