Construction Project Management Software
Although many construction companies are still using spreadsheets and shoeboxes to manage their projects, the use of industry-specific project management software is becoming more prevalent. One reason for this is that more construction software providers are developing integrated project management modules to compete with the leading stand-alone project management systems.
The question is: how will your company benefit from investing in project management software?
Although project management software delivers many benefits to construction companies, there are three main deliverables: process standardization, document control and cost control.
Process Standardization. Project management software provides a standardized method of managing jobs. This streamlines each step of project execution, makes it easier for new employees to learn your system and allows existing employees to work on different projects. Standardizing project management forms (such as RFI’s, submittals and transmittals) also provides a consistent look and feel to all of your documents, which presents your company in a professional manner.
Document Control. Using spreadsheets and word processing documents for your project management documentation and correspondence is somewhat flawed because it doesn’t provide a single data repository for project information. Not only does project management software provide a single source for all of your project documents, it also provides a systematic method for documenting, tracking and following up on critical issues.
Cost Control. Managing costs on a project is the key to protecting profit. Project management software provides real-time costs that help you make profitable decisions on your jobs. The status of budgets, contracts, change orders and more are available with a click of the mouse for instant assessment – and corrective action when needed.
Although your spreadsheet system may be comfortable and familiar, it may not be the most profitable method for project management.
With a solid project management solution you will have greater access to the following information:
- Which materials are due during this week, and which ones are still on back order?
- What’s our profit margin for all approved change orders?
- Which change orders are pending on this project?
- We haven’t received the new design changes for the final phase. When was the last time we requested this information?
- Our actual labor hours are about the same as the original estimated hours and yet we’re not finished. Where can I find the "projected to complete" hours?
- How many downtime hours (non productive time) did we accumulate last year? Are we doing any better this year?
- Now that this project is complete, are all vendor invoices accounted for? I don’t want to be blindsided with any "surprise billings" later on.
- The bonding company is asking for future receivables, unbilled contract dollars, work-in-progress, contracts won but not started, current retained dollars, budgeted hours remaining on projects, and more. Is there one source that pulls all this information together?
- Which workers have been assigned tools and equipment on this project?
- What’s our percent complete vs. percent billed – can we do another progress bill?
- What are the committed dollars remaining on this project?
- Can we attach job site pictures to the project so we can look at them during our meeting with the owner?
- What’s our total cost on returned materials for this project? Which items were returned to the vendors for credit and which were returned to inventory?
For comparisons of different construction software products, download the free Construction Software Selection Kit.