Is It Time to Upgrade
My Construction Planning Software?
November 27, 2020
Remember being in awe of all your software could do when you first installed it? The enhanced productivity and efficiency, automated functions and data you could use to improve operations – it was wonderful.
Fast-forward to today. Are your power users still enamored with its capabilities? If not, it might be time for an upgrade to a more robust platform.
Upgrading your construction planning software requires its own planning. And what better place to start than with those power users who rely on it? Invite those project management, IT and finance experts, for example, to give their honest feedback and ask them some key questions, including:
- Is the functionality enough?
- Has it been easy to use?
- Has the adoption of the solution met expectations?
- What functions are used most and least?
- How does the software interact with other programs you may be using?
- Are there any bottlenecks?
Their answers are likely to be an eye-opener for how much time, money and effort are being lost on current processes and applications — and what you need most in an upgrade.
Common signs it’s time to upgrade
- You have an on-premise, non-cloud solution creating accessibility issues and lacking a single source of truth.
If the software you’re using for construction planning is confined to your computer network, no one outside your company – think subcontractors, clients, perhaps remote employees or those on the job site – can get to or share any documents, nor make any necessary revisions or updates. And there’s the added challenge of not knowing exactly where the latest, most accurate information is.
Today’s cloud-based solutions corral everything into one digital location, easily accessible by those who rely on it to keep projects moving smoothly, vastly improving operational efficiency.
- Your self-hosted software creates a significant maintenance and update burden on your IT team.
Consider the impact on your company’s IT department. They’re likely providing tech support, performing updates and security measures, and maybe configuring it to work with other software you’re using. Are they able to do all this on top of managing the rest of your company’s overall IT operations?
This is why, again, cloud-based software is a solid alternative, allowing you to bypass such limitations.
- Your software is limiting you because of a lack of capabilities or scalability.
One size doesn’t fit all. And the software that “fit” when you first got it may already be outgrown as your needs have changed. This could be holding you back from taking advantage of the latest functionalities that scale with you as you take on bigger, more complicated projects that make your company more competitive. Recent capabilities not found in legacy products — precision cost estimating, managing overlapping schedules, performing risk management scenarios, creating reports — are helping companies achieve higher levels of productivity. And that can dramatically impact the success of your bids and your projects.
- Your legacy software has outdated features and capabilities.
Reluctant to let go of that legacy software you’ve been using? You might wonder, why fix something that isn’t broken? We get it. We all want to make the most out of what we paid for. But unless your software continues to have timely updates, it may be keeping you from gaining the efficiencies and insights your company can use to more effectively plan and manage construction projects.
- Your current system is hard to use or understand.
All the functionality in the world won’t mean anything if the software is too complicated to follow or too clunky to operate. You don’t want users feeling frustrated and tech-challenged; they could wind up using it incorrectly, or not at all. That will ultimately cost precious productivity, increase the risk of mistakes and threaten your profit margin — the opposite of what construction planning software is meant to do.
Instead, look for an option that is user-friendly. At a minimum, it should be easy to understand, logically organized, have a well-designed user interface (UI), and align with existing business processes. When your back office staff and site crews are able to confidently engage with such software, your projects can move along more smoothly. In addition, an intuitive UI can help reduce overall training time and effort needed to onboard new employees on the software.
- You have pieced-together, point solution software products that can’t “speak” to each other.
Maybe you started out with a project management solution from one vendor. Then you added cost-estimating software from another. Then you took on client management from yet another. You may be finding such point solutions, though effective on their own for their intended function, aren’t integrating or playing nicely with each other. This can lead to employees re-entering the same data across multiple applications that are incompatible or don’t import/export information effectively. All this duplicated effort wastes valuable time and increases the risk for data entry errors. On top of this, it could cost you in productivity, not to mention the potentially higher raw dollar costs to procure and maintain separate software products. In addition, vital integrations can “break” when new software is released for a siloed solution.
When you’re ready to take those next steps
InEight can help you plan for your transition to something better, offering a full suite of planning software for construction that answers all the challenges discussed here plus many more. Choose individual components with the functionalities you use most, confident everything will work well together, or adopt the complete suite for a more comprehensive approach to managing your construction projects from start to finish.