Construction management software has been around for over a quarter century. During that time it has grown to become an incredible tool that many contractors and construction company owners can’t do without. With such a robust set of applications, it may be surprising that many contractors are still in the dark about this impressive software. For many older contractors, any software can be a bit of a challenge. Younger contractors may be more comfortable with computer software in general. But they may still think they can get by with a collection of other, less specific software applications. The truth is that many contractors simply don’t know enough about construction management software. So what is construction management software good for? Here is a brief runthrough of some of the many great uses for construction management software.
Keep Track of Your Network
A general contractor is only as good as their network. Unless you plan on doing an entire job yourself, you will need a good network of subcontractors, skilled workers, and other laborers. Once upon a time, a well organized general contractor might have a rolodex of contact information for all of their professional contacts. Today, that might take the form of al long contacts list on a smartphone. A particularly organized and tech savvy contractor might use a spreadsheet or other online contact storage system.
But all of those systems can be replaced by construction management software. Much of the benefit of construction management software comes from its bundling of lots of different functions into a single, user-friendly platform that does everything a contractor needs. At Needo, we know that your network is important, which is why we build software that puts all of your professional contracts at your fingertips. You can store contact information and everything you need to know about your network.
When you come to your next job, you won’t have to spend time figuring out who to call for which jobs. With all of your contacts at your fingertips, it’s easy to parcel out a project and know exactly where to turn. This can save a general contractor hours of researching and speed up a project.
Manage the Performance of Your Network
If a general contractor is only as good as the people who work for them, it pays to make sure that the people you work with are performing to your standards. But it can be hard to keep track of everyone you’ve worked with. Maybe you hired a mason for part of a job a year ago. You need a mason now and you still have that old mason’s number. But you don’t remember whether that mason was any good. Is it worth hiring them again?
Needo allows you to rate and review the performance of your network of subcontractors, skilled workers, and laborers. You’ll never have to wonder about the quality of your network. You can easily tell who is working up to your standards and who isn’t. That allows you easily to maintain the quality standards that you have set for your own business.
Scheduling and Project Management
You may have a great network of skilled and talented workers, and that’s a great place to start. But getting a job done takes more than good people. It takes coordination. You need to make sure that everyone is available at the right time and getting things done on schedule. Equipment and materials orders need to arrive before the laborers who will be using them. Subcontractors need to know when they are needed and show up on time. Work needs to be done on schedule to keep the whole project on pace to finish when promised.
All of this can be a lot to juggle. Some general contractors turn to giant whiteboards or overstuffed planners. With construction management software, all of that information can be stored and displayed in a robust but user friendly format. Information on scheduling can be entered and then shared across your network. Your workers, employees, and subcontractors can all be kept abreast of the pace and schedule of your project. With everyone on the same page, you can move forward quickly and with confidence.
Manage Your Costs
Just as important as staying on schedule is staying on budget. Nothing will kill your profits faster than budget overruns. If the budget overruns will be borne by your customer, you could run the risk of damaging your reputation and business contacts. So it’s absolutely vital that you know how much you are spending on every part of the job. Materials, equipment, and labor costs all need to be accounted for.
While it’s possible to keep track of this information in a ledger or computer spreadsheet, it can become cumbersome. While there is some good accounting software out there, only construction management software is built specifically with the general contractor in mind. This is one area where construction management software really shines. With good software, you can track all of your costs and display them in a simple, easy to use interface.
As an added benefit, you can easily share this information with the other members of your team or with your customers. Keeping everyone informed is a great way to enhance the trust and customer satisfaction that are so important for any business.
Easy, Accurate Estimates
One great benefit of the cost tracking function is how it transfers over to the estimating part of the software. Estimating is the heart of every general contractor’s business. It is their greatest marketing tool, since a good bid is the best way to secure a job. But it is also a tricky undertaking, since an inaccurate estimate can prove very, very costly in the long run. Knowing how much a job will really cost will allow you to create realistic bids for potential customers. Being able to get that information quickly can mean the difference between winning a bid and losing one. Customers today are used to working quickly, so taking weeks to hand compile an estimate and a bid can lose customers.
With all of the costs information from your previous jobs readily available, you can use construction management software to calculate a realistic estimate in no time. You just need to break a project into units and all of the information about the cost of each unit is stored and ready to calculate.
Fast, Professional Invoicing
Invoicing is technically the most profitable part of your business, because it’s the part that gets you paid. Poorly formatted or hard to read invoices reflect poorly on your business. Something you put together in a word processor is probably not up to the professional standards your customers expect. And inaccuracies on your invoices could cost you in trust, reputation, and dollars.
With construction management software, there is almost no work involved in producing beautiful, accurate, professional invoices for your clients. All of the information you need is already in the software. All you need to do is add your upcharge and you are ready to go.
No Reason Not to Use Construction Software
With all of these amazing benefits, it amazing that there are still contractors out there who are doing things the old fashioned way. But now that you know what is does, you have no excuse. Still wondering if it’s right for you? You can find out more about why Needo is the best here. So if you are ready to start worker better, faster, and more efficiently, contact Needo today for your free consultation.