A construction management tool is used to help manage the entire construction project. It can perform various construction tasks such as accounting, cost estimating, scheduling, and project management. Most contractors are now using the software to increase the construction firm’s competitiveness, productivity and efficiency.
If you want to replace your current construction method, here are some of the things that you need to look for in a construction management software.
The project management software should be compatible with your existing IT infrastructure. It is important that it will work seamlessly with your current accounting, reporting and communication systems. Aside from the existing system, it should also allow you to integrate other third party software needed to improve the efficiency of your construction firm. An add-on may be required if the specific feature is not included in your construction software, but is required to meet the changing demands of the construction industry.
Switching to a construction management tool should improve how projects are being managed, from the start until it is completely finished. This is one factor that you need to consider so you can still use your firm’s existing workflow and practices while taking advantage of the benefits of the construction software.
The features and functions of the project management tools for construction should meet the demands of the business all throughout the phases of the project. Invest in a software that can keep up with your growing business and make sure that it is capable of supporting the future needs of the organization. The most common features that companies need are timesheets, forecasting, resource planning, budgeting, tasks setting and reporting. The cost of the software should complement to the features that it can offer. See to it that you won’t be paying for a feature that you do not need.
Determine the size of the team and the number of the construction projects that you will be working on simultaneously. If you have a small team which is composed of 2-5 workers, then you need a software that can assign the tasks and schedule the deadlines of the project activities. If you have a large team with more than six workers, you need to have a personalized dashboard so each team member will have the option to view only the information relevant to their job. This allows them to focus on the details on the tasks assigned to them. Also, consider the number of projects that you might be working on at a given time. Some software has a limitation to the number of active projects that you can work on and devices that can access the project. So to avoid additional charges for upgrades, determine first how the software will be utilized before deciding on what software suits your business.
Collaboration is essential when working with projects, especially when it requires multiple construction professionals such as architects, project managers, consultants, subcontractors and contractors. Consider the team collaboration in choosing a software since this allows the team members to work together and it’s a place where they can share their expertise and knowledge. It simplifies the processes across all teams both externally and internally. Through collaboration, the individuals involved in the project can access, edit and update the files remotely 24/7. Collaboration enables the team members to easily do their tasks in every phase of the project even if they are not in the office. Any changes in the construction files should be updated real-time for collaboration to be more organized. Choose a software that allows you to leave feedback and comments on individual tasks and projects in order for the team to know if there are any issues on the project. Advanced platforms of the project management tools for the construction industry include instant messaging, video chat and video conferencing.
The construction management tools should be flexible so it can fit on how the organization works. Consider which features of the software you can personalize based on the size and type of your business. Customization makes the tasks easier and quicker as you can just inline the software settings to your existing IT solutions. To learn more about how to customize each software, you can make use of the reviews on construction management software. It should give you the ability to change the name of the categories, labels and files in order to suit your business needs. With the growing number of construction firms today, it is important that you can utilize all the features of the software so you can be on top of the competition.
Compatibility of different hardware is also an advantage. Therefore, pick a software that can work on desktop, tablets and smartphones. This will allow the team members to easily make reports and share information, whether they are in the office, at home or on the job site.
The software should be user-friendly and doesn’t require any extensive technical knowledge for you to operate. Look for a software that can easily be used by everyone and at the same time can adjust on the company’s workflow. The full potential of the building construction management software can only be maximized if the users are knowledgeable and comfortable in using the software.
Customer support should always be available just in case you run into a problem with the software. Find out if you can reach their customer support through email, online chat or phone so you will have different options to reach them based on what is more convenient for you. They should have at least 95% rating of customer satisfaction in terms of dealing with client issues to ensure that they can provide great service and you can always relay to them.
According to Rapport3, as your business grows, you may need more features in order to cope with your growing business. Add-ons should be available to meet the future needs of the firm such as additional storage.
Also, business growth means more individuals will be involved in the project so it is best if the software can support multiple devices simultaneously including mobile devices. It should not limit the number of users or if it is limited, upgrades must be available.
Another factor that should be considered is the reputation of the software manufacturer. It should be known to have a good standing in the industry and knowledgeable about how the business works. The manufacturers that have been in the industry for years are most likely the ones who already have a proven credibility and can provide a high-quality service. You can do a research about the software company by looking at the case studies and reviews of construction management tools from users. This will help you gain a better understanding of the strength and weaknesses of the software. You will also get an idea of the common issues faced by the users and how they have overcome the challenges in using the software.
As technology advances, so do the needs of the customers and the businesses. The software manufacturer should provide a regular update of the system, whether it is cloud-based construction management software or a stand-alone software. It’s a must-have that they thrive to develop and improve their system to help maximize the business potential of the construction firm. Software providers should look forward on how to enhance the features and functionalities of the software while providing an excellent support and service to the clients. They can join conversations through forums, or gather feedbacks from the clients by reading the reviews of construction management tools. This is a great way to collect positive and negative comments which can then be used to better serve the customers and be more competitive in the market.
Training is essential in order for the staff to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge needed to operate the software. The software manufacturer should train the employees on the new processes and techniques so that they can perform their job efficiently. The software alone cannot help improve the construction tasks unless the staff knows how to utilize it. The software provider should layout the plan on how they intend to implement the new software and process to guarantee that there will be a minimal disruption of the project activities. You will also have the assurance that you can meet the deadlines of your construction projects.
Transparency is needed in all types of transactions to prove the trustworthiness of a company. It is required that the software firm should accurately present the training cost with no hidden charges. Some may provide free training while others may have an additional charge so be mindful in evaluating each software.
According to Raken, ask yourself before getting a software if it is time-efficient, cost saving and if it can help improve the efficiency of the team. If you are still undecided whether your construction firm needs a construction software, here’s a quick guide to help you determine if you need one or not.
Check the list of construction management software on CrowdReviews so you can discover more features that may help your business.
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