D.R. Horton Combats An Increase In Theft Due to Rising Material Costs

D.R. Horton is America’s largest residential homebuilder, having delivered more than 830,000 homes since its inception in 1978. Since 2002, more homebuyers have chosen D.R. Horton than any other national builder. The company has teams spread across 29 states and 91 markets.
rising material costs

The Problem

Crews at D.R. Horton don’t just build one home at a time – they build entire communities, which can include upward of 350 homes spread over 50-to-100 acres. 

To accommodate this scale, many building materials like lumber, copper wire and piping must be purchased in advance and then stored onsite.

While this process never presented a major problem for D.R. Horton in the past, skyrocketing material costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are making company construction sites more of an attractive option to thieves than ever before.

“In the past, appliances used to be the biggest target, but today, lumber is our number one worry. We used to build four homes for what it now costs to build one. A single theft a year-and-a-half ago might have cost us $2,500 – but today that number is more like $10,000.”

Joe Walston

[Purchasing Manager for D.R. Horton]

And rising prices are not limited to lumber – copper prices have spiked too.

And Walston notes that it’s often the damage done by thieves ripping out copper wire and pipes that costs more than the actual materials themselves: “It’d be easier to just hand thieves the money for the copper they’re stealing because that monetary loss is nothing compared to the how much it costs us to repair the damage done to targeted homes.”

Walston continued: “The money we were spending on replacement materials and damage repair was getting out of control.

And, with building materials becoming a bigger target by the day, we knew we needed a new strategy for deterring theft and other crimes at our construction sites.“

“We used to build four homes for what it now costs to build one. A single theft a year-and-a-half ago might have cost us $2,500 – but today that number is more like $10,000.”

Joe Walston

[Purchasing Manager for D.R. Horton]

The Solution

Because of the size of D.R. Horton construction sites, putting up a perimeter fence isn’t possible. 

And Walston notes the company’s old methods of protection simply weren’t enough to meet today’s needs: “Our previous security company, which deployed guards to drive around construction sites to monitor for suspicious behavior, was expensive and inefficient – we were still dealing with thefts. We knew there had to be a better way.”

After hearing about Pro-Vigil and the company’s proactive deterrence capabilities, Walston decided to try one of the company’s intelligent mobile surveillance solutions. 

Pro-Vigil’s mobile surveillance solutions boast the same features as fixed video surveillance systems, but are self-contained units powered by solar panels, so they don’t require WiFi or electricity for connectivity. 

Because they are so fast, easy and cost-effective to deploy, while still being effective, they were an attractive option for the types of job sites D.R. Horton typically works on.

Fixed Surveillance, Video Surveillance Solutions, Video Surveillance As A Service

“The biggest area of importance for us is having the ability to adjust our security strategy on the go, and Pro-Vigil’s mobile units enable us to do just this,” said Walston.  

“The mobile units can be easily moved, providing us with the agility to continuously evolve our video surveillance strategy as security needs change. 

For example, one week we can set the units up on streets or intersections where 20 houses are being built. 

And, when that section of a community is finished, we can relocate to the next area of focus – having this flexibility is very valuable to us.”

The Results

For Walston and the D.R. Horton team, Pro-Vigil’s intelligent mobile surveillance solutions are getting the job done.

“We strategically placed mobile units in the most theft prone communities we work in and have absolutely noticed a decline in incidents,” notes Walston. 

“In some of those communities the number of thefts has gone down significantly, while in others it has nearly stopped altogether.”

Pro-Vigil is up and running at nine D.R. Horton sites in the Charlotte area, with a national agreement in place. 

mobile video surveillance

Walston believes moving to a remote video monitoring solution has made all the difference: “The benefits of Pro-Vigil go beyond crime prevention and deterrence. Construction managers can pull up live feeds of sites on their phones at any time and from anywhere. 

With construction sites so large, this helps our managers make sure crews are on-time and in the right place – even when they can’t be there in person. 

Last but not least, our managers love how quick and easy it is to access specific video clips. It saves them time from having to search for relevant footage – time that they can invest back in the job.”

“We strategically placed mobile units in the most theft prone communities we work in and have absolutely noticed a decline in incidents. In some of those communities the number of thefts has gone down significantly, while in others it has nearly stopped altogether.”

Joe Walston

[Purchasing Manager for D.R. Horton]

Contact us today to find out which Pro-Vigil solution suits your immediate and long-term security needs.

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