Construction management is not an easy feat. Contractors have to juggle a lot with budgets, job costs, progress reporting, as well as overseeing field crews, subcontractors, schedules, materials and equipment. Fortunately, modern software solutions are available to streamline and control a broad range of construction workflow.
The right construction software helps to handle and execute construction project activities faster and more efficiently. Nevertheless, with a plethora of available construction management software on the market nowadays, selecting the right one can be quite daunting. Here are some five essential tips for choosing the right construction management software.
Tip #1: Identify your must-have and nice-to-have
One key factor that contractors have to consider when selecting a construction software is their needs so that they can determine the necessary features. They can do it so quickly by creating a list of features they would love to have in their software by categorising them into two categories: must-have and nice-to-have.
The must-have list should be brief and state only the features which are necessary for the company. On the other hand, the nice-to-have features list can be much broader and listed in order of importance. The following are some general questions to use when creating the list:
- What are the reasons for purchasing the software? Is it to save time, improve services, get lower operating costs or increase turnover without increasing operating expenses and personnel?
- Who will run and maintain the software? What support is offered?
- How to access information in the software? Does it provide remote access?
- Who and how many people need to access the data at once?
- How much storage devices are available?
Tip #2: Determine your budget
When setting a budget, contractors should consider other costs, such as expenses for an upgrade for the additional hardware. They should also consider whether they can utilise the devices out of the box or require further customisation. Moreover, they need to consider the software maintenance budget.
Tip #3: Pick your finalists
Once the contractors have listed down their must-have and nice-to-have lists and set their budget, they can start reducing their options. Evaluate the product list and remove the items which lack critical features. Identify the software which fits for the business. Ensure the software is manufactured by a brand with reliable track records and has high-quality customer support.
Identify which products amongst the remaining options deliver most features from their nice-to-have list. Also, they should consider if there are any add-ons that they can buy later on when they need them.
Once the contractors have narrowed down the options, it is time to evaluate the product and see it in action. It is best to book a demonstration. They might also want to ask additional questions to the provider, such as?
- Does the software have ongoing costs?
- How easy is it to set up the software?
- Does the software come with hard-copy manuals?
- What operating system does the software have?
- Does the software provide good data security?
Tip #4: Ensure it is legally compliant
Contractors should choose a construction software developed specifically for their countries which complies with the local legislations. For instance, construction software created specifically for Australia and New Zealand industry would be compliant with the local rules and regulations, including the Construction Contracts Act, Security of Payments Acts and Electronic Signatures Acts.
Tip #5: Get feedback from the team
The contractors should get feedback from the employees who are using the software. The feedback would be especially beneficial to the company when it comes to new software implementation.
Construction management software streamlines tasks and helps contractors keep track of their projects and employees. To pick the right construction software, contractors have to identify their needs, determine their budget, choose a locally compliant software and get feedback from their staff.
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