Choosing the right construction management software can transform the way builders and contractors manage their firm.
Typically, building a successful construction business is a journey filled with bumps, barriers, and potholes, one of which is staying on top of all of your projects as you scale. In this blog, we’ll cover what construction management software is, how it can help you efficiently manage projects from start to finish, and which features to prioritize.
What is construction management software?
Construction management software helps construction professionals plan, manage, execute, and report on construction projects.
The software typically includes features such as document management and storage, project estimation features, high-level project scheduling such as Gantt chart creation, and the ability to communicate with your construction team and subcontractors through the platform itself.
Why do builders and contractors need construction management software?
Construction management software offers a number of benefits to all industry professionals, whether you’re a builder, contractor, subcontractor, or construction project manager.The overarching benefit of construction software is that it helps teams better execute projects, stick to timelines and budgets, and improve return on investment.
For example, only 29% of projects are completed on time and only 43% on budget. To stay within the project scope, leveraging construction project management software can improve your workflows and show immense positive results.
Let’s look at the 7 key features you should prioritize when assessing the construction management software market and choosing a solution for your construction company.
7 features to look for in construction management software
1. Time tracking
Projects in the construction industry often involve a variety of subcontractors that charge on an hourly basis.
This can make it tough for your business to manage costs against project budgets unless you have a sophisticated real-time tracking method for actual time spent.
Construction project management software with time tracking features will allow your subcontractors to keep your cost tracking board up to date and monitor the time you spend across different projects. Not only will this help you better prioritize and maximize your time, but it will also help you budget and be able to project an accurate picture of what projects will cost.
Take this simple example of a time tracking column in a monday.com board for a bit of visual context:
2. Map view
As a construction manager or general contractor, you’re likely working on multiple projects at any one time, and it’s likely that they are distributed across various suburbs, cities, and even states.
A construction management system can help you easily manage distributed project locations by providing a map view:
In the map view, you can quickly look at all of your items (in the above image, they are represented as markers) on your map at the exact location you marked! This view allows you to select any marker on your map and view the items that are complete, in progress, or remain as to-dos. For builders or contractors, this view allows you to quickly see the status of all projects spread out across a map.
3. Robust reporting features and dashboards
A major feature to look out for when choosing construction software is robust reporting capabilities and the ability to create your own custom dashboards. Reporting features and dashboards can show the time span for projects in one comprehensive calendar, an overview which projects are completed and those that are in progress, and more.
For example, a construction supervisor might choose to report the amount of time their subcontractors spent on the job site. Or a home builder might set up a reporting board such as the one below one to track job cost:
Construction professionals know how easy it is to get bogged down in mundane, repeatable tasks such as updating your system or sending out update emails.
To save yourself a bit of time — and free yourself up to focus on more valuable opportunities — hunt down a construction management tool that uses simple and accessible automations.
This will allow you to set up automation rules like this one:
The automation above notifies the team when the deadline for the “Framing” phase arrives. This helps teams never miss a deadline, and make any last-minute fixes before moving on to the project phase.
5. Task status tracking
If you’re managing a construction project, the likelihood that you’re going to be working with a few other industry professionals and specialty contractors is high.
That means that you’re not going to be solely responsible for every single task, but you’re still going to want to know the status of each aspect of the project.
Construction management software can make this easy for you if it has an effective task status tracking mechanism built in. This way you can see the progress of each task and plan your time accordingly.
6. Mobile apps
Construction professionals are typically not in their office all day, every day.
In fact, it’s more likely that you’ll spend a significant amount of time out on job sites, meeting with subcontractors for coffee, or attending meetings with stakeholders.
So, it’s important that you’re able to keep your construction management software up to date when you’re on the go, which means you need to choose a cloud-based construction management system that offers iOS and Android apps.
More than that, those apps need to be simple to use.
7. Sharing permissions for subcontractors and stakeholders
The final feature to look out for when choosing the right construction project management software is the ability to share boards with external parties and control the information that they can and can’t access.
For example, you might not want to share sensitive cost and budget information with your subcontractors or project-specific details with stakeholders and project owners.
A Work OS like monday.com makes this easy by providing sharing permission tools so you can customize the permissions of each user on your board:
What does construction management software look like?
To help you understand how construction software works in the real world, we’ve put together an example of a construction management board in monday.com:
In the above board, you’ll see a variety of tasks that have been delegated to different team members, with status update columns to give everyone an overview of where things stand. Each task has a deadline assigned with a progress tracking bar to indicate how close each task is to completion.
All of this information can be viewed in multiple different ways, including a table, Kanban board, and timeline. Let’s take a closer look at an actual use case for construction management software.
Construction management software use case
At monday.com, we’ve empowered hundreds of teams to build custom workspaces and process-driven workflows that make getting work done simple.
Including Falkbuilt, an interior construction company based in Calgary, Alberta.
Using monday.com, Falkbuilt has designed a construction project management workspace that has driven their business’ growth, including:
- $1.3m in construction project revenue in their first year
- 50+ large-scale projects completed in under a year
- 40,000 human actions saved every month via automation
Falkbuilt uses their monday.com board to manage the entire construction process, from customer onboarding through to project completion.
You can learn more about how Falkbuilt implemented a forward-thinking, automation-heavy internal process using monday.com in our case study: How Falkbuilt went from 0 to $1.3 million in interior construction project revenue.
Effective construction management software lets you build your own custom workflows
It’s safe to say that no two construction companies are alike.
To really get the most out of your construction management software, you need to choose a solution that allows you to create custom workflows that fit your team and streamline project planning.
Let’s recap on the 7 key features that enable this progressive work style:
- Time tracking capabilities
- The ability to view projects on a map
- Strong reporting and analysis tools with customizable dashboards
- Easy to create automation rules
- Intuitive task status tracking to keep all team members up to date
- Mobile apps for all platforms, allowing you to get work done on the go
- Custom sharing permission for working with subcontractors and stakeholders
Sound like what you need?