DSLD Homes is one of the fastest-growing and most-profitable builders in North America, jumping eight spots on the Builder 100 list to #29 in 2012. Since 2008, DSLD has built unique high-quality homes in Louisiana and Mississippi, with NEWSTAR Enterprise ERP software powering their construction business.

DSLD’s successes are impressive and stem from a solid strategic foundation and adherence to a rigid set of rules. Saun Sullivan, CEO of DSLD, shared some of his winning strategies with a large audience during the 2014 International Builders’ Show. Saun discussed five key principles that set DSLD apart from its competitors.

  1. Cycle Time
  2. Trade Partner Relations
  3. Customer Satisfaction
  4. Land Acquisition
  5. Back Office Management


DSLD practices even-flow production, adhering to a 43-day cycle time from frame to finished product. With this strategy, DSLD starts and closes the same number of homes each week. The weakest link sets the pace of construction and timely communication with trades is key. DSLD follows this plan, even when it means reacting to changes slowly and cautiously. Opportunities – no matter how great – that do not fit the mold must be turned away.

NEWSTAR Enterprise allows DSLD to track all of this, and tightly manage construction schedules with front-line builders and trades.  Over the years, we’ve worked with DSLD to make enhancements to NEWSTAR that make this process more efficient.

“Without NEWSTAR, we could not meet these targets,” says Ryan Nash, Director of Operations with DSLD, “The more we integrate our schedules, documents, checklists, etc. with NEWSTAR, the more efficient we become.”


DSLD has made it its goal to become the builder of choice for local trades. How? Clean job sites, a clear scope of work, effective scheduling, timely payments, and no back charges.

A clean job site is a sign of quality – a safe site for builders and a desirable home for prospective buyers. A well-defined scope of work combined with training videos ensures accuracy and quality of the final product – the first time. The workflow functionality of NEWSTAR Enterprise allows DSLD to keep trades instantly informed and on track. NEWSTAR’s advanced accounting pays trades on time via direct deposit, eliminating trips to the bank.


Land developers are valuable partners to homebuilders. Establish solid relationships with developers, and always follow through on commitments. Homebuilding is a small world.


The most important advertising is earned, not bought. Customers are your most valuable asset and must not be forgotten at closing time. Make them feel like a part of the family.

Ask your customers for their opinion! Have an unbiased third-party perform a closing survey to gauge customer reactions to their new home and the construction process. Don’t call them on closing day, or you’ll get inflated opinions from rosy-eyed customers.


Organizational alignment is critical to ensuring strategic success. Your back office is as much a part of the team as any superintendent. The back office builds houses too! Cross-train your team to reduce monotony, and have them visit your work sites. Bring those NEWSTAR reports to life.

Saun Sullivan will be a panelist at the 2014 Housing Leadership Summit. Constellation HomeBuilder Systems is the digital sponsor of this event.

builds unique, high-quality homes in Louisiana and Mississippi.