During the last decade, construction software has turned to a substantial component of the building process. The increased complexity of construction projects and the imminent need for real-time collaboration have turned it to a tool of vital importance for every project manager.
If we also take into account, the remarkable progress of digital technologies in the course of the last years it becomes easily understandable that building solutions have unlocked unique possibilities for the sector.
Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before we can claim that construction has managed to use construction software to its full potential. To some extent, that could be due to the plethora of different digital tools available on the market.
In many cases, it is extremely difficult for project agents to find the software that matches their needs best. As a result, construction solutions aren’t used in the right way and its contribution to the project is perceived as unsuccessful.
Having this problematic situation in mind, we decided to make your life a bit easier by providing a quick and informative guide to how you can choose the right software for your project without wasting both time and money.
Without further ado, here are five crucial steps for a profitable construction software selection:
1. Identify your projects’ needs
This should be a ‘no-brainer’ for everybody but unfortunately it is not. Before you start your construction software research, you need to know what type of tools you actually need. To achieve that, you need first to identify what your project needs and the ways in which you intend to cover them.
Start by setting a central goal for your project. This will help you to see the bigger picture and start creating a coherent plan with the different areas of responsibility. Like that, you can delegate the numerous tasks and prepare yourself for the various problems that might come your way during the design and development of the project.
All in all, it might sound like a long process but it’s the only way to make sure that you don’t get lost in the software market and that you go out there knowing exactly what you want and need.
2. Search the market
Once your project plan is in place and you are sure about the type of digital solutions you are after, it’s time to explore the market. The digital outburst of the last five years have turned this market to a field full of opportunities.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that it can also be very chaotic if you don’t know where to look. For that reason, you should always take your time and explore as many software tools as possible.
It’s always a great idea to actively use your network in such cases. Try to find others who have been in your position before and ask for their advice in regard to which digital solution work best for their project. That can give your research a powerful head-start.
Furthermore, look for product reviews online and see what other people think about the tool. Thankfully, there are many reliable reviews websites which can help you with your quest.
3. ‘Real-time’ is the magic phrase
After having completed both your project plan and your market research, it is time to dig deeper and start focusing on specific features that every app offers. Regardless of the type of your construction project, you want to make sure that you will hear the magic phrase ‘real-time’.
Being able to connect with the other members of your team in real-time at any given point is powerful. The ability to submit and receive project updates on time can empower the connection between the personnel on-site and the people of the back-office.
Simply put, everyone remains at the same page and can reach promptly in case that a problem emerges. The faster reaction equates fewer project mistakes and delays which by extension equates to less money spent and higher productivity rates.
4. Data is king
It is no secret that digital tools are greatly based on data. That’s why, it is essential to pick a software which can allow you to collect, store and exploit your data in an efficient and highly scientific manner.
By studying the data, you can build not only for the present but also for the future. You can identify patterns and come up with functional solutions to problems which keep reappearing during the construction process.
Predictive analytics is an excellent example of how useful can data be. Thanks to the collected feedback from previous projects, construction managers can run the planning of their new projects much faster and more efficiently based on factors such as the location of the project or the season of the year during which the project is conducted.
5. Integrations are the future
Last but certainly not least, never underestimate the importance of integrations for the outcome of your construction project. The emergence of an open data ecosystem is around the corner and you want to be part of this paradigm shift before it’s too late.
On top of that, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that as your project develops you are going to work with numerous different tools and collect countless bits of information from a number of sources. That being said, you have to go for a tool which helps you collect all your data in one place.
This option to accumulate your data will improve your workflow and the collaboration between the various project stakeholders.
Wrapping it all up, it becomes apparent that the construction software selection procedure can be extremely long and challenging. Nonetheless, with the right plan and some help from your network things can get much easier. In any case, construction software is a long-term investment which should never be seen as a luxury.