Top 20 Construction Management Software Solutions of 2017

The construction industry has its own dynamics that it demands a specific software niche to address its needs and requirements. Unlike general projects, construction works–from home building to civil projects–must meet safety, regulatory and other industry standards that a software solution must address.

The industry has one of the more competitive professions: the construction manager, with a median pay of $89,300 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017) and it bodes well to these professionals to rely on a solution that helps them be more efficient, productive and, thus, competitive. This, in a field worth $1.18 trillion as of January 2017 (US Census Bureau).

Still construction management software solutions vary in feature set and core functionalities that can challenge even the most experienced of construction managers. With more than a third of contractors spending less than 1% of their corporate revenues on I.T. (JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report, 2015), this market is a huge opportunity for more software vendors. But that can also mean more confusing choices for users as vertical solutions appear on the horizon specializing on specific areas like the project’s financials, field reporting and document management.

Source: BKnowledge Construction Technology Report, 2015

Since these solutions differ in their approaches to construction management it’s critical that the software matches your workflows and priorities. In this guide we reviewed 20 construction management solutions and identify each one’s unique features to help you get a quick idea how it fits your needs, or not. Here’s our list:

  1. CoConstruct
  2. PlanGrid
  3. Autodesk BIM 360
  4. Procore
  5. e-Builder
  6. Aconex
  7. Bentley MicroStation
  8. Acculynx
  9. GradeBeam
  10. Newforma
  11. Planningwiz Floor Planner
  12. APROPLAN
  13. ShapeDo
  14. APE Mobile
  15. Corecon
  16. UDA ConstructionOnline
  17. CMiC
  18. Active Takeoff
  19. Foundation Software
  20. NoteVault Platform

1. CoConstruct

CoConstruct is the number one choice for our top 20 construction management software list. It’s a cloud construction management software designed for home builders and remodelers. It is a highly rated solution with intuitive features for project management, activity planning, scheduling and budgeting. It helps you coordinate projects, communicate clearly with your teams, suppliers and clients and, generally, gain control of the business’ financials. To see for yourself firsthand how well the modules fit your processes and can improve your construction business,  you can sign up for CoConstruct free trial here.

Among other benefits, field and office are in sync with the latest project updates or urgent tasks. You also have full visibility on to-do tasks, whether it’s the big picture or detailed items.  You can also share files and images, track jobsite activities and automatically capture timesheet data.

Meanwhile, it’s easy to spot leads and track them with this software. Clients can be invited to channel their messages through the system, too, so all communications are easy to track, follow up or retrieve.  You can also set up the system for automated proposal submission.

Using single-entry estimation and budget & forecast project costing tool, you have more control over your finances. Orders and expenses are also tightly monitored, while worked hours are recorded with accuracy and transparency using the software’s timesheet feature. Moreover, you can integrate the this solution with your accounting system.

Other key CoConstruct features to note include simplified timesheet management, to-do list tracking, field-office synchronized scheduler and lead management.

What is unique about CoConstruct?

  1. Specifically designed to meet needs of homebuilders and remodelers.
  2. Has a lead tracking and management feature to help you follow opportunities.
  3. Proposal writing feature that streamlines/automates bidding submissions.
  4. Budget & forecasting tool for project costing
  5. Timesheet captures worked hours and integrates with your accounting system for automated payroll.

2. PlanGrid

Another favorite in our top 20 construction management software list, PlanGrid is focused on increasing your company’s productivity with better project coordination, management and time management. Essentially, it aims to cut down wasted time and reduce rework, which results in better margins for you. The features are scalable to  projects of any size in myriad industries such as industrial, civil, health care, education and commercial.

This cloud construction management software lets you access plans, documents, reports and punch lists in real time and wherever you have internet connection. Likewise, office-field collaboration is simplified: management and field teams can share plans, reports, specs, photos, RFIs (request for information) and other documents from any desktop or mobile device.  Leveraging its issue tracker and progress photos, you avoid cost overruns and missed deadlines.

The admin console can easily handle multiple user licenses and oversee the key metrics. To avoid document duplicates, all users utilize the master set with version control that guarantees everybody is using the latest file.

Other key features to consider here are: end-to-end RFI feature; single master set; issue tracking; and auto hyperlinking.

What is unique about PlanGrid marketing?

  1. Master set ensures all files are in sync and all users are accessing the latest version.
  2. End-to-end RFI feature makes it fast to communicate information from office to ground or vice-versa.
  3. Issue tracker prevents budget overruns and waste time on reworks.
  4. Adaptive to various project sizes across different industries

3. Autodesk BIM 360

Autodesk BIM 360 is designed for Building Information Modelling managers  to help them meet goals fasts, reduce risks and save money across the project phases, from proposal to implementation and completion. It is also ideal for project managers and field supervisors for small and large projects in various industries to help them comply with safety, standards and specifications.

The software gives designers, architects and subcontractors an easy way to design project plans and documentation and schedule tasks for implementation. Field supervisors and teams are quickly invited on board to collaborate, discuss and track the project’s progress. This structure standardizes the entire project process, helping the company to stick to safety and management protocols. Issues are also easier to spot and addressed this way to avoid delays and added costs.

Other key features to consider with this software include: pushpin construction issues; KPI tracking; QC checks; and field performance management.

What is unique about Autodesk BIM 360?

  1. Designed to the specific requirements of BIM managers, but also adaptive to general project management needs.
  2. Field performance management features such as job site inspections, field data updates and pushpin construction issues put the office in full control of the project’s progress.
  3. Quality assurance and quality control standardizes outputs across project phases.

4. Procore

Procore is a mobile-first construction management app developed by designers with real-life insights on the construction industry’s pain points. It leverages cloud and mobile technologies to help all users to access the system, communicate and collaborate with each other in the field or at the office. The software suits large enterprise, but can be scaled down to smaller projects. The software adapts to projects as varied as retail centers, apartment complexes, office buildings and school facilities.

Its main benefit is to promote accountability to prevent unnecessary costs and missed deadlines. Teams are mobilized at an optimal schedule and their deliverables and outputs are documented to a tee, affording you full control of the project’s progress.

What is unique about Procore?

  1. A mobile-first interface, that is, it has one of the smoothest on-the-go accessibility ideal for field or on-location teams.
  2. Has an open API that lets you integrate reporting, storage, accounting and other key business systems.
  3. Drawing-centric app, which allows you to share photos, submittals, punch lists, RFIs and other documents.

5. e-Builder

e-Builder is designed for facility owners and construction managers to help them reduce risk of cost overruns caused by reworks, under budget forecasting or delays. The software employs the critical path methodology and milestone tracking to direct the construction to the most cost-effective route from planning to completion.

It also helps you manage the entire project stages with full visibility and measure the KPIs for each phase, enabling you to anticipate opportunities and threats approaching deadlines. Likewise, the software streamlines procurement workflows and help you get the best value-for-money suppliers, thus, improving the bottom line.

The platform can act as a knowledge base of best practices and centralized location of all your pertinent files that can be quickly accessed by both field and office from desktop or mobile device anywhere and anytime users have internet connection.

What is unique about e-Builder?

  1. Leverages the critical path methodology with milestone tracking feature to help you plot the best route to completion.
  2. Can act as a centralized knowledge base of best practices.
  3. KPI measurement in each project phase allows you more control over the project’s direction.

6. Aconex

Aconex is used by large construction firms to help them achieve consolidated efficiency across complex web of subtasks and multiple simultaneous activities common to big construction and engineering projects. The result is, productivity increases, costs are reduced and, ultimately, profits are protected.

The system leverages mobile access to keep your office, field and remote teams together wherever they are internet connected. The cloud system lets you share files, communicate fast and address urgent issues as they happen and keep a tight rein on deadlines.

Where thousands of people are involved, from management to the field worker, the system consolidates communication, file sharing and collaboration to perform, assign and track tasks. It is easy to see the big picture horizontally and vertically, helping managers keep a tight control over their teams and the project director over the entire project.

Key features include BIM collaboration, document management, field inspection and checklists and workflow management.

What is unique about Aconex?

  1. Designed for big projects with complex requirments.
  2. Risk management with portfolio-wide visibility.
  3. Adaptive to multiple user types including asset owners, engineers, contractors and utility companies.

7. Bentley MicroStation

Bentley MicroStation is a visual modeling software designed for infrastructure projects, such as, bridges, roads, rails, utilities, mining and telecommunication lines. It helps fast track project completion, while keeping a tight watch on quality control to avoid costly mistakes like duplicate tasks, delays and reworks.

The software supports BIM modeling, which enables you to create detailed models that greatly aid architects, engineers and contractors in execution. This feature allows true 3D parametric models that suit myriad geometric shapes to create depth and realism. Moreover, the drawing specs meet project standards and provides a collaboration space for multiple participants. Other key features: layout and annotation, paper plots and personalize workspace.

What is unique about Bentley MicroStation?

  1. Specifically designed for infrastructure projects like bridges, roads and telecommunication lines.
  2. Uses 3D parametric models to create realistic drawings with depth for project modeling.
  3. Collaborative space in drawing platform to help various participants contribute in modeling.

8. Acculynx

Acculynx is a general construction management software ideal for commercial construction, home building and property development. It has the standard features such as project management and estimation modules, project scheduling, service management and bid management.

What makes it to stand out is its integrated CRM and accounting tools; they help you find leads, increase sales and account for revenues vs. expenses. In a way, it’s an end-to-end solution that got you covered from lead generation to closing deals and to project delivery.

Among others, the system documents all communications and activities, which makes it easy to retrieve and examine historical data, where needed. Likewise, it has Android and iOS apps for field access, which  practically connect all employees to the system through their phone.

What is unique about Acculynx?

  1. Has integrated CRM and accounting that lend to the software sales, marketing and accounting functions.
  2. Historical data and conversations are easy to retrieve for future referencing.
  3. Leverages BYOD through its Android and iOS apps; employees can use their phones to connect to the system.

9. GradeBeam

GradeBeam focuses on centralizing communication to help contractors and their teams, clients and suppliers connected and on the same page throughout the project’s lifecycle.  The channel is secure, where you can stash in sensitive documents, project information and other related materials. User permissions make the data accessible to anyone at anytime without compromising information. The system is ideal for general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry professionals.

This construction management software solution saves time and manual overheads; project data and issues are quickly coursed to the right party allowing them to perform their tasks with minimum disruption. It suits scenarios for bids, drawing/modelling collaboration, RFIs and team coordination.

Furthermore, with conversations recorded and historical data retrievable, communication becomes transparent, clear and consistent; thus, reducing the chances of delays caused by misunderstanding. Likewise, the system optimizes time and resources, specifically aiding subcontractors to immediately scale for big construction projects without heavy capitalization.

Other key GradeBeam features to check include contractor directory, reporting and integration with BidOrganizer and PQM.

What is unique about GradeBeam?

  1. Core functionality is focused on clear, transparent communication.
  2. Integration with BidOrganizer and PQM.
  3. Highly scalable, allows small firms to take in big projects at once.

10. Newforma

Newforma is a typical platform in the niche with solid communication and collaboration features  that let project teams work closely together in the cloud. It suits small and enterprise projects alike.

The system is built on the project information management (PIM) framework. It has a live collaboration feature to keep field and office or remote teams in touch during the entire project lifecycle. Likewise, it uses a visual context sharing feature, which allows you to discuss project data with clarity, while the document control tool secures sensitive information from unauthorized access.  

Other key Newforma features to note are link-building model elements, field management and virtual notes.

What is unique about Newforma?

  1. Built on the PIM framework for clear communication throughout the project’s phases.
  2. Visual context sharing tool gives clarity to discussions and data sharing.
  3. Live collaboration keeps everyone in touch throughout the project’s lifecycle.

11. Planningwiz Floor Planner

Planningwiz Floor Planner is a planning and modeling solution that suits myriad floor plan requirements, such as, indoor vs. outdoor, or simple vs. complex. The software solution easily integrates with other key construction systems used by engineers, architects, interior designers and contractors.

The user interface is neat and appealing to a non-technical user. The UI uses drag-and-drop simplicity, allowing you full control modelling of 2D and 3D designs. An interesting feature, the Virtual Walkthrough lets you get inside your design and simulate real-life dimensions. This greatly adds accuracy to your specs and measurements.

Other key features to enjoy are: rich furniture gallery; scalable plans; and customization feature.

What is unique about Planningwiz Floor Planner?

  1. Focuses on various floorplanning requirements, whether indoor or outdoor, big or small.
  2. Virtual interior walkthrough simulates real-life dimensions.
  3. 2D and 3D drawing capabilities.

12. APROPLAN

APROPLAN has the standard modules of a typical construction management platform, including project management and document management. It helps engineers, architects,  clients, contractors and suppliers to view project blueprints, plans and other documents on a single location. A versioning feature is built in to help you track updates and keep the document integrity intact.

The solution has scalable features and tiered pricing, which help you adapt to a wide range of construction project types. Meanwhile, access rights let you share project data with key players, while keeping confidential information away from prying eyes.

Other key APROPLAN features to consider include API key, smart search and reporting.

What is unique about APROPLAN?

  1. Has an integrated document management with versioning tool to secure data integrity.
  2. Acts  as a central repository for all project documents that are at once accessible and secure.
  3. Highly scalable modules and pricing plans help you adapt to myriad project sizes.

13. ShapeDo

ShapeDo is a design management platfrom for construction projects with on-premise and cloud options. It reviews drawing changes and updates. Project managers can view design updates and modifications and compare these with the original. They can accept or deny the changes on the fly, allowing for a more efficient exchange of ideas and shared inputs leading to a best outcome.

The system organizes the designs and drawings in a meaningful way during the entire project lifecycle. This helps users access specific documents for reference with ease.

It has a solid communication platform that helps you to gather all players in one place at once to share and discuss design details and issues. Problems or obstacles are eliminated much faster than waiting for inputs one at a time; thus, the whole team can deliver the output with efficiency and within the timeframe.

Notable key ShapeDo features include: tracking project controls, micro analysis of scope change and creation order.

What is unique about ShapeDo?

  1. Has on-premise and cloud options.
  2. Organizes documents in neat order and meaningful ways for easy retrievable.
  3. Solid communication platform utilizing visual tools.

14. APE Mobile

APE Mobile is a mobile-first solution that reinforces collaboration and document sharing among key players, such as, designers, engineers, architects, contractors, vendors and clients. It streamlines on-site reporting by centralizing documents with easy access to authorized users. Data also come in in real time, giving stakeholders quick updates on the ground. They can meet and discuss in the system’s interface for urgent or priority issues.

The software solution also features customization tools, forms management and timesheets. Other key APE Mobile features include offline access, import/export data and photo management.

What is unique about APE Mobile?

  1. Mobile-first, allowing stakeholders to quickly access the system and their data from their smartphone.
  2. Document management tools, such as, photo management, centralized storage and forms management.
  3. Has timesheets for automated capture of worked hours and payroll processing.

15. Corecon

Corecon is primarily used for job estimation, creating bids and contracts and managing construction projects. The solution is ideal for small and medium businesses.

The solution acts as a centralized location that provides stakeholders easy access and full visibility. Using smart search filters and file sorting, you can quickly surface the document you need at once.

Moreover, project data are synchronized and linked by relevance, allowing users to connect files, conversations and information with ease. It’s easy to make decisions based on data and predict risks with measured outcomes.

Other key Corecon features are: change orders, collaboration and documentation, accounting integration and time tracking.

What is unique about Corecon?

  1. Smart search filters and data sorting make it possible to retrieve information and documents on the fly.
  2. Documents, conversations, files and other data are linked by relevance, allowing you to connect the dots fast.
  3. Extra built-in features like accounting integration, time tracking and scheduling.

16. UDA ConstructionOnline

UDA ConstructionOnline integrates key construction processes including task scheduling, project management and customer management. Generally, administrative and project-related activities are streamlined, if not automated, lending to you more time to focus on other key project aspects.

The software solution fast tracks completion dates across project phases with collaboration, planning and management tools. Ultimately, the entire project is accomplished within the timeframe and budget.

Similarly, with a user-friendly collaboration space, non-technical stakeholders like clients and investors are quick to adopt the system, making it easy for you to share, discuss and present your points across in the cloud. Likewise, all users are notified with the latest data or changes that impact on their to-do lists.

What is unique about UDA ConstructionOnline?

  1. Project scheduling feature gives you flexibility to manage activities in a timely, orderly and logical manner.
  2. Intuitive collaboration UI makes it easy to invite into the system non-technical stakeholders like clients and investors.
  3. Notifications that keep everyone updated on their tasks and issues that impact on their respective jobs.

17. CMiC

CMiC is a suite of four modules, each one with its feature set and can be hosted on-premise or via public or private cloud. The modules are: financials, asset management, project controls and experience management. What makes it unique is its capability to protect your ROI with multi-level financial analytics. This feature helps you correlate and manage bids, procurement, revenue and budget, ensuring a positive profit-loss outlook.

The software solution also excels in forecasting, allowing you myriad perspectives of your resources, budget and goals. This holistic view lends to you more predictable outcomes and allows you to stick to your deliverables and deadlines.

Other key CMiC features include: risk management, document management and automated workflows.

What is unique about CMiC?

  1. Financial analytics allow for multi-dimensional perspectives of your resources, budget and goals.
  2. Modularized plans with each component hosting its own rich feature set.
  3. Risk management feature protects you ROI.

18. Active Takeoff

Active Takeoff is a cost estimation tool with standard project and document management features. With the right strategy it can boost your productivity and overall margins by streamlining processes so you can deliver outputs in time and within the budget. In general, you have less administrative paperwork; you can focus on the more critical task of monitoring the project’s progress, anticipating risks and resolving issues.

A trivial but possibly essential tool for you one day is its Imperial-Metric system compatibility. American contractors that deal with overseas projects that use meters instead of yards, for instance, will thank this tool for saving them a lot of conversion headaches.

Other key Active Takeoff features are: quick image importing, PDF support, pitch converter and draft-to-report processing.

What is unique about Active Takeoff?

  1. Focuses on project cost estimation.
  2. Imperial-Metric system compatibility makes it easy to collaborate with global partners and clients.
  3. Draft-to-report conversion streamlines daily, weekly and monthly reporting deliverables.

19. Foundation Software

Foundation Software integrates accounting features that help you manage the financials of your construction projects with transparency and clear visibility. It features payroll, account payables, account receivables and General Ledger, along with standard project management tools.

The system is also great for job costing since your financial data like budget and expenses are solidly integrated.  LIkewise, it helps you create on the fly and manage recurring purchase orders and subcontracts and has a reliable built-in inventory management module.

Also, one of the most time-consuming aspects of construction is payroll; this software solution fast tracks this process by automating worked-hours data capture and wage calculations including applicable taxes.

Other Foundation Software features to check are: scheduling, executive dashboard and CPA audit and review.

What is unique about Foundation Software?

  1. Integrated accounting features such as General Ledger, account receivables and account payables.
  2. Integrated payroll management and inventory management.
  3. Automated process for recurring POs and subcontracts.

20. NoteVault Platform

Rounding up our top 20 construction management software, NoteVault Platform is a mobile reporting app that allows field personnel to create reports on the fly to update headquarters. It’s a handy tool when faced with urgent issues or emergency cases, allowing field and office to communicate fast and clearly.

A convenient feature is its tool that converts voice data to text. This makes record capture on field inspections easy. You can take down notes through dictation on your phone. Moreover, you can subscribe to its transcription service that translates the audio notes into reports with clarity and accuracy.

The system features other standard project management tools for collaboration and communication, and has an open API that lets you configure the tools and interface to your unique processes.

Other key NoteVault Platform features include: multilingual human transcription services; notifications; and incident reporting.

What is unique about NoteVault Platform?

  1. Voice data-to-text capability.
  2. Human transcription services.
  3. Keyword notification.
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