Owner Insite’s Founder Focuses On Helping School Districts

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Steve Harper of Owner Insite talks about his passion to help School Districts with their facilities and construction needs.

“OI equips the school district with the necessary data and visibility to grow their schools more effectively and be an active owner throughout the entire process."Steve Harper

Much like Simon Sinek’s famous TedTalk and poignant and popular book, “Start with Why,” Steve Harper is passionate about his “why” when speaking about his company, Owner Insite (OI), and it’s role in helping school districts. “My drive behind OI is simply to the help schools keep an eye on their facilities and construction and help them to build a fantastic environment for the kids,” said Harper.

Harper co-founded OI to provide a project management tool to serve project owners. “There are competitors out there that provide software with a lot of bells and whistles, but I heard again and again how cumbersome their platforms were to work in, which led to no one using a tool to track construction from the owner’s perspective,” said Harper. “My goal was to make a simple, adaptable, and cost-effective system that works for everyone on the team, but especially the owner.”

Harper found early success with project management firms who focus on providing owners with a tracking tool for large construction projects. “Our platform became their insurance policy. It gave the owner and the project manger the ability to make sure things were properly documented and being done correctly,” said Harper.

His focus on school districts came after hearing from a few early clients about using expensive systems built and generally designed for the architect or contractor, not the owner. These specialized software platforms often created a “silo” of information which led to team miscommunication, a breakdown in collaboration and serious questions about ownership of the data at the end of a project. “Once I heard about these issues, I knew OI was the answer. I view our product not simply as a software for the owner but a true collaboration tool to insure the owner stays informed and has visibility across every aspect of their construction project.”

One of OI’s differentiators is it does not charge a per user license fee or base their pricing off some estimated “total construction dollar value”. Rather, OI provides a straight-forward, simple pricing option designed specifically for school districts to cost-effectively leverage the software on unlimited number of projects. This gives the option to use OI on all types of projects and have all consultant members involved rather than limiting use to large budget projects and few users. “School districts work under a very constrained budget. OI is budget-conscious while also giving the entire team access,” said Harper.

Another benefit of OI is that the school district retains complete ownership of their information and project data after the construction ends.

“OI equips the school district with the necessary data and visibility to grow their schools more effectively and be an active owner throughout the entire process,” said Harper

Harper’s goal for 2018 is to get as many school districts to adopt OI into their bond programs or construction projects as possible. “I feel like this particular client type is what OI was made for. Beyond that, I really am passionate about making it as easy and inexpensive for school leaders to manage their construction projects and focus on what they do best: educating our future.”

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Heather Nixon
Circle Line Designs
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