Best construction management software – 2018 reviews

Construction management software helps contractors manage the entire build process, from scheduling to tracking worker to-dos and punch lists to client billing. These tools provide firms with the appropriate oversight and document control required to monitor requests for information (RFIs), change orders and purchase orders so they can adhere to project budgets and timelines. Benefits of Construction PM Software

Financial visibility. With a budgeting and cost control module in place, managers can track actual costs relative to estimates, and set up notifications to alert them if a project is in danger of exceeding the budget. If the system is integrated to accounting and job costing systems, the data will be even more accurate and offer increasingly valuable financial insights over time.

Scale your business. Most firms start out using manual methods—pen and paper or spreadsheets—to track projects, but eventually reach a breaking point. Either they take on more jobs, hire more people or they suffer a claim or a lawsuit from a mistake that could have been prevented. Construction PM software offers a more disciplined approach to managing projects and people.

Operate more efficiently. If you had a way to standardize processes on job sites, reduce confusion around change orders and track purchase orders and job costs, why wouldn’t you use it? Construction PM software can offer this and more, helping your firm adhere to regulations and streamline communications among workers and clients. With access to a centralized repository of pictures, blueprints, punch lists and other job documentation, you can make operations more efficient and cut down on costly mistakes.

Increase the number of jobs completed on time and on budget. One of the greatest advantages these systems offer is increased visibility into estimated versus actual project costs. This transparency can help you adhere to budgets and schedules and alert managers and executives when projects are in danger of exceeding those benchmarks. Ultimately, these tools help firms complete more projects on time and on budget.

Independent construction managers. Construction managers require advanced construction project software functionality that includes budgeting, costing and document control. However, smaller managers may not have the resources to deploy enterprise class construction PM systems. These buyers will do well with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) systems or independent desktop licenses.

Subcontractors. These buyers approach managing projects from the standpoint of maximizing their crew’s performance while minimizing liability. This requires subcontractor project management software with scheduling functionality to make sure the right crew is on the right job at the right time. Document control is critical for tracking change orders, transmittals, RFIs and other documents. Software Related to Construction PM

Takeoff: Takeoff is a pre-sale process in which the estimator measures construction plans (blueprints and drawings) to determine the amount of materials and labor required for a job. Takeoff software is commonly sold as a standalone application or grouped together with estimating. It is less common to find takeoff within a construction PM tool.

Estimating: Another pre-sale process, estimating software is used to calculate the costs for the material and labor takeoff, and then produce detailed bid proposals from those estimates. Sold either as a standalone system or grouped with takeoff, it’s less common for estimating to be included within a construction PM system. Unless, of course, each application is included as part of a comprehensive, integrated suite.

Bid management: Bid management, wherein a contractor solicits bids from subcontractors and suppliers before submitting a job quote to a building owner, is a process that in part bridges the gap between pre-sale and project management. As such, bidding can be found as an application within many construction PM systems or can be purchased as a standalone software.

Accounting: Construction accounting software helps firms manage their job costing, core accounting, fixed asset accounting and payroll. It’s common to find some job costing and budgeting in construction PM software; however, if the PM systems you’re evaluating don’t offer core accounting, you should look for integrations with general accounting systems, such as QuickBooks or Xero.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS, or cloud-based software, is prevalent in this market. There is a substantial need for improved collaboration between participants, and web-based construction tools make that possible. That, and the cost and ease-of-implementation benefits of SaaS have made web-based systems very popular. Most systems are now SaaS or web-enabled and we recommend that buyers seriously evaluate these systems.

Mobile applications. The nature of construction requires that managers spend time in the field, and those managers want to stay connected to their software applications. As a result, there is huge demand for construction apps. The booming popularity of smartphones and iPads is accelerating this trend. Pay close attention to the mobile apps available, and platforms supported, for each vendor.

LEED credit tracking. LEED certification is increasingly popular, but requires diligent LEED tracking during construction. More and more systems are offering LEED tracking applications. These automate detailed tracking of points required to achieve certification. Firms that will be building to LEED standards should carefully evaluate the LEED tracking capabilities of the software products they consider.

Improved offerings from full-suite vendors. Traditionally there has been a trade-off between the deep feature set available from best-of-breed vendors and the seamless integration that results from implementing an integrated suite. In the last few years, a number of full-suite vendors have released stronger applications that can hold their own against best-of-breed solutions.