The Most Important Factors When Selecting Construction Software
There is no doubt that companies of nearly any size can benefit in some way from implementing a new and updated construction management software package. When put to proper use, construction software will be able to handle several tasks that are likely currently taking too much valuable time away from important employees. Freeing them up by automating processes gives them more time to spend on improving the aspects of the company that have a bigger impact on your bottom line.
So what matters the most when you are selecting new software? As obvious as it may sound, the most important thing in the ultimate success of your software is whether or not the software actually does what it claims to do. Nearly equally as important is whether or not the software can do what it says it can without requiring constant training or assistance from you vendor.
Of course, there are other factors to consider. The size of your company will certainly weigh in to your decision making as some software is designed for larger companies and some is designed for small to mid sized companies. Software designed for larger companies will have more functionality and offer more options, but in smaller companies it will offer too many options that streamlining processes with the software in mind will become a nightmare. Thus, careful planning is absolutely necessary. All necessary functionality, based on the size of your company, should be identified before looking for software solutions so that you can maintain focus during the search.
Although all construction software will vary in the available functionality, rest assured that they all share a number of characteristics and are designed with the knowledge that nearly all construction companies operate in similar manners, at least on some levels. Thus, the “common denominators” will be covered in all software that you consider. The key is to pay attention to the less common aspects of your operation and look for the right match considering those.
Examples of the “common denominators” that most construction software covers include things like job costing & scheduling, project tracking, payroll, accounting, vendor & supplier interfaces, proposal generation, and scheduling.
This may make it sound like finding the right software is similar to finding a needle in a haystack. In some cases, the issue of functionality versus cost may be the haystack that you have to sort through, but there are plenty of cases where companies have been able to get it right.
The entire process of software selection and implementation, including demonstrations, customizations, training, and change management is not an easy task. The key to making it successful is quality leadership that is committed to seeing the entire process through. Companies that cut corners or do not stay committed are simply setting themselves up for disaster.
Finally, when selecting new software, it is advisable to stick with a well known name in the construction software world. While there may be new products that seem better than the trusted ones, the bottom line is that if you can’t get solid reviews on the software, you are taking a big chance. Their long term stability has not yet been tested, and that could put your company in a bad place down the road if something goes wrong.