Construction projects are huge endeavors. Whether building a large shopping center or a small single-family home, there are a lot of crucial factors involved. Each of these is vital to the successful and efficient execution of construction plans.
Furthermore, there is not just one party or team concerned in a construction project. There are also a lot of materials and equipment to order, purchase, rent, and secure. Not to mention, permits to acquire and building codes to adhere to.
All of these factors must be precisely monitored and coordinated, and this is where construction project management comes in.
As a construction project manager, you perform a set of tasks that’s completely separate from those of project engineers and architects. Your primary role is to lead the entire team, from planning to execution and finalization. You also have to monitor and supervise everyone and everything, to ensure that all go according to plan, schedule, and budget.
However, as mentioned, there are so many factors and details that you’ll have to keep up with. And if you’ve been in this role for quite some time, you’d know that there are also a lot that could go wrong in a construction project. From going beyond budget to suffering from delays, there are different kinds of issues that project managers are expected to handle.
Now, just as you need the right tools for building and construction, you also need the right tools for effective project management. Construction project management software are designed to help managers address the challenges that come with their jobs.
What Are Construction Management Software and How Do They Work?
Construction management software are steadily growing in popularity, thanks to the various ways they help managers effectively supervise simple to complex construction projects. However, this technology has yet to become a staple tool for many construction companies. This is mostly because there are still those who do not fully understand what construction management software are and what one can do for them.
Construction project management software are tools specifically developed to simplify construction management right from the get-go. You can input information and allow the software to help you create a viable construction plan. With all of the necessary information in one place, it’s easier to take everything into consideration as you develop a plan.
Construction project management software come with various functions and features that can help streamline day-to-day tasks, which lead to the completion of project milestones. A properly selected construction project management software can also help you coordinate, manage, and supervise any form of resources relevant to your project. These include human, information, financial, and material resources. Such a program also gives you fact and data-based insight on the progress of a project, allowing you to make adjustments and workarounds as necessary. In this regard, these programs help you plan strategically and make decisions based on scalable metrics and calculated trends.
Construction project management software can be utilized in any construction project, whether it is residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, or environmental in nature. They help managers make sound and timely decisions to make sure that the plan is followed and the project is completed within the acceptable time and budget.
Most construction project management software can be integrated with other tools that you and your stakeholders, suppliers, and subcontractors are using. This allows for more seamless monitoring, updating, and collaboration between teams and other parties.
In all, a construction project management software helps project managers ensure that the plan is on track. This is made possible by allowing you to record and monitor every aspect of the project. As a result, you can detect potential problems and weak points. This lets you act on issues immediately, which eventually results in improved overall efficiency.
List of Best Construction Project Management Software
There are a lot of construction management software available on the market today. Each of them offers unique sets of features and, eventually, pros and cons. Here are some of the programs worth checking out.
- PlanGrid: PlanGrid gives you access to blueprints—and more—whether you’re on mobile or desktop. It is designed to deliver real-time information to members of the team who need it. Users can mark up plans and add notes that can be seen by everyone. On-site personnel can also take photos and tag them onto specific parts of the blueprints. With PlanGrid, you can easily manage projects and teams. Efficient integrations also help eliminate data repetition. PlanGrid is recommended for commercial and heavy civil contractors. Prices start at $39/month for individual users.
- Procore: Procore is a suite of construction project management tools. It is designed for small to large construction company owners, and general and specialty contractors. It aims to address management requirements from preconstruction to resource and financial management. All of Procore’s products give users access to a team directory, documents library, and insights analytics. Procore’s pricing is based on the construction volume that a client will run on the platform. Every subscription comes with unlimited business directory and document storage, as well as task management and reporting.
- Raken: Raken capitalizes on its simplicity and ease of use. Project managers and team leaders can spend less time creating reports, allowing them to focus on other crucial aspects of the project. Raken’s dashboard also gives users an instant view of pertinent notifications, updates, and insights on projects. The program supports production tracking, photo management, and time card reporting, among others. Construction companies of all sizes can take advantage of Raken’s 15-day free trial. Subscription starts for as low as $12 per user per month.
- BuildTools: Built by builders for builders, BuildTools is a cloud-based construction project management platform specifically designed to manage custom projects. It costs $199/month for three users and $20/month for every additional user. Among its notable features are bid management, accounting integrations, financial statements, and plan redlining.
- Buildertrend: Buildertrend was made for home builders, home remodelers, specialty contractors, and commercial contractors. It offers a wide range of features, each addressing all aspects of project management—from pre-sales to customer management. It integrates with Google Calendar, QuickBooks, Xero, and various time tracking software, and comes with Android and iOS apps. Plans start at $299/month, and users are not bound by a contract, thanks to their month-to-month billing scheme.
- CoConstruct: A cloud-based construction project management solution, CoConstruct is specifically designed for custom home builders and remodelers. It puts features that builders need in one place, may it be for coordinating, communicating, or controlling aspects of their projects. It supports single-entry estimating, where you can create your estimate, selections, and specs, in just one platform. CoConstruct’s flexible pricing starts at $199/month.
- Autodesk BIM 360: A product of Autodesk, BIM 360 combines advanced mobile technologies to ensure accurate onsite data collection with online cloud-based reporting to support real-time quality management and control. It also supports RFI and submittal management, which provides you with clear insights into project controls. BIM 360 comes with a free plan, with the premium single subscription starting at $29/month.
- ProBuilder Online: Coined as the easiest to use construction management software in today’s market, ProBuilder Online helps contractors, remodelers, and home builders streamline projects from initial estimate to turnover. It aims to help cut tedious data entry and paperwork. It has ready-made templates for different construction projects, so getting started is made simpler. Prices start at just $19.50 per user per month.
- WeBuild: This cloud-based program covers all areas of construction project management, starting from the bidding process to quality and safety monitoring. WeBuild focuses on simplifying collaboration between teams and departments with the help of an easy to use and learn user interface. It comes with web-based, iOS, and Android apps. You can start using this platform for just $20 per user per month.
- Fieldwire: Currently powering over 750,000 projects worldwide, Fieldwire is a construction project management software specifically designed to support field service management. Easy to use with transparent pricing, it can be used for projects of any size and scale. Small teams can take advantage of Fieldwire’s free basic plan, but those who want to take it up a notch can do so for as low as $29 per user per month.
What Are the Benefits of Construction Project Management Software
It’s not enough that you know what a construction project management software is. Perhaps more importantly, is that you know how it will benefit you and your company. Here are the top benefits of construction project management programs.
Enhanced Operational and Management Efficiency
Utilizing a construction project management software allows teams to adopt a strategic and measurable approach to management. Because managers can monitor progress and all stakeholders get access to updates and reports, everyone is on the same page. This enables team members to follow the workflow and perform actions necessary to uphold quality and efficiency standards. Eventually, the chances of projects being done on time and budget become higher.
Automated Cost Monitoring
Construction project management software often come with accounting capabilities. Combined with other features, such as job costing, bid proposals, and resource monitoring, these programs allow managers also to monitor the overall costs associated with a project.
Construction projects have a lot of moving parts, so to speak. Each of those parts performs a particular set of tasks, which, when combined, forms the entire workflow. With the help of a construction project management software, it becomes easier for managers to assign tasks to employees or teams. The concerned personnel are also immediately notified of tasks and any updates regarding them. Construction project management programs also make it easier for managers to monitor all of the tasks using just one platform. This allows managers to ensure that all of the moving parts are accounted for.
Streamlined Document Management
Construction project management software lets managers and teams upload, store, and share documents in one place. This makes searching for documents and sorting them easier, allowing teams to save time. Documents are also more secure, as only members who have access to the program can view them.
Improved Team Collaboration
These programs are designed to address communication challenges between teams deployed on the field and those who are in the office, for instance. Construction project management software lets team members upload documents, send updates, request permissions, and file reports in real-time. The entire team can access that information, so they can comment and act on them immediately as. This helps teams save a lot of time accomplishing tasks and updating one another. Communication costs are also reduced.
Advanced Risk Assessment
With documents organized and made accessible anytime, and updates and project progress monitored in real-time, managers can identify potential issues. This lets them take a proactive approach and quickly work to mitigate possible risks.
What Are the Usual Features of Construction Management Software
Construction project management programs come with a wide range of features that all aim to help project managers perform their jobs better and easier. These features help builders and project managers automate most of the aspects of their work process, including scheduling, accounting, documentation, and monitoring.
In this section, you’ll get an idea of what features you can take advantage of when you start using a construction project management software.
You can easily arrange the entire team’s schedule according to the order of tasks.
This helps you monitor whether the current cost of the job, in relation to labor and materials, is still within the set budget restraints.
A construction project management software can help you assess whether everyone’s working according to schedule.
This feature lets construction firms set and monitor the deployment, allocation, and usage of their resources. These include manpower, materials, and equipment.
Document Control and Archiving
A construction project management software allows you to put all electronic documents in one place. This provides you with easier control, dissemination, reference, updating, and archiving.
You can keep a record of all purchases made during the course of a construction project.
Contractors and Subcontractors
A construction project management software lets you keep tabs on the people you work with, both your in-house staff and subcontractors.
Used in combination with a platform like Joist, which provides estimating and invoicing functionality for contractors, it’s easier to oversee every aspect of a project, whether or not you are handling everything in-house. That’s why it pays for everyone to be on the same page, and software makes this achievable.
Some construction project management software allow users to request bids from subcontractors. You can easily monitor the bids and compare them in the program.
These software let you easily monitor and assess whether safety protocols and standards are followed and met throughout the duration of the project.
Construction project management software also supports the posting of quality metrics for the project. You can refer to these from time to time to help you evaluate if tasks are being done according to quality standards.
One of the best features of construction project management software is that it allows team members to communicate with each other in the program itself. This helps everyone involved in the task or issue to easily communicate with each other, on the record.
These programs let teams (both internal and external) and team members collaborate on tasks and issues.
Most construction project management software support customization of workflows that can be monitored. You can create one for different teams handling different tasks, but you can also create a general workflow that involves all teams.
Integration With Other Departments’ Tools
Does your company also use HR and accounting software? Integration with such programs is one of the key features of construction project management software. With these integrations, it will be easier to automatically exchange and verify information between departments.
The best construction project management software is one that supports both desktop and mobile devices. While a desktop app gives you a better view, a mobile app offers convenience and on-the-go access.
What Are the Types of Construction Project Management Software
Not all construction project management software are created equal. Programs in this category may fall under one of these three types:
Project Portfolio Management
Construction project management software of this type are designed to cater to project scheduling and information management requirements. These programs aim to help managers reduce risks by assessing documents and information in relation to project scheduling and costs.
Integrated Construction Estimation
These construction project management software essentially combine construction project portfolios with other departments, such as human resources, finance, purchasing, compliance, and management. As all-in-one construction project management software, these programs allow you to perform a wide range of functionalities, including resource management, financial reporting, and customer relations management.
Issue Tracking Management
Construction project management programs under this category specifically help managers detect and assess project issues and loopholes. Every aspect of the project is analyzed to reveal potential risks. With these assessments, project managers can plan and perform necessary workarounds.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Comparing and Browsing for a Construction Project Management Software
Indeed, construction project management software can help make managing your projects a breeze, but only if you choose the right program for your unique needs. Once you’re ready to start looking for a platform to try, keep these factors in mind.
It’s crucial to consider the cost of investment when looking for a construction project management software. You’d want one that suits your budget as it provides the features you need.
Ease of Use
If this is the first time you’re using a construction project management software, it’s best if you can find one that is simple to deploy and integrate with other tools used by your organization.
Sooner or later, you may find yourself needing to scale up your operations. The software you’ll choose needs to be able to support that.
You will be uploading, sharing, and storing sensitive and confidential data and documents in the software. So, data security should be among your top priorities.
What Are the Latest Trends Concerning Construction Project Management Software
Construction project management is a hot market, with a compound annual growth rate projected at 9.19% through 2022. Because of this, it’s no surprise that many software developers try to penetrate this category. However, as with other software categories, a few leaders will eventually emerge in the next few years, while new players might struggle to stay afloat.
With the competition getting stiffer by the day, vendors are expected to do better in terms of addressing real-world challenges in relation to using their programs itself. For instance, how user-friendly is their software? How easy is it to manage documents and data? How simple the integration with other tools is?
With software providers addressing these concerns, users can expect to find platforms that are easier to use overall. When you do, you can focus more on building and management instead of figuring out how to make the most of your construction project management software.
What Are the Potential Issues Surrounding Construction Project Management Software
Construction project management software promise great benefits, and for the most part, they are designed to deliver. However, no technology is perfect, and you may encounter these issues along the way as you explore these modern solutions.
Smaller construction businesses may have to look harder for a solution that will match their limited budget. Unfortunately, most of the programs available today are quite costly.
New System Training
Companies that are just beginning to leverage cloud technology in the form of construction project management software may need to invest time to train employees in using the platform. The first few weeks or months may also be a challenge as everyone is still in the process of getting used to the program.
A program may be the hippest and feature-packed today, but there’s no telling if the same can be said about it in the near future. Technology is ever-evolving, so to keep up with the times, you may need to make another investment sooner or later.