According to research, construction businesses often lose one full day of operations and work every week due to inefficiencies in their overall process. Most business leaders and project managers cite poor construction project planning as the main culprit. Only a versatile project scheduling software can combat this productivity loss by letting project teams and managers schedule time for all tasks.
With a more optimized schedule, your construction team can work efficiently. On the other hand, construction managers can save more time because they only need to respond to unforeseen events rather than planning daily. There is so much to benefit from using specialized software for your business.
This blog post will guide you in understanding more about construction management software. We will cover the different types of scheduling software out there, the best features to look for in the software, its many benefits, and the factors you need to consider when choosing the right one for your construction business.
But What is Scheduling Software?
Construction project scheduling refers to when a project is being planned task per task to ensure a smooth foundation or build. In previous years, construction scheduling and workflow process was often done manually using physical Gantt charts. Today, overall planning is particularly done using project management software, which streamlines much of the process and workflow.
In general, if you are a project manager, you are tasked to come up with a schedule and should be using this specialized software to sort things accordingly and effectively handle many tasks. In many ways, these construction management devices are far better than manual scheduling when managing complex projects and construction activities.
What Types of Construction Scheduling Solutions Are There?
Several types of scheduling software and project management tools are widely available today based on the functionalities needed by your construction firm. Learn each type below:
- Full-suite project management: this type of scheduling software does everything from start to end, including a request for information, estimation, scheduling, bidding, change orders, and closeout.
- Transportation and routine scheduling: Helps your team move from job site to job site several times daily to complete smaller tasks.
- Vendor management: Monitors and communicates with vendors and subs.
- Bid Management, Estimating, and Budgeting Tools: Useful in determining project costs, running document management, or performing job costing.
Note: Your construction business may need one or a few project management solutions depending on the scope and size of the projects you handle. And no matter the size of your business or the scale of your projects, you must focus on construction schedule plotting as one of your fundamental keys to success.
Best Features to Look for in Construction Management Software
There are various features you can look for regarding this scheduling software. All these features are beneficial in determining what is best for your construction projects, job sites, people, and operations.
1. Task Creation
All scheduling processes rely on a defined task list to develop accurate project schedules. Some of the software options available now are limited to creating a simple and basic template to develop your schedule. Only top construction schedule solutions like Pro Crew Schedule feature customizable tasks and complex dependency preps.
Other task creation-related features to expect in this software solution include:
- Import tasks and coding tasks
- Mark parts of the critical path
- Create and save customized tasks
- Show the completed tasks in detail
2. Schedule Viewing
Gantt charts are the most common tool for viewing complex projects, which is why most software options today offer a viewing feature. But, only excellent scheduling software provides advanced viewing features with assignment charts, mind maps, calendar views, and timeline views.
Make sure to look for additional viewing features such as seeing your crew member’s active tasks, current team member workload, master project Gantt charts, and days off in the overall schedule due to certain events or holidays.
3. Special Information Storage
Large, complex construction projects typically have certain requirements for the overall scheduling process. The capacity to store the critical details and use them in the schedule is vital on complex sites. For instance, right after implementing erosion control, no work should occur on-site, and you and your construction team must wait more or less seven days before returning to normal. Obviously, a delay happened, and only good project management software must account for this delay automatically.
In addition, make sure to look for a software solution that can let you add information such as crew members fit for certain tasks, specific skills, vehicle availability, lunch break times, and more. Spot-on schedule optimization occurs when all the necessary details for a list of tasks are in the workflow.
4. Budget and Cost Tracking
Probably the most vital feature entails project budget and cost tracking. Your business can define budgets and costs alongside specific projects with a construction management solution.
This particular feature allows you to:
- Track costs from initial construction to finalized costs in post-construction
- Access regional/location differences in labor and costs
- Understand projects costs versus a remodel
- Streamline both cost tracking and project budget.
- Tie tracking capacities into other elements of the system.
5. Document Management
Your construction company can eliminate unnecessary trips and merge important information between you and your clients by allowing them to store and attach relevant documents and photos. Using specialized software for project management, you can:
- Set red lines and mark-ups, and check in and out any construction documents
- Assign files to your construction team and the rest of the members.
- Be reminded with automatic notifications
- Share-ability between applications and users
6. Workflow Optimization
Find out where you are in the workflow process, whether in the work order implementation or form completion process – and where you are heading next. This feature gives you helpful insights into the many workflow phases, from start to end.
The right project management solution can optimize your overall workflow process. In addition, it can help you:
- Access critical information – where and when you need it
- Allow you and the rest of the team involved in the project to join in and complete particular tasks and forms, and then have those forms sent to the right person for approval.
- Secure, reliable tracking and viewing of data and implement workflows.
This software solution can make processes more smooth and fluid while improving overall project operations. Here, we cite the many benefits of adopting a project management solution for your business:
- Better communication with key stakeholders
- Greater accountability
- Increase clarity into assigned roles
- Improvement in construction management
- More precise project budgeting
- Insightful reporting and budgeting
- Convenience and ease of use
- Seamless adaptation and integration
- Increased customer satisfaction
Four Basic Construction Software Considerations
Below we will go over some of the most common factors you must consider during your decision-making process.
- The Cloud: Regarding construction schedulers, cloud-based project solutions offer the best convenience because most workers are located anywhere. That is why you need a cloud-based project management solution that can improve your team’s collaboration and coordination anytime and anywhere.
- Security: One of the most important factors that you should consider too when looking for the right software is security. Know that scheduling information is one security concern. So, think about what other details may be compromised when someone is to gain access to your project management data.
Scheduling solutions available today include bid management, job cost details, and more. If deploying this specialized software, ensure it has the best security features.
- Mobile access: Mobile accessibility to construction schedules is ultimately necessary for the field. Good thing that most of the project solutions today allow access from different devices in any location. Once finding the best software, test it out and determine whether all the functionalities you are looking for are there – especially the mobile accessibility. Ensure that the mobile access works perfectly in the office or the field.
- Costs: The price of the software is another factor you must consider. Note that the software’s price is often determined by its functionalities. However, the cost may also reflect how many user accounts are needed, how the system is being deployed, and what type of customer service the software vendor offers.
If you need a multi-user software solution, then consider the number of users you will have, the pricing model, and how easier it is to add and remove users.
Are You Looking for the Right Construction Technology?
How will you know if a project management solution is a right tool for your construction business? If you read the whole blog, you will know what features you want for a project management tool. Perhaps your main concerns include how to save time, keep your people and clients updated and informed, eliminate reworks and additional costs, and so many more.
Only a versatile construction management solution like Pro Crew Schedule can help you deal with these concerns. It has all the built-in features you are looking for, and it significantly helps your construction business delivers projects within budget and on time.
Look no further than Pro Crew Schedule. Try it now. Get started with a free live demo.