Technology has revolutionized the way we live. It has also revolutionized the way we work. But one thing that has remained pretty constant is the way we build. Houses are still made of wood and nails. Tile is laid, plumbing is fitted, and wires are run. While there are some changes, much of what a building contractor does in the early twenty-first century is hardly different than what he might have done a half-century ago. But that doesn’t mean that contractors can’t benefit from new technology. In fact, technology for contractors is revolutionizing the way contractors do business. Needo is as the cutting edge of that shift, and we want you to know how you can benefit from it!
Why You Need Technology
The world is changing quickly, and technology is leading the way. It’s true that much of construction remains the same as it was decades ago, or even longer. So far, no one has developed a technology that will build a house or do a remodel on its own. That’s a good thing for contractors. Unlike many fields, it is unlikely that craftspeople, contractors, and builders will be automated out of a job anytime soon. But just because the work you do remains very traditional, it doesn’t mean technology can’t help.
The most significant developments in technology have come from the ways in which contractors are managing their construction projects. A construction project, big or small, can have a lot of moving parts. There are subcontractors, specialists, and laborers. You also have to manage materials and equipment. On top of that, you need to maintain open communication with your client. Then there is the cash flow. Workers and vendors need to get paid. Clients need to be invoiced and make their payments. And in the end, you need to get paid.
It is this business, organization, and management aspect of construction contracting work that has benefited most from new technologies. After all, when it comes to shuffling around lots of pieces of related information, computers are far more adept than humans. Old data storage and retrieval methods seem downright medieval compared to the technologies of today. For all of these reasons, the modern contractor will find that construction management technology can be a huge benefit to their workflow and productivity. In fact, there is no comparison between working the old way and working with the help of construction management software.
What is Construction Management Software
Construction management software grew out of the field of project management. Project management has existed as a discrete field since the mid-twentieth century. That’s when specialists from the military and civil engineering sectors began to think scientifically about the best way to manage a large project involving lots of people. As computers came onto the scene programs were developed to help with project management. The programs helped with creating and managing workflow charts, organizing all sorts of data relevant to the project, and enable smooth communication between everyone involved.
As computer technology became more common, programmers began to adapt some of the project management technologies to specific fields. One of these fields was construction. Ironically, construction was one of the types of projects that inspired project management in the first place.
With the specialization of technologies specifically for construction project management, new possibilities opened up. Now, engineers, general contractors, site managers, and anyone in charge could easily keep track of all different parts of a project.
Managing Construction Workers and Laborers
One of the great benefits of new construction management technologies is the ability to track all of your workers. Depending on the complexity of a project, you may have a few or even dozens of individual workers. Some may be subcontractors. Other may be employees. You will have some skilled specialists like stoneworkers, electricians, and plumbers. You may also have laborers who do demolition, general construction, and clean up. Everyone needs to be managed.
Every single person who works on your job needs to know when they are needed. And when they arrive, they need everything to be ready. A plumber has to come in after the framing is mostly complete. The person putting up drywall can’t start until the plumbing and the electrical have been installed. Someone laying concrete needs to come at the right moment to do their job. It’s crucial that there is a schedule that covers each worker.
In addition to scheduling workers for their tasks, you need to schedule the delivery of materials and equipment. If you don’t have the tools and materials ready for a laborer when they show up, you are wasting their time and your money.
Managing Vendors and Subcontractors
Sometimes you need a good subcontractor. Often you will find that there is a particular specialty that you need, and the best way to get that is with a subcontractor. Or you may just have a part of your job that could be better managed by a subcontractor with their own employees. Whatever your reason for bringing in a subcontractor, they will need to be tracked and managed.
What if you love a subcontractor you hired for a job. Of course you want to bring them back for your next job. It would be a shame to waste a new working relationship. On the other hand, what happens when you have a particularly bad subcontractor. You need to make sure you don’t use them again. Or what if one employee of the subcontractor really stood out for their quality and attention to detail? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to request that employee again?
Technology for Contractors Makes it Easy
Contractors used to have to do all this on paper. You would end up with a stack of papers (sticky notes if you were a little disorganized, binders if you were an organizational guru) full of names and numbers. And when it comes time for your next job, you have to find the right stack of papers and then find the name and number you are looking for. It’s easy to see how this can quickly become inefficient, if not a total time suck.
With construction project management software you can keep track of all of this information almost as an afterthought. With records of your workers, what you’ve paid them, when they’ve worked, and how well they did, it’s easy to plan your next project. You can handpick only the best subcontractors and the best laborers you’ve worked with, making your next job a breeze. And the more jobs you do with the construction management software, the more detail you will have. You can fine-tune your workforce to only the best workers.
Managing Money and Invoices
Of course, one of the most important parts of running any business is making sure that everyone gets paid. Your workers, subcontractors, and vendors all need to get paid on time. And so do you! Of course, for all of that to happen, your client needs to know what’s happening with their job and be invoiced appropriately. It all comes down to cash flow.
With construction management software from Needo, you can track invoices and payments to make sure all the money is going where it’s supposed to. This is especially important if you work on more than one project at a time. It is crucial to keep the money streams separate so that in case there is a problem with one project you aren’t left with no money for another project that is otherwise going fine.
Get the Software You Need Now
Needo builds software with the customer in mind. We know that contractors have unique needs when it comes to their construction management software. That’s why we work with our customers to learn and adapt our product to best fit their needs. Contact Needo today to find out how you can be more efficient and more effective with Needo’s construction management software.