Features

Greg Moore – KB Home 

He lays the IT foundation for KB Home’s success 

He’s a two-fer, this Greg Moore who wears the hats of vice president and chief information officer at KB Home. Blurry lines, if any, separate those responsibilities at this Los Angeles-headquartered homebuilder, he says. Technology is so essential to any task, and Moore hasn’t had much trouble selling the rest of the brass on the need to invest in the wired world. 

“Technology’s a core part of everything we do,” he tells Toggle in December. “From design to land development and acquisition to really laying out the building process with our trade partners and engaging with our buyers, we need to do it digitally.” 

KB Home’s been doing it more efficiently than others in this industry, Moore goes on to say. Nearly a decade ago, he began overseeing the migration of almost all data to the cloud, which he says provides more flexibility and less maintenance than the since-mothballed hardware that was business as usual when Moore joined the company in 2003.  

How that’s changed with KB Home’s enterprise resource management enhanced through Microsoft Dynamics 365, a suite of interconnected apps in the Azure cloud and overlayed with another industry game-changer, HomebuilderONE. HomebuilderONE, as it’s called, is an end-to-end solution for builders of single- and multifamily housing, which happens to be KB Home’s stock-in-trade. 

“A homebuilder’s previous options were very limited and cumbersome,” Moore says. “This signifies an evolution and shift in industry technology.” 

The modern platform seamlessly integrates applications, data lakes and other technologies, making for a more up-to-date and user-friendly experience. sa.global, now owning HomebuilderONE, Moore has been working with its crew to develop and assemble this industry solution. He’s been aided by the consulting expertise of the global professional services firm RealFoundations. 

Every KB Home operating division has become accustomed to the new system, and according to Moore, competing homebuilders are following the company’s lead on the tech front. For that, they have his blessing, and Moore is confident that his employer is solid enough in its share of the homebuilding in some of the country’s most active markets. 

Pandemic pivot 

A fixture in California residential construction since the mid-1950s, KB Home has since expanded to other parts of the Southwest as well as Colorado, Florida and the Carolinas. More recently, it’s seen much potential in the Boise, Idaho, market as well as the Pacific Northwest in general.  

Wherever, the focus remains on first-time, move-ups and generally affordable housing in master-planned communities. Moore explains that the strategy varies by submarket—a Bay Area community, for instance, having a higher density than one in Texas or wherever land isn’t so congested.  

Around 85 percent of the business is single-family with the remainder multifamily or attached units in regions with mostly warm or temperate climates. But whatever the style or locale, Moore emphasizes how technology is as critical as any construction material and how KB Home’s farsighted approach did much to sustain it during COVID-19. 

Though the company was ahead of the curve pre-pandemic, many of its operations were still done onsite. That had to change with work restrictions in some locales, especially the Bay Area, being quite stringent in terms of boots on the ground. 

Most prospective homebuyers insisting on a walk-through, Moore had to provide for the most detailed such protocols online. But KB Home being a Fortune 500 company with ample resources, it weathered the storm and emerged well-positioned to reap the advantages of pent-up housing demand that endures. 

As Moore explains, during the worst of the pandemic, one’s domicile became more important as a place where the dwellers spent more time than usual. Those living in apartments and other abodes of high density realized they needed more elbow room. 

“We saw demand increase substantially for the 18- to 20-month window after the pandemic,” Moore says. “There’s been some drop-off with the feds driving interest rates higher to control inflation, but the demand still is there, and you learn how to manage costs, be efficient, and get the most out of what you have.” 

Of course, as he reminds, it helps to have the right technology. 

Wired young 

He always seemed one to welcome rather than fear high-tech, Moore recalling how as a boy he treasured his 64k memory computer with its plug-ins for punch cards. “From a young age, I had this passion for technology. It always was my direction as I headed through school.” 

Moore reckoned he’d be even more in demand if his tech smarts were combined with other skills. He majored in business administration at Pepperdine University, graduating in 1990 and beginning a 13-year stretch at Andersen Consulting and its Accenture division. 

A great experience, Moore says, and one that had him advising Fortune 500 clientele on every continent. But life on the road got old, especially after he married and his wife was about to give birth to the second of their three sons. 

“Traveling just wasn’t best for my longtime lifestyle,” he says, noting few of his projects were in Southern California. “Then, this fantastic job opened at KB. Both from an industrial and technological standpoint, it was an opportunity for growth and stability and a lot less travel.” 

He began his tenure as director of strategic initiatives at a time when the real estate and homebuilding industries were in a boom cycle. “It was a crazy time with a ton of speculative buying and investment,” he remembers. “People were buying many properties at a time and flipping houses, and everybody was making money.” 

Then came the downturn, the unaffordable mortgage payments coming due and the foreclosures that contributed to the Great Recession of the late 2000s. But for Moore, it made for an opportunity to climb the ladder, his infotech skills indispensable, and various responsibilities consolidated as the ranks thinned.  

In 2011 Moore was promoted to his current positions and, just as he helped KB Home overcome the Great Recession, he did the same during the crisis of COVID-19.  

“When you’re in a high-growth cycle, there’s almost nothing you can do wrong,” he muses. “When an industry downturn or contraction takes you in the opposite direction, you learn a lot more about what it really takes to manage costs, be smart and run a company efficiently.” 

With the IT infrastructure Moore has implemented, he says KB Home can better reap the booms and endure the busts. And as far as any employee is concerned, he’d advise them to hone up on their tech aptitude.  

“There’s nothing going forward that doesn’t involve technology in some form or fashion,” Moore says. Everything we do has tech embedded. It has runways in every application.”   

View this feature in the Winter I 2024 Edition here.

   

   

Published on: February 14, 2024

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