When it comes to advancements made in the construction industry, there are two types of developments that help propel the industry forward. On one hand, high-tech inventions and machinery have made the physical act of construction much easier and efficient. For example, robots can be used to perform particularly repetitive production tasks.
While the other form of technological advancement in construction is less obvious, it’s just as essential to maintaining and growing construction businesses. What is it? The development of newer and better administrative and design software. By making business tasks easier, this type of software can dramatically improve efficiency within construction companies.
For construction companies, the following tools can help operation flow smoothly:
Project Management Software
There are many moving parts in any construction project, making it difficult for even the most experienced contractors to keep tabs on each component. Having one person manage every aspect of a project’s development often leads to oversight or errors. Mismanagement issues can include:
- running out of materials midstream,
- over or underestimating your budget,
- scheduling employees inefficiently, and
- miscommunicating with clients.
Fortunately, relatively inexpensive management software can address these issues. Because the business side of construction is very similar to that of other industries, generic software can do the trick. Many applications are web-based and be accessed on a computer or mobile device.
Standard features include scheduling, resource allocation, document sharing, time management, and more. To research project management options, click here.
Cost Estimating Software
Anyone in the construction business understands the importance of a scope of work. This document, written during the bidding phase of a project, sets out the project timelines and milestones as well as the standards of execution expected. It also gives estimates of project costs, including labor. Cost estimating software for construction companies can help you come up with such estimates more quickly and with greater accuracy.
With construction cost estimating software, businesses can use models to calculate material costs per square foot as well as equipment and labor costs. The software can locate sources for quotes in a matter of minutes rather than days.
Cost estimating software tends to be cloud-based, meaning you can access the information anywhere there’s an Internet connection. This allows project managers to glance through the saved data from a mobile device while at a work site. Also, because the software tracks market changes, the figures presented are always up-to-date.
The likes of Quickbooks, Sage, and Waveapps have been around for a while now. They began as CD-based packages that cost an arm and a leg, but today, they’re on-demand subscription services that can be accessed from anywhere online.
When it comes to drafting budgets and keeping track of expenses per project, the software is invaluable. They allow employees to create a standard format for communication with clients and breeze through invoice drafting. Also, managers can analyze their accumulated invoices and receipts to gauge profitability.
Another critical area of business finance addressed by accounting packages is statutory deductions. They save your business or accountants the trouble of manually calculating taxes due or social security payments due for remission. This assistance can eliminate the need to hire a tax consultant.
Like accounting software, automated design software is nothing new. In fact, computer-aided design has existed for more than 20 years. But AutoCAD and other similar packages are no longer as generic as they were. They now cater to specific types of construction. Customizable modules for piping, circuitry, and other facets of modern development make the design process faster and more readily compliant with recognized building codes.
Also, design work no longer takes place in the office alone. Software packages with mobile apps allow designers to tweak plans and create drawings on site.
Build on Technology
Investing in technology is critical for the success of any construction enterprise. While they may cost money upfront, the efficiency they allow more than pays for the expense. As more and more construction companies adopt administrative and design software, it’ll be impossible to keep up with the competition without it.