Construction management software has quickly become a vital component in the construction industry, but choosing the right software has become a daunting task to many subcontractors. As many subcontractors have found out, trying to sift through the thousands of software companies in the world is confusing and complicated. If you are seeking to simplify that process, you have come to the right spot! When it comes to selecting which software is right for you, there are numerous options, factors, and variables to consider which we will go over throughout the article.
Spending 4-5 hours with customer support after your servers have crashed are a thing of the past! Software has reached a stage that it should no longer be complicated. Construction Management Software has not only become user-friendly, but it has also become a financially viable option for subcontractors. Nevertheless, there are a few questions you should always ask before choosing your software, in order to ensure the software is as simple as possible:
- Is the software meant for your industry?
Within the world of the subcontractor, there are TONS of subfields involved, and the difference between a system built for electricians and a system built for molders can be a scary difference. So first and foremost make sure the software program you are looking for is meant for your subfield.
- Does the software vendor’s website claim they can fix everything?
There is no software that can do everything, so if they suggest this, RUN! Good software sales reps will know exactly what they do well, and exactly what they don’t. Ask the question, and see if you get an honest answer.
- Does the user experience remind you of other programs that you use?
Living in this day and age, most people have a pretty good handle on what a setup process should entail. Think about some other programs you have used, and if the software you are looking into has a similar setup process you are probably in good shape! Also, sometimes construction software can improve your existing processes so be open minded. Imagine being able to eliminate paper Daily Reports by simply using smartphones for notes that load into a daily report. The time saved and accuracy in daily financials should pay for your new software itself.
Company Size & Necessary Features
According to the size of your company, and your companies work volume, you may find yourself in need of very different software. As a subcontractor, time and labor is paramount, but General Contractors have very different needs. Being a project manager is far different for a commercial enterprise subcontractor than it is for a one-truck pro handyman working on home improvement. As a large-scale construction firm, you will have to find software that has several main features including project management, time card management, resource management, and scheduling. The list goes on, but the list is often different depending on your specific needs. It is useful to list the 4-5 tasks that are most troubling for your company and use that as a baseline of what features you require within new construction management software.
The world of a subcontractor is very competitive. You’re constantly in the race for jobs, and speed can mean everything to your company. The ability to get a job done fast, and without errors, is typically what creates a competitive advantage within this industry.
If speed is necessary for your industry, you should expect nothing less from your software company. Someone within your desired software company will have to implement the software, add business data, train employees, and get everything prepared for field usage. Now, how quickly can this all be done without error?
Here are a few great questions to ask:
- How fast will everything be live?
Typically you would like your software to be completely live in a reasonable time, but this might depend on your availability to get everyone trained. The vendor should be able to scale and offer successful implementation examples.
- Who sets up the software?
Set up differs company by company, but your selected partner should clearly understand your business processes, goals, and objectives. The best software is cloud-based and mobile, which means you don’t need an IT expert on staff.
- Who will supply employee training?
Usually, there will be scheduled calls where a tech support member will provide training. During this call, you can have anyone present, but it usually is smart to train the project manager, then have him or her train the field foremen and so forth.
- Can an employee who isn’t tech savvy learn your software?
A representative of your desired software partner should be able to give guidance on this common problem. Nevertheless, Construction software should be designed for construction experts, not computer experts.
- How quickly does customer service respond?
If the answer isn’t immediately, find another partner. The last thing you need is your system down, with customer service not responding, on a time sensitive project.
A company’s efficiency hinges on their ability to get work done in the field. Imagine how much time is wasted if we still went back to the office to complete simple tasks and updates. Your new software should assist you by keeping your staff – foremen, field workers, and office personnel always connected no matter their location.
Additionally, it is important to find out what the prospective software does not excel in, and if it has integration options for those missing features. A great software program moves with you while moving your data with ease between programs. For example, accounting integration with QuickBooks or Sage is a feature of several construction management software applications. And lastly, if you can’t access your software on your cell phone, that should be a deal breaker. A mobile app is always necessary! Subcontractors are constantly on the go, so we need information readily available on a software app.
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