Starting a construction business from scratch is no easy feat. Construction projects are highly structured, requiring eagle-eye attention to detail and planning. There are many moving parts to consider, and you’ll need to coordinate people and time down to a tee. As you move through the various phases of your project, from planning to scheduling and the build itself, you’ll need to keep your finger on the pulse. Whether it’s time delays, drawing adjustments, or supplier backlog, the project becomes exponentially more complex as you forge ahead. That’s where construction management software comes in. Here’s how these tools can improve your workflow from day one.
The need for project management software isn’t new in the construction industry. For years, teams have been using various apps and tools to streamline their workflow, facilitating multiple project stages. However, the demand for a robust all-in-one solution has undoubtedly grown as projects become more complex. In addition, there’s increasing pressure on construction companies to improve productivity and profitability. That’s where the right technology could make all the difference.
Construction management software connects you to project technology designed for the construction industry. It’s a set of tools that goes well beyond project management capabilities. It allows construction businesses to manage budgets, quality and safety programs, schedules and timelines, and communication with various stakeholders. Construction software aims to automate and streamline tasks on every level, connecting workflows and data across a project’s lifecycle.
When choosing your construction software, there are a few features you should look out for when it comes to usability. We’ve put together our top 10.
There are two types of construction project management software; cloud-based or on-premise. Depending on the size of your business, one may be more relevant.
Some construction businesses run in the cloud. That way, your team can enjoy the benefits of having a single source of information where updates happen automatically. Given the industry you’re in, having access to information anywhere is a bonus.
Today’s construction landscape is fast-paced. As a result, you may have teams scattered in various locations working on different elements of your project. Having a cloud-based solution ensures that no one gets left behind, centralizing inherently separate tasks.
For more prominent construction companies, on-premises software often makes more sense. While it has higher upfront costs, it’s cost-effective in the long run. If your business is bigger, it certainly offers more security as all data is stored on dedicated servers in-house. On-premises software gives you more control over your projects, curated to your exact needs and loaded onto your staff PCs.
It is improbable that you’ll ever work on two projects that are the same. Each one comes with its own set of timelines, challenges, and opportunities. So while your general procedures and project management approach may remain the same, you need to be able to adjust specifications here and there to accommodate each project.
Your construction management software needs to do two things at once. It needs to offer features that allow you to implement processes at scale while being flexible enough to stay relevant from project to project.
Construction projects come with a vast amount of data. Your software needs to be able to store this all in a secure environment. User permission capabilities will be essential, ensuring the right people have access to sensitive information.
Construction projects don’t happen in a silo. There are various people and systems you’ll need to work with throughout a project. The software you choose must integrate easily with your existing software and processes. The multiple tools you use need to communicate, connecting workflows for an accurate project view.
It’s important to remember that the various team members using your construction software will have different levels of expertise. Therefore, the software you choose needs to be user-friendly. The interface should be intuitive and straightforward, removing any unnecessary features that could create confusion. If you’re accessing the platform anywhere and everywhere, the usability needs to transcend to any device, mobile or desktop.
The software you choose needs to help you set and track costs for your business’s projects, also known as job costing. Job costing looks at the project as a whole, breaking it down into smaller units, like materials, labor, and overhead. These buckets and the items or tasks within them are given a dollar value and tracked via your construction software. You can get as specific as you want, like defining a cost for every employee, contractor, production manager, or supervisor, allowing you to track time and wages accurately. This information is one of the best ways to produce actionable data that could increase your productivity overall.
If your construction management software integrates with anything, it needs to be business accounting software. It’s essential to track expenses accurately. That way, it can aid project managers who are overseeing the cash flow. Depending on the size of your company, you may only have one or two projects on the go. You want to get to a point where your software supports hundreds of projects at once, offering you that easy scalability.
You may refer to job scheduling as workload automation. It helps you schedule tasks in the correct order, allocating equipment and workers over multiple projects. Construction management software allows you to re-balance the workload with ease, adapting to unforeseeable delays.
You need the capability to create a project timeline that maps workforce and resources, predicting critical areas of overlap. That way, you can bring in sub-contractors or adjust schedules to keep your project on track. Job scheduling is a crucial feature in any construction software.
Construction companies require a complex set of resources, more so than other businesses. Whether it’s equipment, transportation, building materials, or technology, good inventory management functionality allows you to eliminate write-offs, perform quick audits, and find lost inventory more efficiently. In addition, without inventory management, you may take on too many projects at a time, reducing your ability to meet client expectations.
Good construction management software gives you control over project data. It allows perfect document organization, drawing project analytics you can use to optimize your efforts. The reports should be real-time and accurate, allowing you to regularly check in, identify risks, and evaluate statuses. In addition, the software reports need to be digestible in a format that’s easy to consume and utilize.
While it requires an initial financial investment, what you’ll gain over time will be well worth it. A report from FMI revealed that construction professionals spend 35% of their time on non-productive activities. Construction management software alleviates this completely, minimizing the opportunity for human error and mapping project timelines with ease.
An integrated system promotes better teamwork. If your people, data, and workflows run from a centralized platform, you’re all operating in the same virtual environment. In an industry that’s usually very separated, it keeps everything in sync.
Controlling your costs is essential to turning a profit. Construction management software allows you to stay on top of everything coming in and going out. Key employees have easy access to contracts, orders, and budget statuses. As a result, you can spot risks or project cost overrun before it arises. Wading through piles of paperwork and invoices is a recipe for disaster. There will be things that slip through the cracks, pushing you over budget without even realizing it.
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of construction management software is better decision-making. It delivers the data and insights you need to make more informed choices. Tangible data is invaluable for future projects.
Innovative construction software improves quality. It will enhance your project from start to finish allowing you to plan, control and coordinate effectively. On top of that, it will enable you to increase your project quantity. By improving your workflow and optimizing your project management, you will scale at a better rate.
The construction industry is unique. Projects are incredibly complicated, requiring thorough plans and project management. You need to consider every aspect of the task at hand, reviewing and evaluating every step of the way. It can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to project management software, you can take your business to the next level with ease.
In this article you have read what Construction Management Software is suitable for. Would you also like to learn more about important factors for selecting CAD Software?