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9 Essential Requirements for Construction Management Software
Written By: Cheyenne Kolosky
- December 7, 2023
In the modern construction industry, construction management software plays a pivotal role in enhancing project success. Whereas time-consuming, repetitive tasks such as scheduling, document management, and budget tracking used to have to be completed manually, they can now be done through the implementation of automation, allowing companies to work more efficiently. For construction management software to be truly beneficial, however, a company must carefully choose a system that is tailored to their needs.
Requirements for Construction Management Software
One of the most important factors to keep in mind when building your construction management checklist is your project management tools. Because project managers tend to wear so many different hats at once, construction management software must provide robust project management capabilities.
This tool needs to be able to assist in the planning, execution, and monitoring of every aspect of your project, from employee tracking to job costing to fleet maintenance, to ensure every project is done on time and within budget. If the right system is in place, project managers can anticipate challenges and react appropriately to them as they occur.
Every project is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach to construction management software is insufficient. For investment in this software to be worthwhile, it must be fully adaptable and customizable to meet the demands of various projects. Here are nine features to look out for when shopping for construction management software.
1. Employee Tracking
When it comes to the construction industry, productivity tracking is essential for maintaining an accurate schedule and keeping track of major project milestones. Employee productivity levels and resource allocation directly impact the timeframe in which a project can be completed, therefore, monitoring these elements is necessary to optimize your workflow, improve client communication, and maximize revenue.
One way to monitor employee performance and resource allocation is to implement timesheet tracking. Timesheet tracking is a feature offered by construction management software that constantly records employee behaviors and patterns such as on-job costs, time off, overtime, payroll, and more. This practice encourages employee productivity, thus reducing the chances of a project going over time and cost.
2. Financial Management Capabilities
The most stressful part of any project is arguably the financial aspect. Finances can be tracked using spreadsheets, but it leaves companies open to making expensive mistakes. To mitigate costly risks, construction management software has financial management capabilities that can assist you in processes such as financial forecasting, audit trails, and budget management. These functionalities keep all of your financial information organized in a centralized location that can be easily accessed and analyzed.
This software also enables you to handle transactions using an accounts receivable and accounts payable feature. This feature is integrated with the rest of your system, allowing it to manage expenditures and store customer information, effectively streamlining the financial side of construction projects. Some construction management software even takes it a step further by providing you with the ability to track accounting data across multi-company projects.
3. Inventory and Inspection Tools
Every construction management checklist should include inventory and inspection tools. While individual tools for this exist, choosing modules that are already integrated with your construction management software allows for greater automation and ease of use.
Advanced inventory modules allow managers to monitor their inventory based on quantity or value and will automatically create a new document whenever your goods are moved. The inspection management aspect of these modules performs quality control measurements to ensure that all materials are up to par. This feature can be configured to alert managers of low inventory levels and to allow managers to send purchase orders directly to suppliers.
Additionally, risk management and job costing tools will help you navigate your projects that can be provided by construction management software. Risk management tools help companies stay within budget by identifying and analyzing the risks associated with a particular project. Meanwhile, job costing mechanisms such as work breakdown structures (WBS) divide complex projects into sections to make them more manageable. The combination of these modules allows project managers to safeguard project interests.
4. Advanced Project Scheduling Capabilities
Keeping to a strict timeline is crucial with construction projects, and managing schedules can easily get messy. To prevent this, critical path analysis tools are embedded in construction management software. These tools let project managers create an accurate project baseline that can be transformed into a schedule that can be edited and shared with their team.
The analysis provided by this capability determines which tasks are time-sensitive and which are more flexible. Using critical path analysis tools, project managers can show their teams the most efficient ways to allocate resources and accomplish project goals. When changes are made to the project schedule, this feature will notify employees.
5. Equipment Tracking and Fleet Maintenance
An inherent headache of construction projects is finding time to schedule maintenance and repairs. Construction management software takes the pressure off by utilizing equipment and fleet management tools. This feature not only gives you the ability to handle dispatch and allocation tracking, but it also allows you to proactively schedule maintenance by setting usage and timeline alerts to enhance operational uptime and increase profitability. Work orders for these repairs can be sent, monitored, and approved directly from the system.
6. Ensuring Safety and Compliance
With construction being such a dangerous job, safety management tools are one of the most crucial construction management software requirements. Incident reporting systems document and analyze accidents that occur at job sites to help you improve future safety practices and track OSHA and FMSCA compliance.
These tools are designed to prevent incidents from happening in the field, meaning they need to be as intuitive as possible. Many systems provide mobile-friendly inspection tools that include customizable templates for safety inspection and safety checklist items. Some systems can be configured to send safety-related alerts to team members in real-time.
7. Data-Driven Insights through Analytics and Reporting
Effective management of construction projects requires the monitoring of massive amounts of information from multiple sources. The reports derived from this data can lead to informed decision-making, however, many teams are accustomed to having to wait until a project has been completed to gain any insights. With construction management software, these reports can be automated and customized to fit the scope of your project. Due to the implementation of real-time analytics, you can easily track your margins throughout your project.
8. Effective Construction Document Management
The most basic way construction management software can benefit your project is through document management. Rather than manually creating, analyzing, and storing documents, this software automates and regulates the process while keeping all of your documents organized and centralized.
Document management software cuts costs and errors by reducing time spent on repetitive tasks and creating uniform document practices. The regulation of this process using templates and automation also positively impacts team collaboration and streamlines information exchange.
9. Labor Productivity Tools
Detailed timesheet systems have been proven to have a direct correlation with labor productivity enhancement. Comprehensive timesheet systems both track employees from an administrative perspective — including PTO, schedules, job costs, and more — and allow employers to configure notification systems that remind employees of their daily obligations, such as logging the work they’ve completed.
These systems simultaneously eliminate the need for employers to manually monitor the behaviors of their employees and encourage their employees to stay on task and on time, reducing time-tracking inaccuracies and lost revenue while improving client communication and data refinement.
The Future Vision of Construction Software
As the demand for evolutionary technology trends such as AI, IoT, and advanced automation capabilities grows, so does the probability of the addition of these tools to construction management software. Through analysis of how these technologies are being used in other industries, it is becoming clear that they have the potential to continue revolutionizing construction as well by cutting time and costs while increasing productivity. With this possibility on the horizon, it is imperative for anyone who wants to become an industry leader to get ahead of the curve.
Although it may be many years before these evolutionary technologies can be fully integrated into construction management software, no-code platforms are the most recent trend revolutionizing the industry. This solution enables teams to create and customize their own software solutions without any technical expertise. Taking the time to build the perfect software solution for your company now will make it stand out against the competition.
Elevate Your Construction Management with Knack
Construction management software is a powerful tool that is modernizing the industry. For any software to be truly beneficial, however, it must meet the full spectrum of project requirements. We encourage you to carefully consider user guidance and the capabilities detailed in this article as you invest in solutions that will elevate your construction management processes into a new era of efficiency and effectiveness.
If you’re ready to take the first leap, Knack can help — start building for free today!