As a startup, one of the most important investments you will make is selecting the right type of software for your construction business. Instead of purchasing multiple systems that only offer partial solutions, it pays to invest in an all-in-one platform that will grow with your company. In this article, we’ll look at what kind of software construction companies need, which software is best for construction companies, and why you should invest in construction software.
What kind of software do construction companies use?
Construction companies typically use up to four types of software: accounting/financial, project management, document management, and time/equipment tracking.
Accounting/financial software tracks the flow of money in and out of the company. Its features include accounts payable tracking, accounts receivable tracking (customer billing), bank reconciliation, job costing, and financial statements.
Project management software assists contractors with the flow of communication required when working on a construction project. Its features include contract and subcontract tracking, purchase orders, requests for information (RFIs), submittal tracking, change orders, and daily reports.
Document management software allows team members to share files and documents with other team members. Many of these systems are hosted on the cloud to allow for remote access.
Time and equipment tracking assist with payroll and customer billing, as well as manpower reports and resource tracking. Many companies still use paper timesheets to record workers’ hours, which can be inaccurate.
What is ERP software?
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. ERP systems combine all the capabilities listed above to provide a more cohesive picture of the entire business and its activities. They aren’t just focused on finances. These systems allow companies to have an all-in-one solution instead of separate systems for each purpose.
The benefits of an ERP system include:
- Increased organizational efficiency – ERPs improve resource use, leading to greater efficiencies, saving time and money.
- Integrated systems – ERPs eliminate the need to manually transfer data from one system to another.
- Common database – There’s only one place to look for a piece of information or data, saving employees hours of search time.
- Real-time data – When they need information team members and management don’t have to wait for reports to be run or data to be collated.
- Common user interface – Everyone has a similar user experience, simplifying standard operating procedure development and training.
- Ability to collect and compare metrics – Managers can compare the information with other departments to gain new business insights.
- A complete view of business performance – Dashboards provide real-time data on performance across departments and divisions.
- Scalability – ERP systems grow with your company.
- Collaboration – Team collaboration is improved when everyone is using the same system.
Which software is best for construction companies?
The construction industry is different than any other industry. There are special financial concepts that aren’t present in standard businesses, such as retention and work-in-progress revenue recognition. Companies working in the industry require special software to handle these concepts.
An industry best practice is to use construction-specific software. It saves you time and money trying to make another system do what you need it to do. Workarounds and data transfer waste time and provide opportunities for errors and mistakes.
An all-in-one software provides the best solution for construction companies. It ensures the integrity of the data and makes training easier.
Why you should invest in construction software
Communication and collaboration are key in construction. The software improves communication between team members and stakeholders, creating a central platform for real-time collaboration and problem-solving. A centralized place for team members to quickly access and communicate project information leads to improved planning and faster execution.
The tasks required to complete a project can be entered, assigned, and updated easily with construction software. Project managers and team members now know what resources and equipment are required, which allows for more accurate forecasting.
The software provides a centralized place for critical information to be stored, managed, updated, and accessed by those who need it. Construction documents can be complex and evolving, so digitizing, simplifying, and storing the data on the cloud saves time and reduces errors.
Consolidated dashboards make it easy to digest and consume business information. They provide the ability to drill down into the detailed information or to identify red flags or pending approvals that are hindering project progress.
Premier Software is the solution
As a startup, it’s important to budget for software to run your business. Premier Software offers an all-in-one package that gives you the visibility you need to manage your business. Purchasing software that isn’t structured for construction leads to inefficiencies and wasted time and money. With Premier, you can work with your account manager to ensure that you are performing according to industry best practices.
To see how Premier Software can help you structure your business for success, schedule a demo today.
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.