Managing construction sites is never easy. Project managers are given a full-load of responsibilities throughout the entire construction phases from running initial meetings to the design and planning stage, building stage, and post-construction stage. Without a reliable tool to aid in all the tasks, project managers can become worn out but the output quality isn’t guaranteed. Automating tasks with construction management software has been a solution for efficiently and easily running projects. But as technology transforms so quickly, project managers need to make sure that the software they use has the features that can keep up with the new challenges brought about by innovations in construction.
Turning Construction Management Digital
When your company is yet to embrace digital construction tools, it is best to start with essential management software. However, it would be more helpful for a firm to begin with construction project management software rather than using generic project management tools such as ASANA and Slack.
The reason for this is for construction managers to start on the right foot when deciding to go through digital transformation. Access to features tailored for the construction industry can help transition the process as many companies are still depending on manual processes for running the construction site.
Re-skilling the crew members, is another reason to start with construction-dedicated management software. Not all construction workers are tech-savvy and not all of them can get the gist of using software instantly. When you introduce software and suddenly shift to another one, their routine will be disturbed and might get more confused than becoming more efficient.
The best construction management software has the basic features and tools to aid a project manager and crew members in their respective tasks. That said, the best software you should start with as you transition to project management digitalization should have the following construction tools and features:
- Project planning tools
- Construction scheduling tools
- Team collaboration features
- Time tracking features
- Reporting tools
But not all software is made complete. Even premium software lack a feature or two. But as the construction industry continues to utilize the software for managing construction projects, developers are sure to find a way to put all the features needed by project teams in one place.
New Features Every Construction Project Management Software Should Have
Digitalization in construction aims to develop the ultimate software that serves as a one-stop-shop for project management needs so that users will no longer need to install multiple apps for every task.
Finding out what may be locking in most basic construction software, firms want addition of the following:
1. Resource management
In managing construction, your team’s time at work is not the only element that should be tracked. Apart from your workers, there are other vital resources that project managers should also look after. They include raw materials, tools, equipment, and probably some meeting rooms.
To make project management fully digital and remote, it will be useful if the software you use has the capability to track all resources. In tracking them, the ideal software should be able to calculate material cost and volume as well as list down their corresponding suppliers; schedule the use of tools and equipment to know their downtime and whether they are being used efficiently or not; track where tools and equipment are used and who are using them, schedule maintenance works to preserve the life of equipment and tools so no member becomes idle when they suddenly malfunction.
All of these features help prevent going over the budget and conflicts over lacking resources. Furthermore, these capabilities can help project managers allot resources more efficiently so that nothing goes to waste and the construction schedule be strictly met.
2. Managing Construction Budget
Not all construction software has accounting tools that can guide project managers to calculate costs and compare them with the allotted budget. Consequently, many projects tend to go out of the budget because the funds were not carefully monitored. The ideal construction software then may have to include budget report features.
Project managers need to track expenses and create a report to have exact and complete details of when, where, and how the budget was used. This helps the admin to see whether they are already close to overspending or when the funds are about to deplete.
3. Automated Billing and Invoicing
One of the primary purposes of construction project management software is to track time spent on tasks. This may not replace on-site timekeeping tools, but they can be integrated so project managers can see the real-time in and out of the workers. This way, they can calculate the right wage that each worker deserves. It will also be better to have presets or default formulas so that salaries can be computed automatically at your set payday.
Another nice feature is automated invoicing, where project managers can forward bills to the client in just a few clicks. This helps prevent getting paid late or running out of funds.
Both times billing and invoicing consume a lot of time. Not to mention when project managers need to repeat their report because they detected errors throughout the process. With software, data is more accurate and correct. Hence managers are able to save up to 10 hours weekly doing all these accounting tasks.
4. Deep Learning for Preventive Measures
With deep learning technology integrated with project management software, firms can detect possible problems caused by the current work progress. For instance, templates or checklists that can be interpreted by software can be used for daily reports. Different outcomes based on the choices in these checklists will then be taught to the software so it can predict probable outcomes. This way, project managers can recognize problem points earlier and develop solutions to prevent the occurrence of errors.
5. Decision Management
Software that can help crew members decide during a crucial moment can be beneficial for the construction company. While software makes it convenient for the management to check on-site activities, project managers still won’t be on their phones and laptops always. When there is an urgent matter that needs their decision, but they are not around, decision management technology can help. This is possible by creating an automated set of rules to automate decision making. Furthermore, it can help make smarter decisions based on facts like who to assign a task based on a set of rules.
6. Customer Relationship Management
Most construction software lacks CRM tools but being able to connect with clients 24/7 can improve a firm’s reputation and the chance of winning more projects. Clients are always busy and may have urgent concerns they want to clarify even if it’s already late at night, so you may wish to a construction software that alerts you and enables you to answer their queries immediately.
Other CRM features that are good to have included being able to create private folders for each client where documents can be shared. It is also plausible to automate sending reminders to clients before paying invoices or when changes in plan, schedule, and budget occur.
Pro Crew Schedule Features
It is essential to find the right project management software that can support your goals in expanding your business. The software has streamlined core construction processes that usually take a lot of time and effort to finish, like writing daily schedules and tracking progress. Completing these tasks using templates enabled remote construction project management. Errors in data are eliminated.
Pro Crew Schedule software is among the preferred digital construction tools by firms in the U.S.A as it is complete with the features mentioned above. It is a centralized location for collaboration and connecting the general contractor, client, subcontractor, and crew members. Secure database and cloud-based are also the key features that makes this software the perfect tool for construction businesses.
Writing daily schedules can be more complicated than you can imagine. Checking out real-time progress so the manager can list down the next steps can consume so much time. This is why the software you use must be cloud-based so that all data shared across the network is current.
The construction industry is benefiting from the use of construction software. From BIM to accounting, invoicing, collaboration, billing, and time tracking, the industry relies on digital solutions for precision and speed. Hence, it’s nice to have them all and fully automate these tasks.
However, crowding your smartphone or tablet with so many of these apps can slow down your device. In the end, instead of enjoying the benefits of digitalization, you might not be able to take advantage of all this software’s potential. That said, we recommend finding an all-in-one software for managing construction phases like Pro Crew Schedule.
Our list of must-have new software features can also guide you in evaluating software solutions out there. Put in mind that the software you choose to employ can either help you achieve your business goals and make every project successful or instead become a waste of investment. So, take extra caution in choosing innovative construction software to use.