It’s a wonderful title to have, but little do outsiders have an idea of how tiresome and engaging the job can be.
From generating leads to visualizing the plans drawn on paper and finally delivering the site on the prescribed budget and timeline, construction management goes a long way.
What if I told you all these planning, scheduling, and managing processes could be fulfilled at your fingertips?
Well, such is the case with modern CRM tools.
Several players in the market have designed customized software to cater to the requirements and nature of construction projects. These tools not only assist a project manager in conveniently performing their job but also play a vital role in optimizing the processes involved in the day-to-day timeline.
A good project manager would have an objection at this point. Are these tools really going to add value to my operations? Well, that’s the question I’m here to answer.
What is construction management software?
A client only cares about the look and feel of their project. It’s the final look that matters! However, only you and your team are aware of how much mental and physical effort was required to arrive at that stage.
The process starts with an idea. The client’s requirements are conveyed to the architect, who visualizes these demands and puts them to paper. From hereon, the project manager takes up the task of bringing these scribbles to life. This cannot be done without a plan, schedule, and budget tracking metric.
You have to break the project into dozens of tasks comprising sub-requirements dependent on the preceding operations. All this is too complex, costly, and ineffective to manage manually. This is where construction management tools step in.
They assist in generating neat schedules and a proper breakdown of each task. These mini-goals are then tracked to help ensure your project is delivered on time and under a fixed budget!
Although each tool comes with a specific set of features, most of them serve some common purposes.
A clean dashboard helps create separate tabs for each of your ongoing projects. You can simply monitor the required tab and provide timely updates to the client.
As I said, this feature helps in breaking down your project into smaller tasks. Each level is equally important. This helps provide the team with a better idea of what’s required of them. It’s also an ideal way to focus more on the process than the final deliverable itself!
Estimations and cost-allocations
You can talk about how elegant your project was all you want. At the end of the day, it all boils down to how profitable;e it was for the business. Construction management software helps project managers allocate costs to each center and track their operations’ strengths and weaknesses effectively.
Most tools allow for team access. Thus, you can view the critical tasks and assign human resources accordingly. This also gives you a bird’s-eye view of how efficient your team is.
The best tools allow for integration with your accounting software and thus manage the client’s billing and invoicing process in a jiffy!
The Best Tools For Construction Management
Since you’re now clear on what role management software plays in optimizing your business’ day-to-day tasks, let’s get on to the next step. Which tool should you opt for?
I can’t bind you with a single option here.
Thus, I did my research and signed up for some of the best and most reliable options available in the market.
After hours of understanding their features, value additions, and processes, here’s a list of 12 tools I found to be most effective for construction management!
Construction management firms use software for three purposes. The primary focus is on managing the tasks spread throughout the project timeline.
Secondly, they need an efficient tool to assign and monitor these tasks across the team at hand. The final hurdle is to allocate and track the resources spent at each stage, and thus allocate cost centers accordingly.
What if there was a single software for it all?
GanttPRO has set itself as an industry stand-out due to its versatility and an all-in-one solution approach! This software can visualize the project in the form of flow charts.
As a small business setup, you naturally can’t be present everywhere. Thus, GanttPRO acts as your virtual planner, coordinator, and communications specialist simultaneously. All you have to do is break down the tasks and assign target dates of completion. Your project will be as clear as day in front of your eyes!
- The software helps break down the project into smaller goals. Each goal is well-defined and assigned. You can even create dependencies and thus easily highlight the bottlenecks.
- If you’re not great at reading charts, the board view is always there to act as a virtual planning table
- The collaboration feature enables the option of sharing tasks and files and leaving comments accordingly. You can enable the privacy feature to determine who gets access to vital information
- The cost center allows allocating a fixed budget to each goal thus keeping your financial feasibility in check
- Though primarily a planning software, GanttPRO eliminates the hassle and cost of setting up a separate collaborative workspace
- It is an ideal means of tracking both capital and human resource efficiency
- The pre-designed templates make it easier for newcomers to adapt to the software’s interface
- You might have to draw multiple Gantt charts for larger projects
The software service offers two basic plans. Individual access is granted at $15 a month. For a team of up to 10 people, you can grab the service for $8.9 per user/month. The offers can get even cheaper for larger teams.
In the construction business, the most taxing work is probably the estimation of project completion, costs, closeouts, etc. Estimation also costs valuable man-hours and effort. What you need is a tool to accurately do this job for you and save you both time and money.
STACK is a cloud-based estimating software that wicks away your troubles. It aims to cut the estimation time by half and allow you to focus on the operations instead.
It also helps you make accurate estimations of the quantity of material required based on the project scale and the cost. Not only does it simplify the estimation process for you, it also provides you with all the necessary tools required for the completion of projects of all sizes.
STACK makes on-screen planning a no-brainer. Its on-screen take-off feature automatically generates the blueprint of every construction project and allows you to customize it and make adjustments with precise and accurate measurements. Detailed reports are also generated at every step of the planning and pre-planning phase.
- Its auto-count tool provides an accurate estimation of all the materials required as well as their count and cost, for every project
- STACK’s custom assembly formula editor further increases the estimation time and takeoff process where you start any project right away using already set custom plan assemblies and materials
- STACK construction library makes planning super easy (especially for the new players in the construction field) by providing you with a database of the common materials, default plans, and pre-built reports
- Its Integration with Excel and Google Earth enables the direct import of files and photos, and maps
- Compatible with all devices
- Compatible with TIFF and PDF
- Free software updates with training and support
- Proposals ready in an instant
- Lack of undo option in takeoff creation
- Only available in the English language
You get four different plans at STACK. For starters, you can benefit from its free ‘Try’ plan, where you get 7 days and 10 takeoffs per project, 2 concurrent projects, and a limited project search. Moving forward with the start-plan, costing $2499/yr, you get 1 full user access. 2 view-only users, integrated cost data, and unlimited projects.
With the “grow-plan,” which costs $5499/yr, you get integrated cost data, unlimited projects, 3 full access, and 6 view-only users.
Lastly, with the “build-plan,” you can customize and get 4+ full access users and 6+ view-only users. To avail of the “build-plan,” you can get a quote by reaching out to the STACK support staff.
3. Builder Prime
Builder Prime might not be the most popular option in today’s market, but it’s certainly a great fit for small contractors who are just planning to digitize their operations!
Just like all the options on my list, this isn’t a tool built to serve a single purpose.
Builder Prime helps contractors with both time and resource management. Its project tracking dashboard draws an overview of the tasks at hand, the upcoming requirements, and the overall phase your project is in. It is a means for you to manage a physical site from anywhere around the world.
That’s not it, though!
The CRM software also helps you bid for new projects, create a clean dashboard for client management, and have an efficient setup to manage your leads. It’s a business development tool as well. You can easily optimize your current projects while also focusing on gaining new business.
- The CRM’s primary scheduling feature helps visualize the project at hand and thus optimize the resources at hand according to each task
- You can assign timelines to each phase and ensure a smooth movement across the contract
- The client console is Builder Prime’s sellout feature. It helps create a neat dashboard for the client to view their project, sign off on decisions, and even share vital documents
- The lead-management feature helps manage new bids and prepare the documents according to the nature of the job
- Builder Prime offers a separate dashboard to design, manage, and save quotations and estimates
- It is an ideal tool for client relationship management
- The auto-schedule feature accurately adjusts the project timelines according to each delay
- The client portal can save the cost of maintaining a separate dashboard for billing and invoicing
- The plan might seem a little expensive for businesses starting from the ground up
- The scheduling dashboard does not account for expense estimates
Builder Prime’s basic plan can be subscribed for at $79 a month. The advanced plans come with additional client management features and cost $169 and $319 respectively.
Quite obvious from its name, Inspectivity is a cloud-based digital inspection software. It revolutionizes the whole inspection process by bringing together industry workflow and advanced computing technology to create a unique solution for digital inspection and asset management for hosts of businesses in the mining, engineering, and energy sector.
It allows inspectors to get work done quickly with more accuracy and reliability by providing them with a range of templates, forms, and checklists that can be used to do offline field inspection, manage workflow, connect teams, and track assets.
Through Inspectivity you can predict trends and success rates of the project and make the right decisions by reliable data analytics. Moreover, the digitization of the inspection process also saves thousands of man-hours spent mining through papers and forms every year in each sector. Inspectivity will guide through each step of the transition from traditional inspecting to digital.
- You can create unlimited numbers of hierarchies and sub-hierarchy for thorough assets management
- GO app integration makes inspection superfast and convenient by allowing you to conduct field inspections offline
- REST API integration with other useful business systems like RBI tools, ERP solutions, or 3D modeling makes engineering assessment more powerful and asset base more visible
- The built-in inspection dashboard highlights the work done, inspection value chain, and critical issues
- Whether you are in the field or at the desk, with Inspectivity’s issue management workflow you can gather and manage detailed records for any issue and provide corrective measures
- Efficient data mining
- Customization in report making to fit your business needs
- Access to API
- Mobile application for data access anytime and anywhere
- Efficient risk management based on probable failure causes
- Does not support IOS operating system
Inspectivity allows you to test out the software by giving you a 1-month free trial period. Later, you get to choose between the pro tier or enterprise tier. Pro tier costs 120 AUD/mo, and enterprise tier charges are based on your needs, which you can evaluate by using Inspectivity consultancy services.
VisiLean is yet another great construction software that smartly connects all the teams to boost performance and ensure efficient project completion.
With VisiLean you can level up your performance game by planning, executing, and monitoring all your construction projects on one platform.
VisiLean supports BIM integration and it also has a mobile application that enables you to access live data in graphic representation at your fingertips anywhere, consequently saving you time and effort. Another added benefit of the mobile app is the easy and real-time tracking of construction plans.
Moreover, the VisiLean app also makes the day-to-day tasks for the on-site crew a lot easier to follow and report back to. You can create a to-do list for the on-site workers, who can easily report on the target completion through notes or photos. They can also send out alerts to the other team members in case of emergencies.
- Live 4D format visualization of the project models and their progress
- You can change 4D format models to 2D documents using mark-ups
- VisiLean allows you to import the existing schedules from other systems like MS Project, Primavera, Vico, or Asta.
- Team members can engage in the pull planning sessions by creating their weekly plans themselves and communicating them with other members.
- VisiLean creates detailed and insightful databases of all the projects for effective analysis and comparisons
- Progress visualization on the BIM model
- Real-time collaboration and project tracking
- Online and in-person training
- Accessible through a mobile app
- Easy import from other systems
- Does not support offline work mode
- A lot to take in for the first-time users
VisiLean cost depends upon the scale of the project, its duration, and value. You can connect to VisiLean experts to help pick the right package for your project.
Fieldwire is a one-place software solution for effective project management, issue tracking, plan viewing and versioning, and active team collaboration and information sharing between all the departments, whether onsite construction workers or project managers at the office.
Teams can use Fieldwire to commute the progress of each task in real-time, list and document issues using photos and videos or text, make custom construction forms, and well-organize processes like inspection and punch.
Fieldwire not only helps you effectively manage construction plans, it also alerts you about the conflicts if there are any. It supports synchronization with the floor plan app and extracts the site drawings and sheets while double-checking for possible issues.
It also facilitates the closeout process via punch list functionality, including the places of issues on the blueprints. Along with the punch list reports, inspection reports, project progress reports, closeout, and handover reports are also automatically created. These reports can be customized to fit the need for data representations.
- It syncs with Dropbox, One Drive, and Box, enabling everyone on the team to have access to the latest version of any document
- BIM viewer provides 360-degree model viewing with tools for measurement and metadata on particular elements
- Structured planning and executing of day-to-day tasks with effective collaboration between all the teams
- It reduces the risk by issuing warnings in case of conflicts or errors
- Available in 10+ languages
- Mobile app available for both Android and IOS operating system
- Offline access to files
- Instant access to all the drawings
- It is comparatively pricey
There are four pricing tiers, from basic to the most advanced. The basic plan is free with a 5 users limit. This plan is a good start to getting to know the software before moving on to the paid versions. This plan includes 100 sheets and 3 projects, task management, plan viewing, and instant sharing of files, photos, and checklists.
At 29 USD/user/mo, you can avail of the pro plan with access to all the basic features, custom task statuses, reports exports, additional sheets, and the Revit plugin. For more advanced features like BIM viewer, round-the-clock customer support, custom forms, and more, consider a business plan that costs 49 UDD/user/mo. The last plan is the premier plan which includes all these features and the most advanced ones like API access, training, SSO, etc.
BuildOps software is specifically designed for the electrical, mechanical, fire safety, and plumbing sectors. It helps contractors efficiently manage operations from top to bottom. It eliminates the communication barrier between project managers and on-field workers and technicians by enabling you to make day-to-day schedules and assign them to the on-site employees right from your office.
Workers can assess a full job history and conveniently log their progress right through their mobile using photos, texts, or checklists. They can also set quotes and get signatures right in the software. Moreover, BuildOps automatically syncs these quotations and schedules across all devices and saves you a good amount of time by removing the need for separate entries.
BuildOps also ensures maintenance of all equipment and schedules routine maintenance checks for them to guarantee the optimal performance of each piece of equipment. Furthermore, it offers real-time visibility of each technician’s location and allocated tasks.
The dispatch team can use this information to assign and modify work for each worker. With a point-and-click interface, they can also reschedule, extend, shorten or cancel the jobs for the field workers. This way, communication between the on-field and office staff is always up-to-date and work can be carried out in the right manner with utmost efficiency.
- Smart scheduling optimizes dispatching as calls are received and increase technicians’ response rate
- BuildOps’ routine preventive maintenance checks ensure optimal equipment performance
- Through Gated workflow, you can certify that tasks are completed in a defined sequence
- With BuildOps you can fasten up the building of quotes and approvals by creating and tracking the proposals structurally
- Through the BuildOps mobile app, you can attach files like notes, PDFs, audio, images as well as videos to the work order, which can be emailed directly to the customers
- Construction CRM
- Quick job scheduling
- Access through a mobile app
- Helps keep track of equipment maintenance
- Personal training by BuildOps support staff
- Require some dashboard enhancements for financial and accounting purposes
There is no pricing plan available on BuildOps’ official site. You can consult the BuildOps support team for a quote after a free product demo.
Autodesk is a leading name in the CAD software industry. Its most popular product, AutoCAD is an all-in-one toolkit for designing and drawing.
There are seven tools of AutoCAD available; AutoCAD Plant 3D, AutoCAD MEP, AutoCAD Raster Design, AutoCAD Electrical, AutoCAD Architecture, AutoCAD Mechanical, and AutoCAD Map 3D. All of which come under the single subscription of AutoCAD, even though they are to be separately downloaded.
All these specialized tools provide industry-specific functionality and are perfect for city planners, engineers, project managers, architects, graphic designers, etc. With AutoCAD’s highly advanced tools and great interface, you can significantly speed up your work and turn innovative ideas into unique drawings and designs.
You can use AutoCAD to make 2D drawings, documents, and drafts, as well as map 3D models and visuals. You can create auto-dimension styles, update and share data between Excel sheets and tables within drawings, and control the outlook of textual docs in 2D drawings.
For 3D designs, AutoCAD lets your drawings get as real as possible with features like light adjustments, edge controls, and shading. Likewise, it also lets you examine intricate interior details of 3D models.
Finally, you can customize the AutoCAD interface to best fit your needs and organize your tasks in a way to increase the software functionality and access its features easily.
- With AutoCAD, my insights feature, you can explore some great helpful tips and features
- You can share your work with your team to view or edit
- Count command lets you automate the counting of geometrical objects or blocks
- You get access to the full history of your drawings and you can compare and contrast different versions of your drawings
- With the Markup import feature, you can import feedback from PDFs or papers, and without altering your drawing you can add changes
- Through AutoCAD web and mobile app, you can create, view, or edit your drawings very easily
- Customizable interface
- Smooth transition between 2D and 3D models
- Supports mobile app
- Accessible in 20 languages
- Compared to its competitors, its cost is higher
- Requires time to get a grip over commands and layouts
AutoCAD monthly subscription costs $220 per month. However, if you buy an annual subscription, you get 34% off, and instead of $2640, you get it at $1865.
You can try AutoCAD for free before opting for the subscription.
Jobber is a great software for managing on-field staff. Jobber excels at providing the multifaceted attention to detail needed to run a field service company. It effectively manages your internal work procedures and enables you to monitor field service professionals.
In addition, Jobber prioritizes customer service with several useful client-facing features along with its team and business-focused capabilities.
Jobber assists you in retaining your new clients and expanding your business operations by providing you with interchangeable tools like integrated CRM, real-time job scheduling and dispatching, invoice creation and billing, expense tracking, quoting, client reminders, online booking, automatic emails, and so much more.
Jobber makes your operations smooth with its time tracking functionality. Not only can you assign jobs, but you also keep track of the progress and as well as the person responsible for the job completion.
It also automates the invoicing process. You can create the invoices and set the schedule. Jobber will automatically send these invoices via email when the time comes. It partners with different e-payment apps, including PayPal and Stripe, to facilitate electronic billing.
- Jobber’s self-service client hub facilitates clients to approve quotes, pay invoices, schedule work orders, and communicate with the support team
- You can get detailed insights into billing and invoices using different filters and search and sort options by invoice types, due dates, and whether it has been paid or not.
- It has a vast and thorough customer database where you can list your client’s info and categorize their no of properties and projects
- Integration with Google Maps optimizes the routes to the fields and also allows you to track the field technicians
- A color-coordinated calendar makes job scheduling and assigning very smooth, saving time and increasing productivity
- You can sync all your payments and invoices with the accounting software; Quickbooks and thus save yourself from the effort of entering data again
- User-friendly interface
- Super easy to set up the software and get it running
- IOS and android mobile app
- Team communications options are somewhat limited
- It does not offer open API
You can start with a 14-day free trial period and explore the software. If you then decide to take a shot with it, you get to choose between three pricing tiers. A Core plan, which starts at $35/mo for 1 user with basic features of customer management, job tracking, quoting, invoicing, etc.
With the “connect plan,” at $105/mo for up to 7 users, you get more advanced features such as automated emails and texts, online booking, GPS tracking, time and expense tracking, and automated invoice follow-ups. The final and all-inclusive plan is the “grow-plan,” which costs $210/mo for up to 30 users.
Buildertrend is top-notch cloud-based project management software that provides you with many sophisticated and pre-sale tools, built-in CRM, project proposals, bid requests, and a lot more. It is specifically designed to aid professionals in the construction business by helping them boost the project while eliminating delays and communication errors.
With Buildertrends you can streamline all areas of the construction projects, including scheduling, estimating, budgeting, changing orders, communicating with the clients, and managing documents.
The software is integrated with other useful solutions such as Xero, Quickbooks, etc. You also get professional training and customer support to help learn the software. You can make use of Buildertrend daily webinars, learning community, support chat, and the 24/7 help section to make the best out of it.
- You get a thorough job menu option where you can see the details like current jobs statuses, logs, tasks completed, due dates, etc.
- With sales features, you can create proposals real quickly and without much effort
- You can keep track of communication using Buildertrend in-build two-way messaging
- With the mobile app, you can check in and out, keep track, and document the projects while on the go
- Your clients can log in through your site to overview your job with the ‘owner view’ option. You can also share photos or change order and ask them for approval through the software
- Comprehensive training in the software being used
- Powerful reporting tools
- Easy workflow management
- Large storage space for files
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free trial
Buildertrend offers three pricing plans within its portfolio; essential, advanced, and complete. The essential plan starts at $99 per month with features like scheduling, invoicing, email marketing, daily logs, and more.
You can further get advanced reporting features like change order, takeoffs, estimates, and bid management using the premium version, which costs $399/mo. The complete package, on the other hand, contains all the possible features along with all integrations. You get 24/7 support, seamless integrations, and online training and learning courses with all three plans
Managing big projects is not at all easy. There is a lot to keep up with, planning each step, scheduling, setting targets, meeting deadlines, and keeping the team coordination intact is really a task.
But effectively checking all these steps is successful project completion. Wrike is a top-notch cloud-based project management software that automates manual labor and provides you with an all-inclusive digital solution for successful construction project management.
Wrike is full of hyper-tailored features that you won’t find in other management software. Its versatility makes it best for keeping multiple departments organized and well-connected.
Wrike’s advanced work management technology caters to the need of the whole enterprise. Likewise, it is flexible enough to fit the needs of different projects running simultaneously. All-in-all, Wrike unifies and connects all the systems, teams, and applications used throughout an organization and increases work efficiency.
Wrike partners with other tools; Microsoft, Adobe, and Salesforce are popular among many other useful tools and integrations. Thus, provides you with an all-in-one digital workspace for efficient workflow throughout the organization.
- Wrike’s unique and user-friendly dashboard provides you an overview of the entire workflow in one place with details of all the ongoing projects, team assignments, and financials
- You can share files, track progress on the team as well as at the individual level, and publish assets
- Wrike automatically updates the workflow analytics report every 15 minutes
- Highly versatile and adaptable to meet the needs of different departments across the organization
- You get more than 400 third-party integrations
- Dozens of free templates to kickstart the process
- Adaptable to custom project needs
- Progress visualization through Gantt charts
- Cost reduction through effective resource management
- Challenging for beginners to use
- Some of the features do not work well on mobile apps
Wrike offers a free basic plan that supports a team of 5 users with limited features like file sharing, basic task management, and a few integrations. Its professional plan starts at 9.80 USD/mo and supports up to 15 users. It is best for entry-level project management and offers task management, sharable dashboards, Gantt charts, and advanced integrations.
You can upgrade to a business plan for a team of up to 200 members that costs 24.80 USD/mo or get unlimited seats using an enterprise plan.
You can try out Wrike’s free trial to test the software.
Managing all the departments, from contractors to third-party assets to finance, is not easy. This is where COINS come in. COINS is an all-in-one cloud solution for construction industries. It is an ERP + software that makes managing your business a piece of cake.
It provides a single platform for all your teams, operating devices, and business plans to connect for efficient workflow. COINS end-to-end software covers all the aspects of the construction business, including finance, operations, project delivery, supply chain management, time management, and service management.
COINS lets you import and export data in bulk, allowing you to keep data up to date. Moreover, it offers a great deal of customization and a lot of features to manipulate the data based on your needs and area of focus. You can search and manage your data using different filters and customize data reports based on how you want to represent that information.
With COINS global, you can manage and connect all your workforce, whether in offices, on roads, or remotely, for an efficient and smooth workflow. You can instruct and assign goals better, track their work performance, and ensure everybody complies with the safety and security measures.
- COINS call management system allows you to run meetings, conferences and calls smoothly without schedule conflicts.
- With construction billing integration, you can ensure accurate and on-time outflow and inflow of cash
- Easy equipment management by systematic assigning, tracking, and billing of owned and leased equipment
- Contractors can track and determine the progress of every task using the COINS production tracking feature
- Easy inventory management
- Availability of electronic signature
- Timely and thorough customer support
- A lot of room for customization
- Data import and export to excel file
- Supports integration of MS Word and Excel
- Charges separately for modifications of reports
- So many features make implementation a little difficult
For pricing details, you will have to contact the COINS global support team
Well, that’s it for now.
As a new construction project manager, you might feel overwhelmed with the extensive tasks and requirements for your business right now. Don’t worry, though. These construction management tools and software have been designed to relax you from all this hassle!
Pick a suitable tool for your business today and get ready to gear up your projects to the next level.