Whether you are subcontractor that does civil work, infrastructure, labor hire, dry / wet plant hire or commercial work. You want deliver your projects with the highest service standards.
The right construction management software supports with that. With the right software tools, subcontractors can not only improve their workforce’s productivity, but also get a better insight in the business and gain control over what is actually happening on site.
At the moment, construction tech and construction management software are hot topics. There are many different point-solution platforms that offer productivity improvements to contractors in the construction industry and technology is deemed to be adopted industry wide within the next few years.
Subcontractors should look for the following features when selecting their construction management software.
Billable hours are one of the most important factors to invoice customers accurately. When looking for construction software, you would want to make sure that timecard data is collected accurately, and can be processed for payroll and linked to different projects. A timesheet feature should include different pay rates and activity types to make sure different activities are billed to the client differently.
#2 Inspections and checklists
While digital timesheets save contractors 1 or 2 sheets of paper a week. Most construction sites are still relying on clipboards and paper inspection forms. Different projects require different form, a flexible digital form building tool helps contractors reduce the paper clutter on site. Forms can be updated and sent to the field team’s mobile devices.
Moreover, processing paper forms can take up to weeks, corrective actions can’t be taken on time. A digital form that notifies the right person when something needs to be actioned saves a lot of time and enables faster responses.
For example, many contractors use a incident report in their health and safety procedures. A construction management platform that visualizes this data in real time can be helpful in solving underlying trends for incidents. Digital forms can be used by subcontractors to support their WHS policies, plant maintenance, toolbox talks, change orders and inductions.
#3 Document management
In a highly regulated industry like the construction sector. It’s important to comply with all the rules and regulations. Being ISO 9001:2015 accredited is the norm when working for government and large GC projects.
Part of the accreditation is to prove that your entire workforce is competent to work on projects. Tracking expiry dates of certificates and licenses is a lot of work for a 100+ workforce and keeping the Competency matrix up to date is a daunting challenge. When buying construction management software, subcontractors should look for a real time competency matrix feature that allows them to send an updated competency matrix to the client in matter of minutes.
#4 Job scheduling / Task management
When you’ve established that your entire workforce is compliant with all the requirements for the job. You’re ready to schedule and allocate workers and their equipment to the job. A scheduling calendar that allows subcontractor to replace the whiteboard allows ops managers to collaborate, and work on 1 schedule for the entire company. Tracking where everyone is is and what they are doing will improve efficiency of the entire workforce.
#5 SMS / Email communication
Communication between the office and the field is one of the most challenging parts for subcontractors. Quite often communication is lost in the pile of SMS and emails which makes it hard to hold people accountable. Tracking communication within your organisation is key to manage accountability and reduce communication related risk. When buying software, subcontractors should look to see how they’ll communicate with their staff.
Data that is collected via field mobility functionalities (timesheets and leave request forms) is the cornerstone for fast payroll processing. Many subcontractors who use software to manage their business save hours processing payroll. Instead of collecting paper timesheets and punching numbers in their accounting software. They directly export timesheet data from their platform into their accounting software. Their payroll is not only processed faster, but is also less prone to errors.
Sending accurate invoices is the bottom line for healthy project margins. Work that has be done out of scope needs to be reported and charged accordingly. Many contractors working with outdated processes leave a lot of money on the table. Their field staff struggles to report all out of scope work, and if they do, clients argue the out of scope work. Being able to show an accurate log and be able to accurately invoice out of scope work, not only prevents arguments but also show professionalism towards the client.
#8 Custom reports
In many other industries, data collection and data reporting has been the main reason for increased efficiency and profitability. In the construction industry, where subcontractors compete on efficiency, safety and quality. Data can play a very important role to gain a competitive advantage.
However, collecting and processing data has been a difficult process. Construction management is changing that. With the right reporting features, subcontractors can collect and process real-time data in easy to read custom reports. This helps contractors better understand what happens in their business and can change the way they operate to increase their thin margins and improve safety procedures on site.
#9 Project budget tracking
All data that is tracked in reports, can be allocated to specify projects. Your software solution should be able to give you insights on which projects you make higher margins, and which projects your better off not taking. As construction management software can help you collate the data towards a project, and you know the budget you have. You can track the actual costs versus the budget. Contractors have daily insight in their profitability and their project progress. During the project / job contractors are able to change things in order to improve their margins.