Is Your Company Ready for Construction-Specific Software?
December 07, 2020
As construction software gradually becomes more mainstream, you may be wondering, “When is it time for our company to make the switch?” It’s a question that can surface out of sheer curiosity about what other companies are able to do with the software, or because you have a proactive desire to improve efficiency across the board. It can also crop up as a result of ongoing challenges that are hindering your project and business success.
These scenarios could indicate it’s the right time to make the leap to construction software
You need better tracking and control over costs, schedules, change orders and documents.
Perhaps it’s become more difficult to track change orders and approvals. Or you want to share critical documents with site crews or stakeholders, but they’re sequestered on someone’s computer or hidden away in someone’s metal filing cabinet. Hunting down these hard-to-find critical pieces of information may be monopolizing time you can’t afford to waste. This can cost you in productivity and profits.
The best way to solve this? Centralize all project-related information in a web-based platform — a key feature of construction-specific software. More and more project managers are realizing it’s the most efficient way for everyone to have access to what they need, when they need it.
You want to be able to forecast and address “what if” scenarios.
What do cost projections look like for “what if” scenarios? How well is your budget performing against your original cost estimates? Are you able to make strategic decisions based on actual data?
Answering these questions can feel like a guessing game if you don’t have the right information. This isn’t to say experience doesn’t matter when it comes to managing ahead. But without data, what you don’t know can actually hurt your project.
This is where construction software can give you an advantage. It lets you plug in data — whether industry benchmarks or your own historical project data — so you can create more precise cost estimates, and therefore more accurate forecasts. This makes contingency planning around possible negative trends or risks a lot easier and can give you a better handle on your potential ROI.
You need better reporting that gives you more transparency and insights into your data.
The data generated using construction-specific software for field reports, costs, scheduling and resources gives you real-time visibility into the progress of your project so that, when combined with your experience, you can make decisions from a more proactive place rather than a reactive one. For example, do you notice a trend developing that you need to course-correct for? Are your actual costs in line with the original estimates? With construction-specific software, you can turn that data into more digestible reports to distribute among stakeholders and decision-makers to keep them in the loop, including clients who may appreciate receiving up-to-the-minute progress reports.
You want a higher level of project certainty and peace of mind from data that is current, accurate and actionable.
Every construction project has some degree of uncertainty. It’s the nature of the industry. The challenge is finding a way to achieve a level of predictability that gives you confidence in your project right from the beginning.
Software with construction estimating functionalities does exactly that. It’s designed specifically to capture all the data you need at the start of your project — such as unit costs and quantities for labor, equipment and materials — and automatically calculate everything for you. Removing the risk of human miscalculation means you can have highly accurate pre-build estimates and bids. Concerned with how to handle fluctuations in pricing? No problem. Just make the updates and they’ll be recalculated and reflected throughout the system in real time.
Such accuracy and predictability means you can plan for the unexpected with more confidence. Starting off with real-life numbers will allow you to create turnkey contingency plans that consider various cost and schedule scenarios. This gives you a more decisive risk-management plan based on data-driven strategies. That can save you time and stress should an unexpected event happen.
You’re expanding and you need project software that can handle more than the basics.
If you’re planning on tackling sizable projects with more complexity, you’re definitely going to want something to help you process the vast amounts of data necessary to successfully manage them. Paper-based systems are simply inefficient for such tasks and generic spreadsheet programs come up short in managing all the project elements.
With an eye toward streamlining business processes for improved productivity, construction software helps you level-up. It goes beyond traditional software by offering a wide range of advanced capabilities specific to the industry:
- Automating data entry, cost calculations and schedule updates that are instantly reflected throughout the system.
- Forecasting in real-time using the most recent data, so you can make better-informed decisions.
- Managing documents via features like storing, organizing, sharing, editing and updating files.
- Precision cost-estimating that can improve bidding.
- Generating custom reports for everything from productivity to inspections.
- Performing risk-management scenarios.
- Integrating with mobile apps for those who are on site.
When you consider what your existing system may actually be costing you in wasted time and effort, the time may be right to explore software options that address your company’s unique needs. Saving profits and avoiding missed opportunities make the investment in construction-specific software well worth it.
Whether you’re looking to invest in a couple of individual components to get started, or a fully-integrated solution, InEight’s field-tested construction software helps you gain control over your business processes so you can realize improved productivity, profits and peace of mind.