Why you should start using construction software
The construction business is tough, and you must be smart in order to succeed. Margins for projects are small, and often projects run over budget. You have to be smart and efficient to stay competitive. Construction software is designed to help contractors reduce overall risks, schedule the project, forecast budgets, manage cash flow, manage change orders, and manage documents.
What the research says
After reviewing many construction softwares I was shocked that very few use them. According to the DNB database, worldwide, there are approximately 10 million specialty trade contractors. But when we review construction software companies, they all have very few customers. For example, Procore, which is the main driver, has around 15 000 clients, eSUB more than 1000 clients. Theoretically, maybe only 100,000 construction companies use some kind of construction software.
But luckily, while construction software’s doesn’t have many clients, it has a lot of projects and users.
Those who use construction software mainly are successful companies that see the value in construction software and kickstart their business into the next stage.
Why do successful contractors use construction software?
While the construction company manage one team, they can oversee work by themselves, and they don’t need special business processes, document management, etc. They can control and keep track of everything by themselves. But everything changes as soon as the company decides to grow.
Once the company starts to grow, it needs to build business processes and systems to control it. Now this is the time when construction software steps in.
You start to realize that you need to manage schedules between projects, resources between projects, document management, cash flow between projects, risk management, finding new leads, and more.
Without the right tools, it is hard to track the progress; you start to skip things, and the overall productivity of the company goes down. In worst case scenarios, companies are running crisis management constantly.
Let’s see the main features of construction software’s.
Automate the project schedule
Did you know Gantt charts and manually edited schedules are becoming history? With the latest AI advancements, there are construction software programs that use AI to schedule your project for you. There are two types of software: one that uses your data and then analyzes and reschedules for you, and the other that uses 360-degree cameras and then, based on a BIM model, understands what the current situation is, what has been done, what is missing, and what has been done wrong.
With the right construction software, you don’t need spreadsheets to track your expenses and income. There are software programs that can track your material expenses, overhead expenses, and even job costs. Tracking material expenses can be expensive, but it depends on where the company is located and what kind of accounting software is being used. It can be expensive because it is not always easy to link accounting software with construction software.
Mainly, all general contractors use some kind of cloud document management system, and they also mandate to store drawings and other necessary information for the project for subcontractors. But still, there are enough contractors who rely on paper. With regard to document management software, there are many options to choose from. You can even use SharePoint which does have excellent interface, easy to use, safe, history tracking and most probably you have it already because it probably comes with your email subscription.
3D site survey
This is something new and still being developed. But there are construction softwares that use data from 360-degree cameras and then compare it to your BIM model. A surveyor takes a camera, walks through the site, and the result is then automatically uploaded to your BIM model. Then you can see what is done, what is missing, and whether there are discrepancies. Yes, you can see whether something has been installed incorrectly and fix it at an early stage. Imagine a plumber forgets to install the pipe for a toilet, and this is discovered only when the toilet is being installed. At this stage, this mistake can cost thousands, while during the construction stage it would cost nothing.
Change order management
Very often there are changes on site, and contractors can get lost with changes. With software, you can open a problem and communicate with other parties who are involved in the project. You can then see what the status of your request is, whether it is approved, how much it would cost, and so on. All this is well organized under projects, making it easy to oversee changes. When a project is finished, it is easy to summarize it, make judgments, and analyze it. In fact, those who use change order management reported that with their next projects, they had fewer changes.
Worldwide, there are so many contractors but so few who use construction software. No wonder there are so many projects with so many delays and cost overruns. But having construction software doesn’t mean you will be successful; hence, there are so many with different features, and most of them won’t be able to help you. But by choosing the right tools, contractors will be on the right path to success. You will start to see fewer project delays, cost overruns, productivity increases, and overall team satisfaction. Teams will be more productive, and they will be able to oversee projects and focus on what is important. If you are small to medium contractor we suggest to start with PlanUpPro.