Construction Management
Published July 10th, 2016 by

What to Look For in a Construction Management Software

What to Look For in a Construction Management Software 1

There are a lot of construction management software today. In this article, we’ll help you find out the best construction management tools of today by knowing what kind of features to look for.

Analytics and Reports

Analytics and reports go hand in hand together but they are not the same. Reporting is gathering all the data in the project and creating information. Analysis is more than reporting, as it processes all the information and makes it into knowledge. They both follow or look for the main details and use them for decision making. We’ll talk about the difference of the two below:

  1. Set up. Reporting tools are harder to set up and maintained because it cannot be customized. Meanwhile, if you’re using analytics, it is easier to start and provides real-time data to be able to deliver faster results.
  2. Data source. Using reporting tools have limited data sources to look into while analytics have a broader range of databases.
  3. Reporting tools have uniform results and consistent with the data. Analytics are more personal in proving data and gives a customized approach. They provide the answers when an issue occurs and lets you know of opportunities that can be utilized.
  4. Key Performance Indicator or KPI. Reporting tools can determine if a KPI can be attained or not. Analytics will try to meet the KPI goals. If it is not reaching the goal, it will give an explanation and provide a solution on how to meet it.
  5. Reporting tools are specific to one topic and have a standard format. Analytics on the other hand have a broader scope and can provide more answers based on the information provided.

Top construction management software should have user-friendly web-based software that compiles both data provided for the whole project. It can help manage budget costs and eliminates any unnecessary purchases. It can provide data in a fast and quick manner, and lessen any unknowns in the project. Lastly, it must also give an accurate prediction on the outcome of the project.

To sum it up, the best construction management software should have both tools into place. Reporting tools are the gathered raw data of the project and analytics tools can provide more information and provides decision making and solutions on the project in a timely manner.

Time Tracking

Time is of the essence as they say. When you spend most of your time tracking instead of working, using construction management tools will help you increase your productivity. It also will help lessen labor costs by making sure everyone in the project is productive. It also minimizes any risks in compliance because it makes sure that everyone is right on track with their tasks.

Aside from managing and keeping track of everyone’s time at work, time tracking tools may help in data automation such as invoice or email. It also helps in improving the workforce by making sure their payroll and schedules are correct.

So how does time tracking keep track of the project? Below are ways that companies track with Construction management software time tracking tools:

  1. Time in and time out. You have to input your time in and time out times manually.
  2. You enter the minutes needed and done by the tasks completed but not the actual time it was done.
  3. It automatically finds out the time spent on the project. There is a record of the time in and time out that you can pull up.
  4. There is a set timeframe for all the tasks and it should be followed accordingly.
  5. It monitors data real-time. It can take a screen shot of the employees computer at random to make sure that they are working and not doing anything else.
  6. Exception based. It has pre-defined values already set in the system. However exceptions such as Leave of Absences (LOA) or Approved Time Offs (ATO) can be used.
  7. Resource scheduling is similar to exception based but the schedule is made in advance that can be converted into timesheets.
  8. Location based. It determines if the employee is working based on their area. This normally uses a GPS tracking tool.


You may be wondering, what’s the difference between an invoice and a bill? Generally, they are the same. Both are a list and a breakdown of products or services provided with a total amount included. More often than not, businesses use the word invoice while their customers call it bill. An invoice also, is more complete. It includes various details such as the customer’s name, address, any discounts or tax included.

Businesses would need project management software for construction that has a billing/invoice feature to be able to stay on top of their game. The following features are the most commonly used in billing/invoice:

  1. Creates invoices, estimates, orders and quotes.
  2. Creating customized invoices.
  3. Schedule any recurring invoices.
  4. Finds customers with unsettled payments and sends them follow up reminders and statements.
  5. Has the ability to send emails or fax invoices.
  6. Has a record of invoices.
  7. Calculates tax rates.
  8. Can securely access customer payment details.
  9. Adds additional users.
  10. Enables remote access.

Invoices and bills can now be transmitted electronically using the Internet, in the form of e-bills or e-invoices. However, there are companies that still keep paper records as a backup in case their information gets hacked. So make sure that your Construction Management Tools have a very protected security system to prevent it from happening.

Budget/Expense Tracking.

Isn’t it great to keep track of your project without having to worry that you’re going over the budget? As soon as you start your project, it’s time to make a budget of your expenses and begin tracking everything that is purchased. At the end of the day, you’ll see where the money goes and will help you make financial decisions later on.

There are six recommended features a budget/expense tracking tool should help. However, the best construction management tools would have all of these tools in one place for managing your finances. These are:

  1. Improved budgeting. You can customize your budget to suit your needs. At a quick glance, you’ll be able to see where you can improve your finances by charts and graphs. It provides a complete breakdown of your cash flow and the total amount of your spending.
  2. Money tracking feature. It gives a comprehensive overview of all the money and where it’s being used. Knowing where all the money goes will let you find out what are your assets and liabilities.
  3. It has security measures to make sure all financial data is protected.
  4. Works anywhere and everywhere. It has global support that you can customize to your currency and your current time zone.
  5. Saving goals. You can set financial goals and gives you a progress of it.
  6. Ability to import or export data. You can import or export your data for file storage and get it back for later use. Exporting would also help you quickly share the data with others that may need it.


Having an ordering or procurement software can directly electronically transact with all the available suppliers and get business their products and services they require. It would promote better supplier-business relationships. It would also help reduce any out of control spending in your project by providing real-time budgeting for your company.

There are 6 steps in procurement and these are:

  1. Determine what is needed and make sure that it is realistic. Estimate the price of the item.
  2. Find out where to obtain them. Look for suppliers and choose the one that’s suitable to your needs.
  3. Rates and terms. Getting the cheapest one doesn’t mean that it’s the best, you also have to look at the quality of the product before deciding. Agree on a fixed amount for the price. If possible, obtain a discount.
  4. Acquiring the item. Most purchases, especially if bought in bulk, are delivered in a fixed number of days. You can also pick up the item instead if you are unable to wait. Another option is that you give the money to your supplier while they simultaneously provide you the goods or services.
  5. Inspection of goods and services. If you are satisfied with the goods or service, they will give you a receipt as proof that you agree to the transaction.
  6. Record the transaction for reference. In case of any faulty equipment, you can use the receipt and exchange it if it’s under warranty.

If you would like to know more about ordering/procurement tools, check CrowdReviews construction management tool reviews. Additionally, if you want more information about the procurement cycle, read Business Dictionary’s commentary here.

Document Management/Sharing

If your documents are disorganized and stored in different places, you’ll have a hard time in knowing what the status of the project is. It’s going to be a waste of your time and inconvenient if you just spend it in finding documents. It also not a good practice if you want your files to stay private. Keeping track of documentation is a great wait to become effective in the business.

In choosing a document management or sharing tool, it should be easy to use. It can be managed by multiple users that can make changes on a particular data, provided that they have access to it. There are some tools that can set up a security feature that users have to log in to view details. Or it can have a log history in case there was a mistake and you need to correct it. The option to collaborate so that you can keep track of important files can be a great feature too.

So there you have it. These are the main things to look for when you’re in the construction business and are looking for a software to help you. If you want more reading material, you can read BusinessNewsDaily’s article about more features of construction project management.

Using a software for construction management can greatly improve your business performance. So, if you’re having trouble in looking for one, why not read about CrowdReviews’ construction management tool reviews to make sure it’s right for your company?

John Tovar

John specializes in the creation and planning of business-centric mobile applications and mobile website design and development.

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