What is Construction Management Software? Analysis of Features, Types, Benefits and Pricing

Despite its growing popularity among builders big and small, construction management software has remained a virtually untapped technology for many construction companies. The persistent question has always been what is construction management software? Aimed at making construction business processes easier, construction management software, by definition is a project management tool designed specifically for construction professionals. This kind of software offers a range of benefits to members of the construction industry. For starters, it helps in communication, decision-making, budget management and job scheduling, among others. These are but some of the benefits that organizations can get from using construction management software. Such, is the definition of construction management software. It is very much apparent that this secret is out as more and more construction firms are using this tool. In fact, the global construction management software market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 13.70% from 2017-2021. So this effectively answers the query what is construction management software?

A notable rise in construction management software demand is seen to come from the oil and gas sector. Members of the industry have found the solution to be very helpful in their construction projects. This is owing to the fact that it helps boost transparency in brownfield, onshore, and shale construction projects. In the same manner, the software also helps in maintaining oil and gas plants and deepwater oil and gas developments. This demand is also seen to fuel the construction management software market. With this rise in clamor for construction management solutions also comes buyer preferences in terms of features and capabilities.

As most of these tools are deployed via cloud technology, businesses have also realized the savings they can make from investing in construction management solutions. The tool enables enterprises to significantly cut operational costs and improve product development and scalability. Cloud computing practices have recently been recommended by the US Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program for its ability to reduce greenhouse gases. Such development is seen to further boost development of cloud-based software.

Here is what you will find in this article:

  1. Benefits of construction management software
  2. Features of construction management software
  3. Why use construction management software
  4. Examples of construction management software
  5. Construction management software cost
  6. Latest trends in construction management software

Benefits of Construction Management Software

More importantly than satisfying the question, what is construction management software, is to answer the query, what does construction management do? There are far more benefits that businesses can reap from the use of construction management software, making it a sound investment for these companies. The benefits of construction management software include:

  1. Management Made Easier: The adoption of a systematic approach to management is every construction management software’s main goal. Being so, this solution allows staff to ensure that projects go smoothly in accordance with plans. It also enables personnel to come up with professional requests for information, transmittals, and submittals, among others. It allows key staff to share with each other vital data and project budgets, which can be monitored at the same time.
  2. Document Control: Construction firms process and store a lot of files and documents. Companies used to manage physical documents, storing them in file cabinets for safekeeping. With construction management software, however, this practice has become obsolete. Documents are now electronically processed and subsequently stored in document management systems, which are all part of construction management software.
  3. Information Access and Sharing: As all project management data are stored in a single place, access to pertinent information comes with a click of a mouse. Apart from this, audit log records, which shows the date and time of document creation and modification, allows for easy monitoring of such documents and keeps them from getting lost. Any employee who is relevant to a project can instantly access important data at anytime.
  4. Construction Risk Assessment: By keeping project documents organized, construction management software helps managers identify and resolve potential risks before they even occur.
  5. Cost Control: Using its construction accounting capabilities, construction management software can help employees locate vital documents such as contracts, change orders and budget status. This results in the minimization of project costs and prevents project errors that may lead to high costs. It likewise reduce operational costs and allows access to real time financial data, which can make the company more profitable.
  6. Efficient Service Delivery: Viewed by many as the path to business success, construction management software is commonly integrated with construction accounting tools. As such, it enables managers to complete projects on time at the most suitable budgets. This solution, essentially makes all aspects of the construction industry as simple as can be. It effectively unifies the workforce, promotes efficiency, streamlines operations and ultimately ensures profitability.
  7. Opportunity for Business Expansion: By promoting efficient business processes, construction management software use can help speed up project completion. This can result in business expansion by taking on more contracts. More jobs will lead to increased market share as more business in itself is tantamount to an efficient marketing campaign.
  8. Quality Improvement: Construction management software promotes construction security, which enhances project planning and control. It likewise minimizes project delays and promotes communication, which avoid costly errors.

CoConstruct is one of the top construction management solutions out there.

What Are the Features of Construction Management Software?

Construction management tools have significantly improved the construction sector in terms of productivity, efficiency and company competitiveness. The features of construction management software typically help builders automate their work and documentation processes, which are essentially the purpose of construction management software. In this section, we do not just look at software features, we also try to give a picture of how construction management software work.  Many programs integrated in such tools have taken over tasks previously held by project managers, design engineers and architects. Construction firms at one time or another have used solutions in cost estimation, accounting, scheduling and computer-aided design. These are but some of the advantages of construction management software.  As vast as the features that some solutions may offer, essential functionalities that most companies need must be fulfilled. Here are some of them:

  1. Accounting: As project cost and expenditures must be closely monitored, a project construction software must be able to integrate with other business accounting tools. This feature helps managers handle multiple projects at any given time. It must likewise be able to automate processes such as accounts receivable, payable, and payroll, among others, while being able to adjust in accordance to client preference.
  2. Job Costing: A construction management solution must be capable of setting standard rates for company services, defining costs and monitoring time expenses. This functionality should also manage project schedules and boost productivity.
  3. Service Management: The ideal construction management software must be able to manage and dispatch work orders, create schedules, allocate assets and resources and book jobs. Advanced solutions, meanwhile, have the capability to assign jobs to the nearest technicians as they are equipped with GPS technology.
  4. Project Management: This feature basically automates every detail of construction project management. These include resource planning, team collaboration, project progress tracking and integration of incoming client requests. Automation of resource management across a number of projects and project schedule updating are also achieved.
  5. Job Scheduling: This functionality aids in task scheduling, equipment or worker allocation over multiple projects. It must also be able to balance workloads while being capable of immediately rebalancing when needed. Laying out project timelines and allocation of resources and manpower should also be addressed by such system.
  6. Reporting: Construction management software should be able to give managers control over project data. Decision making and creation of data reports are also enhanced through the creation of project analytics reports. This capability produces real time, accurate data reports and can export them to third-party software. These in turn aid managers in evaluating project status and risk identification.
  7. Document Management: A key feature of construction management software is its ability to manage pertinent documents. Such software enables companies to create workflow data reports using a single platform. Doing so greatly helps boost productivity, workflow processes and information security. The system should also be able to integrate with other business productivity tools.
  8. Inventory Management: Inventory management capability essentially eliminates write-offs, do quick inventories, quickly find lost inventory and monitor on site assets. It likewise assists project managers in resource and equipment distribution.
  9. Equipment Management: This feature enables managers to not only allocate equipment across projects, it can likewise record equipment maintenance needs and identify which equipment can be deployed. It also allows for the streamlining of maintenance and schedules, ensure performance and boost efficiency. Alerts are also sent out during situations when specific equipment are required.
  10. Mobile Capabilities: Lastly, construction management software must be able to support both desktop and mobile devices. This is usually accomplished by software deployed using cloud technology. With this capability, key personnel can access data even from jobsites. Meanwhile, web-based software facilitates review of project specifications, equipment and worker schedules and job progress, among other considerations. It can help managers make quick decisions without having to go back to the office to consult the departments involved.

Why Use Construction Management Software?

To answer the question why use construction management software?, we have collated some of the reason why these solutions can make builders better at providing services. These include:

  1. On Site Accessibility: Most cloud-based construction management tools can be accessed from virtually anywhere at anytime. This effectively eliminates worries about timely job completion and the need to go to the office to rush tasks.
  2. Working With Teams and Other Groups: With construction management tools, project managers can huddle with teams, subordinates, and suppliers, among other key groups. This will result in smooth workflows and accurate job estimates. Its online nature will enable much needed collaboration among those involved in a particular project.
  3. Accurate Monitoring: Construction management solutions can accurately monitor everything about a construction business. These include suppliers and equipment and supplies that are needed to complete a job on time. This likewise leads to improved service quality by boosting team workmanship.

An overview of ShapeDo interface

What Are Examples of Construction Management Software?

There are many construction management software out in the market today. These solutions have their individual strengths and weaknesses. Prospective users should pick out what they think would best suit their operations. Here, we take a look at some examples of construction management software.

CoConstruct

A web-based and mobile construction management solution, CoConstruct is designed to meet the requirements of both construction firms and their clients. The software has three modules, covering processes such as budgeting, client communication, scheduling and activity planning.

Unlike other solutions, CoConstruct does not limit companies to certain types of activities, designs or materials. It enables them to change concepts at will. This is accomplished by customization features, which allow users to modify the product in accordance to their needs. The system collates all relevant project data and stores them in a single location, giving users absolute control over information such as orders, budgets and bids.

Dedicated client portals are available to give users more control over orders, enabling them to boost service quality. The software also features a financial module for use in managing estimates, bidding and summaries. As the service is cloud-based, no complicated installations and system maintenance are required. It seamlessly integrates with a number of tools, giving users needed functionalities.

ShapeDo

ShapeDo is a construction management tool that helps construction companies identify and manage design changes. It does not only help users review drawing changes, the software likewise provide them with visual communication solutions and project controls. Using the tool, managers can come up with orders, review and compare drawings and revisions and collaborate with other team members to address project issues. ShapeDo simplifies and streamlines construction business processes such as budget, manpower and resource management.

The solution helps key staff avoid miscommunication by using visual tools to express instructions. This at the same time helps solve issues and problems. ShapeDo can likewise serve as a collaboration platform as team members can communicate ideas through drawings. To make things even better, all communication and correspondence are tracked and documented, allowing users to view them in an instant.

Data can be estimated using spreadsheets or existing systems. This accelerates the process, enabling users to easily work on project costs and schedules and task assignments. Construction phases can be determined, with tasks involved in such phases easily identified.

Ayoga

Ayoga is a construction management software that has the ability to connect project stakeholders anytime, anywhere. This capability enables users to share and exchange information using their channels and devices of choice. Using the platform, entities such as manpower, resources and cashflows can be linked, with relevant data streamlined in the process. This results in coordinated strategies and the alignment of budget, schedules and other goals with project plans.

Aside from these, Ayoga allows for collaboration among all project stakeholders. This is accomplished using a communication tool that keeps all parties constantly connected at all times across the world. With this feature, smart business decisions may be forged, which drive business growth. The software can also be instrumental in the integration of collaboration, communication and accountability into the work culture.

Archdesk

A powerful business management software, Archdesk is specifically designed for construction companies, integrating a range of functionalities that are tailored for members of the sector. Its scalability makes it ideal for small enterprises while the tool’s more advanced features are designed to tailor to larger companies.

The solution basically automates critical workflows and processes in construction project management, enabling builders to focus on increasing sales and growing their organizations. With Archdesk, users can view critical information such as project status, quotes, costs and progress, all in real time. It also keeps project stakeholders updated at all times. The solution comes with a client management feature that keeps all client contact information and status in a single storage. With this feature, client data can easily be accessed anytime, anywhere.

Using the software, worker, assignment and assets scheduling can be managed more efficiently, a process that is critical to any construction project. Also, the platform can help in inventory management, helping monitor service lives and come up with maintenance schedules.

How Much Does Construction Management Software Cost?

While it’s true that the cost of construction management solutions can entail a lot more than conventional software that construction firms are used to, the features and automation benefits that these tools deliver can help businesses save money in the long run.

The usual point products that most companies use may cost more as more investments are required because automation tasks may vary. With construction management software, most known issues are addressed and with the range of tools that commonly come with such platform, additional software purchases are kept at a minimal.

In-house construction management software can cost companies anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000 depending on company size and functionalities that are required. This may sounds much but such investments can easily be recouped considering the cost reductions and improved biddings that come as a result of using these solution.

Ayoga is another popular construction solution

The global construction management software market has been forecast to grow at a CAGR of 13.7% from the year 2017 through 2021. This growth is seen to be fueled by increased demand from the APAC region, specifically the growth of the Chinese and Japanese construction markets.

Another factor that will drive market growth is the rise in the demand for construction management software in the utilities sector. Oil and gas construction projects will require such software as it has been proven to be effective in the sector. The software has become popular in the maintenance of oil and gas plants. However, such market growth is seen to be hampered by the high costs associated with the software.

Potential Issues With Construction Management Software

With all its features and benefits, the use of construction management tools also has its downsides. These disadvantages usually impact small construction companies and are associated with software cost.

  1. High Software Cost: Small businesses may not be able to access some technologies due to their high cost. Despite the benefits outweighing these costs, Some solutions may prove to be very costly for small builders.
  2. New Software Implementation: Businesses are commonly required to allow time to train staff and implement new solutions. These can take precious time owing to the lack of technological proficiency of some employees.
  3. Updates and Training: Despite the myriad of updatable and even upgradable construction management software, some solutions can become obsolete over time. This can only lead to additional investments in new solutions.
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