6 Ways Construction Software Transforms Your Project Delivery

Are you wondering how construction software drives your projects ahead?

Okland Construction, a more than 100-year-old general construction management firm, found their scheduling quality needed to get better and had critical path issues. Moreover, from an industry-specific perspective, a recent study reported that over half of global construction project owners have experienced at least one failed project.

However, both Okland and other innovative owners, engineers, and contractors, have overcome this challenge by adopting construction management software. They've realised that its power is beyond the capabilities of spreadsheets and internal technologies.

What is that power and how did these construction firms find software that fits them the most? Let’s delve in further.

construction software

Signs to make a decision: It’s time for the switch

The development of construction software is rapidly evolving with a wide range of choices. With a projected valuation of USD 6.3 billion in 2023, the market is expected to expand at a CAGR of over 9.1% within the next 10 years.

cloud based construction software Havi Technology Pty Ltd

Construction software market research (GMI Insights)

In this case, how do you determine whether the software your construction firm is using is the best fit for your requirements? Or is this the right time to try construction software if you haven't done so before? First and foremost, you must first decide if you want to think about changing the programme. Try asking these questions:

  • Is your company spending much more time (than projected) managing its information systems?
  • Is there a chance that insufficient data control in your projects or poor document management may hurt your profitability or efficiency?
  • Do your clients regularly ask you to work with them or submit reports to them using software that you don't use?
  • Does your subcontracting process go smoothly? Or do you have to take a long time to get everyone in agreement?
  • Do disputes in workflow or scheduling occasionally catch you off guard?
  • Does the software you use do all of your required tasks? Does it integrate scheduling, communication, job costing, and other important aspects that are significant to you, for instance?
  • Can employees and any other stakeholders access your system from anywhere?
  • Are you prepared for the future with your current technology stack? Is it a great option that can support the growth of your business? Or do you struggle to manage resources more effectively to optimise your real-time team allocation?

6 ways construction software transforms project delivery

1. Team communication

52% of construction rework is the result of poor project data and miscommunication. Managing a construction team is easier said than done, especially when you have conflicting deadlines on the go and different teams working in various locations.

Whether a team is working in the office or on the job site, they can interact more successfully by using construction management software. Improved team communication is one of the key advantages of employing project management solutions. Without even sitting down at a computer, contractors may readily keep you informed about material deliveries, task completion, or schedule concerns via their phones. You can also work along with other stakeholders such as clients, contractors, and architects, depending on the platform you employ.

2. Document management

Since there is a high volume of paperwork in construction, there is a lot of pressure to handle and preserve essential data or documentation safely. 14% of all rework in construction globally is caused by bad data. Accordingly, up to 30% of initial data created during the design and construction phases is lost by project closeout.

construction software for small builders Havi Technology Pty Ltd

The days of filing cabinets full of paperwork are long gone, and businesses can now safely store all of their important documents by including document management in their construction management software. Having a safe and convenient method to handle documents is essential for businesses trying to get a competitive advantage.

3. Project scheduling management

Getting back to the example of Okland Construction, they discovered that their schedule quality was below target and that they had limited resources. Just to prepare, it took about 80 hours of legwork with 13 schedulers and 78 tasks at the time. Besides time and resource constraints, they also encountered challenges such as sharing crucial project information, timely update input, and contorting rigid data filters.

Oakland created and monitored their project schedules, tasks, and milestones using the scheduling function of construction software. Because of the built-in intelligence of the solution, the company has noticed a notable rise in time savings. Spencer Easton, the Scheduling Regional Manager at Okland said that they could produce a report that is 20x better in about 10 minutes; including submission and distribution.

4. Project costing & finance management

Any construction company's first job is to monitor the scope, timeline, and budget of projects. Nevertheless, budgeting frequently needs the greatest attention. A project that has an inaccurate budget estimate may go over budget or stay under. As a result, it's essential to carefully review all project plans for risks, provide precise estimates, and communicate goals to stakeholders when it comes to budgeting.

Thankfully, better money management could contribute to lower costs and more profits. This is one of the primary advantages of construction software. Furthermore, 66% of businesses that use software for project management maintain their projects' budgets.

To help you enhance your estimating processes more precisely, the software automates labour and material costs, standardises bid proposals, and saves or integrates historical bids, project costs, and win/loss ratios. Additionally, you have better visibility into possible risk factors using construction management software. These factors can be workloads, change requests, and other things that might influence how much money you allocate to your mid-project budget.

5. Office and field synchronisation

The necessity for quick decisions in the field is growing, according to 75% of respondents. This delay is the result of a lack of connectivity between the office, field data, and important information such as usage and work logs.

Field staff can enter important data and update project status without physically visiting the office with the help of construction management software. To make sure that the project manager, field workers, and back office staff are all in sync with each other about project statuses and communications. The software helps track crucial project data such as daily logs, labour hours, equipment usage, expenses, etc. To assist them make better decisions, project managers can analyse real vs. expected expenditures at any time, monitor job resources, and set up and track project milestones.

6. Resource management

This is not a new problem anymore. When it comes to finishing and delivering projects, a lot of businesses used to strive for a 100/100 score. Of all the projects they work on, only 2.5% of businesses can claim to have accomplished their goal. These businesses' effective resource management throughout the project has enabled them to complete projects on schedule.

Construction management software enhances the integration of all tools and resources throughout the project's progress. Managers can more effectively optimise the tools and resources to match their initial project bids and estimates by analysing resource data. More specifically, the software can help contractors with the daily allocation of workers, supplies, and equipment while monitoring them in real time. Additionally, construction managers may now coordinate resources much more effectively and efficiently by comparing prior and current project data.

construction software

Notices before you choose construction software

construction software programs Havi Technology Pty Ltd

Notices before choosing construction software

1. Know the planning & adoption process

Besides the initial cost and any recurring fees for the software, you also need to account for the time and cost of your organisational change. For commercial builders, the entire process of investigating, choosing, negotiating, and installing can take up to a year. The adoption may also change your team’s workflow and have an impact on overall operations. Make sure to account for the effects that the software will have when planning.

If everything looks good, you're set to search for your next construction software. It's critical to create a set of procedures because this process can be challenging. The primary actions usually are:

  • Set objectives for the software adoption
  • Collect data on business requirements 
  • Evaluate the must-have and nice-to-have features
  • Create selection criteria and narrow down
  • Demo the software and check it out in the field
  • Sort options and discuss with important stakeholders
  • Decide what to choose and complete the purchase
  • Start the implementation process.

2. Understand your business needs for the software

Before starting, compile a list of the most pressing information issues you are now facing and determine which are the most difficult. Consider your company's goals and future growth as well. Sort these needs based on their importance level.

This will help you determine whether you need all the bells and whistles or whether your construction software can be fairly basic. Is general software more suitable or a customised one might be? Or do you require construction-specific management software?

You can start listing details about particular providers and software, or look for suggestions from online directories, such as the shortlist by Capterra or Software Advice. It’s worthwhile to examine trade journals, online evaluations, and previous customer reviews.

3. Evaluate and winnow the list of software

You should have a general understanding of the software at this point. This can include the leading providers, what they typically offer, relevant case studies, or future industry trends. At this stage, it’s essential to assess and narrow down your options by a few factors:

Cloud-based or on-premises? While many businesses choose cloud-based solutions, there can be other reasons to go for an on-premises one. Across its whole lifecycle, cloud software typically offers better cost and scalability. Some businesses prefer on-premises hosting because they wish to closely monitor the infrastructure. If you're towards the cloud, you should research beforehand the provider's track record. Make sure you know exactly who is in charge of your data and what happens to it if you switch providers.

Is it mobile-accessible? Communication between the head office and the field is important. Therefore, you need to examine how quickly the software reacts to different working environments. Is the mobile native and completely functional? Is the data updated regularly? Or can field workers do drawings and snap pictures using the software?

Is it user-friendly? Because the software must suit the task, consider its ease of use regarding the complexity of your construction tasks. If you are working on large-scale capital projects, your needs are very different from small-scale constructors. Consider if your team is large enough to handle construction management largely by a designated team. If so, it might not be necessary for all users to know every feature. Consider your capability to offer guidance as well.

building construction software Havi Technology Pty Ltd

Is it integratable? Will the construction software work with your current systems, such as email, payroll, or accounting? The goal is to streamline, so it is important to stop manually importing data. Which file types does the software support? Are you able to combine and attach spreadsheets, drawings, and text documents? Are there any restrictions on the storage?

Does it perform project management well? Make sure you are comfortable with the basic project management features of the software. These can be allocating users, obtaining signatures, organising workflows, managing documents, or displaying financial information. Which reporting alternatives are available, such as real-time or automated?

What is the specific cost? The pricing options can range from a cost for a certain number of individual users. It is advisable to account for the maximum number of employees, subcontractors, and other parties who need to log in at the same time. Moreover, there are service tiers for fixed monthly or annual charges that offer varying numbers of users in the company up to unlimited plans. This is typical with cloud solutions.

How reliable is the provider? What is the track record of customer service of the provider? What are their support time ranges? What type of implementation support are they going to provide you with? Do they provide assurances for uptime?

4. Assess which specific features you need

Now it's time to explore particular features of the software. Here's a list of typical features in construction management software. This list is not all-inclusive, but rather to help you assess what is currently on the market and the common requirements for your organisation.

home construction software Havi Technology Pty Ltd

5. Build a selection criteria list

Then, talk about the features you would like to see in your software with your team and any relevant stakeholders. Hereby are some suggestions:

  • Select the important elements and those that are good to have but not necessary
  • Make a list of possible software applications that meet your requirements.
  • Make a chart with all the characteristics you found, and then include a column for each answer. 
  • Try your best to summarise the application's performance with each criterion. If you have any questions, contact the providers or consultants.

If at this time you are unable to determine with certainty how each piece of software on your list performs across all criteria, don't worry. You are getting ready for the next phase of the process with this step. Right now, you don't need to know everything. Our major goal now should be finding out where your knowledge gaps are and which software stands out in particular areas. This should be noted for the following action.

6. Demo the top-of-list software

The demo can take place at a trade fair, through a webinar, or during a consultation. Some providers let you use free demo versions or samples of their construction software. 

To provide your team with a solid foundation, try to have the same team members participate in each demo. Get together and discuss what you take away from the demos. Your goal is to reduce the number of options on your shortlist to around three options.

Once the shortlist is complete, you may want to see your chosen prospects with actual users. With trade associations, industry groups, or recommendations, you can look for a company that is similar to yours using each software and request a visit.

7. See construction software in action

Now you can observe how the employees of your prospect use the scheduling or project management software in various configurations and methods. Find out what people think of it, what faults or deficiencies it has, and what advice or tips they wish they had known when they first started. Make sure that everyone has similar feedback by checking in with workers in diverse roles, such as accounting and field supervisors.

Consider your selections again after the field trips. There will probably be one obvious winner that sticks out. If not, note the one where no choice appears to be better. Investigate further to determine which product best fits your particular case based on those criteria.

Join 6,000+ construction firms & go for a purpose-built solution

Construction software is the solution you need to reclaim your project control. Imagine when the information silos disappear, replaced by a single source of truth. This one source empowers senior management, contractors, suppliers, architects, constructors and everyone in between. 

With Deltek's construction-specific solutions, 6,000+ construction companies have succeeded in boosting profitability and work costs, connecting the office and field, and managing collaboration. All that contributes to their, and also your, steady business growth.

Stay on schedule, reduce project risks, and boost profitability with greater precision and control

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