Do You Need to Rethink Your Approach to
Construction Planning Software?
May 04, 2021
As a construction professional, you know that before the first boot hits the ground, there must be a solid plan. You also know that planning for every project eventuality can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. More and more construction companies have been making the move from spreadsheet-based planning processes and point solutions to construction planning software. Why? Because such software can do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to planning, right down to the last detail before handover. It has truly become a digital tool that is on par with the physical tools used out on the job site.
If you’re still on the fence about whether construction planning software is truly necessary for your business, it may be time to rethink your approach. Where to start? Examining the following situations can help shine a light on your own needs and how planning software can help fill and even exceed those needs.
You’re losing money on systems or programs that don’t deliver the efficiencies you need now
Using a legacy system or two? While still somewhat useful, you’re likely spending good money on legacy service agreements that could end in the middle of a long-term build, or on an internal IT staff to maintain and update largely antiquated systems. Perhaps even more important than the monetary outlay, they’re not delivering the efficiencies you need now to remain competitive. Automatic calculations, multiple schedule adjustments, risk analytics for what-if scenarios, and real-time data dashboards that enable time-sensitive decision making — these are all important functionalities you can find in today’s best construction planning software solutions.
You’re hitting scheduling snags that cause delays
Sometimes snags are a result of inaccurate schedule estimates established during the planning phase. Construction planning software allows you to incorporate data from past projects as a guideline for more realistic and accurate scheduling. Not only that, it can monitor all your overlapping schedules and sequential activities so you don’t have to, showing where adjustments need to be made. Some software can even be set up to send you alerts to potential deviations. This can give you enough of a heads-up to course correct before issues snowball into much bigger challenges, which could result in a liquidated damages claim from the owner as well as delayed retention payments owed to you. Also, scheduling isn’t just about getting the right people and equipment to the right place at the right time. You can also use the software to ensure all non-build variables are accounted for as well – securing permits, ordering materials, planning inspections and more — to keep all project activities moving along in sync. Remember, delays resulting from non-build tasks can often have far-reaching ramifications beyond the construction itself.
You want to take on more complex, sizable projects requiring precision and the ability to adjust tasks on the fly
Projects of great magnitude require a lot more accountability. Every expenditure, every resource hour, every task, every risk has to be accounted for from the beginning. Owners want to know you can make the necessary decisions — based on accurate data — to meet their project requirements. That takes a level of precision and control you simply can’t get from planning with simply computer spreadsheets. You want owners to know you have confidence in the accuracy of all your data so you can adjust costs and schedules as necessary, gauge the impact of potential risks and provide real-time reporting on project progress. All of this comes within an efficient construction planning software platform.
Your current software isn’t industry-specific and is unable to handle the level of detail your projects require
Using industry-agnostic planning software may help you with some general scheduling and planning — to a point. But it can certainly cost you some bids, and even jeopardize projects you’re currently working on. This is because it isn’t set up to organize workflows for crews in the field or track equipment at specific locations at a job site. And it certainly won’t be able to perform risk analyses of potential changes or unexpected problems. Planning software for construction is designed to help you plan and execute a successful project by accounting for the variables that are unique to the industry. And especially if you’re working on large, complex projects, you don’t want to entrust the success of those projects to anything that doesn’t help you manage every detail.
You’ve accumulated multiple point solutions that don’t integrate as well as you’d like
While initially meant to be time- and effort-saving, unrelated products added to your mix may have led to an unintended effect of more work for your power users. As a result, they may be doing unnecessarily repetitive data entry across these solutions, which can increase the risk of mistakes and compromise the integrity of your data. Could the time spent on that duplicated effort be diverted more productively elsewhere? Are keystroke errors skewing cost or schedule information? How much are you spending on servicing and maintaining those separate solutions?
You have remote project team members and crews on the job site who need to access plan throughout build
This one is particularly important. Why? Because construction is dependent on communication among everyone who’s part of the project. Lack of communication is among the top complaints within the industry, and for good reason: when those out on the job site are out of the loop on updated blueprints, critical change orders, site hazards or anything else that impacts their day-to-day job, it’s a sure path to project delays. The ideal solution? A way for everyone to access the information they need when they need it, with automatic notifications alerting those who need to know about updates that affect job progress. That’s what you’ll find in today’s advanced cloud-based construction planning software solutions.
Even if just one of these situations resonates with you, it might be enough to put this vital tech tool in the must-have category. Want to know more? We’re happy to walk you through a demo so you can see how this solution can make a positive difference in your construction project performance.