Why Contractors Should Use Construction Management SoftwareMarie Donlon | July 25, 2017
Imagine keeping track of all the details that go into the management of a construction project. Blue prints, plans, change orders—and that doesn’t even touch upon the paperwork required from human resources.
Hard to envision, right? Well that was, in the not-so-distant past, the reality for contractors everywhere.
Luckily, thanks to the easy availability of construction management software, business doesn’t need to be conducted in such a scattered fashion of tracking down hard copies of documentation or storing bulky files away in filing cabinets that are only accessible if you are actually in the office.
No wonder construction jobs were typically past deadline and over budget. The time devoted to creating a physical paper trail is exhausting enough to imagine.
Construction management software helps construction companies and contractors stay on track through every phase of a project. And although some companies may resist the relatively new technologies available, most people in the industry understand the value in adopting a construction software system.
Here are just a few of the reasons why:
Paperwork: Construction management software simplifies the necessary burden of paperwork. However, everything related to the project (personnel files, payroll information, plans, designs, change orders, etc.), is kept in one place: a catch-all of sorts that keeps all communications and vital approvals in one secure location that everyone involved with the project can access in real time. Instead of spending valuable time on other project details, contractors without a software program can expect to be hunting down documents or attempting to make a physical timeline of project details.
Some examples of the paperwork that can be managed by construction management software includes punch lists, report logs, change orders, accounting, payroll, personnel files, workers’ compensation reports, etc.
Risk assessment: Having access to construction management software gives the contractor an overall view of the entire project in real time. That overview allows the contractor to visualize the risk factors that could affect a project. This early detection could go a long way in preventing a significant, dangerous and/or costly mistake from occurring. Without being able to look at all of the details, a contractor is unable to assess a project’s risks.
Cost control: Being armed with the most up-to-date and timely information gives a contractor an advantage over contractors not using construction management software. It allows contractors to run interference and address problems before they become too costly.
The primary advantage provided by construction management software is evident from the very beginning of a construction project. The software can help provide the most accurate estimate for a project in the initial stages and subsequently keep that number close to, if not at or below, that figure for the duration of the project. The software can be used to set deadlines and send reminders that those deadlines are upcoming, keeping the contractor on schedule to complete specific tasks.
Likewise, the software will help the contractor better plan for needed staff, materials and equipment in the most optimal way based on the incoming details.
For instance, the software tells the contractor to plan for and schedule delivery of specific materials when they are needed, reducing the likelihood of being stuck with a surplus of supplies. Not only can having a surplus of material affect the project’s bottom line, it can also mean additional losses for the project. Storing surplus materials on site exposes employees to potential safety hazards and also leaves the material vulnerable to theft or damage.
Service: In addition to helping complete the project on time and on budget, a software system can go a long way in uniting everyone on the project team. From architects and designers to vendors and tradesmen and project managers, a team that has easy, uninterrupted access to information will work together more cohesively than a team that doesn’t have an easy back-and-forth way of communicating project information. A unified team working together to deliver a quality final product will enhance a contractor’s reputation.
Convenience: Whether at the construction site or at home enjoying a cup of coffee, a contractor can easily access the construction management software. This comes in handy when contractors are called away unexpectedly or when issues arise after-hours. Thanks to the software, contractors can access project information 24/7 from anywhere they have an internet connection (both a blessing and a curse).
There are a variety of construction management software packages available that can be tailored to the specific needs of a contractor, simplifying the work and ensuring their good reputation.
Bringing in a construction job on time and on budget makes all the difference in the world to the contractor’s reputation and one of the ways to accomplish that is by incorporating a construction management software program into the business.