What is construction management software?
Construction management software is software built to help individuals run and manage their construction business. Features often include customer relationship management, project management, communication management, scheduling, estimating services, budgeting, and more. These solutions are usually built for either the residential construction industry or commercial construction industry because the two have different needs and requirements from software. For the purposes of this post we will be focusing on residential construction management software.
Who is construction management software for?
Software solutions can help residential construction business owners who are looking to grow their business, operate more efficiently, or be more confident in their financials.
Grow your business
Running a residential construction business is hard enough as it is. Add on trying to scale your business and you may quickly feel as if you are in over your head. The good news is that construction management software can help. Communication and scheduling features help keep your entire team up to speed and on the same page, and managing two or more projects at once can go from daunting to doable. Taming the chaos of construction project management means you have time to step back from the day-to-day to focus more time on growth oriented activities such as hiring more people or optimizing your sales process. Investing the time you’ll save from implementing construction software back into your business will help you test, tweak, and take your business to the next level.
Operate more efficiently
A major benefit of adding software to your building system is the ability to automate previously manual tasks such as sending out bid requests, tracking specs and selections, and sending invoices. Combining this with a single-entry estimating system means your construction business can easily input a project’s information up front and then automatically push that information along throughout the lifecycle of the project. Sending bid requests to preferred vendors, seamlessly updating your project based on client selections, and sending accurate invoices becomes a simple and efficient process. This all adds up to saving you time and energy in tracking down and double checking every detail before hitting send on that email.
Be more confident in your financials
If you’ve ever reached the end of a project and dreaded tallying up your final costs to see if you landed in the black or the red, you are not alone, but there is a better way to take the guesswork out of your livelihood. Construction management software allows you to budget and track costs and profits throughout the lifecycle of your project to ensure that your project, and profits, are headed in the right direction every step of the way.
How does software help residential construction businesses?
While business owners frequently instigate the discovery, research, and purchasing of business software, construction management software is used by the entire construction team. Here are some of the ways your team can utilize software in various stages of a residential construction project.
So much work goes into a residential construction project before any construction occurs. Because so much prep work is required before a contract is even signed, your business needs to be as accurate and efficient as possible in the pre-construction phase to win deals and move clients into an active project.
Construction management software can help your business during pre-construction with estimating templates and cost catalogs to quickly get high-quality estimates into your client’s hands. Software features also allow your business to leverage automation to fill out and electronically deliver proposals and contracts straight to client’s inboxes.
Once construction begins on a residential project, the field team and office staff have to stay in sync as the project progresses. Any miscommunications between these teams can lead to costly mistakes or delays on the jobsite.
To help alleviate these errors, project management features help teams stay connected with a mobile app, detailed scheduling, and timesheet tracking. These features not only keep office staff up-to-date on the activities of a jobsite, but empower project managers and field staff to successfully do their job by having the information they need right at their fingertips.
From specs and selections to bids, change orders, purchase orders, and invoices, there are a lot of numbers to keep track of. No matter how experienced you are working with spreadsheets, one misplaced comma or wrong equation could ruin your profitability from the start.
Construction management software alleviates these concerns by streamlining the financial process and showing a comprehensive view of expected and actual costs versus profit at any given time. Software features also allow businesses to integrate with their accounting system and get paid quickly (and on time) by offering in-app client payments.
In addition to securing new projects and managing those projects, you also need to take time to step back and actually run your business instead of just managing the day-to-day.
Software can help give you a new perspective on your business by offering a detailed view of your company’s overall performance so you know where to focus your efforts. Construction management tools can also help you manage relationships with trade partners including tracking insurance and licenses of preferred vendors.
When should you invest in construction management software?
If you are waiting for a perfect time to implement construction management software you’ll be waiting forever. Especially since part of the reason you started the hunt for a software solution is that you don’t have enough time as it is. One advantage of construction software is that it can be implemented piecemeal and therefore at any time of the year for your business. Start small by utilizing a few core features at the beginning and slowly expand month by month until your team is fluent in all the features of your new software.