BuildManager is founded on 25 years’ experience in building and an in-depth understanding of the problems faced by small builders today.

“I understand every facet of running a small building business – because I’ve been on your side of the fence for 25 years. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to efficiently manage cash flow while also trying to manage your small-building business. So I created BuildManager (with a couple of smart people) to help other small builders and carpenters overcome the difficulties and limitations in their business. Being a small residential builder can be tough. BuildManager is designed to make it easier, so you have more time on site, less time in the office (ok, dining room table).”
John Davis, Founder

John Davis


"Building and Small Business is in our DNA"

I am the founder and main driver of BuildManager. I’m a licensed builder in both Tasmania and NSW and now live just outside of Hobart with my wife Alix and our cat Chutney. Alix helps me by providing excellent feedback when I get a bit over passionate about how builders are treated and Chutney keeps us both laughing when we get a little over it. I dream of a day when small builders and their families receive the respect and financial rewards they deserve for the hard work they do.


First,I was continually frustrated at hearing so many software suppliers tell me they understood builders, yet none of them had a single licensed builder as a reference. Lots of plumbers, roofers, electricians, just no builders. We are builders not subcontractors. It is not one-size-fits-all. And running a building business of any size is not the same as running a plumbing, electrical or Air Conditioning business.

Second making a positive difference is my ‘why’. Making a difference to fellow small builders is what drives me, every single day. My background in sales, small business and being a licensed builder gives me the insight to know what small builders need to do to win. I still put on a nail bag and go out and build, it keeps me in touch with what is important and I love building. I just want to get paid for doing it, and I want all small builders to get ahead financially as well.


As a builder, yes, I needed estimating software to quote jobs but I also needed a way to manage the leads, communicate to customers, store documents and send invoices. I needed workflow software specifically for builders - not electricians or plumbers -  and that's what we’ve built. Of course BuildManager is estimating software for builders, but it’s also a complete way of doing business. Whatever size jobs you do, a builder is always looking to reduce the risks and raise the returns. BuildManager provides multiple ways to do just that.


So what's a small builder? Small is a relative term. You might have a business with a full-time book-keeper and a couple of admin staff or you might be a sole trader and your wife (or husband, yes there are lady tradies out there) is doing the books. Not everyone wants to be growing their business and putting their names up for MBA or HIA awards. So we have designed BM as much for the builder working on his or her own as for the builder who is shooting for the stars.

The main difference is we care more, because we are builders too. We have been to the MBA awards ceremonies and we have been to the Department of Fair Trading to chase money from the smarty pants owner. BM is designed to be your multi-tool and as we grow we will add more things around our software to assist the small builder. What I didn't say was we are going to add lots more functionality. Sure we will add the odd feature as required, but builders need more than just features and benefits, and unless you have been there your self, you wouldn't really understand what that actually is.