How Robison Home Builders brings construction into the digital age with Adobe Acrobat
Building a home takes time, cooperation, care, and a lot of hard work. The same can be said for building a family business. Gene Robison and his son Kory have worked to make Robison Home Builders one of the top names in custom home building, helping hundreds of families in Utah move into their dream homes.
Many things have stayed the same since Gene founded the company over 40 years ago: dedication to high-end craftsmanship, commitment to integrity, and putting clients, their homes, and their families first. But under the leadership of Kory, the company has evolved into a builder that embraces the digital age by using Adobe Acrobat to merge documents and edit PDFs, to create house plans that can be shared with contractors, vendors, and clients for smoother review and collaboration from anywhere.
“It’s been very rewarding to see Kory step into what I built,” says Gene. “He’s made it a lot bigger, better, and more efficient, doing ten times what I did in a day because of technology like Acrobat. It’s great to see him reap those rewards.”
We talked with Gene and Kory about what it takes to build a business and pass it on to the next generation, and how Acrobat has helped contribute to the company’s growth and reputation for quality.
Learning from a building master
When Gene first got started in the construction industry, he was known for his hard work, honesty, and willingness to do anything to help his business succeed. The company took on a wide range of jobs, from building patio decks to finishing basements. But it was custom home building where Gene found his niche.
“My dad has always had a very good eye for high-end craftsmanship, and that lends itself to custom home building,” says Kory. “He’s helped build hundreds of homes, and I don’t think there’s anyone who has an unkind word to say about him. A lot of it has to do with the fact that he’s a man of his word. He always follows through.”
As a kid, Kory remembers going to job sites with his dad, where he got his first taste of working construction by helping to clean. “It instilled in me the idea of hard work,” says Kory. Later in life, when Kory made the decision to follow his father into the family business, Gene started him with the framing crew where he learned how to build a home from the inside out. Only after Kory had become an experienced framer did Gene start to let his son manage small projects.
“If you look at my dad’s hands, there are calluses. He works incredibly hard,” says Kory. “When I took over the business, I knew I had huge shoes to fill. My focus is to continue delivering on the honesty, integrity, and quality that the company was built upon.”
Construction in the digital age
The construction industry is one of the least digitized for many reasons, including the fragmented and one-of-a-kind nature of most projects. But Kory saw digital transformation with construction management software as a perfect way to work smarter and help the business grow while maintaining a hands-on approach to quality control.
With Acrobat, Kory now shares house plans with clients, superintendents, and subcontractors as a PDF file. He can merge multiple types of documents, from architectural blueprints to civil drawings, into a single file that’s easily viewable on any device, even an iPad. Anyone who needs a copy of the plans can get access to the latest version with just a few clicks, at no additional cost to the company. Clients love seeing everything in one document and knowing that all details are taken care of.
“When I first started building, we would get a set of huge paper plans that you’d have to carry around with you,” says Gene. “We’d spend hundreds of dollars making sure everyone would get the plans they need. Any communications took a lot of time and legwork. Seeing Kory take us from an all-paper industry to a digital one has been very rewarding.”
Kory spends much of his life working from his truck or on job sites. He can access any digital plans he needs on the go through the Adobe Acrobat Reader mobile app. If he spots any issues while walking a site, he can make a fillable PDF to add notes and share with his superintendent in seconds. When the issue is resolved, the supervisor can sign off on the fix, reassuring Kory that the quality is up to standard.
“Acrobat makes me and my team more efficient,” says Kory. “We can do more, we can take on new opportunities, and we still get time back that we can spend with our families.”
Building upon the business foundation
Gene has always loved the process of building homes, but his greatest joy is seeing how Kory has carried on this passion and continued to grow the company that he built.
“Building a dream home for a client is a big responsibility and not one that I take lightly,” says Kory. “Thanks to Acrobat and the efficiencies that we have gained from it, we’re able to build more of these dream homes for our clients.”
“I take great pride in working with my dad and taking over the legacy that he has left me. I hope that one day, one of my kids will have the desire and love for the business that will allow them to be the third generation of Robison Home Builders.”
Learn more about what Adobe Acrobat can do here.