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General Contractor Software: What It Is And Why Contractors Should Invest In One

There’s increasing competition in the construction industry today–with new housing construction and remodeling projects at a record high. In order to remain relevant and stand out from the crowd, general contractors and builders need to be organized and have an efficient operation to deliver an exceptional client experience.

This is where general contractor software comes in. In this article, we’ll share the basics of general contractor software and the benefits you’ll enjoy when you invest in one.

What Is A General Contractor Software?

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General contractor software, also known as construction contractor software or construction management software, is a set of project management tools that are specially designed for construction companies. This type of software can help improve different processes during a construction project, from planning to implementation.

Depending on the software you choose, it can be used to manage projects by a wide range of entities, including general contractors, construction company owners, specialty contractors, and individual professionals, such as designers and architects.

In general, you’ll find two types of general contractor software today:

1. On-Premise Construction Management Software

On-premise general contractor software means that the system is installed and operated from your business’s in-house server and computing infrastructure. In general, you’ll need to buy a license or a copy of the general contractor’s software from a vendor to use the solution. Then, you’ll need to download and install the software system on your business’s computers.

With this type of solution, you’ll be responsible for the availability, security, and overall management of the software. While some vendors may offer sales integration, you or your IT team will be mainly responsible for daily operations.

On-premise solutions are more expensive than cloud software since you’ll need to invest in several resources, including server hardware, software licenses, and an in-house IT team. That said, on-premise solutions offer better security and control over your system.

2. Cloud-Based Construction Management Software

Today, most modern construction management software runs in the cloud. With a cloud-based solution, your teams can enjoy the benefits of having a single source of information and data and be able to access the data they need, anytime, anywhere.

This is particularly vital in today’s ever-changing and fast-paced construction industry, where team members are often dispersed across different locations. Having cloud-based software ensures that everyone can get their hands on the right tools and real-time information.

In addition, cloud-based construction management solutions are often suitable for smaller general contractor companies due to their cost-effectiveness. Unlike on-premise solutions, you don’t have to house and maintain an IT infrastructure for your system or hire a team of IT experts to monitor and secure the system. With cloud-based solutions, you simply need to pay the provider on a monthly or yearly basis to use the platform.

Key Trends In The Construction Management Software Industry

According to a report, the global construction management software market was valued at USD$2146.2 million last year and is projected to reach USD$6520.8 million by 2028. This means that the market is getting more competitive while the requirements are getting stricter.

So, today, the best management software for the construction industry not only has to meet the changing needs and requirements of different types of construction projects, but it has also become more customizable to handle construction projects at any level of complexity and size.

5 Benefits Of Using A General Contractor Software

Modern businesses need modern solutions to survive. And for your construction business, a general contractor software can be a game-changer. Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy once you equip your business with the right construction management software today.

1. It Provides A Centralized Communication And Collaboration Platform

This is perhaps the biggest benefit of any general contractor management software. Every construction project involves numerous teams and people who need quick and efficient communication to ensure project quality. Failing to share information in real time can cause the construction project to suffer.

A study revealed that miscommunication caused almost 50% of rework in the US. General contractors don’t always capture significant errors and changes in a project, forcing teams to operate with bad data and make poor decisions. In short, bad communication causes poor decision-making, resulting in costly project delays. Thus, if you want to break this cycle, you’ll need a platform that provides effective communication and collaboration within your teams.

Fortunately, the right general contractor software allows you to do just that. With a centralized data system, people can look up essential project data and submit changes in real-time, overcoming communication barriers and ensuring better team collaboration and coordination. Ultimately, it ensures that everyone is on the same page about the construction project.

2. It Allows For Seamless Resource Distribution

One of the biggest challenges for a general contractor is resource utilization. For a construction project to operate according to schedule and within the set budget, you need to get the right people, equipment and tools, and construction materials to the right job site. This can be more complicated if you’re running multiple or bigger construction projects.

Manual scheduling and management of your resources can be laborious and costly. However, with the best general contractor software, it’s easier to keep up with the following:

  • Labor Scheduling

Most construction management software enables seamless scheduling by matching each team member’s availability and certifications with a list of projects and sites. Everyone’s tasks will be displayed in the system according to a project’s timeline, so you can see how many hours each person has put in. It also allows you to track work schedules, which allows you to optimize working hours and hence improve productivity.

  • Inventory Levels

With construction management software, all relevant data is stored in a single place. This way, project managers can coordinate different inventories and resources to address project requirements. You can monitor if workers are using up construction materials faster than anticipated so you can order more in time, allowing the project to continue without interruption. In doing so, it prevents you from ordering more materials, allowing you to save on excess costs.

  • Equipment Allocations

As with better management of inventory levels, general contractor software allows for better equipment allocation. It ensures that the assets are properly tagged so the right equipment is moved to the right job site. This allows for faster project completion as well as reduces expensive mistakes.

3. It Ensures Effective Budgeting And Cost Management

To ensure that every construction project they embark on is profitable, general contractors must have effective cost management and budgeting procedures in place. Furthermore, employing general contractor management software allows you to gain better control over your finances.

With real-time information from construction management software, including time tracking, historical cost records, invoicing, and more, you can obtain relevant data about the cost and scope of construction projects, so you can budget more effectively.

Moreover, the right software allows you to quickly breakdown job expenses by comparing actual costs to budgeted costs, from the planning phase up to completion. This can prevent incorrect estimations and result in consistently completed projects within or under budget.

4. It Optimizes Document Management

General contractors need to manage numerous documents for every construction project. Some of these include:

  • Construction permits
  • Daily reports
  • Project drawings
  • Equipment warranties
  • Worker licenses and certifications
  • Receipts and invoices

In short, there will always be documents you need to manage in every aspect of the project. If you’re still using traditional filing cabinets, it’s easy for your documents to get disorganized. Aside from that, it can also be time-consuming to search for and access the right documents.

With the best construction management software, you can keep all essential documents, plans, and photos in one place and allow everyone to easily access them wherever and whenever they need them. The right software allows you to upload and store updated records, documents, drawings, and other essential documents from the site and office so that everyone can have the most recent data.

5. It Improves Client Satisfaction

Quality work and happy clients are every general contractor’s goals. Satisfied clients leave good reviews to establish a positive reputation. They may recommend you to their inner circle of friends, or their positive reviews can help you earn more clients in the future.

But how do you make your clients happy?

Complete the construction project on or before the projected timeline and within the budget while providing them with full transparency from start to finish. Luckily, the right general contractor software can help you give them just that.

Ideally, you and your team are not the only ones who can access project information. To foster better relationships with your clients and ensure transparency, the same information should be easily available to them. And the best software can help ensure seamless and effective communication between you and your clients. This way, they can get full insight into the current progress and costs of the project.

Takeaway

With all the moving parts involved during construction projects, manual processes and systems can be costly and laborious, hampering their growth and success. However, with the help of a top-notch general contractor software system, you can start running your business more efficiently and ensure that you stay competitive.

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