Construction management software, also referred to as construction project management software, helps users effectively manage construction projects, resources, and customers. Construction management software increases the efficiency and accountability of construction firms and businesses while streamlining previously manual processes, such as daily internal communications, job scheduling, punch listing, and QA/QC list creation. Construction management software is designed to work with or without an internet connection, bridging the gap between the onsite construction crew, project owner, and other stakeholders in real time.
Key Benefits of Construction Management Software
Construction management software makes it possible to set timelines and budgets for projects, no matter how many projects a contractor, engineer, or business owner has. Jobs can be completed without construction management software, but this software significantly alleviates concern about the smoothness of workflows and accuracy of estimates. Construction management software streamlines both individual phases of a construction project as well as the entire project lifecycle.
Contractors, architects, and engineers can depend on the construction management software to track labor and equipment, create and send out bids and takeoffs, log work hours, and generate reports about the progress of projects. Construction management software allows relevant parties to keep a pulse on the project, as well as stay in connection and communication with each other, from start to finish. Construction management software also helps cut down operational costs, improve scalability, and leverage cloud technologies. Because many construction management solutions take cues from general project management software, they greatly benefit project managers when coordinating and following up with contractors, suppliers, engineers, and other key players.
Construction management software can, and is, used by any construction professional involved in a project. Products offer different permission levels, making it easy to share plans with both collaborators and stakeholders, without worrying about unsanctioned markups and changes. The users of construction management software include: owners, managers, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, builders, and engineers.
Trade-specific construction management solutions do exist, but generally, this type of software services the overall construction process. More granular construction management software does exist as well: Some are more focused on managing project and business finances, others are more focused on managing the incident reporting and safety aspects of the jobsite, and others are more focused on managing the coordination and organization of subcontractors or suppliers. The most delineated difference in kinds of construction management software, however, lies in deployment type—either on-premises or in the cloud.
Cloud-based software — Online or cloud-based construction management software facilitates the easy access of project information on the field, outside of normal work hours, or in any setting where the user has a web browser and working internet connection. Cloud-based construction management software empowers project managers and contractors via providing access to data any time, anywhere. Cloud-based solutions typically use a subscription model, usually the vendor of the solution upgrades the software and performs regular maintenance. Smaller construction firms with little money to burn often turn to cloud-based construction management software.
On-premises software — Construction management software deployed on-premises equips construction professionals with more control than cloud-based solutions. Like any other type of on-premise software, all information stored on computers and servers is bought and uploaded on the company’s own dime. That information and software is managed and organized by an internal IT team. On-premise construction management software, like in any industry, comes with a hefty fee—however, that fee is one-time and upfront, and generally, the cost of maintenance and upkeep is cheaper than SaaS offerings. Larger construction firms like to utilize on-premise construction management software to dissuade any discomfort with the idea of storing data on a third-party or cloud-based server.
Construction management software provides owners and managers a bird’s eye view over operations and logistics, from the start to finish of a construction project. The software facilitates and encourages cross-team collaboration, external communication, resolution of conflicts, and integration of third-party solutions. The following features are common functions of construction management software.
Project management — Construction projects are made up of numerous individual tasks and assignments. Construction management software allows users to delegate specific project objectives and milestones, set up and track budgets, coordinate scheduling, and generate reports.
Employee scheduling and crew management — Scheduling of crew, equipment, and other resources plays a crucial role in the management process. Construction projects are notorious for taking longer and becoming more expensive than previously anticipated. Construction management software comes bundled with work scheduling, attendance tracking, and other features that make it easier for managers to know where their people and resources are at any given time.
Drawing and document management — Construction projects rely on drawings, blueprints, and contracts to verify the progress of projects. Construction management software that supports the import and export of drafts, facilitates versioning, allows easy sharing of relevant documents, and provides editing functionality are comprehensive platforms that can be used in any stage of the construction project lifecycle.
Estimating and bidding — Bid management software may be sold as point solutions, but construction management software that offers estimating, budgeting, and forecasting functionality along with bid proposal and bid management functionality lead to a significant boost of productivity.
Accounting and financial management — Lots of money is routed through construction projects and it all has to be kept organized. Some construction management software lean more toward financial management, but even those that are more comprehensive still offer an accounting module that helps keep track of estimated and actual money spent.
Risk management — Construction job sites are full of hazards. More and more construction management software is now equipped with the ability to measure and assess risk, conduct safety regulations, and ensure sites are up to code.
Construction management software has gone from a “nice to have" to a “need to have" for construction firms. However, smaller construction companies with smaller budgets and staff hesitate to purchase these platforms. Some concerns companies have include training staff to properly deploy and implement new software, and providing ongoing training or regular updates once software is fully integrated into daily use.
We can help you find the solution that fits you best.