Reduce Operational Costs with Construction Management Software
Construction management software is at the core of modern business processes and should connect functional areas such as project management, accounting, workforce planning, reporting and financials on one platform. The right solution will connect teams, automate redundant processes, identify issues and trends, improve collaboration, reduce operational costs and guide informed decision-making from real-time connected data.
The Benefits of Digitizing Construction Data
The right construction business software gives users the ability to retrieve and edit data from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Data is entered one time which reduces errors and increases efficiencies because all the data resides on one platform, and deciphering handwriting from the field is no longer a guessing game. The cost of printing and storing documents is reduced, and large files that include photos and drawings are no longer tied up in email platforms that limit file sizes.
Project managers no longer worry about documents blowing away or getting wet from humidity or dirty from being handled by multiple people. Sections of digital documents can be copied and used as templates for other projects which saves time and administrative costs.
Benefits of Construction Software
The goal of implementing construction software should be to improve your workforce, workflows and project margins. Construction management software offers multiple benefits such as scheduling, collaboration, estimating, document management, resource management, accurate job costing, work order management, project tracking and financial reporting. Construction companies benefit from the flexibility of connectivity. No matter where teams are located, they can seamlessly connect to projects, data and stakeholders and view the same data.
Data is available in near real-time which eliminates data silos and the man hours it takes to consolidate that data. Industry-specific construction software should support a range of business functions and be configurable to meet your business needs and successfully transform the way you work.
Construction Management Software Features
Will a change in processes affect your labor, or will changes in labor affect your processes? The same questions could be asked about accounting, pricing, growth, and other areas of your business. If your company has redundant systems and you decide to upgrade to all-in-one construction software, there are many areas to consider including construction accounting.
Construction accounting manages hundreds of transactions, multiple cost codes and must be able to accommodate the requirements of that data. A generic or off-the-shelf accounting software program will not meet the long-term needs of construction.
Questions to consider About Construction Accounting
- Is all your data across all projects connected to one platform? If not, how is all the data managed from multiple silos?
- Does the software have the option to combine invoice registration and costing into a single-entry process?
- Can the software auto convert and input hard copy invoices individually or in batches?
- Is the accounting department aware of pricing changes, increased labor costs and market changes to material costs? If not, how long does it take for them to receive the data?
- Does it eliminate the need for separate tax software by incorporating sales tax or withholding tax?
- Do financial reports the CFO reviews have the most current information?
Other Questions to Consider for Construction Management Software
- Does the software provider charge based on subscription, recurring or annual fees, or by the number of user licenses?
- Will the price increase as your company grows? If so, what is the percentage increase?
- Does the provider configure the software to meet your needs, and can it scale to meet your company’s trajectory and growth?
- Is the software truly ‘all-in-one’, or do they integrate with third-party vendors to fill the gap where their software falls short?
- How important is seamless connectivity for your teams, job costing, forecasting and reporting?
- Who developed the software solution, and what is their expertise?
- Does the software manage job costing, budgets, change order management, margins and project trends?
- Does their software work with mobile solutions that connect the field and their data to the office?
Advantages of Construction Management Software
Construction companies focus on accounting, productivity, efficiencies, scheduling and financials all at once. The goal should be to have one construction platform that connects all data, manages all business processes and can be used by the entire workforce.
A construction business can buy off-the-shelf software, but it would most likely require customization by a third party or IT Department, which adds costs, causes delays and most likely will not meet all business requirements. This type of software will also not scale as your company grows. It is important to understand how the software can manage project expansion and growth.
Will the software be able to accommodate new volumes and new processes, and can it manage new licenses? How much will it cost your company to make those adjustments, and how frequently will the process take place? If your solution provider cannot seamlessly upgrade the software to adapt to your company’s growth, will it cause project delays?
Other areas to consider include storing electronic files. How much storage can the software manage for Document Management? Can you add drawings, photographs and site notes from anywhere? How often are the files backed up?
Real-time Construction Data
Construction companies benefit from real-time data because it is a single source of truth and allows them to be proactive, to manage costs as they occur and reduce risk. Construction management software with real-time analytics provides useful insights into trends and performance. When all stakeholders have access to the same data, there is no need for guesswork. Whether on-site or in the office, decisions can be made from anywhere and communicated in seconds. When paper is replaced by digital data and processes are standardized, it becomes easier to manage costs, budgets, resources and projects on a day-to-day basis.
Construction Management Software Transforms Productivity
Construction software is designed to organize data, create efficiencies by automating key processes, provide greater transparency and reduce risk. Incremental improvements to productivity can reduce delays and improve project margins. Construction software does not require the use of email, phone, text, or external data silos to manage or process data. The software can create efficiencies and reduce costs for areas such as resource allocation and remote time collection.
Resource allocation is a critical component for growth, and the goal is to assign the best available resources based on availability. Construction software helps supervisors assign people to the right task and ensures using the right skills in specific areas. When resources are properly allocated then team members do not feel overwhelmed or overworked. Construction software also helps reduce errors such as overscheduling which helps prevent burnout. Scheduling labor is more effective when you know who is available and where people are working, and you can track costs in real-time. Project managers can be more proactive to project changes when they have access to real-time data.
Remote time collection used to be a paper-driven, field-to-office process that often had data errors that led to additional administrative time and costs. Today, remote time collection is captured, approved and submitted on a mobile app. The app enables the supervisor to manage and assign crews, and view who is working, at lunch, or is absent in real-time. Supervisors can bulk approve timesheets on a mobile app and do not have to scan or email to payroll. If there are exceptions, they will be flagged and remain unsubmitted until the issue is resolved.
From the Field to the Office
Multiple factors can impact a project, and construction technology closes the information gap by improving communication and collaboration. Access to documents such as change orders, budgets, job costs, inventory, and equipment helps construction companies manage costs that could negatively impact a project. Knowing project costs from an accounting perspective helps reduce risk. Automated processes seamlessly connect field data to the back office and everywhere in between. Accounting and payroll do not have to rely on manual processes to receive or process data because data from the field is available in real time. Financial reporting is simplified because all the data is connected on one platform. Risk is reduced because costs are known in real time and projects can be adjusted accordingly.
Change orders may require additional labor, material and equipment and that can increase project costs, cause delays and interrupt project milestones. Change orders such as material substitutions, errors and omissions and labor shortages can have a big impact on a construction project. A labor shortage may force a company to hire workers at a higher hourly rate and that can affect margins.
Project managers frequently log change orders and need the ability to add new change orders to a project. They also need to be able to define the type of change order, and they need to be able to view costs from a revenue perspective.
Job costing has a simple formula [material + labor + overhead = Total Job Cost]. However, it is a complex task to assign and track every cost of a project and to identify issues that could impact margins. Job costing is a granular way to view costs at all levels of a project. Every expense must be assigned to one of the areas (labor, material or overhead) of a project. If labor costs increase, it is important for the project manager to monitor so those costs do not affect cash flow or project margins.
Construction software with built-in financial management components simplifies the process of assigning expenses when they change. The software also makes it easy to find cost overruns and identify trends to make necessary improvements. The benefit of job costing within construction software is that problems are easy to identify.
Material costs can be impacted by market forces, weather conditions or even from a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic created a supply shortage of processed wood which resulted in an almost four-fold increase in prices. Project managers must be aware of this type of cost increase, so they measure costs against the budget to keep a project on track.
Reporting and Dashboards
Dashboards and reports should be user-defined and configurable to fit your business processes and functional groups. The Accounting dashboard and reports should be specific to that functional group, just as Project Management should be specific to those users.
Cloud-based Construction Software
Cloud-based construction software ensures that construction companies can manage the entire construction lifecycle on one platform from start to completion. Construction cloud software is a powerful solution that enables construction companies, their subcontractors, suppliers and workforce – to work better together on-site, off-site, on the road and in the office. Cloud construction software is a technology that has significant benefits to traditional software. Cloud-based construction software has secure access to a single source of data with seamless connectivity from anywhere. Automated workflows reduce paperwork and redundant processes to increase efficiency, accuracy and reporting.
Reasons Construction Companies Choose COINS Construction Cloud Software
Construction Industry Solutions (COINS) is an industry-leading construction management software company providing end-to-end business solutions to the construction, engineering, utility, and service sectors. COINS all-in-one construction software and mobile solutions provide seamless connectivity and collaborative tools to manage all business processes and the construction lifecycle on one platform.
COINS construction software connects data in real-time on mobile, tablet, and desktop. COINS works in partnership with customers to manage risk, automate processes, increase margins, and guide informed decision-making using real-time data.
COINS software is used by large mechanical, electrical, utility and specialty contractors to run their business from opportunity to job costing, project management, service management, financials and more.
“The biggest benefit from implementing the COINS system is that it is a construction industry piece of software. It is adaptable across the entire construction spectrum. It doesn’t change the way we do work, but it gives us better access, quicker access, more efficient access to information that allows us to react quicker.”
Grahame McCraig, General Manager, Gulf Contracting
COINS Construction Cloud Solutions
Project Delivery: Deliver projects with an integrated approach to billing, document management, issue resolution and more.
Finance and Operations: Streamline planning, forecasting, financial processes, payroll, and reporting.
Time Management: Seamlessly manage employee time and attendance, along with equipment and machinery, from any device.
Supply Chain Management: Save time, reduce risk, and improve compliance and collaboration.
Service Management: A complete field service operations management solution for contractors who want ease of use and accuracy in their approach to dispatch, scheduling, and job close out of their mobile technician fleet.
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