It isn’t just huge construction companies that get overwhelmed with the many details of a project. Even a seemingly simple home addition has many variables to attend to. Permits must be secured, foundation laid, the room must be framed and wired, and finally finished. Throw in HVAC or radiant floor heat, and what sounded simple in principle is no longer a simple project at all. All the details of the job must be accounted for throughout the project, on an ongoing basis. Often, these project are kept track of on dry-erase boards, poster boards, notebooks, and spreadsheets. Although many small construction companies make do with these tools, they are less than ideal. Each element of the project is kept track of separately instead of in one central “place.” Any changes must be meticulously modified by hand. If your electrician misses an appointment, or weather holds up foundation work, then you have a rescheduling nightmare on your hands!
The challenge of manually managing details becomes apparent when considering purchasing materials. Purchases must be made ahead of time and delivered in time to be used. Current supplies, supplies used, and materials needed are all kept track of. This takes a complete and well managed materials list that is difficult to produce and manage using spreadsheets or (gasp) paper and pencil. Purchases must be carefully coordinated with internal project deadlines, and may need to rapidly change depending on unforeseen variables such as work delays or weather.
Managing project money is another confounding factor. Cash is rarely available to make all orders at the onset of the project. Available cash often results from partial project payments, and a business credit line. If money for the project is kept in escrow, then a loan or credit line is essential. Of course, then interest becomes a factor. Purchases must be made in small batches and paid off regularly to avoid huge interest fees. Delays in job payments could cut into profits if interest gets out of control. Keeping track of money becomes exceedingly important to a company’s success.
All of these variables interact at the worksite. Independent contractors, tools, materials, money, and employees are managed as efficiently as possible. However, at the often-chaotic worksite, many builders must rely on hunches and approximations.
Construction management software makes guesswork unnecessary, and streamlines any project. Today’s construction software makes it easier than ever to plan projects, and properly time the ordering and delivering of materials. Coordinating the many project details becomes efficient yet easy making manual methods a thing of the past. Not only does construction software streamline your building operation, but it often comes with accounting software. This makes managing money even easier, especially at tax time. With modern construction management software, construction companies can make decisions without all the guesswork. This makes it easier to bid competitively and deliver results on time, without accidental mismanagement dipping into potential profits. Construction software can be an expensive up-front cost, but the time and money that it saves you in the long run make it more than worth the initial investment.