Builders and construction workers do use software, although it is mainly the construction manager that will typically use a construction software. It largely depends on the software and the features included in the software, some software’s have more limited features and uses than others and hence may require less people using them as mainly the construction manager will find use in it. Some softwares can be more comprehensive and may require various members of the construction team to utilise it to collaborate together.
As aforementioned above, there are various types of softwares that may be utilised in construction, and from the ones available they mainly range in their use. On top of this, the cost of the software and who it is marketed to affects how many people can use and how comprehensive its features are.
In construction there are a multitude of phases in a project’s lifespan, builders will utilise a software that ideally helps to streamline the different aspects of a construction project so that it all comes together much more smoothly. The best of these softwares also provide for an efficient method of overall collaboration with the different stakeholders involved in the building process.
The software employed by builders and construction managers in a construction project will have several aspects to it that help in the construction management process such as workflows, calendars, schedules and estimation and financial tools along with the ability to update stakeholder’s through communication on this platform.
This article will detail some of these different aspects, certainly the more essential aspects of a good construction management software and how these aspects can be employed as tools to help streamline and create more efficient ways to collaborate and work on construction projects.
The first area to examine is project management. Within the context of a building software, a project manager will have access to estimation tools, quality and safety protocols, workflows and production calendars for managing time and scope constraints, calendars, financial/accounting tools and secure cloud storage. All of these are essential tools necessary for a quality building software that is available for a project manager to utilise and will be discussed in more detail.
Estimation and Finances
The estimation of a project is an important part during the pre construction phase of a project. During the bidding process contractors will submit a bid to the person they are seeking to win the project from which is itself a summary of the costs that are expected to be incurred by the builder in the construction of the project. If a company is large it can accept a larger number of bids, eventually a decision is made on the right contractor.
As this is an important part of the construction process it is imperative there is an estimation tool included in the software. It should enable builders to effectively estimate the costs of the project and should streamline and really pull along the process of creating accurate estimates. The estimates should be created based on labour, materials and other cost factors of the project and it should create line-by-line and quantity estimates of the materials utilising pre-determined formulas and calculations.
Quality and Safety
Quality and safety is an extremely important aspect of construction and as such can be an extremely helpful component of a construction software if included in one. However, it is not always a common feature, more commonly features and tools such as estimation tools are either the main feature or one of the only features incorporated into a building software.
The quality and safety aspect of a building software should assess, manage and mitigate risk on construction sites. It should constantly take action to be aware of possible litigation issues in construction relating to procedures that must be followed or proper documentation of permits. It should aim to effectively reduce errors in project design as this will lead to less issues down the line hence the mitigation of damage.
Some things included in the quality and safety aspect of the building software would be keeping track of defects and ensuring accountability as well as assigning responsibility to different people so issues are resolved and tracked. Creating comprehensive reports on project information that can be visualised and summarised effectively giving important insight into a project is also important. So essentially reporting tools that gather data, such as measuring the amount of incidents that occur, the type of incidents and pointing out different hazards. This helps a project stay on track and not be derailed by defects and issues.
All of these aspects in quality and safety alone are rare to encounter in a construction software, hence it can only be inferred that this will affect a given construction software cost. However, it is something that will help a construction project stay on course and not get derailed.
A construction project being derailed by defects is not the only problem as a project needs to be on time. Sometimes a project is timely, however it can also end up being long, drawn out and hence more expensive. This is not a good look and hence project’s in construction need detailed and realistic project schedules to work with.
These are workflows which can be represented with Gantt Charts and other forms of scheduling. In a workflow, one action leads to another after completion. This goes on and on until the conclusion of the project. Each action is specified with who completes it and how it is to be completed which are detailed in the project schedule/workflow.
Within the context of a construction software, a successful workflow will aid a construction project through standardisation. It aids project managers in implementing standardisation by collecting useful data and producing reports that enable future projects to become easier and more predictable. A more advanced software will aim to help a construction project become easier to complete by assigning people and variables appropriately and more efficiently each time.
All of this will enable a project manager the time to work on more important tasks than continuously worrying about the workers and their progress as they have ease of mind. A construction software should provide online tools such as gantt charts or other alternatives to provide visuals for the tasks.
Cloud Collaboration and File Upload
Secure cloud file and storage is another important area in which a construction software must incorporate. It should allow a team to share documents with each other with ease and collaboratively work on those documents. Obviously there are a lot of documents in the construction process and it can quickly become a headache having a large multitude of files on hand that need to be archived or stored correctly, so having those files online can be very handy.
Expanding on secure cloud storage for files and documents and the capacity to collaborate on them. The building software should also ideally allow for team members to collaboratively work together and communicate with each other efficiently. Depending on the number of users on the system an internal messaging feature should be incorporated for ease of communication. Real time communication is essentially for a team as if certain members are remotely viewing the project they can communicate for clarification on any updates.
Lastly, a good construction software has a reliable tech support system in place. Reliable tech support is extremely important as considering a lot of the management of the construction process for the project is online through the use of the software, a reliable support team should be there to help with any clarifications on the actual use of the system or in the event that an error occurs in the system to ensure a project runs smoothly.
A good construction software makes use of good project management functionality, estimate and financial/accounting tool functionality, job management, scheduling and planning and support functionalities and more. WunderBuild is a construction management software that aims to provide all of these functionalities and more to bring out the best outcomes for a project.
It is currently offering a free trial, visit here to try WunderBuild for free.