Tips & Advice Trends & Technology

A Way of Attracting Younger Construction Workers? Technology.

Many construction industry companies are looking for ways to attract the younger generations to work with them so their businesses can continue on into the future. But with a labor shortage throughout the country, and particularly in construction, companies have to work harder to attract younger workers.

The answer to the question of how to reach younger workers and encourage them to join the industry is technology. By updating systems and software, using the latest in tech gear, and focusing on recruiting young workers, construction companies can make the industry attractive again.

An aging workforce

Workers younger than 25 make up only 9% of the total construction industry workforce. Roughly 40% of workers in the industry are 45–64. And according to data from the Center for Construction Research and Training, workers aged 55 and over increased from 17% in 2011 to 22% in 2018.

Add to that the fact that the industry has struggled to attract younger workers and it’s a recipe for a shortage in the near future. High school students are encouraged to go to college and choose a career path from there. The trades and other construction-related occupations are not given as much fanfare.

Contractors are complaining about the lack of skilled workers available, but the truth is the industry doesn’t do a good enough job attracting potential workers. The younger generations have grown up with technology by their side and have come to rely on it for every aspect of their lives. However, construction has been slow to adopt new technology, and many workers still rely on outdated resources to perform their work.

If contractors and other construction companies want to attract younger workers, they’ve got to adopt the latest in technology. This will allow them to take advantage of the benefits of younger workers’ skills. Students in construction management programs are getting trained on the use of scheduling software, project management software, estimating software, and electronic material takeoff. Administrative and accounting professionals are being trained using new software with new functionalities. Asking highly trained workers to use outdated programs discounts the education they worked so hard to get.

By asking workers to use systems they are not familiar with also slows down the training time and increases costs. Companies that still do manual takeoffs will struggle to teach a Millenial worker about scales and manual calculations. This leads to a longer onboarding process, costing companies more money while they wait for a new worker to become productive.

Upgrade your tools

Companies that want to attract younger workers need to upgrade their tools to the latest technology can offer. You don’t have to be on the bleeding edge, but there’s a lot of researched and tried-and-true technology that construction has been hesitant to implement. Companies need to adopt tech to help match the skill sets, education, and training those future workers are receiving.


In accounting education students are quickly trained on the debits and credits, then they are moved to software. While most construction companies use accounting software, not many use software specifically designed for the industry. QuickBooks and other general-purpose accounting software can be useful when a company is starting out, but as they grow and want to attract a higher level of talent, industry-specific software becomes a necessity.

Since construction accounting is so different than any other industry, using industry-specific software becomes even more important. Trying to show someone the intricacies of construction accounting using software that isn’t built for those intricacies can lead to a lot of confusion. New workers need a straightforward process that often isn’t available when using generic software.

Project management

Students in construction management programs are learning project management and documentation by using software packages. These packages make tracking correspondence, submittals, and RFIs much easier than using an Excel spreadsheet. If companies aren’t using these tools, they could be losing the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest.

Estimating and takeoff

When it comes to estimating and material takeoffs, integration is the key. Too many companies rely on outdated software or manual methods to create project estimates and do material takeoffs. Those amounts then need to be entered into another software system once the project is approved. By integrating and automating the estimating takeoff process, companies can improve speed and accuracy. Both of these lead to more work and higher profits.


Scheduling software allows project managers to build dependencies and relationships between tasks on a project. This makes updating the schedule a lot easier because tasks automatically move depending on their predecessors. Having to spend hours manually updating a schedule can be costly.

In addition, some schedules can be imported into the project management system, allowing the team to view the day’s activities and adjust the schedule as needed.

Update your software with Premier

By implementing the latest in technology and bringing processes into the 21st century, construction companies can attract younger, skilled workers. Companies that do not upgrade will continue to struggle to recruit new workers and attract the best and brightest.

If your company is ready to upgrade your accounting and project management software, contact us to see a demo of Premier Construction Software.

Author Biography:

Dawn Killough is a construction writer with over 20 years of experience with construction payments, from the perspectives of subcontractors and general contractors. Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator.  Her work for general contractors, design firms, and subcontractors has even led to the publication of blogs on several construction tech websites and her book, Green Building Design 101.


Tips & Advice Trends & Technology

5 Tips for Successfully Implementing New Software

Implementing new software can be difficult, time-consuming, and stressful. Planning ahead with the employees that will be affected by the change will help everyone feel more comfortable with the process.

The keys to successful implementation of software are listening to your team and maintaining an open line of communication. From there, it’s a matter of being realistic with your goals, starting slowly, and not being afraid to change course when problems occur.

1. Listen to your team

Listening to your team members, especially those that will be most affected by the new software, is vitally important to the implementation process. You’ll want to get feedback regularly from everyone about how the process is going and any concerns they have.

When starting software implementation, listen to your teams concerns and even fears about the process. They may wonder how it will affect them individually, how much additional work they will be expected to do, and who they should go to for help. Listening to these concerns and addressing them in your implementation plan will help build trust and teamwork.

Work with your team to develop goals for the process as well as a timeline for when implementation will be completed. There are several steps involved in implementing a new software program, and you want to make sure you have enough time for each one. Also take into consideration the fact that everyday work needs to continue throughout the implementation process. This may mean that you will need to hire additional help on a temporary basis to keep things running.

Throughout the implementation process and once the software has been rolled out, make sure that you encourage your team to provide feedback. This feedback will let you know how successful the process has been, as well as directing any changes that may need to be made.

2. Provide consistent communication

Be open in your communications to your team. Let them know the good and the bad about the implementation process. Keeping everyone informed will help to dispel rumors and prevent incorrect information from being broadcast throughout the company.

Provide regular updates to your team on the progress of implementation, how you are doing in regard to reaching your goals and the proposed timeline, any setbacks, and any changes that have been made. Being completely honest with your team will continue to build trust and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

3. Be realistic

When setting the timeline for the implementation process, be sure to include time for training and testing the software, reacting to setbacks, and addressing how the day-to-day work will be done while the team is working on the implementation process. Training and testing often take longer than expected, so be sure to include some additional time here. Planning for setbacks and how you will address them will help your team feel more prepared to deal with potential problems.

Goals for the process should be realistic as well. Be sure to start with a small group of employees who will get trained on the software and begin implementing it. Once you see if the test was successful, then you can roll it out to the rest of the company. This testing phase allows you to work out the bugs and develop standard procedures that everyone will follow once it is rolled out company-wide.

Include time for changes or potential setbacks. Not everything will run smoothly the first time you do it. You may find that you need additional resources or need to revise how you’re doing things in order to match the software’s workflow. Building time for changes into your schedule will reduce the stress on the team.

4. Don’t be afraid to change course

During the testing phase, if you find that something is not working the way you expect it to, address it as soon as possible. Start by contacting tech support or your customer service representative to see if there is an answer. If the software can’t address your problem, brainstorm with your team about how you want to handle it. Be open to all potential solutions.

Once the team has provided ideas on how to solve the problem, make a team decision on what your next step will be. If everyone buys in to the next step, it will avoid miscommunication and keep the team more cohesive.

5. Start slowly

When implementing new software, it’s best to start with a small group or one department within your organization. This will allow you to test the processes of the software and learn how to best perform the work. During this testing phase you can make changes to your workflow to improve efficiency.

The test group should work to develop standard operating procedures for the rest of the team. This will help with training the additional members of the team and providing structure for the work.

Don’t roll out software too quickly. Make sure the test group feels comfortable with the processes and the performance of the software, then invite everyone to use the new procedures. The test group can then be the experts that everyone can rely on when they have questions.

Continue to improve

Once the software has been rolled out and everyone is using it, keep the lines of communication open so you can receive feedback from your team about the performance. This feedback will allow you to make changes to your processes, upgrade services, and address potential problems before they become widespread. Continuous improvement in your processes will improve efficiency and accuracy, saving you more time and money.

Change can be scary which is why with Premier Construction Software, our implementation team will be there to hand-hold you throughout the 6-week implementation process. We’ll schedule a business process meeting prior to the start of your training sessions to ensure we fully understand your business needs at the start of the process. When your team is ready to go-live, your team will receive a copy of their personalized business playbook to refer to anytime.

To learn more about how to get started, schedule a call with our sales team today.

Industry Insight Trends & Technology

What’s the difference between a cloud-solution vs on-premise solution?

The use of construction management software on the rise, and there’s no shortage of service providers eager to tell you why their solution is the best fit for your business. 

So how do you decide which is right for you?  

When choosing which construction management software best meets your business needs, one of the biggest factors you’ll need to consider is whether to deploy an on-premise or cloud-based solution. 

Deciding between the two is a complex process with a number of variables to consider, but in this blog, we’ll explore some of the key differences in order to help you make a more informed decision about which is best suited for your construction company.

Cloud vs On-Premise Construction Software

By definition, the most fundamental difference between a cloud-based and on-premise solution is where it’s located. With an on-premise solution, the software is installed locally on computers and supported by a server that’s also located on-premise (thus, the name). A cloud-based solution utilizes external servers managed by a service provider. 

cloud-based construction solution providing convenience to users

Key Areas of Consideration

When deciding between a cloud-based or on-premise construction software solution, here are four key areas to consider: 


  • On-premise: Building a system from the ground up comes at a high cost. On-premise systems cost significantly more upfront because of the server hardware, software licensing, deployment and IT support staff. In addition to the initial investments, companies will also incur ongoing maintenance and operating costs.
  • Cloud: A cloud-based, SaaS solution costs much less upfront than an on-premise solution. The subscription cost and payment structure vary by provider, but payments are typically handled on a monthly or annual basis.  The set up and run times for a cloud solution are much quicker than an on-premise system because once the subscription fees are paid, you can start using the service right away and don’t have to wait for an in-house infrastructure to be built and deployed.


  • On-premise: Remote or limited access is available with some on-premise systems through VPN services; however, limited access is not ideal when critical, up-to-date project information needs to be accessed quickly. 
  • Cloud: With more and more employees working remotely, and project members needing to access information quickly while on the jobsite, a cloud-based solution is the superior choice for accessibility and one of the biggest selling points for a SaaS solution. Many cloud providers also offer custom apps for smartphones, which makes accessibility and collaboration even easier.


  • On-premise: Many companies simply feel safer hosting confidential documents on-site within their own firewalls, though it’s important to note it’s not always actually safer. What it tends to really boil down to is the desire to feel in control. With an on-premise system, you control the system and the backup and privacy policies.
  • Cloud: Most SaaS solutions offer comprehensive security features, and may even have independent security certifications that are more stringent than many in-house IT policies. Cloud service providers routinely employ up-to-date security features so you can feel confident your data is always secure and protected.  


  • On-premise: With an on-premise system, you’re responsible for maintaining the hardware and software, as well as backups, storage and recovery. This typically requires an IT staff, which can be difficult for smaller companies to manage with a limited budget.
  • Cloud: Using a cloud-based solution means you don’t have to worry about updating or maintaining hardware or software, because your service provider will handle that for you. Spending less time and money on maintenance and updates means you can allocate those resources elsewhere.

So, which one is better?

In the end, the “better” solution for you will depend on your unique business needs—but more and more businesses are shifting to cloud-based software because of the upfront cost savings, accessibility, reliability and convenience it offers. The construction industry is fast-paced, and the ability to access up-to-date project information quickly and easily—from anywhere and at any time—is critical to minimizing miscommunication and costly mistakes, as well as keeping projects on-track. 

Laptop displaying a dashboard for a construction job

To learn more about Premier Construction Software and why our comprehensive, cloud-based SaaS solution may just be the perfect fit for your project management needs, click here to schedule a personalized product tour. 


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.

Tips & Advice Trends & Technology

How does the use of construction project management software contribute to your risk management strategy?

Construction project management is often more about preventing and mitigating risk than actual project execution. While workers in the field concentrate on executing the work and quality control, management teams are looking ahead to see what potential problems they can identify before the next phase of the project.

Teams must work together to ensure project safety, schedule maintenance, and budget control. Communication and documentation are two of the most important tools available to do this. Construction project management software can help teams better track and respond to anticipated risk.

Before we get into how project management software helps teams with risk, we’ll look at the potential areas of risk on a project and how construction teams go about managing risk.

Potential Areas of Risk

Project manager stressing about the risks associated with commercial construction project job

There are many potential areas of risk on a construction project. Teams must identify and be aware of them all so they can work collaboratively to address them.

Safety – Construction is dangerous work. There are lots of physical dangers on a project that must be either prevented or managed. These days there are also health risks to consider. Additionally, if a project is being performed in a public space, public safety and health also have to be protected.

Financial – Contractors are vulnerable to financial risks such as unplanned costs and lower production rates. Tracking work costs and daily production, including delays and obstacles, is important to quantify these risks.

Contractual – Most construction project contracts push responsibility for costs and delays down to the next tier of contractor. GCs and subcontractors must read their contracts carefully, so they know what they’re responsible for.

Project – Projects are subject to delays and additional costs due to poor work management, scheduling issues, and unavoidable external conditions. Sometimes these problems can be avoided with better management and planning.

Stakeholder – Poor owner communication and delays in getting necessary information can lead to additional costs and schedule delays. There’s a higher chance of this happening when the owner is a public entity or there are several stakeholders involved in the project.

Environmental – Events such as natural disasters, weather, and fire can lead to damaged materials and work. This can set a project back and cause additional costs and delays.

Labor – Finding skilled workers is becoming more and more difficult, and trade subcontractors are scrambling to keep up with workloads and schedules.

Competition – Especially on hard bid projects, contractors are under pressure to be the low bidder, meaning there’s a chance they will cut corners to reduce project costs or cut scheduled time.

Construction Risk Management Process

The risk management process most contractors use is simple and straightforward. It involves three steps:

  1. Identify risks – First, the contractor must become familiar with all aspects of the project, including the scope of work and timeline for completion. Once they’ve done that, they’ll be better able to identify potential risks for the project. This is done by analyzing the flow of work, the individual tasks that must be completed, and the scheduled time, looking for potential conflicts or issues like those listed above.
  2. Prioritize risks – Next, the project management team will look at each of the risks they’ve identified and determine the probability that it will happen, potential severity of the risk, and its potential effect on the project. Risks with the highest probability and potential severity will be prioritized ahead of those with lower probability and severity. This allows the project team to make strategic decisions about how to address these risks, addressing the most probable ones first.
  3. Manage risks – Once the risks have been identified and prioritized, the team develops a plan to mitigate or prevent them from happening. They focus on the higher priority risks first, ensuring that they are addressed before moving on to the lower priority ones.

The risk management process detailed above is repeated many times as the project moves along. Risks that were present in the initial stages of a project may not be of concern later on. Additionally, new risks may be identified as work progresses and additional information comes to light. Teams need to be ready to respond to these risks proactively, so they should be constantly assessing the job for potential issues.

How Construction Project Management Software Can Help

Manage construction projects and submittals using Premier Construction Software

Construction project management software can help project teams reduce or mitigate many of the risks found on a project. Although it can’t address all potential risks, it does provide a way to speed communication and document what is being done to address potential issues.

Reporting – Project management software allows teams to quickly see overdue tasks and documents that may delay the project. Teams can run reports that show items outstanding as well as who is responsible for responding to those items. For example, tasks such as completing punch list items need to be addressed quickly so owners can move in. Also, documents like submittals and RFIs require timely responses to keep the project moving. Knowing who needs to do what helps teams keep the project on schedule.

Tracking – These days construction companies need to track health checks and other safety-related inspections more closely. Daily recording of inspection results and health checks in project management software allows team members to see their status and predict potential problems. Recording the number of crews and where they’re working can also help with contact tracing, should that be needed.

Document control – Given the number of documents that are created and distributed during a project, having a central hub where they are stored is a must. Document storage, version control, and distribution can easily be managed by project management software, ensuring everyone is working from the latest documents and has access to them from wherever they are.

Communication – Just like for documents, having a central location for all your project correspondence is a necessity. Team members then have only one place to look when it comes to searching for an email or notice. In addition, all communication is tracked and documented within the project management system. Specific items can easily be researched and recalled in minutes.

Budget – Having an integrated system where costs are instantly updated in the field allows teams to respond to potential budget issues quickly. Project managers can view and manage the budget and costs from the project site, without having to request a report from the office. They’re also able to predict future costs based on commitments, allowing for early detection of over budget items so they can adjust them as needed.

PM Software Helps Project Teams Assess and Prevent Risk

Laptop displaying a reporting dashboard for a construction project managers

Construction project management software allows project teams to create processes to help them plan for and mitigate risks on their projects. These processes, combined with documentation and tracking, help ensure that teams are prepared for and respond to risks.

The ability to get up-to-date information, including contract documents, correspondence, and status updates, allows teams to see where they’re vulnerable to risk and take action to control or mitigate it.

Premier’s job dashboard allows project managers to assess the status of their jobs from one screen. Whether the job is running overbudget or there are pending items that require their attention, an all-in-one construction management solution can help your team identify at-risk items before it’s too late. To learn more about Premier Construction Software, schedule a demo today.


Author Biography:

Dawn Killough is a construction writer with over 20 years of experience with construction payments, from the perspectives of subcontractors and general contractors. Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator.  Her work for general contractors, design firms, and subcontractors has even led to the publication of blogs on several construction tech websites and her book, Green Building Design 101.

Industry Insight Trends & Technology

How COVID-19 Has Shifted the Construction Industry in 2020

Things have changed in 2020; we all know that. With industry shutdowns, social distancing, and new safety regulations, there’s no way they couldn’t change. The construction industry is unique in the effects the pandemic has had on our work. Since much of our work still has to be done on-site and by groups of people working closely with each other, the industry has had to pivot quickly. This has led to innovations in several areas, with the most prominent being technology, safety, and communication.

Construction technology

There have always been early adopters of construction technology, and many companies have been on the cutting edge for years. But these adopters have been widely dispersed and technology hasn’t gained much momentum in the industry, until now. In fact, up until now construction has been one of the slowest industries when it comes to adopting technology.

In 2020 the game changed. Suddenly everyone had to adopt technology, whether they wanted to or not. Some tech, like video conferencing, everyone had to quickly adapt to, so we were all in it together. There is some technology however, that the construction industry had to adapt on its own.

Drones have been in use on construction projects for a few years now. So they aren’t completely new to the industry. But suddenly project teams had to rely on them to get information from project sites. Drones are now being used by roofing contractors to do takeoffs and inspections, by site teams to perform project walk-throughs, and as a tool for surveying parts of projects that are difficult to get to. Expect drones to continue to grow in popularity into the future.

Virtual reality (VR) has allowed project teams to view projects and do inspections without having to be present physically. VR runs the gamut from photographs that are sent to inspectors and team leaders to a full video tour by a project team member with a phone or by drone. While the use of photos and video have been around for a while, they were never used for formal building inspections. Jurisdictions have been quick to adopt these technologies due to the fact that they needed to limit their on-site visits. The use of VR has the capability to speed inspections and shorten schedules.

The use of robots and other equipment to assist with the installation of building materials has also increased this year. Glass companies are using additional equipment to help them install large panes of glass with only one or two real person team members. This has improved the safety of installation and also sped up production. The use of robots and equipment to assist with installation continues to increase, and probably will as we continue to look for ways to work smarter.


2020 has been the year for new safety and health regulations, including regular health checks and added PPE. Local jurisdictions have been quickly issuing new guidance to contractors on how to keep their job sites running during the pandemic, while keeping workers as safe as possible. Contractors have had to pivot multiple times this year, reassessing their safety protocols and making sure that everyone is complying with the new requirements.

Companies now have to implement health monitoring protocols into their job sites. On large projects this can be difficult, as workers are entering and leaving areas through multiple entrances, and sites aren’t always monitored. In addition, companies have to track where workers are working at all times and who they are working closely with, in case they need to do contracting tracing. They also must keep detailed records and have them available when requested. Many companies have turned to technology to assist them with this, including the use of wearables, location monitoring, and automated health checks. Until the vaccine is widely distributed, these protocols will remain in place.

PPE needs have skyrocketed this year. Suddenly facemasks and gloves were in short supply. Now that supplies have leveled off, it’s easier for contractors to get a hold of the PPE they need. Many sites are requiring face protection, gloves, and masks be worn at all times to keep employees safe. These protocols are likely to continue into 2021 and beyond, as we try to maintain the health of all on-site workers.

Manpower use and crew size have decreased this year. Large job sites that had hundreds of workers were reduced to tens. Many companies had to look at alternative ways to get their work installed. Some used added equipment or robots, while others looked to prefabrication. Fabricating assemblies off-site reduces the number of employees in one space, allowing more workers to continue working safely. Prefabrication also reduces the amount of material used, prevents weather damage, and is better for the environment. This is a trend that will continue to gain momentum.


In a Forbes article, Johnny Clemmons, SAP Global Vice President Industry Business Unit Head of Engineering, Construction, and Operations, said that in the future, “Information must also be democratized, digitized, and universally placed into the hands of constructors to make a real impact on the industry.” While communication has often been a struggle in construction, many companies were forced to step into the future whether they were ready or not. The face of communication on job sites will be forever changed due to the pandemic.

Videoconferencing immediately jumped into the forefront of everyone’s day-to-day life. Zoom calls and Teams meetups are the norm today. These meetings have allowed people to remain in contact with each other, see each other, and maintain some sense of normalcy when face-to-face meetings haven’t been allowed. While many are suffering “Zoom fatigue,” these calls have allowed team members to attend meetings and view sites without having to travel, saving time and money. Conferencing this way may continue to be the norm going into the future, especially as security improves.

Cloud storage allows teams to access files, documents, and photos from anywhere with an internet connection. Since many project executives have been working remotely or at home, the ability to have access to these documents is paramount. This has allowed teams to easily keep up to date with project changes and ensure that team members have access to all the project files.

Collaboration and communication among team members has been more difficult when they can’t meet around the table and have open discussions. Many have turned to project management software to assist in collaboration. The ability to review drawings or documents, make changes, and have them updated immediately has improved project communication and helped ensure that work is done correctly.

The new normal

While drastic changes in technology, safety, and communication have occurred this year, the industry has quickly adapted and integrated these changes into his everyday processes. Teams are now better poised to deal with changes on-site with the use of these tools. While the use of on-site technology and current safety protocols may be reduced once the pandemic has passed, the need for communication and collaboration among team members will continue into the future. Companies that adopt tools such as construction project management software will have more success in the future, leading to better projects and improved client relationships.


Author Biography:

Dawn Killough is a construction writer with over 20 years of experience with construction payments, from the perspectives of subcontractors and general contractors. Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator.  Her work for general contractors, design firms, and subcontractors has even led to the publication of blogs on several construction tech websites and her book, Green Building Design 101.