Construction project management software is necessary for construction businesses to streamline their workflow and collaborate better. But finding the right software can be tricky, as it has to be the perfect blend of affordability and functionality. Fortunately, this task is made easier if you know what essential features and effective tools to look for in your job costing software.
- Remote Access
Mobile access is a necessary feature for construction project management software. It’s important to invest in a cloud-based job costing solution that’s available on the web and has apps for both iOS and Android. After all, what’s the point of having a feature-rich app when those tools aren’t available wherever you’re working? Plus, having remote access ensures there are no communication obstacles or delays due to wrong information.
- Daily Logs
A daily log feature is a massive help to managers and contractors. It can be as simple as employees logging in, acknowledging their schedules, and updating on the progress. Or, it can be complex and have a plethora of entry options, such as entries for equipment, visitors, and manpower. Other important entries include overall productivity, safety violations, equipment inspection, and accidents. Daily logs also allow adding project photos and other documents.
It’s unlikely for a single software to provide functionality that covers all your needs, no matter how extensive their list of features is. That’s why using software that integrates with essential file sharing, cloud storage, video calling, and email is important. Moreover, if you’re already using a task management app, then getting construction software that integrates with it can transfer data seamlessly.
- In-App Chat Option
This one is a no-brainer. Constantly having to switch over to another messaging app for communication can become annoying. Pick a construction management platform that has built-in messaging and group chat options that allow file attachment.
- Document Management
A single construction project creates an ocean of documents, from punch lists and change orders to invoices and RFIs. So, a document management tool that can automatically sort different versions of documents is critical. Document management also needs an added layer of security, so find software that grants access to specific files for specific users. Data cataloguing should also be available. Paid and unpaid invoices need to be sorted as well.
- Bid Management
Much of construction involves bidding, and accurately timing and tracking hundreds of bids can be a hassle. Thankfully, many job costing software provides tools for drafting and managing bids. Bidding solutions may also offer accessory features such as locating bidding opportunities and checking if a bid qualifies or not. However, keep an eye out for whether the software enables digital signatures or not, as they’re essential for bidding.
- Financing Tools
A solid construction job costing software should have all the essential financing and estimating tools to make budgets more accurate. Managers should get access to detailed financial reports, loss due to code violations, and accidents must be accounted for as well. Financing tools for tracking critical costs should also provide insight on how to overcome delays and overspending.
In addition to that, your software should be able to generate and send invoices, set reminders, track approvals, and process pay orders. If it doesn’t have these features, then integration with finance management apps should be available. Integration with platforms that process online payments is beneficial too.
- RFIs and RFQs
A project management tool that lets you exchange RFIs (request for information) and RFQs (request for quote) can be a real time saver. Through online RFIs, you can constantly stay in touch with your clients and request or provide clarifications without having to set up meetings. With the RFQ feature, you can obtain quotes from collaborators for any event changes made in the project.