Construction Software Capabilities Checklist

Today’s construction industry is more competitive than every and margins are tighter than ever. Companies are looking for ways to increase productivity and profitability, and one way to see some big gains is by ensuring that you have the right software and are using it properly. The purpose of this article is to highlight several critical capabilities that can make or break a construction company and will help you identify if your current software is contributing to your bottom line negatively or positively.Job Cost Functionality: Simply, the more accurately you can track job costs, the more profitable you can be as a contractor.Things to check for:* Easy to produce job cost projections
* Warning systems that notify concerned parties if/when jobs get off track
* Real time access to costs incurred for jobs to-date.Project Management: Ideally, you want a construction software system that automates as much of project management as possible. Any changes that are made should be automatically reflected on contracts and invoiced without requiring more actions from the construction company. This not only improves efficiency, but also ensures that things are not overlooked.Things to look for:* A easy to access database that tracks jobs in detail
* Easy to use forms that produce submittals, RFIs, change requests, and so on.
* The ability to track change orders from initial RFI to invoiceService Management: If your company provides service work, it is imperative that your technology provides the support that you need and enhances your customer service. Not only will your company reputation increase, but you should see a big increase in ROI when this kind of technology is used effectively.Things to look for:* Streamlined billing processes that can be automated and easily tracked
* Advanced technology like GPS or similar tracking systems that can communicate with mobile devices and exchange data in real timeReporting: Reporting is one of the most important, yet often overlooked abilities of construction management software packages. If you have software that produces inferior reports, your bottom line suffers in the form of lost time. Reporting should be easy, real-time, flexible, and customizable for the unique business needs that we all have.Things to look for:* Exhaustive lists and abilities to create standard reports
* Ability to create custom reports to user specifications
* The ability to create summary reports for management that are capable of drilling down to the most minute detailsIntegration: Good software is that much better when it can communicate with other areas of the business. Being able to integrate your construction software with software from accounting, for example, can provide the kind of view of your company that you need to increase profits.Things to look for:* Flexible reporting
* Ability to collaborate with enterprise-wide systems to put everyone on the same page
* Ability to lower administrative overhead via increased levels and speed of communication with other areas of the business.Is your Software a Profit-Driver or Profit Killer?By taking the time to determine how well your software provides the real-time job information that you need to make the most informed decisions you will be able to answer this question. Check for things like streamlined workflow, automated processes, and other things mentioned above to determine if your current software is adequate or if it is time to invest in some new construction software.