How Construction Management Software Works and Who Benefits
Construction management software is a broad term for an integrated system of software programs and mobile apps designed to manage the flow of critical information during the construction process.
The software typically includes modules for project planning, scheduling, budgeting, procurement, resource management, risk management, and communication.
But why is that important, how does it work, and who benefits?
Construction management basics
From planning and budgeting to scheduling, punch-list, and closeout, every project stakeholder needs
- Open lines of communication,
- A central repository for the most current project documents,
- Fast and easy access to time-sensitive information, and
- Consistent, accurate feedback from the job site to monitor their performance.
Traditional project management relies on multiple channels to collect and convey critical job site information:
- Telephone calls, emails, and text messages,
- Meetings and site visits,
- Paper files, documents, drawings, and plan sheets
Construction management software consolidates all project-related information within a single platform.
That means that instead of searching for documents or wading through chains of emails and text messages, stakeholders have the information they need whenever they need it.
Central Intelligence and a single source of truth
Construction projects are information-driven.
Everyone on the project delivery team is busy from the initial concept through design and construction:
- Interpreting contract documents,
- Referring to design drawings,
- Accessing plan sheets,
- Reviewing specifications,
- Requesting and receiving new information (RFIs),
- Managing change orders, and
- Converting all that disparate information into a cohesive finished product under ever-changing time and environmental constraints.
And given that there are usually over twenty different contractors working on a construction project at any given time and that each contractor requires trade-specific information to produce their work, you can see why information management is a critical element for overall project success.
Construction management software is your secret weapon
And that’s where construction management software comes in.
Software built for the construction industry provides a central platform for sharing the most up-to-date information between all project stakeholders.
It helps to reduce administrative costs associated with document control, communication, resource management, scheduling, and budget tracking.
How much savings are we talking about?
When coupled with sound project management, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has found that implementing technology can boost productivity by over 20% compared to current levels.
And McKinsey research concurs.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, transitioning to digital systems could improve productivity by 14-15% and reduce costs by 4-6%.
The data proves that construction management software creates a more efficient and cost-effective project environment. In addition, it allows construction professionals to focus on their core tasks by supplying the critical information they need when needed.
Who uses construction management software?
Project managers, construction teams, design teams, architects and engineers, subcontractors, and owners use construction management software.
Many uses overlap, and each stakeholder relies on the software for different things. Still, integrated construction management software brings the entire team together in one easy-to-use, cloud-based platform.
Project managers use the software to
- Communicate with project stakeholders,
- Automate time-consuming manual tasks,
- Schedule work teams, assign tasks, and follow up,
- Set up workflows that keep project information flowing,
- Track documents, approve changes, and manage change orders,
- Track timelines and trends and review performance metrics, and
- Watch for bottlenecks, conflicts, slowdowns, and potential problems.
During the preconstruction phase, architects and engineers use construction management software to
- Coordinate bidding,
- Review and respond to RFIs,
- Collect and review submittals, and
- Distribute addenda and contracts.
During the construction phase, the design teams rely on the software to
- Upload and store revisions and design changes in real-time, and
- Review project progress, budgets, and timelines.
How do subcontractors use construction management software?
Subcontractors use the software to
- Review project documents and plan sheets,
- Upload submittal packages,
- Submit and track RFIs, change orders, time sheets, and invoices.
- Create schedules and work packages, and assign tasks.
- Schedule resource deliveries and monitor budget expenditures
- View job site conditions in real-time, and
- Track safety compliance for their site crews.
More owners are using the software too
The benefits of project-wide collaboration are hard to ignore.
McKinsey finds that owner-contractor collaborations see a 15 to 20 percent improvement in cost and schedule.
The reason is simple.
Construction management software gives owners unprecedented access to all the vital project information they care about most. And the platform allows easy communication between them, the design team, and the project manager.
- Ease of communication with project stakeholders,
- Access contracts, plan sheets, and revisions in a secure location.
- Real-time performance analytics and reporting, giving them a detailed project overview.
- Financial status, budget tracking, and change orders
- Check-in on the job site anytime, anywhere
Construction management software provides a comprehensive solution for the entire construction team.
Everyone enjoys better project visibility and timely, relevant, accurate data to drive better decisions and manage their projects more effectively.
What are the critical functions of construction management software?
A comprehensive suite of tools should combine relevant project data with an easy user interface and mobile app capability.
Software functions may vary depending on the product, but at the very least, your software solution should include the following:
- Project planning: Construction managers should be able to easily create workgroups, share project plans, schedule tasks, set deadlines, and review resources and budgets with their teams.
- Budgeting: Creating budgets is more manageable with technology. Contractors should be able to upload their estimates, connect line items to their Work Breakdown Structures (WBS), and track completed work to produce invoices. Managing project budgets, tracking costs, and monitoring project financials have always been challenging.
- Scheduling: Construction managers rely on Critical Path Method schedules and the ability to manage work assignments, assign tasks, create milestones and deadlines, and track progress against their projections. Be sure your software includes these features.
- Document Control: Ensure all your critical construction documents can be uploaded and shared with all project stakeholders in one central location. Blueprints, plan sheets, change order documentation, contracts, invoices, and reports, should all be centralized for ease of access.
- Communication: Construction managers must keep stakeholders and delivery team members in the loop. Looks for software with project updates, task lists, reminders, chat, and email notifications that keep everyone informed and on task.
- Site Safety: Superintendents, forepersons, and crew leaders should be able to easily create and share safety checklists, safety review forms, daily toolbox talks, and other documents to ensure their teams are working safely and complying with safety protocols.
- Project Collaboration: With all the correct data in one place and the proper communication channels, everyone involved in the project can collaborate more efficiently. That means managing your workgroups and delivery teams and meeting project deadlines is more manageable and less stressful.
- Resource management: Construction management software gives resource managers the big picture at a glance, seeing all their equipment, material, and human resources across the entire project portfolio. Your technology solution should make it easier to allocate resources and workforce, ensuring optimal resource utilization.
- Project tracking and reporting: The one area where software shines is empowering construction managers with powerful data collection and progress-tracking features. Generating and reviewing project performance metrics, timelines, and trends ensures your projects stay on track from concept through completion.
Why use construction management software?
When everyone on the project has the tools, resources, and information they need, they can honor their commitments, stay on schedule, and keep the project moving forward.
Improve productivity in construction with software built for safety, quality, and performance.
Get a free, custom demonstration of the Linarc construction management system today.
Linarc is a cloud-based project management system built solely for collaborative, data-driven construction management.
- Seamless collaboration
- Easy file sharing
- Common communication platform
- Real-time updates on project progress
- …and so much more
Connect with a Linarc representative and see what the power of software technology can do to improve the productivity of your operation.
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