Industry Insight Trends & Technology

Top 10 Construction Trends in 2020

2020 has been a year of unprecedented change and challenges with the novel coronavirus causing global shutdowns and impacting all major industries. Fortunately, most U.S. businesses have now been permitted to reopen, albeit with new restrictions and requirements in place.

While the coronavirus has certainly caused some disruption and changes within the construction industry, there are still several industry trends that maintain constant and continue year-after-year. Staying attuned to industry trends will help you maintain a competitive edge by knowing what to expect and help you to prepare accordingly. 

Below we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most noteworthy and must-watch construction industry trends of 2020.


1. Supply Chain Disruption 

For builders that rely on Chinese-made goods and materials, 2020 has been an especially challenging year with Chinese government containment efforts and quarantines stalling—or, in some cases, completely stalling—production in factories across the country. While the economic giant has begun to recover, the long-term impact to the U.S. construction industry is still yet to be fully recognized.

Fortunately, because materials sourced from China typically arrive in the U.S. by slow-moving ship, most projects underway likely already had their materials ordered and in transit months ago. However, given that China is the world’s largest supplier of construction materials—with U.S. companies sourcing everything from steel to plumbing fixtures—any production or supply chain disruption felt on its end will undoubtedly impact the U.S. as well. While we can assume there will be some impact to future projects, the extent to which is still to be determined.


2. Labor Shortages 

Prior to COVID-19, the construction industry was already facing a labor shortage due to a boom in projects and high demand for workers with the necessary skills to complete them. Now, the industry faces new labor challenges. Many U.S. businesses adapted to the coronavirus closures by shifting to a work-from-home model. However, for many construction companies, this model isn’t feasible and healthy workers are required to be on-site. 

School closures and public transportation disruptions have also created a myriad of new challenges for construction industry workers that impact their ability to show up to work on time, if at all. In anticipation and preparation for increased absenteeism—whether due to illness or other factors—supervisors should begin to cross-train employees to handle multiple functions, and utilize technology to streamline operations such as construction management solutions.


3. Improved Safety Equipment

Aside from the new health and safety protocols implemented as a result of coronavirus, the construction industry is witnessing a rise of machines that are capable of increasing jobsite safety and reducing risk. For example, some work boots can now automatically connect to Wi-Fi and alert others if a worker has fallen. Another example is environmental sensors that can detect workplace conditions (like heat, wind, noise) and assess risk.

These machines are changing the jobs humans do by augmenting the decision-making process and creating room for higher-level jobs to use the data to decipher and translate findings into actionable insights.


4. Augmented Reality

Although virtual reality (VR) has been an emerging trend over the past few years, experts say it’s quickly growing outdated as augmented reality (AR) becomes the new “it” trend. VR is strictly a digital experience, whereas AR combines digital and physical views to create an immersive experience in real-time. 

Benefits of AR for builders and developers include 360-degree video to enable fast and affordable simulations, 3D visualizations of future projects and automated measuring of buildings, just to name a few. For clients, AR can provide more efficient project staging and make pre-construction projects tangible for buyers and tenants.


5. Drones 

drones in constructionDrone usage continues to be one of the fastest-growing trends in the construction industry as the technology advances and becomes more affordable, and the capabilities of drones continue to expand. Drones are commonly used to produce heat maps and thermal imaging, but the advancing software now makes it possible for them to provide real-time and actionable data that can be used for rapid decision-making and to streamline the entire construction process. 

Drones can also be used to improve workplace safety and reduce injury. For example, drones can be used to survey job sites to ensure workers are kept from potentially dangerous situations. They can also reach heights unsafe for the human worker.


6. Cloud & Mobile Technology

Not that long ago, most people didn’t understand what “the cloud” was—let alone a cloud-based operating system. Today, most mobile devices can access information anywhere, any time, and from any device. Cloud-computing has become integral to the construction industry for a number of reasons, including powerful data processing, connected job sites, easy sharing, and data storage, just to name a few.

Given its ease of access, Software as a Service (SaaS) has become a leading way to get the most benefit from cloud computing with minimal investment. There are SaaS offerings for almost every construction task, and Premier Construction Software offers the most powerful, all-in-one cloud-based software solution on the market to help you streamline accounting, job costing, project management, document management, approvals, electronic signatures and more. 


7. Modular & Prefabricated Construction

Another growing trend is a shift toward modularization and prefabricated construction because of the time, energy and cost savings. Modular construction is a prefabricated approach to building repetitive structures like hotels, apartments, and office buildings. 

Because modular units are built off-site, companies do not have to deal with construction barriers like inclement weather or limited working hours. Prefabrication can save companies a lot of money because they can get bulk discounts on materials—which, in turn, also saves time (and time equals money). These processes are also considered more eco-friendly because any leftover materials can easily be recycled. 


8. Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Given the emergence of an open and highly collaborative data ecosystem, it should come as no surprise that BIM continues to be one of the hottest trends in the construction industry. BIM allows users to generate computer representations of buildings and utilities, and brings more accuracy to the building process by empowering the exchange of important project information between key stakeholders.

BIM’s further evolution—like 4D and 5D BIM—will be the catalyst for fundamental change within the industry. Improved technology is anticipated to make construction projects more productive, affordable, eco-friendly and safe.


9. Green Technology & Sustainability

Every year, green construction grows in popularity as more companies look for ways to incorporate sustainability into the construction process. Green construction entails building projects in an environmentally responsible and resource-efficient manner to reduce carbon footprint. Sustainability construction includes the preservation of the environment, with a focus on social responsibility.  

A few green trends gaining traction in the construction industry include bricks made of recycled cigarette butts, self-healing concrete and thermally driven air conditioners. 


10. Construction Management Software

Construction software plays an important role within the construction industry, but many companies are using multiple disjointed systems that don’t speak to each other in real-time. This creates disconnect between accounting and project management which, in turn, causes bottlenecks, errors, and inaccurate reports. 

Premier Construction Software empowers businesses to work smarter by providing modern, powerful and easy-to-use construction software. Our all-in-one software solution features accounting, job costing, in addition to project and document management to ensure the data syncs real-time, making it easy for businesses to trust the data to make more informed decisions.

To learn more about Premier Construction Software and to speak to a representative, click here.


Final thoughts

As the construction industry continues to evolve, it’s imperative to stay informed about trends that are shifting the business and global landscape. Adapting to these changes and leveraging technologies to maximize efficiency and reduce risk will help business owners stay competitive, offset additional costs and increase profitability.


Author Biography:

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.


Company News

Premier ranks #1 in Category Leaders in Construction Accounting Software by GetApp

We are proud to announce that Premier Construction Software has been named a Cateogry Leaders by GetApp, placing #1 in Construction Accounting Software and #2 in Construction Project Management Software.


Premier named Category Leader by GetApp in Construction Management Software and Construction Accounting Software
Each year, GetApp ranks the leading business apps inside our most popular categories to help you tackle software selection.


“To create each Category Leaders ranking, our research team may evaluate hundreds of products in any one category. Only the products with the highest scores become Category Leaders,” said GetApp.


Each year, GetApp ranks the leading business apps based on popular categories to help professionals gather impartial experiences from current customers to assist in their software selection. The information includes unbiased, data-driven rankings, a breakdown of key factors, comparisons, and app scores. App scores are determined by 5 factors, worth 20 points each, for a possible total of 100. Premier scored 100 points out of 100 in the Construction Accounting Software category and 96 out of 100 in the Construction Project Management category.

Leave a review for Premier Construction Software on GetApp

About Premier Construction Software
Premier Construction Software is a true cloud, all-in-one accounting, job cost, project, document and drawing management solution designed to meet the needs of GCs, Developers, Design Build, and Homebuilders. Trusted by thousands of companies, Premier partners with forward thinking, progressive construction companies to provide a fully integrated solution for office and field staff operating on Mac, PC and any mobile device. Premier operates in North America as well as Australia, providing a true cloud solution that meets the needs of both markets today.

Trends & Technology

The Secret Extension of My Construction Team: My Software Provider

Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”

When it comes to choosing software for your construction company, having a provider that can work with your business and for your business, will ultimately lead to better outcomes all-around.

Premier Construction Software is the number one cloud software on the market. Is it because the product is great? Absolutely. But it’s also because Premier takes a partnership approach when working with clients.


“Businesses want a partner that they can trust. Not only do we take the time to understand a company’s processes and desired outcome, we take the time to build a relationship with their people and learn about their work culture. Transitions can be difficult as typically a bit of change is required. This is why we adopted a “one team” mentality. We truly care about helping great companies become even better, and we know that they key to this is communication.”


For MAX Construction Inc., a full-service tenant finish general contractor company in Denver, CO, the Premier software isn’t just an efficient tool for the company—it’s an extension of the company itself.

When Alex Szollosi, President of MAX Construction, was looking for a software solution for his company, he sought out many options. When it came down to it, Premier was the best fit for many reasons.

“The reason why I like the product, is not just the product – it’s the people I’m working with. That comfort zone made my decision easy. And I can honestly say that I made the right choice with that decision. It’s six years later and I still have regular contact with Premier. They’re always happy to talk to me; they’re excited to know what we’re doing and I’m excited to know what they’re developing so we can use Premier not just for today, but for tomorrow.”


When a company is looking to purchase an all-in-one software solution, there are many factors to consider. Ensuring back-end technology is modern and fully cloud-based is vitally important, as is knowing about additional fees that may arise. Szollosi wanted to know about all facets when he was looking to make a software decision.

When you’re a Premier user, whether it’s today or tomorrow, you get the entire product and all future product enhancements at no additional cost. They do frequent updates with and you get unlimited group training for new staff. So you’re never paying more for the product than the agreed to amounts.

Training and support are required regardless of what software you’re using. With Premier, the process is transparent and user-friendly. Szollosi can attest to this.


“One of the key things with all these products is that you have to learn how to use it. I went to several different companies and they quote you on how to use the product. Premier’s classes are far less cost and all of their classes are online with real-time collaboration, so you can sit in your office or at home to take that class. They record the classes and they offer you unlimited use of them until you feel comfortable using the system. That was a tremendous difference that I really enjoyed because I knew I wasn’t limited or falling back because of business getting in the way and not always being able to take the classes when you’d like to. That was one thing that really stuck out in our minds.”


Understanding that collaboration is the key to innovation is paramount at Premier.  Szollosi knows this firsthand and has helped develop many new features in the software, including enhancements to its unlimited storage document management system and change order signature automation. Having a voice and actually being heard is a differentiating factor that separates Premier from the competition.


I really think that people need to look at who the people are that they’re going to be dealing with as much what the product is all about. In my book, Premier is a winner in both of those areas.


“What I’m trying to stress here is that Premier is not just designing a product, they’re listening to their users to design a more fluid product and one that’s better for the use of its individual clients. They implement our ideas. They listen. They’re constantly working on the ability to improve on the product.”


When it all boils down, it’s the people behind the software that makes using Premier Construction more user-friendly, innovative and seamless. As Szollosi puts it,

“They are truly an extension of MAX construction. It makes the product we deliver to the job site a better product as well.”


To learn more about Premier Construction Software and to speak to a representative, click here.


Stay Organized with Document Management

To be organized in business is to take forward previous experiences; to anticipate the unexpected; and to be prepared for what is to come. It’s no secret that this is also a recipe for success. To be organized may not guarantee success, but it makes achieving it much more attainable.

In construction, organization means having everything you need from contracts, drawings, emails, photos, compliances and even receipts when and where you need them, no matter the job site.

Whether building from the ground-up, or interior builds, a construction firm requires so much more than just the tools of the trade to be successful. It requires an organizational system that keeps everything from administrative documents to inspection reports, customer reports, invoices, contracts, change orders, estimates and so much more, in one place that can be accessed anywhere, at any time – in the office or on any given job site – via the Internet.

This integral document management system is available with the Premier Construction Software.


Fast and at Your Fingertips

For MAX Construction Inc., a full-service tenant finish general contractor company in Denver, CO, Premier’s document management has become a primary tool in day-to-day operations and a “one stop shop for all company data”.

Alex Szollosi, President of MAX Construction, has developed a complete system of 24 folders per project that ensures all files are ready when required—before, during and after a project—using Premier’s document management system.

The document management folder, what I like about it, is that it offers us the ability to store everything on the job in one location. We are using one product and we are finding everything we need – whether it’s accounting or project management.

Equally as important as ensuring that PM’s have real-time reports, Premier’s document management provides immediate access to anything required for a project, and even date stamps and tracks full version control.

“The flexibility of being able to create your own folders makes it one of my favorite features. The unlimited storage is not offered by many competitors”.


Efficiency & Focus

Staying organized is key to the success of a job. So is staying focused. Being able to access files wherever and whenever, from any device keeps projects moving forward. Things do not get held up because you’re waiting on paperwork, approvals or signatures. Everything is automated and real-time. All documents generated from Premier automatically tag and index saving you time. Users can easily drag and drop any outside documents including legal, HR, certifications, resume, emails, bids etc. Best of all, you can secure folders and share any documents with external users such as customers or investors.

It’s a product that any contractor who has a lot of work would want to use because they don’t have to go searching through file cabinets, or run down to storage lockers for drawings to have to reactivate a job. With Premier I have all that information in front of me.

Centralize all of your company’s content. Make it available anytime, on any device. And have unlimited use and storage. That’s what the document management feature in Premier Construction Software provides. And that — is a recipe for success.


For more information on Premier Construction Software and to speak to a representative, click here.

Trends & Technology

The Importance of All-in-One Software for Construction Businesses

We live in a fast-paced world. As such, we have all learned to expect what we want, when we want it. In business, in order to stay competitive and provide value for our customers, we also have to give clients what they need, when they need it. And the construction world is no different. This is why an all-in-one approach to software is important for construction businesses.


Take MAX Construction Inc. for instance. This Denver-based “build-out” construction company relies on an all-in-one solution to ensure that all team members work together in all project stages for their $1M – $3M jobs.


In business since 1991, MAX Construction started out using programs like QuickBooks and Excel to manage projects, job costing and accounting. As the company grew, they realized that they had to streamline processes in order to save time, money and reduce the margin for error.


President of MAX Construction, Alex Szollosi describes their switch to all-in-one software. For them, the solution was Premier Construction – the #1 Construction Cloud software on the market.


“Most construction companies start out using QuickBooks as their accounting software. Construction accounting can get very complicated…we used QuickBooks to its maximum capacity and Excel spreadsheets to create change orders while trying to manage all these different forms and documents. We had a cumbersome way of managing everything because we relied on excel folders for our change orders, daily reports, documents, pictures etc., and our accounting in a completely separate software. And it worked but it wasn’t fluid and we couldn’t get a real-time picture of how we were doing on our jobs.”


We were growing – we are now a 29-year old company. We were getting bogged down with the cumbrous process of creating change order forms and proposals in Excel, documenting invoicing and cost-coding manually, etc. Basically, Premier allowed us to become more efficient. Initially it still takes time to set up, but the real key is being able to set up the product properly for the use that it’s intended for.


Bookkeeping is important and spreadsheets can be helpful; but so is job costing, change order development, retainage, forecasting and construction billing. So having one software to do all of this and more is the reason why so many construction companies trust Premier Construction Software.


A Hand-in-Hand Approach to Projects

To have accounting data that speaks real time to project management reports is a great way to ensure project managers have the information they need to make more informed decisions. It allows them to understand their actual costs so they can assess where they are today and more accurately forecast where they will finish, before they run into costs overruns or cash flow issues. Optimizing these processes allows teams to make smarter and better decisions; saving time, which allows priorities to shift and more tasks to be accomplished. This hand-in-hand approach was something that Szollosi needed.


“When I was looking for a product, I spoke to a number of my cohorts in the business and I asked them, ‘are you using an accounting software?’, ‘are you using a project management software?’, and most said that they hadn’t found a product that provides both accounting and project management. I have been with Premier Construction for six years now and we are using both sides simultaneously. We are using one product and we can find everything we need.”


When business gets busy and workload priorities shift, it’s even more essential to have a software that can keep up and more importantly, keep you on track. Szollosi appreciates this ability with Premier Construction Software.


Because we’re using an all-in-one system, our accounting side is in-tune to the project at their level and our project managers are in-tune to the project on their side.


“On the PM side there’s job budget control, which allows us to look at the job in real-time. We can easily raise change orders and our subcontracts with minimal data entry. We can look at the progress of the job to see if we’re ahead or behind our projections and easily drill down into vendor information to view if they were invoiced and paid, so that’s really valuable.”


“On the accounting side, I can always print out an outstanding billing report to know if we’re getting paid on time. Also, we can always produce an up-to-date financial statement. We can see percentages, projections and we know just by looking at our reports.”


Gaining A Competitive Edge in Construction

In the end, the ability to operate a business that can keep up to the demands of the industry is an essential competitive edge. Szollosi understands this and provides further insight.


“The real key is ‘real-time’. It’s difficult to do if you don’t have a program like Premier. If you’re doing it in a long-hand method you’re always going to be behind. We can look at our projects monthly and review budgets, explain variances, complete budget transfers, review pending items, drill into actual costs and forecast accurately. We just have a better opportunity to know exactly where we’re at as a result.”


With a focus on empowerment through automation, the Premier Construction Software includes additional game changing features such as built-in alerts for cost or commitment overruns, change order and subcontract signature automation with workflow routing, subcontract pay apps and even unlimited document management storage for internal or external users.


In construction, to get what you want, when you want it means applying a hand-in-hand team strategy using an all-in-one software. For Alex and MAX Construction, the solution is Premier Construction. Szollosi’s advice:


Number one, don’t agonize the decision. Make the choice to move in the direction that benefits you. If you understand what the system can do for you, you’re in the right place and you should move forward with your team.

What are you waiting for? Get everything you need, when you need it, today.


About Premier Construction Software
Premier Construction Software is a true cloud, all in one accounting, job cost, project and document management solution, specifically designed to meet the needs of General Contractors, Construction Management, Land Developers, Homebuilders and Specialty Contractors. The solution comprises of fundamental modules including accounting, job costing & estimating, forecasting, sub pay apps, cost plus billing, progress billing, time & expense, reporting and document management. Running in the cloud, Premier provides the ability to access and input information at any time, from anywhere on any device. Built on modern software architecture, it is fully flexible, powerful and most importantly, simple to use.

For learn more on Premier Construction Software or to see a live demo, click here.