You’ve reached a point where you’re wondering — “Is investing in construction software really worth it? Can it really save me time and money? How?”
Whether it was caused by a project delay or miscommunication resulting in costly mistakes, something prompted you to start researching and considering the potential benefits and savings construction software can offer.
Who Can Benefit from Construction Software?
Well, the short and simple answer is: everyone. But for our purposes, we’ll focus on the benefits to project members and project managers (with the inherent understanding that any time and money saved at the project level will ultimately benefit the company owner, too).
When you start to consider savings, here’s an easy way to think about it: direct cost/monetary savings, and “everything else” (meaning, everything else that may indirectly save you money).
So, what are some ways construction software can help you save money? Below are five examples:
1. Construction software improves communication and collaboration between all project members.
According to The 2020 National Construction Payment Report: Spring Spotlight on Jobsite Coordination, “nearly 70% of contractors surveyed said that poor jobsite coordination often causes projects to run over budget or past deadlines” and “over half of contractors (54%) blame delays on poor coordination between subcontractors.” Another key finding from the report, which is arguably the most important: “Survey answers reveal that most of the time, delays on a construction project are entirely preventable.”
You read that right. Most of the time, these costly mistakes (that are happening frequently) can be avoided with improved communication. Construction software offers a centralized location where critical project information can be saved, stored, accessed and updated—in real-time, and anywhere, by everyone who needs it.
2. Construction software puts the project managers (PMs) back in control.
An all-in-one, cloud-based construction software that offers both accounting and job costing solutions is the crème de la crème for project managers. With accounting and job costing in sync, project managers know they can trust the data to make informed decisions.
Here are a few key ways an all-in-one solution puts PMs in control:
- Detailed Reports: Project managers can get the reports they need to make faster and smarter decisions in seconds. This means PMs can spend more time analyzing the numbers instead of preparing them. Additionally, PMs can easily view their jobs and drill down into the accounting information to view invoice or payment details.
- Dashboards: Consolidated dashboards make it easy to digest and consume multiple reports at once by displaying high level KPIs, at-risk items, an approval section, pending items and summarized cost and revenue summary with full drill-down capability. In seconds, PMs can view a high-level overview across all jobs, and then quickly drill down into any of the details to view the contract details, what has been billed and if payment has been released.
- Change Order Management: PMs can send, track, and approve of change orders all from one place—and, best of all, approved change orders will automatically be reflected in reports.
3. Construction software reduces risk by ensuring data is saved safely and securely.
One reason that construction companies may be reluctant to switch to a cloud-based solution is because of security concerns. For some, the idea of maintaining physical control over documents somehow seems safer than having everything stored on a server. However, reliable cloud-based applications will have strong safeguards in place to ensure your information stays protected.
Additionally, document controls can be set up to restrict company, job and menu access to individual users or by group/role. Administrators can also set read or write access for each module, as well as restrictions on who can post, approve, edit, delete, upload, or revise documents.
4. Construction software saves time and money by reducing employee wages and training costs.
In the business world, time is money—and construction software can save time in a number of ways. Training new team members can come at a great cost, but construction software can cut down on training time by providing one place where new team members can easily access and view all the pertinent project information, as well as the project timeline and details about next steps. This allows them to become familiar with the project in a fraction of the time, and serves as a very valuable training device. Using a software solution to train new team members translates into savings by reducing the cost of paying another team member or employee to do it.
5. Construction software saves money with lower upfront cost structure.
On-premise systems tend to cost more upfront because of the required software and server installation, cost of software licenses, as well as the cost of an IT team to configure the system and provide ongoing maintenance. Additional cost considerations include physical space to store an on-premise system, monthly maintenance fees, backup software systems, and electricity consumption. With a cloud-based, SaaS solution, all you need is an internet connection and a device.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Construction Software?
Despite the many benefits and savings, there are still companies that haven’t gotten onboard with a construction software solution? Why, you may ask?
The answer usually falls into two categories:
- It’s hard to change. Implementing a comprehensive software solution requires time investment upfront in order to save down the road. Many construction company owners are so strapped for time and resources they simply feel they don’t have the ability or willingness to change the way things are done.
- Not everyone has felt the urgency to implement a construction software solution. Sure, maybe you (the project member or project manager) have recognized the need for a new solution to an ongoing problem, but maybe the company owner hasn’t. Or perhaps there isn’t someone on the team who’s willing to be a team advocate to rally for change.
What Can You Do?
The good news is: anyone can become a successful advocate for change! While you may feel nervous to propose the implementation of a construction software solution, you may be surprised at how well received the idea is if you provide sufficient information to support your proposal that construction software can—and will—save time and money.
It’s pretty safe to assume all company owners want to reduce costs and save money, they just need to understand how. So if you’re looking for ideas about how to approach this conversation with your boss or company owner, you can use this blog as a guide for which key points to include in your discussion, or click here to contact us for more information.
Kathryn Dressler is a content strategist with more than 10 years of experience across the spectrum of marketing services, including blogging, social media, public relations, copywriting and editorial services.