How DIRTT Uses to Get Involved In Projects Earlier and Build Sustainable Pipelines


Since 2004, DIRTT has become a world leader in prefabricated modular interior construction. Collaboration is at the core of what they do, and they leverage these partnerships to work with innovative clients, design teams, and construction professionals worldwide.

DIRTT is an industry leader for implementing advanced digital tools, and the same innovation they drive in the field also applies to their back office teams. In this case study, we explore how Steve Thomson, Senior Manager of Business Development, uses Mercator AI to bring innovation to business development, and further continue the DIRTT commitment to collaboration. 

The challenge

Delayed project discovery and time-consuming lead generation

Steve, Senior Manager of Business Development at DIRTT, aims to create a scalable sales process to prioritize quality leads for his team. However, like many construction companies, DIRTT faced the following challenges that impeded their efforts.

Time-consuming research methods

The North American construction market is vast and intricate, making it difficult to find qualified projects in the sea of information. The sheer volume of data can be overwhelming, and there is no easy way to access the relevant information needed to identify potential opportunities.

Before using Mercator, DIRTT relied on manual research and data sifting, which was time-consuming and inefficient. This approach diverted valuable resources away from more critical tasks, such as building relationships and advancing potential opportunities.

"Finding opportunities in our market across North America is challenging because there is so much information and there's no clear way to get access to it. The only solution is to throw people at the problem and have them manually research and go through data region by region, source by source. It's a massive amount of time and effort that isn't effective and it takes time away from people that are trying to move opportunities forward."
- Steve, Senior Manager of Business Development

Delayed project discovery 

To ensure success with DIRTT's prefabricated construction approach, it's important to gather project information early on and engage in discussions with owners, developers, architects, and designers before major decisions are made. By doing so, DIRTT can provide stakeholders with a clear understanding of their construction method and avoid any potential changes to the project scope later on. 

Using Mercator's early project indicators such as land use designations, Steve can proactively identify potential projects.

Outdated legacy software

The lack of information available in the legacy softwares they were using was the catalyst for DIRTT to explore a new solution. The data was often stale, and the information they did provide wasn't early enough for Steve to act on.

"There was a common complaint that the information was stale, and too late in the sales cycle for us to really use it." 
- Steve, Senior Manager of Business Development

The solution

A central tool for project discovery and pipeline creation 

DIRTT has a high volume of sales representatives across North America, and Steve was well positioned to implement Mercator to help discover, qualify, and feed potential opportunities to those reps in the field. 

New project discovery in an interactive map

Steve uses Mercator’s interactive project map as a time-saving way to conduct preliminary research and identify new opportunities more efficiently in the Austin market. He can search quickly by address or apply filters to refine his search using specific criteria like project stage, zones, sectors, or project value. 

To Steve, the map projects a central location to get a holistic view of the Austin market, identify the early signals relevant to DIRTT, and refine projects to surface what's qualified enough to share with reps in the field. 

Access critical project details in one place

Steve utilizes the project detail pages to access vital information such as recent activity, zoning, permitting, real estate listings, descriptions, and companies involved. He also uses the activity feed to get a glimpse of the status of a project and dive into relevant documentation like applications.

"It really allows us to parse the data, analyze it, and then make our decisions - we can put through some very quality leads to the reps out in the field. So yes, I am a fan." 
- Steve, Senior Manager of Business Development

Search a company directory for unknown intel

Collaboration is a core component of how DIRTT does business and is essential to generating new opportunities. Steve uses Mercator's directory of companies to gather company intel like active and completed projects, trends, contacts, top locations, and annual revenue. Additionally, Steve leverages the "Commonly Works With" list to see which companies a particular business collaborates with, or identify any new or existing connections.

These company insights allow Steve to arm his team of reps with information before entering a conversation, and identify new projects by researching existing connections or competitors in their space. 

Surface new projects automatically 

When Steve first implemented Mercator, the Mercator team created a set of custom groups to automate the heavy lifting of research in the Austin market. For Steve, these saved searches eliminate the manual effort of identifying relevant projects without needing to search in Mercator. 

The email digests created by custom groups notify Steve when new projects meet his criteria. These emails are customizable to send daily or weekly updates depending on his preference and provide Steve with a brief overview of project details, such as size, industry, location, companies involved, and description. 

The Results

Steve is now using Mercator AI to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of DIRTT's business development efforts across North America. He explains that, with Mercator, their sales team can primarily focus on relationship development versus actively hunting for new opportunities.

Instead of simply relying on calls and meetings, Steve now uses Mercator to manage and control the development of opportunities more effectively. He noted that Mercator has resulted in an increase in the pipelines for DIRTT sales reps, and the time it takes to build these pipelines has improved significantly. 

"We've hired a lot of new people, and one of the things I've been doing is working with one of our new reps in Austin, Texas. It's been phenomenal that I can do very guided searches into specific opportunities and applications. I can sit down with our reps and point out our contacts and important information to build those opportunity pipelines based on the information I get in Mercator. I can help build these opportunity pipelines much faster than the reps would have been able to do on their own." 
- Steve, Senior Manager of Business Development


DIRTT has transformed its business development strategy by embracing Mercator AI, resulting in improved early project engagement and pipeline expansion across North America. With its guided searches and easy access to critical information, Mercator AI has become the core tool for identifying new business opportunities and accelerating growth for DIRTT.

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