The Evolution of Project Management Software into Construction Management Tools
Project management (PM) software is most widely known as a tool to help businesses streamline marketing, sales and/or production lines. As PM software advances, more construction professionals and contractors are adopting the tools, rebranded as construction management software. Regardless of the environment, the tools are used for the same reasons:
- to increase the efficiency of budget planning and scheduling.
- to make coordination and communication easier.
- to keep documents organized and easy to find.
In this post, we discuss:
- What construction management software is and how it is used in construction.
- Key features and contributions from construction management software.
- An introduction to navigating on the top construction management software solutions.
What is Construction Management Software and How is it Used in Construction?
Construction management software streamlines all construction processes by creating a way to keep all project documents digitally in one place, making them accessible through an easy-to-use search bar. For example:
- project drawings can be uploaded; revisions can be made on a cloud-based platform for all the involved project branches to see automatically.
- requests for Information (RFIs) and submittal processes are streamlined and available to all parties via the cloud.
- project owners and managers are able to receive questions, suggest solutions and request products for review instantly.
- RFIs can be assigned to individuals who will be responsible for providing the requested information or to respond to solutions.
- daily job reports created by contractor’s superintendents are immediately uploaded for record, along with all inspections conducted including photos.
Reviews from contractors that use these solutions consistently report that the benefits include saving hundreds of hours on a project.
Key Features and Contributions of Construction Management Software.
On any construction project, time, cost, and work quality are the three variables that contractors try to improve. All top construction management software packages offer three key features guaranteed to deliver improvement in these critical areas.
- Cost Estimation and Budgeting: track all costs and budget breakdowns to show data on the progress of each construction activity in real-time.
- Schedule and Logistics Management: track scheduling for each activity along with logistics plans for what is next in the project’s progression.
- Data Integration in Real-Time: upload photo documentation and daily reports to track specific areas of the project, monitor the quality of work and identify actions needed to improve performance.
Get to Know Procore: The Leader in Construction Management Software
Procore Technology offers construction management software, widely considered the #1 solution on the market. Used by almost all the top construction firms in the country including construction owners, general contractors and specialty contractors, the application offers wide range of features and is easy to use.
Multiple projects can be managed concurrently; navigation begins on the home page dedicated to the user organization. Signing in with a username and password, the user will find a list of all current projects under management.
Once the desired project is selected, project files that all the involved contractors have access to can be viewed. A drop-down menu labeled “Project tools” displays options for all construction management topics needed with subtopics and is used to search the project files.
Content is organized so that it can be easily found:
Home, Reports, Documents, Directory, Tasks, Admin
Emails, RFIs, Submittals, Transmittals, Observations, Punch List, Inspections, Meetings,
Schedule, Daily Log, Photos, Drawings, Specifications
Prime Contracts, Budget, Commitments, Change Orders, Change Events
Each sub-topic can be selected; users will be directed to all the documents associated with that topic. Documents are stored either in a numbered list or dated by calendar day. With a large list of documents, search can be conducted by inputting key words, dates or known numbers. Sub-topic documents can be connected to one another to trace various changes and paths.
For example, an RFI can be submitted and responded to by the owner, creating a change event. Once created, the information can be attached to that specific RFI where any price changes from the subcontractor completing the changed work can be posted. Multiple subcontractors can input associated costs to the single change event. The change event can then be converted into a prime contract change order or committed change order that will be paid by the party responsible for the change. The change order displays the entire path of the change order from the initiating action to payment. All the connected documents create a path that allows for better understanding of the change in cost. These connections significantly speed up the process and provide a clear view of who did what when, eliminating hours wasted trying to trace manually how the additional cost was created.
In addition to its top-ranked construction management software, Procore collaborates with other solutions designed for the construction industry including:
- Autodesk, Navisworks, Revit and AutoCAD: using the programs Building Information Modeling (BIM) software that generates three-dimensional construction plans from contract documents.
- StructionSite: creates time-lapsed photo views of key locations of a project and pins them to the locations on the construction plans.
Other Well-Known Solutions for Construction Management
Trimble Viewpoint Construction Software Solutions (Viewpoint) is another well-regarded construction management application with multiple success stories of contractors completing projects all over the country using the solution. Viewpoint offers construction management, job costing, project management, service management, employee management and data and reporting solutions.
Get More Efficient Construction Project with Construction Management Software
Using construction management software correctly has successfully improved project activities, created substantial savings, increased predictable workflow, conducted accurate and advanced risk assessments and accelerated service deliveries. When all branches of the project use the construction management software correctly, construction projects are exponentially more efficient from preconstruction to the closeout of a construction project.
For more information on construction management software and other technology solutions in the construction industry, please contact Jared O’Brien.