Many construction managers and contractors find it difficult to figure out what software and features they need to operate smoothly and boost sales. There is no shortage of cloud-based software on the market. However, their features, services, and prices remain the differentiating factors and often the reasons for a contractor’s dilemma. Bridgit’s guide on best contractor software programs can help contractors choose the best software for their business.
Table of Contents
- What is construction management/contractor software?
- How to choose the right software for your construction business?
- Understand your business needs
- Define your objectives
- The most important features to include in construction management software are:
- Consider scalability
- Check ease of integration and collaboration
- Consider safety and security
- Check the task management feature
- Check for reporting features
- Look for the timesheet feature
- Ask for the field management tool
- Choose a data analytics tool
- Try alternatives
- Seek recommendations
- Get a free trial
What is construction management/contractor software?
Contractors use Construction Management Software to automate the entire construction management process. With this software, contractors can coordinate and organize financial, physical, and human resources throughout the construction cycle, with the best management techniques.
They help construction companies with better management, efficient service delivery, cost control, and business growth. However, there is a myriad of construction management software, and not every one of them will fit your business requirements.
How to choose the right software for your construction business?
Understand your business needs
There is no one-size-fits-all software for every business. It is important to pick the one that addresses your business needs. To identify your business needs, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What are the missing features from my current construction management solution?
2. How is it affecting my business?
3. How many members of my team will benefit from these features?
4. How much money am I willing to invest in new software programs?
5. How much money and time can I save by installing such management software?
Define your objectives
Identify the must-have features of the contractor software. Define your objective behind each feature. Ask yourself and your team what they would achieve with certain features and how they will improve their business operations. Determine what features are necessary and what you can keep on standby.
The most important features to include in construction management software are:
- Project scheduling
- Blueprinting and drawing, with the ability to import files
- Budgeting, estimating, and forecasting
- Bid proposals, bidding and bid management
- Financial and contractor accounting software
- Document management
- Multimedia and photos
- Resource management
- Equipment procuring
- Change orders
- RFI production, monitoring, and submittals
- Purchase orders
- Personnel management
- Database of contractors and suppliers
Pick a software keeping in mind your business’s future needs. It can be tempting to install one that caters to current issues. However, if you plan to expand, change your business model, hire subcontractors, or make other operational changes, the software should be able to accommodate all of them. Remember, such platforms are an expense and take time in deployment and integration. For example, if you are a small independent contractor, it may be challenging for you to switch to new independent contractor accounting software as your business grows.
Check ease of integration and collaboration
While choosing a construction management software, make sure it is easy to understand and integrates well with your other operating systems. Good project management software facilitates seamless collaboration between project participants and allows teams and participants to work together regardless of location.
Consider safety and security
It’s good to have new technology, but not at the cost of your data safety and security. An insecure software can lead to a data breach. Check to see if the tool you are investing in has encryption protocols for messaging and other security elements that will protect you from potential threats.
Check the task management feature
Task management is one of the most important functions of any construction project management software. With an efficient task management tool, your construction teams can dramatically increase their productivity and easily spot and fix potential errors.
The perfect tool will allow you to combine all your small projects into one powerful workflow, saving you a lot of time and effort. Therefore, every contractor software tool should be flawless in task management.
Check for reporting features
You may not put this feature in the must-haves, but it is an important tool to have. A construction management platform provides an automated, integrated dashboard that can be customized for each stakeholder and that allows you to instantly generate detailed reports that can give you better ROIs.
Look for the timesheet feature
Timesheets are very important to keep your teams organized and to get the job done on time. This feature makes it easy to track progress by checking task grades and knowing in advance about possible delays.
Ask for the field management tool
As more and more jobs are added, project managers have more responsibilities. They must supervise the fieldwork at all stages and make sure that everything works in sync.
Look for a solution that provides field management functionality to help you create and communicate daily plans, collaborate with team members, and get daily results at the end of a shift.
Choose a data analytics tool
Various construction project management solutions can help you streamline your workflow, monitor communications, manage each project, analyze your data, and execute tasks successfully.
Certain tools include reporting features that enable in-depth analysis of resource utilization and performance. Not only that, users can track resources and analyze profits by measuring processes against schedule and costs.
These help improve productivity and provide strategic vision.
Don’t settle for the first software you come across. Analyze the features and look for several options before committing to one.
Ask for recommendations from businesses using construction software. Research online and read reputable reviews about construction software vendors.
Get a free trial
Most software solution providers offer free trials. This will help you determine what features you want in your construction management software and will help you make an informed decision.
There are many construction project management tools to choose from.
With the help of this article, you can start searching for the one that best suits your company. Remember to compare and analyze different contractor management software programs before making a decision.
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