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The Top 5 Features to Look For in Drawing Management

Every journey needs a roadmap to take it from start to finish. This couldn’t be more true in construction, except that a project’s journey typically requires an entire atlas: a collection of drawings for every stage. But, keeping that collection organized, up-to-date, and accessible is a serious challenge. And, the more folks who need the drawings, the more confusing it gets.

Luckily, there are ways to simplify the drawing management process. Instead of working from paper plans and printing new revisions at every turn, digitized drawing management programs keep everything saved (and updated) in one database. And while adopting a digital future might be the right move, not all drawing management programs are equal, so it’s important to know what to look for. The five features below are a good start. 

What is Drawing Management?

Before discussing its most critical features, it’s important to understand exactly what drawing management is. Drawing management is a digitized, cloud-based system that collects and organizes architectural plans, structural drawings, mechanical schematics, elevations, and other drawings related to construction projects.

As a cloud-based database, the drawings are available from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. Users can log into the system, peruse the appropriate drawings, and review them or send them without going back to the home office. 

The Importance of Drawing Management

Drawing management has become one of the most influential forms of technology for construction companies. These online-accessible databases allow for better collaboration, less waste both environmentally and monetarily, and smoother-running projects.

When a construction company uses a drawing management program, they’re able to give instant access to drawings to whoever may need to see them. This includes designers and engineers, subcontractors, material suppliers, inspectors, and owners. This type of instant access ensures everyone is always on the same page and working toward the same goal.

Let’s also look at this from an environmental perspective: Digital drawing management means that there is less paper being printed every day. Revisions performed on a computer can be saved directly to the database, meaning users won’t have to travel back and forth to the shop and site for the latest prints, saving gasoline at the same time. 

Drawing management can also help make well-informed decisions faster. Any time there is a design change, the design or contractor can send the proposed change to the customer with the drawing attached. They’ll be able to review the proposed change and the drawing, allowing them to make an informed decision and approve or deny the request.

Drawing management also ensures that the folks actually building the structure are working from the correct plans at all times. With instant access to the latest revisions, users are less likely to be working off of old drawings, ensuring that the project is completed according to schedule the first time. 

The Top 5 Features To Look For in Drawing Management

Choosing a drawing management system goes beyond understanding its importance and role in a modern construction company’s day-to-day operations. The following are some of the best features to look for when shopping for a drawing management system.

1. Add Comments

Traditional paper management systems involve several copies of the same drawings. Management typically makes individual comments on these copies and hands them to the folks who need to see them. This is a lot to manage and there’s no guarantee that everyone will receive their plans along with the notes. But with the ability to add comments for each person who needs to see them to one electronic copy of the drawing, everyone stays in the loop. 

2. Modify and Mark-up Drawings

Just as the ability to make comments is important, so is the ability to modify or mark up plans and drawings. Changes on traditional paper need to be distributed to individual team members while making a change on a cloud-based drawing allows everyone to see the most up-to-date revision without missing the changes. 

But even more important than the ability to mark up the plans is the system’s ability to make those new sketches available for everyone on the job. If an engineer marks up the plan and saves it to the database, the subcontractor who opens those plans will see the marks and be able to act accordingly.

3. Link to RFIs and Change Orders

Drawing management is all about efficiency, and this couldn’t be more true than it is with RFIs, change orders, and other requests. When a user sends an RFI for clarity on a material or design, they’re able to link directly to the drawing in question. This is essentially like the electronic version of stuffing a drawing in an envelope and sending it directly to the customer, only faster. The designer can open the ROI, better understand the question, and answer in a more efficient process.

The same applies to change orders: Any proposed change that might require a CO can be accompanied by a link to the exact drawing in question. This allows users to review the change order, see how it will affect the plan, and make a decision that works for the project in a fast and efficient process. 

4. Track Revisions

Managing revised plans and drawings in a paper system can be a nightmare. First, all of the copies need to be accounted for, and they need to be kept in revision order. They need to be easier to sort through, and to ensure the project goes off without a hitch, the most recent approved drawing needs to be on top. With a drawing management system, this doesn’t need to be so hard.

Digital drawing management systems make tracking revisions a breeze. With the click of a mouse, users can look at older drawings based on dates and revision numbers, or jump ahead to the latest approved version. 

5. Choose Layers

Construction drawings contain a lot of information. But not all of that information applies to everyone who uses those drawings. Comments, notes, and sketches on those drawings can get confusing, but with a drawing management system that allows users to create private layers, users can hide all of the peripheral information and get down to the heart of their job.

With the ability to create layers, designers and project managers can give specific details to subcontractors and other job site personnel. This streamlines the transfer of information, hiding all of the data, notes, comments, and sketches that the sub doesn’t need to see, resulting in a better understanding of the project. 

Why Drawing Management Solutions Are Worth it

Drawing management solutions make a lot of sense, but they’re often an investment that construction companies aren’t sure they want to make. What makes these solutions worth it? 

Realistically, effective drawing management software will begin to pay for itself immediately. Every time that project manager doesn’t have to drive back to the office for a paper drawing, or every time a decision is made faster because drawings are readily available, they’re saving money. 

Consider the cost of performing a few days of work with old drawings and the expense of correcting the mistake. These costs alone could pay for a drawing management solution.

Ultimately, drawing management solutions save construction companies by maximizing efficiency. Companies looking to streamline their processes and protect their profit margins should adopt a solution that fits their needs, and with the features listed above, they’ll know exactly what to look for. To learn more on how Premier can help streamline your business process with this magical tool, contact our industry pros and request your demo today!

 

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Company News Industry Insight Tips & Advice Ultimate Guide

The North American Construction Market and the Future of Construction Software

Very few people could have guessed that the past few years would be so interesting. But, despite the tumult, supply shortages, unrest, and other challenges, construction is still one of the fastest-growing industries in North America. All across the U.S. and Canada, construction crews continued to build while other industries were at a standstill—albeit, not all at the same pace.

But what does the future hold for the construction industry? And what does it mean for the future of construction software? Let’s find out!

Where the Industry is Heading

As a whole, the construction industry is heading toward continued growth over the next few years. Government spending on infrastructure projects is helpful, but the majority of the growth will come from the effort of the residential industry. In fact, residential construction deserves most of the credit for the industry’s bounce back after the 2020 recession. 

But how much will it grow moving forward?

With so many entities performing market research on the construction industry, the estimates regarding growth vary. However, most researchers believe that the industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 4.8 and 8.4 percent over the next few years. While that might seem to be a drop in growth rate from 2021’s numbers (roughly 12 percent), it’s still within a healthy range for most industries. 

Trends to Watch

One of the best ways to understand the direction of the construction industry is to look at current trends. While they may be temporary, they can steer the direction of the ship.

Residential is paving the way. While the commercial and municipal construction sectors slowed (crawled, really), residential construction experienced a boon. Despite the rising costs of materials and lumber, new home construction and renovation made up the majority of the industry’s growth.

Some construction firms saw the writing on the wall and pivoted from commercial and residential outfits to residential-only. Many downsized their workforces but were able to keep the doors open by building new homes or remodeling existing homes for folks fleeing big cities.

Commercial and industrial projects are likely to continue crawling moving forward for the next year or so, leaving the emphasis on the residential sector. However, both of these industries are expected to bounce back shortly after. 

Labor is still an issue. Finding skilled workers has always been a challenge for the construction industry, and it’s an issue that isn’t likely to go away any time soon. But, it’s not just the ironworkers, carpenters, and electricians that are hard to find. It’s also a lot of the clerical and office staff. In fact, the number encompassing all positions lost during the pandemic is just shy of one million jobs.

Many folks chose to stay home from work for a few years, while others transitioned into other industries that were more work-from-home friendly. Whatever the case may be, there just aren’t enough experienced, qualified workers to keep up with the industry’s demand. 

Companies are doubling down on technology. Despite the industry’s resistance to technology and the changes it may bring forth, companies are investing heavily in connected construction. The hope is that by investing in technology, these companies will be in a better position to answer the call for smart cities, climate change programs, and Urban Air Mobility initiatives.

Along with positioning themselves to take advantage of big-spending bills and government programs, the companies within the industry can now realize improved efficiency, accuracy, reduced costs, and larger margins. 

Supply chains are far from fixed. Supply chain issues plagued all industries in recent years, but they’ve really held the construction industry back. Between not being able to get certain materials or basic materials doubling (or tripling) in price, materials availability and affordability have been an issue.

This issue is likely to play out over the next few years before it comes back to the center. Some materials are still difficult to find, and then getting them to the job site can be even more of a challenge. Until other countries open completely and everyone heads back to work, this is an issue that won’t go away any time soon. 

How The Construction Software Industry Will Respond

While there may be good things on the horizon for the construction industry as a whole, the construction software industry must adjust accordingly. In general, this means developing new technologies or adapting older tech to modern trends. 

1. Adapting to Residential Contractors

Most construction software programs are designed for large contractors tackling commercial and industrial projects. However, with the current trend showing residential work to be the shining star of the construction industry, software companies will have to adapt.

Adapting to residential construction won’t be difficult for most software developers. However, a greater focus on making estimates easier to understand, making forms easier to customize, and simplified invoices will help those working in the residential industry.

2. Better User Experience

With such a shortage of skilled employees to choose from, growing construction companies will often rely on less-experienced personnel to see the job through. In fact, some employees may go right from the slab to the office, and they need to adapt quickly.

In this case, making construction software easier to use will help those lacking experience adapt to the new system. Also, these systems will help to reduce the number of mistakes or errors caused by inexperience—something the industry may come to rely on in the coming years.

3. Cloud-Based Access

With so many folks working from home these days, cloud-based storage systems and real-time reports will become critical. While the actual building happens on-site, plenty of the clerical and administrative roles can transition to a remote commute. And, companies will have to start offering these WFH positions if they want to attract the right people.

For these roles to work, however, they need reliable access to the company’s construction software program as well as the drawings and files that it may contain. Software companies will have to partner with strong cloud service providers to pull that off.

3. Improved Flexibility

As supply chains continue to work themselves out, modern construction software needs to be nimble and flexible. It should allow for easy changes it can also track through the system, adjusting the appropriate values automatically as it goes. There’s no way to predict how often this could happen during the lifetime of a job, and streamlined automation will help.

Construction software should allow for the easy production of change orders should a particular material become unavailable. These change orders should operate on customizable workflows so everyone who needs to see it and approve it can do so. With these features requiring minimal input from the contractor, there will be fewer errors and less downtime, helping to keep projects on track. 

Growth on the Horizon

Between the construction industry and the software that supports it, the future looks like growth. While certain sectors might struggle to keep up, the overall industry is poised to grow over the next few years, and savvy construction software creators will adapt their programs to go along for the ride, including yours truly, Premier Construction Software! Amidst the market shifts, one thing Premier and the team behind the brand can do is adapt. We will ensure your business can benefit from a system like ours.

See how we can help you structure your business for success, schedule a demo today.

Author Biography:

Tom Scalisi has over 15 years of experience working in the trades. Since moving to full-time freelance writing, he has developed a passion for helping construction companies grow. He enjoys teaching contractors how technology can streamline their businesses and educating them about their rights during payment disputes. 

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Company News Press Release

Premier Software Introduces New Project Management Features that take Collaboration to the Next Level

At Premier, we are passionate about finding new ways to empower construction businesses to work smarter. We visualize what the future of the construction industry should look like and then work backward to make it happen.”

-Karoline Lapko, Business Unit Leader

Feature enhancements include:

Submittals – Automate Data Entry & Collaborate Live with Anyone:

  • Create submittals and route for approval via email
  • Apply standard workflows or customize workflows on the fly
  • Instant access from any device, from anywhere – no 3rd party log in required
  • Easily attach any documents, add stamp and annotation
  • Auto-defaults next due date
  • Get alerts & notifications for overdue items & send reminders
  • Easily access all submittals and view historical comments & annotation

Time Entry & Approvals – Field and/or Crew:

  • Easy to use mobile app with simplified user interface
  • Default job & key fields to minimize data entry
  • Geotagging by location
  • Clock in and clock out functionality
  • Restrict by job, cost and cost type to prevent incorrect data entry
  • Configurable workflow approvals
  • View historical pay periods
  • Enter in time for crew or by employee

Further enhancements to the project management software are scheduled for early 2021.

  • Q1 2021, you can expect the new project field management enhancements to the daily job logs, issues, punch lists, and RFIs. New features include recording daily activities, tracking employees, subcontract information, material & equipment, voice notes, health and safety, photo capture and annotation, create and assign tasks, weather widget, and instant collaboration/responses.
  • Q2 2021, introducing Premier Drawing Management that will transform how the construction industry collaborates. With built in annotation, it will be easier than ever to view drawings and create RFIs, submittals, issues and more. Share and collaborate with anyone on drawings from absolutely any device. Using new technology, the Premier bot will automate data entry and track historical versions. Focused on performance optimization, the load time, speed, zoom etc., will be faster than ever.

For more information on these updates, please contact info@jonaspremier.com.

ABOUT PREMIER CONSTRUCTION SOFTWARE
Premier Construction Software (http://jonaspremier.com/) is a true cloud, all-in-one financial accounting, job cost, project, document and drawing management solution designed to meet the needs of GCs, Land Developers, Design Build, and Homebuilders etc. Trusted by thousands of companies, Premier partners with forward thinking, progressive construction companies to provide an all in one solution that empowers them to work smarter. With modern cloud technology, it makes it easy for in office and field staff to operate from anywhere, from any device – Mac, PC, and mobile. Premier operates in North America and Australia providing a true cloud software solution that is revolutionizing how businesses operate.

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Company News

Premier Construction Software named High Performer in G2’s Winter 2021 Report

Premier Construction Software is excited to announce it has received the High Performer, in G2’s Winter 2021 Report in the Construction Accounting Software category. In addition to its High Performer award, Premier was also awarded for “Best Support” and “Easiest to do Business With” in the Construction Accounting Software category.

“When it comes down to it, software truly is a people business. At Premier, we are most proud of our brand and world class team. We are passionate about finding new ways to empower construction  businesses to work smarter. We visualize what the future of construction industry should look like and then work backwards to make it happen.” said Karoline Lapko, Business Unit Leader of Premier.

Premier Construction Software named High Performer on G2's Winter 2021 report

“Our team prioritizes listening to our clients in order to solve the most time-consuming and complex processes so we can empower great businesses, to be even better. Software innovation can truly reshape an organization. It’s rewarding to know that we are part of an initiative that pushes the boundaries with unconventional thinking and it ends up making people’s lives easier – our software development is truly a story of empowerment.”

G2 Crowd is a business product review platform for verified users to share experiences, thoughts, and feedback on various services and technology.

“Rankings on G2 Crowd reports are based on data provided to us by real users,” said Michael Fauscette, Chief Research Officer at G2 Crowd. “We are excited to share the achievements of the products ranked on our site because they represent the voice of the user and offer terrific insights to potential buyers around the world.”

Take a look at some of the amazing reviews we’ve received from construction businesses like yours.

The support at Jonas has been very easy to work with and flexible in meeting our demands. The software is very user friendly, was very easy to learn for us, and has a great layout. Their reports have a drilldown feature which has been extremely useful for us and has really helped us see exactly where our numbers are coming from. In comparison to our previous software we find that Jonas Premier doesn’t require as many steps to accomplish a task. We previously used to utilize Microsoft Excel to create all our Job Cost Reports but Premier has saved us a lot of time and effort as it provides this information to us through their job cost reports which has really increased our efficiency.

 

Onboard training was excellent. Support for questions or issues after implementation is excellent. Web-based software so employees and owners can view and add information from where ever they are working. Plus backup is current and ME rollover is smooth and doesn’t require lots of processing to accomplish. Lots of reporting options and owners find the information easy to locate and readily available for review as needed. Very intuitive to use once for day to day activities.

To read more on what Premier users have to say or to leave your own review, visit us on G2’s Premier Construction Software Review Page. To schedule a personalized product tour with our team, visit here.

 

About G2
G2, the world’s leading business solution review platform, leverages 1M+ user reviews to drive better purchasing decisions. Business professionals, buyers, investors, and analysts use the site to compare and select the best software and services based on peer reviews and synthesized social data. Every month, more than three million people visit G2’s site to gain unique insights.

 

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

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Company News Press Release

Jonas Premier Named Best Construction Management Software of 2020 by Digital.com

Markham, ON Digital.com, a leading independent review website for small business online tools, products, and services, has named Jonas Premier to its list of the best construction management software (CMS) of 2020. The top solutions were evaluated based on project scheduling, tracking, finances, and document management.

Premier Construction Software was named the best construction management software in 2020 by Digital.com
Premier Construction Software was named the best construction management software in 2020 by Digital.com

Jonas Premier and other software companies were required to offer project management and job costing capabilities that can monitor estimates and track change orders, submittals, purchase orders and subcontract agreements. Additional qualifications include built-in financial capabilities such as tracking and processing of accounts payable invoices and billing. The guide also prioritized software with efficient project documentation that provides reporting tools, file sharing, and real-time updates.

Digital.com’s research team conducted a 40-hour assessment of over 110 companies from across the web. To access the complete list of best construction management software, please visit https://digital.com/construction-management-software/

 

ABOUT JONAS PREMIER
Jonas Premier 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.

ABOUT DIGITAL.COM
Digital.com reviews and compares the best products, services, and software for running or growing a small business website or online shop. The platform collects twitter comments and uses sentiment analysis to score companies and their products. Digital.com was founded in 2015 and formerly known as Review Squirrel. To learn more, visit https://digital.com/