9 Questions to Ask When Seeking Construction Software

construction software

We believe the best business development tool for construction industry companies is ours. We have the best data, pre-sorted, and customized for your business and your locale. But to stay alive in today’s techno-business environment, you need additional construction software.

2020 Construction Software Ratings

After it’s said and done, business is business, whether it’s a hot dog stand or a Big 6 corporation. The construction industry is unlike any other. Construction software for operational management should target our needs.

Out of 474 software reviews, many received 4.5 stars and should not be discounted. Here are 50 (of 83) ratings, according to reviews for this year’s 5-star construction software:

Neo Intelligence
CrewTracks
Slenke
K-Ops
Power Tools
Spitfire
Job Dox
Cordell Estimator Platinum
Site2Site
PCS
Construction Inspector
CM Fusion
Bizns Tool Subcontractor Software
Infinitrac
SnapSuite
WenPlan
Site Specs
BOCS
Fresh Projects
onsite.solutions
Fieldly
Mobilengine
Expo-Net
iZak
Riskcast
Realtraker
ONETEAM
Glaass
Samson
TruckIT
Breez Workforce
Copronet
ProPlanner
zbuilder
Breinz
SiteSupervisor
BuilderConsole
eBUILD ERP
Vitruvi
Ed Controls
Goldenseal
Consysa
SmartUse
TradeSoft
CommittedCost
BuildMetric
ClickHome
Hit-Office
Sergeant Schedule
TopBuilder

Nine Questions: Construction Software

Do several comparisons before choosing your construction software. First, define what you most need: project cost estimator, accounts receivable/payable, employee, or equipment tracking? Identify where you need to save time and money. If you are out of control in one or more areas of business operations, make a “where-we’re-losing-it” list.

You don’t have to be an IT (integrated technology) pro, but if you yourself don’t understand the questions, do your homework (or consult the nearest 14-year-old kid). Here are nine questions to ask software vendors:

  1. Can I contact some of your customers?
  2. Can you help us with training and technical support?
  3. Did you develop the solution in-house or did you piece it together from other sources?
  4. Does your software integrate with my old software?
  5. How often will I have to “upgrade?”
  6. Is your software open-source or unified?
  7. What’s the cost of ongoing service and technical support?
  8. Will my – and my clients’ – information be secure?
  9. Will the construction software quickly adapt to industry trends?

Construction Monitor offers BI (business intelligence) for any organization looking to grow. Contact us now with questions about our statistics for lead generation.
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*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any Brand of business management software.

How to See an ROI from Your Telematic System Faster

construction technologyA telematic system gives you the data you need to manage your equipment in more cost-effective ways, but there’s a learning curve to using one. By investing some time in planning how you’ll use yours, you’ll start enjoying the full benefits of a telematic system as soon as possible.

Set Clear Goals

Raw data won’t help you much if don’t know how you’re going to use it. Start defining your goals for using your telematic system by listing eight to 10 improvements you could make using the data.

Then focus in on the top three opportunities you want to take advantage of right now. Any more than that and you risk spreading your efforts too thin or getting tied up in unnecessary complexity. Once you’ve achieved your goals with those opportunities, move on to the next.

Choose an Experienced, Responsive Provider

When you’re choosing a telematic system provider, take your time to investigate each company. Find out how long they’ve been in business, who their clients are, and how many telematic boxes they’re managing.

Talk with them enough to get a feel for their level of expertise. A provider should be able to explain the benefits of a telematic system in plain English and help you understand how to use the data to improve cost savings, safety and efficiency. If they can only throw jargon and statistics at you, it’s a sign they don’t truly understand what they’re talking about.

Put Someone in Charge

It’s all too easy to collect data without actually using it to make improvements. To make sure valuable information is put to use, assign one or two people to the job of implementing your telematic project.

Your field workers are ideally positioned to make use of the data, but first they need to get it in a format they can understand. The job of analyzing data, creating reports, and getting information to the right people in the field should be the primary responsibility of at least one person.

For more guidance on realizing the full benefits of a telematic system, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Choosing the Right Construction Project Management Software

The right construction project management software can reduce errors and delays, cut costs, and improve safety. Not all software packages suit all companies, though. Understanding your needs makes choosing project management software for your construction company a lot easier.

choosing project management software for your construction companyConsider Your Size

First, consider the type of projects your company usually undertakes. Project management software programs that work just fine for small jobs such as renovating homes aren’t necessarily well suited for larger projects such as constructing an office building and hospitals.

Also, consider how many people will use the software at once. Some programs allow a limited number of user profiles. In addition, look for software that’s scalable so that it can accommodate your company’s growth.

Get the Essentials Covered

Most companies will want a cloud-based solution with strong mobile performance that allows workers on the job site to communicate seamlessly in real time with project managers in the office.

For optimal efficiency, look for software that allows integration, which links your project management software with your other systems, such as your BMI, accounting, and email software. Not all solutions offer true integration, but rather rely on data bridges, which only make more work for your IT team. If you can’t use all the software’s features without more help from your IT staff, look for another option.

Know Which Features You Need

The final step in choosing project management software for your construction company is prioritizing the features that are important to you. The primary reason to choose software designed specifically for the construction industry is that it offers features most project management software doesn’t. Among the features to look for are:

  • Communication
  • Document management
  • Scheduling
  • Cost estimation
  • Proposal and bid management
  • Team management
  • Materials and equipment tracking
  • Incident reporting

Beyond these, look for capabilities you and your team would find especially useful. You might want software that can automatically create your schedule based on your estimate or that can track your employee’s training compliance.

For more guidance on choosing project management software for your construction company, contact Construction Monitor today.

 

3 of the Best Apps for Your Jobsite

By saving time and reducing error, mobile technology lets construction professionals boost profits while keeping their clients happier. Getting the greatest benefit out of a mobile device requires choosing the right construction apps, and there are a few that stand out above the rest.

construction appsConstruction Manager

Some half-million construction professionals use this app to keep their entire team informed in an accurate and timely manner. The Job Estimator function allows contractors to calculate cost estimates directly on site. The cost of materials, equipment use, and labor is all taken into account.

Using the Daily Report and Maintenance Log functions, workers can easily file all project-related information from the field. The result is a consistent, detailed record of the project’s daily progress that makes it easy to spot any developing problems and prevent delays. The speed and simplicity of record-keeping means less risk of lost paperwork and forgotten details.

PlanGrid

PlanGrid is a project collaboration app that lets everyone on the team share and contribute to the project from any location. Boasting an exceptionally fast blueprint viewer, the app lets team members get down to business instead of hassling with slow-rendering plans.

Markups and notes instantly sync, so users can always access the current set of plans. They’ll receive instant notification when a change is made, allowing them to review and share their input immediately. The app organizes project photos by automatically tagging and archiving them, so all team members can quickly find the photos they need.

Synchroteam

One of the greatest benefits of construction apps is their ability to keep track of everyone working on the project no matter where they are. Using Synchroteam, managers can schedule and dispatch workers with a simple drag-and-drop, and can track current jobs at a glance. Work orders are easy to review for information such as location and equipment required. The app sends notifications for new and rescheduled jobs, reducing the risk of jobs being left undone.

To learn more about how construction apps make contractors’ lives easier, contact us at Construction Monitor.

3 Trends Impacting the Construction Industry in 2016

In the latter part of 2015, construction industry professionals should take some time to look forward at the trends in the construction industry that are likely to affect them in 2016. Being ready for new developments can help builders, company owners, and contractors prepare for opportunities that might arise with little advance warning. Here is a brief outline of three of those trends that could make 2016 a productive year.

  1. Sustainability: Environmental consciousness and trends in the construction industry“green” construction remain a major consideration for many builders and their customers. This trend shows little sign of declining in 2016. Many construction clients are urging (or requiring) builders and contractors to use recycled materials or proven sustainable materials that can be easily renewed. Interest is growing in sustainability factors such as zero-energy homes that produce all the energy used within the home. Energy conservation is also becoming more popular, and in response high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, LED lighting and other efficient lighting equipment, and low-flow plumbing fixtures and water conservation processes will be installed more frequently.
  2. Micro-apartments: The trend of “small living” in micro-apartments, and to a further extent, in tiny homes, is expected to expand in 2016. These very small living spaces provide all the basic amenities but in a dramatically reduced space, sometimes just a few hundred square feet. Micro-apartments offer residents a less expensive dwelling option in high-demand areas, such as downtowns and popular urban sites. Tiny houses, in contrast, provide small individual homes that can easily be moved to places where the residents can live with few restrictions.
  3. New technologies: Technology will continue to advance and, as it does so, it will have an effect on the construction industry. Efficiency will be improved through better communication via smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers. Important data, such as drawings, materials lists, and contracts, will be immediately available through construction management software.

Trend-watchers can count on Construction Monitor to provide the latest and most accurate information on construction industry developments. Contact us today for more information on trends in the construction industry that are likely to have a widespread impact in 2016.

The Paperless Revolution: 3 Reasons to Use Construction Management Software

When computers first began to be widely used as business tools, one of the predicted benefits was that electronic communication would result in the “paperless office.” This prediction hasn’t yet come true, but computers have certainly made it easier to function in some areas without paper. For construction companies, construction management software offers several vital functions and conveniences without the need for physical documents.

  • construction management softwareBetter, more precise management: Electronic project management and record keeping with construction management software makes it significantly easier to deal with large amounts of information. All of the important documents connected to a single project can be managed electronically, giving managers instant access to needed information. Technical and architectural drawings, schematics, plans, materials lists, financial data—all can be made available electronically. Information from separate projects can be accessed or merged with relative ease, allowing important comparisons of factors such as costs, labor, material needs, and outcomes. Electronic access offers a significant improvement over sifting through files, drawings, and reams of paper records for the same data.
  • Increased mobility: Construction management software allows owners, managers, and supervisors the ability to take important information into the field without the inconvenience of hauling around paper records. By using smartphones, laptops, or tablet computers, project management information and data can be accessed immediately on the construction site. This allows decisions to be made quickly and efficiently on the spot, without the need to travel back to an office to consult paper documents.
  • Reduced risk: Any construction project comes with risk, but construction management software allows risk managers and other supervisory personnel the ability to assess and handle risk in a way that can’t be matched with paper records. Instant access to important documents and data, along with specialized risk management software, can give managers the ability to foresee and monitor risk either on site or from the office.

Construction Monitor serves professionals in the construction industry with accurate, up-to-date news, information, and insights. Contact us today for more information on construction management software and how you can use it to make your operation more efficient, more productive, and more profitable.

3 Reasons Construction Software is Vital in This Industry

benefits of construction software for contractorsIt sometimes seems like the advance of technology has been slow in the construction industry. Many contractors and construction companies still use old-style manual methods and paper-based record keeping. Several software solutions exist that can make these critical but time-consuming processes easier and more accurate. Here are three important benefits of construction software for contractors and why construction firms should switch to computer-based operations.

  1. Better cost control: Delays, cost overruns, and other problems can be disastrous to a contractor’s bottom line. Software-based operations give construction companies many effective options for controlling costs and ensuring that projects remain profitable. By using project management software, a construction company can have immediate feedback on the financial status of a project. This real-time reporting allows managers and owners to see where potential problems are developing and gives them the time to resolve these issues before they become financial disasters. Effective project management based on software solutions also helps managers and supervisors monitor progress, understand the status of contracts or change orders, determine expenses, and track shipments of supplies and raw materials.
  2. Better document control: Project management software and related technological solutions provide a single repository of project data that can be accessed by everyone who needs access to that information. Important data and critical documents are stored in the system, preventing them from being lost or misplaced. In many cases, the software will record who has viewed or altered any documents or data so that accountability is maintained.
  3. Standardization of processes: With a single software-based project management solution, the processes for recording, changing, monitoring, and reporting important project data are standardized. Everyone involved in the project has a single method for keeping track of information, reducing the risk of vital data being lost or misplaced. Document formats can be standardized, which helps present a professional image to customers.

Construction Monitor provides the most up-to-date information on construction industry trends, including building permit issuances. Contact us today for more information on the benefits of construction software for contractors and how the right software suite can make your operations run more smoothly and with higher profits.

Are You Using Construction Software in Your Contracting Business?

For many contractors, reliance on specialized construction software is relatively low, and many important processes are still left to manual estimation and calculation.

If you’re looking to take your construction efforts to the next level, here is a brief explanation of the benefits of construction software for contractors and how migrating some of your more calculation-heavy tasks to software can save you time, money, and effort:

The State of Construction Software

construction software
Source: iStock.com/Antonio_Diaz

According to a recent survey of prospective construction software buyers conducted by the consulting company Software Advice, the average respondent was investing just 1 percent of annual revenue in software and information technology.

This is about a third of what other industries budget for IT, according to reporter Kimberly Hegeman, writing about the survey on ForConstructionPros.com.

This suggests that many professionals in the construction industry have not yet recognized the benefits of propriety or specialized software for processes such as estimating and bidding.

In fact, the survey indicated that 52 percent of respondents still prefer manual pen-and-paper calculations for these processes. Only 24 percent of respondents use software tools for this task, Hegeman reported.

Hegeman observed that there could be several reasons for this unwillingness to move to software tools that would improve operations and make key processes more accurate, such as software cost, tradition, lack of knowledge of smaller-scale solutions that would fit within the company’s budget, and simple resistance to change.

Companies that move to using software can improve their business by using software in areas such as:

  • Accuracy: Bids and estimates are more precise.
  • Profitability: Less waste and more accurate purchasing improving profits.
  • Scheduling: Scheduling can be tracked with more precision, making it easier to work ahead of schedule.
  • Competitiveness: Being able to respond quickly to bid requests, project changes, and other factors will make a company more competitive.

Construction Monitor reports in depth on the construction industry, providing the latest information on building permits, housing starts, and important trends and developments. Contact us today for more information on the benefits of construction software for contractors and how you can use today’s construction software to make improvements in the office and in the field.