How to Choose the Right Construction Management Software
It’s true that the high number of available solutions on the market, makes it hard to select the right and relevant construction management software for your business.
Nevertheless, with some researches on the net and few advices from friends, you could have a plan on how to decide on the best construction software relevant to your needs and requirements.
In this article, we will walk you through the different criteria you should consider before choosing your construction management tool.
Before we jump in to our checklist, let’s sum up the main purposes of such tools.
What does construction management software do?
Construction management software is a game changer for construction managers and project managers. It allows them to centralize all project data within one platform and to coordinate activities and processes effectively. On top of that, it helps them take a more accurate decisions in the right time. Such decisions could be critical for the success of the whole project.
Here are 9 advantages of a construction management solution:
- Saves you time.
- Keeps your data organized.
- Enhances communication between your team members.
- Involves your customer so you get prompt feedback.
- Makes task assignment easy and remote.
- Allows you to manage remote projects efficiently.
- Helps you deliver your project on time and within budget.
- Creates instant reports for more accurate decisions.
- Generates real time timesheets.
14 Criteria to choose the best construction management software?
If you are a construction project manager, the first advice to give you is when you look for a construction management platform, consider not only your needs but also those of your organization, your team and your customers/partners.
Below are the steps and things to take into account when deciding on the best construction management tool:
1- Find your why
First thing to keep in mind is your goal behind moving to a construction management software. Your goal will help you prioritize the features you need to find in the software.
2- Set your budget
Consider your financial capabilities and try to set a budget estimation for the required software. This way, you will narrow further the search results.
3- Number of potential users
Software solutions price is often subject to the estimated number of persons that will have access to, particularly if the software is cloud-based.
4- Decide if you need document management and file storage
A significant majority of the available construction management software, do not include document management and document archiving. This will adjust further the search output.
5- Mobile capabilities
Nowadays, it’s not wise to choose a building management software that is not accessible on smartphones and tablets. It saves you time, money and keep everyone connected wherever they are.
6- Avoid complicated software filled with unnecessary features
Among the most important criteria to look for in a management software is how it is easy to use. A complicated software will lead to a high resistance from your collaborators, customers, contractors and partners. This will result in an onboarding failure and a waste of time and money.
Today we’re witnessing software companies piling up irrelevant and useless features in order to stand out from the competition, while it is better to improve needed features so that they exceed users’ expectations.
7- Check and compare integrated communication tools
Among the main purposes of a building management software is to connect office workers, builders, project teams and all stakeholders together. Ensure that you choose a construction management tool that has different communication channels. Let’s not forget that poor communication is a contributing factor in 56% of the projects that failed, according to The Project Management Institute (PMI).
8- Choose an agile-friendly construction management software
A software with a combination of agile and waterfall management tools would be a good option.
9- Opt for customizable workflows
Fixed workflows are not practical. Not all projects are similar, thus, it’s common to see construction project managers use a different workflow for each project.
10- Financial management
Select what are the financial tools that your business require. You would probably find a significant number of tools, but you should focus on what you need. (Budget estimation, budget tracking, invoicing, financial reports, timesheets…)
11- Dashboard and reporting
Project management requires monitoring a ton of information from multiple departments and sources. Construction management software provide dashboards that display consolidated data in order to see the big picture of the project and to take timely decisions.
You may need a Gantt chart to ensure completion of tasks on time. Not all construction management platforms include scheduling tools, that’s why you should check this feature, if you need it.
13- RFI tracking
A request for information (RFI) is a document used during the construction process to clarify the necessary details of a project.
Clients, contractors and stakeholders often encounter situations that require additional information throughout the course of a project. These cases call for an RFI, which enables subcontractors and general contractors to complete work that satisfies the client and stays true to the architect’s vision for the design.
Select a solution with easy RFI management process and which has the capability to send the RFI to everyone who needs to respond, no matter where they are, and to attach photos, drawings or schematics that are more detailed, specific to your request.
14- Daily logs
In a construction project, the daily log or site diary should contain information about the weather, material deliveries, progress on the site, and any accidents or injuries.
This is a very important tool that you should check its availability in the targeted software.
Example of a construction project management software
Averroes Software is a good example of an all-in-one web and mobile construction management software for builders, engineers, project managers or contractors. Averroes has a cloud-based solution as well as an on premise one.
- Project control
- Document control & archiving
- Cost control
Averroes includes different communication tools such as:
- Built-in email module for internal & external users.
- Built-in videoconferencing module (including recorded meetings, online MOM form filling, screen sharing…).
- RFI (request for information) management module.
- Robust mobile platform (iOS and Android).
- Real time chatting.
- Video calling.
- Vocal commenting on documents.
- Link generation and file sharing.
- Tasks sharing.
Averroes Software is compatible with all types of construction projects: residential, industrial, institutional or infrastructure projects.
It includes a great feature which is the BIM viewer in order to manage and visualize over 60 types of supported 3D Models from desktop or mobile. Besides, Averroes integrates a highly practical and easy to use daily log that contains all necessary items to record everyday progress on construction projects.
– Take advantage of free trials or free plans: Many construction software vendors offer a freemium of their products, which can be a great way to try out the software and see if it meets your needs before making a purchase. Take advantage of these opportunities to test out the software and get a feel for how it works and whether it is a good fit for your business.
– Consider the level of support available for the software, as you may need assistance with installation, setup, troubleshooting or training.
– Look for a solution that specifically caters to the construction industry, as it will likely have features and functionality that are specifically designed for construction-related tasks and processes.