More and more firms across an array of verticals get to realize that they need an effective project management tool that would help get better control over their business processes and it is the numerous benefits of construction management software that make us believe the construction software solution to be self-evidently good and useful to these ends.
What is construction management software?
Construction management software is a set of project management tools that are taken advantage of by construction companies as an effective means to make improvements in the processes of planning, coordination, and control over the construction project implementation. Typically, it is used by such construction management professionals as independent construction managers, building owners, builders, remodelers, specialty, general and commercial contractors.
According to Market Study Report, the global Construction Project Management Software market was valued at 1030 mln in 2018 and is expected to reach 1620 mln by the end of 2024. This means the market is getting increasingly competitive, and correspondingly, the requirements to the software providers are getting more stringent. Now, the best management software for the building and construction industries not only has to fully meet the needs of different types of construction projects (e.g. residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, highway, heavy civil) but it also must be customizable for its users to be able to handle construction projects of any size and any level of complexity.
Mobile apps for managing construction projects
Construction project management software can be further subdivided into three types by platforms it is running on: installed on PC, installed on mobile (iOS or Android) devices and cloud-based software. Although having software running on your computer seems to be the most common solution, software accessed on mobile phones or via cloud not only manages to run level with the PC but it is also growing in popularity.
Operational excellence in today’s construction industry is essential, so secure mobile access to accurate and reliable project data is bound to make a difference in the job site productivity. Many industry leaders have already come to understand that investments made in mobile construction management software will, in the long run, pay off, benefits they may derive and challenges they may encounter on their way towards effective technology deployment are yet to be explained.
Benefits of construction management software
The building and construction industries, no doubt, differ from others and a one-size-fits-all collaboration solution is not a good choice here. Alternatively, using an appropriate project management platform, you stand a chance of finding yourself moving in the right direction, working towards the best possible outcomes and occasionally discovering the following benefits:
1. Real-time communication and collaboration
The work on any project, no matter what field it belongs to, requires overcoming communication barriers, for these discussions must eventually improve the planning and coordination of field operations. Construction project management software allows external stakeholders to connect with construction firms and provides workers with a means for clarifying internal matters regarding the project under development.
- Team dashboard
- Shared calendar
- Task prioritization
2. Budget management and accounting
A budgeting tool is necessary for efficient management of the construction project budgets and forecasts. Now, project managers can rely on the broad capabilities that come together with construction management software. Thus, it has become easier to prepare the estimate of costs as part of project control. Historical cost performance records from previous projects or standards can be determined here, too, as can the construction methods involved and the resources required (the labor, knowledge, and equipment.) Besides, the project management software can support establishing the bid prices for the job, core accounting and expense management, etc.
- Budget dashboard
- Time tracking
3. Resources management
Another way for you to benefit from the construction PM software is the management of resources involved. Though being closely connected with the cost control and revenue estimation, the resources management is, in itself, worthy of special attention. Inventory and equipment, skill and knowledge — these are some of the resources needed to get the job done. At this point, it can be checked whether the resource usage is aligned with the original estimates and if there is a possibility for optimization. The resource usage is tracked, analyzed, and organized. This data can be saved and come in handy for the optimization of future projects.
4. Document sharing and control
With the construction PM software, it is easier to share documentation among team members and external stakeholders. Be it an internal tool or an integrated system, the software gives access to such information sources as wireframes, blueprints, specifications, and digital plans. Construction project management software normally provides a complete document management system ensuring thus that the documentation is correct and fewer spreadsheets often containing errors will then be needed. Moreover, when a centralized document control system is in place, the decision-making process will be streamlined, too.
- Data storage
- Standardized documents templates
5. Business expansion
Getting the construction management software with the right features is crucial for a business that wants to expand taking over a larger share of the market. PM software will help to promote efficient business processes, complete projects faster and eventually increase return on investment. You will be able to create and manage more jobs, at the same time, keeping all your expenditures under control, saving time and reducing manual labor with the help of business process automation.
Examples of construction management software
1. CoConstruct is the top-rated custom builder and remodeler software that encapsulates all the above benefits in one solution. CoConstruct’s standard pricing is $249 per month but it is possible to choose a flexible pricing plan, facilitate software customization and negotiate costs adapting them to your needs. Given this cloud-based app’s intuitive user interface, it is easy to control budgets and bids, invoice clients, track changes and more.
2. Corecon is the four-fold cloud-based construction software that consists of a browser-based suite where all the core activities are carried out and all the data is tracked, mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, TeamLink Portal for team members collaboration, and CoreconLink utilities for integrating with the existing accounting systems.
3. Wrike is an online software for managing projects. Construction projects are just one of the verticals covered by Wrike. Using this platform, construction managers can collaborate with stakeholders in the project and oversee day-to-day operations. What makes Wrike different from other platforms is its ability to integrate with a great number of external apps thus expanding its product & service offerings.
4. Procore is feature-rich cloud-based software that helps its users build a collaborative environment. Construction professionals working with Procore are provided with the means for standardization of construction processes. The cost starts at $375 per month and then, you are allowed to invite an unlimited number of users, manage an unlimited amount of data and be confident that you will get support whenever you need it.
5. Oracle Aconex is a construction PM platform that connects those involved to the cloud so that they could manage and keep track of data, documents, and costs in real time. Aconex emphasizes its compliance with international security standards and ease of construction management software deployment and configuration.
Challenges of construction management software implementation
Construction management is not all benefits and perks, there are also certain risks and issues hindering the successful implementation of the software. The following are the challenges construction firms can face:
- Contractors need more options for integrated solutions
- The inefficiency of entering the same data over and over again
- Software fails to help contractors analyze productivity
- Issues related to data integration
- Difficulty in user adoption
- Compliance with security standards
- Lack of personnel having an adequate working knowledge
- Cost of the software
- Poor support from software providers
- Difficulty in customizing the software
Trends in construction management software
The demand for construction project management software is on the rise now and the global construction management software market has grown to have trends of its own.
1. Software-as-a-Service. Cloud-based technologies are the key factor triggering the growth of the market of construction software. It is becoming a common practice to pay a monthly fee and use the software as a service instead of buying one. Besides, users often can request a demo and test-drive software first. Cloud-based SaaS can offer another great advantage — users can switch between their web-enabled devices.
2. Mobile applications for construction projects. Mobile SaaS products are also growing in popularity. Smartphones can give users mobility that saves time so highly valued in the construction industry. Mobile access to data improves collaboration and enhances productivity, so it is a good idea to give users a complete view of their projects by getting a mobile app completely integrated with the software. Therefore, more and more companies are expected to develop mobile-compatible software solutions.
3. Integration with analytics software. Data is inevitably growing throughout the construction project lifecycle. Collecting and leveraging it properly can improve the quality of your future projects. So, construction PM software providers pay increasingly more attention to ensuring integration with data analytics tools.
How much does construction management software cost?
As it was mentioned above, users, instead of installing applications on local devices, tend to opt for cloud-based construction management software, which means the software is accessible via a subscription model. Below, you will find examples of the starting price for a monthly subscription different construction project management software vendors offer:
- CoConstruct - $199
- Corecon - $60 per user
- Wrike - free for teams of up to 5 members
- Procore -$375
- STACK - $999 per year
- Buildertrend - $299 (first 3 users)
- Smartsheet - $14 per user
Even though choosing and working with construction project management software may be challenging, the benefits you get overweigh all the possible disadvantages. It is not the question of what construction management software is the best, instead, you should think about which one is right for your project. Then, the software of your choice will help you streamline work processes completing construction projects safely, on time and within budget.
© 2019, Vilmate LLC