Online construction software has changed the industry works. In addition to how the software is used, the purchasing of software has also changed. The end-users have enough power to decide what tools are used since they eventually want to make their life easier.
For construction, it has made safety and financial processes much more efficient than they were before. Since a lot of time is spent between the site and the office, it is crucial that information is accessible wherever you are. Web-based and online software is also critical to unifying the processes of a construction company. If everyone works on their own computer with their personal email and offline spreadsheets, no knowledge sharing happens.
Below are six benefits that online construction software can bring to a construction company that might be struggling to keep track of.
Professionals in the construction sector split their time between the office and the site on a daily basis. They need to have access to information on the site to look at drawings, purchase orders, and various other documents. In the office, they might be processing their invoices to see what their project profitability is doing and whether the internal profitability goals are reached.
This would be impossible or very tedious with an on-site solution that might need a flaky VPN connection to connect to. Many other used tools are online anyway, so internet access is a must already anyway.
Efficient communication and handover
Sharing information between key employees is critical. If some vital info gets lost, it might have drastic consequences. On the other hand, if all of the info is freely available for all the stakeholders that need it, life becomes easier.
You can just send your coworker a link to a document you would like them to take a look at. This feels much easier than sending them an excel file that might even be an old version of the document that you meant to send. Your coworker can make their adjustments or comments on the online platform and notify you when they’re ready.
Accurate cost estimates
An inaccurate estimate for a client project can mean huge losses. Or even bankruptcy if the losses are too large.
What if the estimators could see historical data for similar projects and then give a better estimate? That is possible with excel tables and accounting information, but it requires a lot of manual work. Online tools like Procore, ViewPoint, or Planyard provides the estimator an overview on a job level so that the estimates could be tweaked.
The historical data can also be easily used as the basis by adding a slight buffer to account for increases in prices. This means that rough estimates could be compiled in a matter of hours.
Automatic job costing
Keeping track of job or project profitability is not simple if your processes and tools are not built for that. Accounting tools and excel spreadsheets make it possible to track the costs, but it will take additional effort to make everything work properly.
If an online platform provides processes for job costing, it makes job costing very simple. All of the cost information is calculated for you automatically and you can see exactly what the costs come from.
Just insert your costs into the system with the jobs and amounts assigned. The system will compile the information into an overall report so that you see exactly what the actual job costs were compared to the estimates.
Faster implementation and easier setup
Online software is much easier to get started with compared to an on-site solution. There is no lengthy setup to get started. The IT team does not have to set up servers and secure connectivity to the information. It is built into the platform and you can just get started.
An online platform will also receive updates more frequently than an on-site solution, constantly improving the user experience.
Often times it also translates into lower costs for maintenance since you do not need an expert in-house that manages the software. The shortage of specialists and high salaries in the sector makes non-cloud software usage impossible for most SMEs.
Online software also works on any operating system – Windows, Mac, or Linux. This means that your team can use any computer that they like.
Reporting and dashboards
A picture is worth a thousand words. Online tools often have better reporting and dashboard capabilities than a custom spreadsheet.
You can easily browse through historical data and switch between projects to compare the data. This could be quite complicated if different spreadsheet templates are used or if the data is stuck somewhere in emails.
Summary – benefits of online construction software
Online software is becoming the standard in most industries and makes many aspects easier. The initial investment and maintenance costs are down considerably if you compare them to an on-site platform.
Most small and medium construction companies can and should not hire expensive IT specialists that manage their construction platforms for them.
Signing up to an online service needs an internet connection and email address.