7 construction mgt software features for contractors
When it comes to construction projects, one thing that brings you maximum stress as a contractor is managing the construction sites. Since the very beginning of the project, you have loads of responsibilities to tackle.
Whether it is initial planning, designing, building, or any post-construction process, the only concern which project managers need to bear is quality deliverables. Though construction technology has come a long way during the past two decades, there are still many construction firms, contractors, and subcontractors who resist.
However, looking at the rapid increase in the expenses for construction projects and extensive downtime that happened during the pandemic, a situation of hyper-competition has been developed. Thus, it has become even more crucial for contractors to align with innovative technology that can help take down the business challenges associated with construction.
Here’s the list of seven:
1 Resource Management
When we talk about resource management in construction, it is not just about tracking the work hours of the labour. Effective resource management needs you to manage materials, equipment, tools, and anything that can affect the project's progress. Therefore, the first feature which project managers and contractors must find in construction software should be fully digital and remote resource management.
It should be a solution that can help track all the materials for their cost, volume and suppliers, while giving you the ability to schedule the equipment for maximum productivity. Some additional features that can add even more value to the system are the ability to track downtime for equipment, reminders to check and preserve the life of tools or equipment against malfunctions as they can help resist idle time at the site and over budgeting due to resource conflicts. Also, resource management features can make it more convenient for the users to avoid any waste and allot the resources in a project-friendly manner.
2 Budget Management
Since business is all about cash flow and revenue, the same goes for construction projects. Thus, any construction contractor who is looking for sustainability in 2021 and beyond must seek accounting features with their construction management software. It should be construction software that can help project managers to check costs, compare them with the budget and create budget reports with them. Moreover, it should offer complete transparency to the contractors, project managers, and customers to check for all the expenses made and identify any scope of overspending while allowing to control the expenses before the funds deplete.
3 Payroll, Billing, and Invoicing
Since the entire idea of using construction project management software is keeping a track of time, project managers should opt for a solution that can help track real-time in and out of workers for effective payroll management. The software must be able to calculate the wage for each worker by processing the local taxes and deductions based on preset data.
Besides this, the software should allow contractors to work on bills for automated invoicing and bills. Such features can allow contractors to get quicker payments, once the invoice or bill is issued to the project owner. Moreover, software enabled bills and invoices help to process more accurate calculations while giving a save of around 10 hours every week when it comes to accounting tasks.
4 Business Intelligence
When you choose an integrated project management software that brings you the power of Business Intelligence, it becomes much easier to track any problems with the existing schedule, expenses, or project progress.
Moreover, such a system can help to interpret all the templates and checklists to predict the outcomes while making it easier for the project managers to recognise any problems that might occur during an existing activity or maybe at later stages of the project.
5 Decision Management
The spread of Covid-19 happened to be the most evident incident for ineffective project management strategies adopted by the contractors. However, to ensure business success in the future, contractors must seek construction software that can help with decision making during crucial times.
For instance, it should be software that can help watch on-site activities and define a set of rules to avoid error expectancy. Also, such features can help project managers to plan better when it comes to assigning a job to a particular person or team for optimum results.
6 Customer Relationship Management
Though most construction firms tend to overlook this feature when it comes to choosing an integrated construction management software, it is essential to stay connected with your clients when you need to ensure sustainability in business. Using CRM based construction software can help contractors to win more projects by learning the pattern for bids, ensure transparency, and keeping the customers involved in all project-related decisions.
However, one must look for a cloud-based solution that gives you the advantage to store unlimited data, create private folders for each project, allow immediate sharing of design, drawings, and other data with project members. Also, contractors could seek features like automated reminders regarding the payments for invoices as well as any changes made to the schedule, activities, or plans.
7 Integrated Capabilities
As it is crucial to find the right project management software that can help meet business goals, contractors should always consider investing in integrated solutions over multiple solutions that work for each different process. A construction management software with integrated capabilities allows contractors to keep all the project data centralised allowing synchronisation between accounting, CRM, ERP, and Project management features. Moreover, it helps to avoid any complications with the data management as updating data from one device automatically takes it to all the teams through the shared network.
All in all, when it comes to progressive construction, contractors need to understand the importance of using feature-rich construction management software. either you need to work on any tasks related to accounting, invoicing, collaboration, billing, time tracking, or other routine processes, using an advanced solution helps to automate the process for added convenience.
And if you had a tough time managing your projects during 2020 or need to improve your operational plans in the future, you can simply consider the above list of seven essential construction management features to compare various solutions and pick the perfect one for your needs. Since any decision made to the implementation of a technology solution could turn into a nightmare with a waste of investment, referring to the list and considering your requirements could help you be more cautious and conscious of your choice.
Author: Ed Williams is Senior Team Lead at ProjectPro, an integrated construction accounting software headquartered in Rochester, NY, USA.