Construction project management software streamlines tasks and helps you keep track of projects and personnel.
Running a construction firm is no walk in the park. With so many moving parts, surprises and factors to consider during each stage of a project, having the right construction project management software can make your life easier.
Construction project management software is an all-in-one solution that streamlines tasks and keeps track of projects from start to finish. Having the right software in your tool belt can help you stay on budget, meet deadlines, and even manage employees, contractors, suppliers, partners and vendors.
To help you find the right solution for your business, here’s what to look for in construction project management software.
Basics of construction project management software
There are two types of construction project management software: cloud-based and on-premises.
Cloud-based (or web-based) construction project management software is accessible anytime, anywhere, via any device with a web browser and internet connection. It’s the most convenient option, as your data will be available to you whether you’re in the office or at a construction site. Cloud-based solutions typically come with a monthly fee, and the provider usually takes care of all the upgrades and maintenance.
On-premises construction project management software gives you more control. It is installed on your own server and computers, so you’ll likely need an IT team to manage the software. On-premises solutions typically come with a large upfront fee but lower ongoing and maintenance costs.
Cloud-based software is the more popular option for smaller construction firms. On-premises solutions are more common amongst larger firms for security reasons. If you’re uncomfortable with your data residing in an outside server, traditional on-premise construction project management software is the better option for you.
When it comes to construction project management software, you get what you pay for. Many factors go into pricing, such as the number of users, size of your business, features, implementation, contract terms and customer support.
To give you an idea, popular construction project management software Buildertrend starts at an affordable $99 per month. It allows an unlimited number of users, leads and proposals, with no contracts or setup fees. On the other hand, Procore has custom pricing based on features you need. Large construction firms can expect to pay $1,000 and up per month for advanced, enterprise-level capabilities.
Construction project management software offers a wide variety of features, depending on your type of construction firm. For instance, general contractors should look for software that focuses on scheduling, costs and accounting, personnel tracking, and document management. Builders require more robust software that offers more comprehensive features, such as blueprinting, estimating tools, bidding capabilities, RFIs, change orders, equipment procuring and dispatching.
These are the common features available in project management software:
- Project scheduling that considers all factors
- Drawing and blueprinting, or the ability to import files
- Estimating, budgeting and forecasting
- Bidding, bid proposals and bid management
- Accounting and financial reports
- Document management to help you stay organized, save time and keep a paper trail
- Document control to ensure only authorized users can access sensitive documents
- Photos and multimedia
- Meeting minutes
- Equipment procuring
- Resource management
- Dispatching and location tracking
- Purchase orders
- Change orders to easily edit contracts and terms
- RFI generation, tracking and submittals
- Communication transmittals and email tracking
- Field notes, such as daily logs, inspections and checklists
- Personnel management, including timecards and attendance tracking
- Database of suppliers and contractors
The right construction project management software is key to efficient and cost-effective projects from beginning to end. It can make running a construction firm easier and help you stay on top of multiple projects.
The right software for your construction business will depend on many factors, such as the size of your firm, your budget, features you need and customer support. You’ll also have to decide if you want the convenience of a cloud-based system that you can access anywhere or the security of an on-premise solution that’s installed in-house on your own servers and computers.
The selection process is easier with software designed for specific construction professionals, such as builders, contractors, subcontractors and engineers.
Sara is a Los Angeles-based tech writer for Business.com, Business News Daily and Tom’s IT Pro. A graduate of the University of California, Irvine, she has worked as a freelance writer and copywriter for tech publications, lifestyle brands and nonprofit organizations in the Southern California area and throughout the U.S. Sara joined the Purch team in 2013.