How to choose the best construction software for a small business

Originally published on JLC Online

If you run a small to medium-sized construction business, you understand the difficulties of keeping track of multiple projects while running a successful and profitable business.

Incorporating construction management software into your business can reduce time-consuming tasks and send accurate quotes to your clients from the get-go.

Day-to-day tasks like estimating, project management, bid management and equipment management become more aligned with your processes, and this means you have more time for the things you love.

Like any other tool in your work shed, construction management software can help you to efficiently manage your work while you focus on the nitty-gritty of your trade.

There are many construction management software solutions to choose from, and it can be challenging to know where to start. When subscribing to construction software to help run your business, plan for the future.

Table of contents

  • Making Construction Software Work for You
  • Tips for Builders When Choosing Software
  • Why Builders Benefit From Using Construction Management Software
  • How Rymac Construction Increased Profits
  • The Evolving Foundation of the Construction Industry

Making construction software work for you

Even though you may only focus on estimating projects at the moment, think about where your business will be in a year’s time. Getting started with a new software platform takes time, and once in place, it may be hard to replace; so make sure you choose one that will support your business as it scales over time.

Project management is definitely something to keep in mind, since it will help keep your business move forward by winning more business. The best construction software contains all the project management tools you need in one place.

Ensure your investment in new software brings long-term, positive return to your bottom line, is designed to suit the size and needs of your growing business, and is easy to use day-to-day.

Typically, custom home builders and contractors find that construction software is too big or complex for their business. Planning construction projects are complicated enough. The last thing a small business needs is construction software that is difficult to learn and to incorporate into daily tasks.

The best construction management software streamlines your business by adding digital tools like those that track material and labor costs.

Recap on things to look out for

  1. Project your growth and future-proof your construction business
  2. Subscribe an end-to-end construction management software to get the best dollar value
  3. Find a platform that is easy to work with from the start
  4. Check for integrations with other digital tools such as accounting and cost-tracking systems

Tips for builders when choosing software

These helpful tips can help you to choose the best construction management software for your business:

Identify your goals

Make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves to help you understand what you need in a software solution. Your nice-to-have list will likely be as long as the day is short, but your must-have list should be brief, realistic and straightforward.

Prioritize the features

Not all features are created equal. For example, many software solutions specialize in one or two components, like estimating and project management, and if other capabilities like takeoffs are sold separately, buying software can become a costly endeavor.

Large construction companies have the luxury of having expansive budgets and big teams with people who can specialize in construction project management, but most home builders and remodelers usually have small teams and need to maximize the dollars spent on cloud-based construction software to help them work smarter and not harder.

The best cloud-based software provides a management solution that lets you track job costs and have complete control on unlimited projects. While it might be tough to find one that allows for unlimited users, see what options you have to accommodate your entire team.

Determine how you will use the software

Do you spend more time in the office or on the job site, or do you split time on both? Every construction business is different; so the construction project management software you use needs to fit your needs. Most software solutions offer choices among cloud-based mobile device apps and desktop interfaces. Your level of mobility will help you decide which is best for you.

Options

Make sure you’re comfortable with the product design and functionality for your size of business. You want to make sure it fits well so that your entire project team can complete a given construction project in a way that boosts the professionalism of your business while maximizing your profit.

Talk to other construction professionals who use project management solutions and estimating software to get an idea of what you should decide.

Why builders benefit from using construction management software

There are many reasons to consider using construction management software rather than relying on spreadsheets. Perhaps the most important benefit is that such software can help you save time and money.

Other benefits include improved communication and coordination among team members, increased accuracy of estimates and schedules, and better visibility into project progress. In short, using construction management software can help you achieve a more successful construction project.

Reduce stress and spend more time with your loved ones

Construction software with robust document management capabilities can save time and improve workflow. Ultimately, sharing of your documents becomes a breeze as every member has access to them from any location, be it the office or the worksite. Every aspect of the project is just a click away and you can tend what matters most almost instantly.

Cost savings with accurate processes from the start

When a project encounters delays due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the unavailability of necessary materials or not enough workers, money is wasted. A software solution can help avoid these types of delays and help increase your bottom line.

Organize everything and cut the number of mistakes

If you’ve ever made a mistake with payroll, misplaced a permit, or missed an important deadline, you know how frustrating and costly it can be. Thankfully, there’s software to help keep everything organized and on track. With the help of software, you’ll never have to worry about losing another important document or forgetting a critical step in your business process.

How RYMAC Construction increased profits

Using the tips above, you’ll find that choosing the right construction management software doesn’t have to be complicated. Often, general and specialty contractors choose Buildxact.

With intuitive estimating and project management tools, Buildxact enables small builders, remodelers, and contractors to grow and scale their businesses. Buildxact also helps small businesses better communicate with their customers with digital tools for creating customized quotes and tracking customer interactions.

Using the platform, Ryan McDonald, owner of RYMAC Construction in Georgia, said he easily stays on top of financials and profitability.

“My best resource is time,” McDonald said. “I tried everybody’s free trial. I chose Buildxact because it’s very intuitive, especially the takeoff and final estimate. I run my own company on a day-to-day basis and sub out the construction, and Buildxact saves me time.”

Getting digital in the construction industry

Small builders and contractors make up the backbone of the construction industry and they are quickly adapting to digital transformation. The construction industry — particularly for residential builders — is rapidly going digital and there are a number of reasons for this. One of the main benefits of digital transformation is that it allows you to automate processes.

Automation saves time and money, and both of these are topmost of concern for small builders, renovators and remodelers. Technology also allows builders to track progress in real-time, which can avoid any delays. In the future, even more construction projects will go digital. The future of the construction industry looks very bright, and it will be fascinating to see how it evolves.

On top of a rising trend among small builders, governments and authorities across the world are pushing the industry to increase the digitalization of their processes. A key feature of the digital transformation of the construction industry is the government’s collaboration with industry leaders.

By working together, the government and industry can improve communication, coordination and innovation in the construction sector. This will help to improve the efficiency and quality of construction projects, and benefit the economy as a whole.

With more investments from the government, there is a desire to create tangible outcomes that noticeably improve the customer experience, productivity and ability of the sector. This is beneficial to the industry because it also improves the skill set of the industry’s workforce and prepare them for the future.

To improve your small business as well as be ready for the future of the construction industry, here is a set of recommendations to start you off in the right direction.

Make the jump into software

Immersing oneself in technology can help to explore the potential applications and capabilities of new technologies. This exploration can enable individuals to identify opportunities for innovation and creativity. By understanding the potential of new technologies, individuals can create new possibilities for themselves and for others.

Set up a technology task force in your business

This team can help to push boundaries and create opportunities for change, helping to foster a more innovative and adaptive work environment. By empowering this team, you promote creativity and risk-taking, ultimately leading to better outcomes for your organization.

Encourage team members to digitize

When promoting your successes, be sure to stress the importance of the achievement and how it benefits the enterprise as a whole. By doing so, you’ll gain the traction you need to see widespread adoption of your initiatives across your business.

Begin your digitization journey with prioritize initiatives

When planning your organization’s initiatives, it is important to prioritize which ones you would like to start with. This can be done by selecting only two or three initiatives to begin with — such as an end-to-end construction management software. This will help you focus your efforts and ensure that you are making the most impactful changes to your business first.

Digital technologies are becoming an increasingly important part of the construction sector, and companies that do not adopt them may find themselves at a disadvantage as they increasingly lack the time to spend with the customer. By focusing on creating value for their clients, small builders and renovators can strengthen their position and respond quickly to the changes in the market.

Buildxact is an all-in-one estimating and project management software platform. Quotes, estimates, takeoffs, project management, and cost tracking are all rolled into an easy-to-use tool that integrates with cloud accounting software like Quickbooks and Xero.

To learn more about software that can help you be more efficient and accurate in your business, book a personalized demo with Buildxact

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