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Client Story: Walker Homes Ltd.

Client Profile

Located in Port Elgin, Ontario, Walker Homes Ltd. specializes in constructing beautiful new homes that stand the test of time. Co-owners Ryan and Brooke Walker carry on three generations of family homebuilding tradition, helping to develop thriving communities with each new build.

Walker Homes goes the extra mile for its customers by guiding them through each step of the home-buying process, all the way to closing day. Your family can then enjoy the 9-foot ceilings, Napoleon Gas fireplaces, luxurious Canadian-made kitchen cabinetry, and brick exteriors that come standard with each Walker home.

The Client’s Need

Walker Homes had been steadily busy for a number of years in a strong housing market. However, the company was quickly outgrowing their financial system, which consisted of manually entering projects, revenue, costs, and other important data into Excel spreadsheets. They also handled procurement verbally without a purchase order management system, and tracked hired contractors by cheque stub.

This system offered no way to generate financial reports, budgets, or forecasts hampering business growth.

In January 2019, the Walkers discussed their concerns with their accountant, who suggested they contact The CFO Centre for assistance in getting their financial management under control.

“Brooke and I wanted our time back from working with a system that no longer met our needs, so we were intrigued by what The CFO Centre had to offer. When we were introduced to Byron Dyck, we were thrilled to learn that not only was he intimately familiar with the Port Elgin area, but that he also used to run his own construction company before joining the firm. We couldn’t wait to get started.” – Ryan Walker, Co-owner, Walker Homes Ltd.

The CFO Centre Solution

Byron drove out to the Walkers’ location for a fact-finding visit to learn more about their business, listen to their pain points, and pull from his experience as a construction business owner and a CPA to discuss possible solutions that would be part of their overall action plan.

“Byron paid close attention to where the business was now and where we wanted to take it. It was refreshing to speak to someone who knew our business, understood what we were facing, and could offer the advice we needed to succeed. We felt so confident that he was the one who could help us that we signed the engagement letter that same afternoon.” – Ryan Walker, Co-owner, Walker Homes Ltd.

Byron reviewed his clients’ goals and created scenarios in order to put together an ambitious financial strategy to move their business forward. The highlights of the plan included:

  • Decommission the use of Excel for financial recordkeeping
  • Install specialized integrated construction software
  • Fully revamp their estimating, invoicing, cost reporting processes system to better track projects
  • Increase financial report frequency to once per month
  • Put budget and forecasting processes in place
  • Hold monthly financial review meetings to discuss results, make changes where necessary, and track progress
  • Negotiate better payment terms with creditors

Walker Homes also enabled Byron to work remotely from his location, granting him network access to their system so he can mentor them through the implementation and use of their new software in real time.

Byron set this remote system up because The CFO Centre focuses on collaboration, and fosters strong working relationships with their clients to implement strategies completely customized to their needs. The ultimate goal is to keep CFO Centre clients competitive and well-positioned for long-term sustainable growth.

The Results

After working with Byron to implement the plan, Walker Homes has seen an increase of 300% in sales volume. In addition, by the end of 2019 they had pre-sold their entire 2020 inventory, and as of November 2020 they’ve sold a vast amount of their 2021 inventory, even under the current year’s challenging economic climate.

Behind the scenes, the clients saw results that improved the overall operation and financial health of their business, including:

  • Significantly improved financial management across the board
  • Improved scalability for increased volume of projects
  • Monthly review of financial statements to report on individual projects
  • Seamless record keeping and retrieval
  • Favourable payment terms from their biggest creditor, improving cash flow to stimulate growth
  • Additional funding secured in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Hiring of additional staff to support data entry work

Byron continues to work with Ryan and Brooke one day per week, on call to answer questions about their new systems and provide oversight to their entire financial structure. For almost two years, the strategic partnership between Walker Homes and The CFO Centre has solidified into a professional relationship built on trust and experience, something that the Walkers are quick to recognize.

“Byron is always there when we need him. All it takes is to send him a quick text and he’ll get on the phone or Facetime to answer a question or help us solve a problem. We’re happy with the results and the ongoing support from Byron and The CFO Centre as we keep moving our business forward. In fact, we think of Byron as more than part of the team – we consider him family.” – Ryan Walker, Co-owner, Walker Homes Ltd.

For more information about Byron Dyck.

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