July 2021 - Striven

Contractor Management Software: Benefits and Advantages

The world of construction and contracting contains a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively. Tools, materials, and machines need to be transported, assembled, and installed at every job site. 

Beyond the physical labor lies the real headache of contracting—legal documents, compliance measures, appraisals, estimates, budget reports…the list is seemingly endless.

Every business that handles construction and contractor management does things a bit differently. Some have completely integrated business management software solutions while others still rely on manual, analog business practices. 

The reality is that most businesses find themselves somewhere in between when it comes to technological integration.

Benefits Of Contractor Management Software

Construction and contracting companies (and businesses in other industries that rely on various types of contract work) share a common goal, no matter the specifics of the project, customer, or client—that common goal is creating value and increasing revenue.

construction and contractor management software

Experts on construction and contracting productivity estimate that 35% of construction time is spent on non-productive activities. It’s not necessarily the activities, objectives, or the people themselves that are inefficient—it’s the methods and processes that cause stagnation. 

Contractor management software helps businesses streamline the processes that their business already accomplishes on a daily basis. Job costing, equipment tracking, and estimating are just some of the processes that contractor management software helps your business improve upon.

Have you experienced the pitfalls of tracking equipment with pencil and paper? Have you had to repeatedly run the same numbers to make sure you’re still under budget? Have you had to pause your labor to call your office staff numerous times from the same job site on the same day to acquire crucial information?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to consider exploring the use of contractor management software within your organization.

On the other hand, if you haven’t experienced any of these headaches yet, consider yourself lucky. You have the chance to proactively build better processes before any of these hurdles arise.

Better Communication, Better Bottom Line

Communication is important in every line of work. However, when it comes to working with a variety of subcontractors and contracted parties, communication takes on an increased importance.

Quality communication—or lack thereof—has a tangible impact on job sites. In construction and engineering projects, 52% of rework is caused by poor project data and miscommunication. This translates to nearly $31.3 billion in rework in the U.S. alone in 2022.

construction professionals communicating over blueprint

By utilizing the tools that contractor management software offers, you won’t have any ambiguity about budgets, schedules, or the status of work. 

Imagine this: many businesses use emails to send documents, isolated hard drives to store files, text messages to share images and status updates, paper and pencil to sign out equipment and materials, and expensive third parties to craft contracts. 

Using so many disconnected software systems (not to mention some entirely paper-based systems) leaves the door open for errors, delays, and miscommunication of all kinds. Contractor management software puts everything you need in one place, able to be accessed anywhere, anytime, without the high risk of errors and faulty data.

Reduced Risk Exposure

The task of maintaining full legal and regulatory compliance is a multifaceted, challenging endeavor. Businesses deal with complex and oft-changing tax codes, strict OSHA regulations, and countless types of insurance guidelines. 

It’s easy for disorganization to run rampant if your systems and processes are not efficient and in unison. Though it may be tempting to safe keep all pertinent company documents in your private, isolated filing cabinet, it’s important to understand that there is a better, safer, more effective way. 

One of the biggest benefits of contractor management software is that you’ll be able to set parameters for your organization’s specific compliance requirements. From there, you can upload documents and let automation handle the rest.

With a quick search query you’ll be able to:

  • Make sure that all of your contingency workers have their certifications up to date
  • Verify specific tax considerations for each job site
  • Manage documents relating to incident reports and insurance claims

Beyond the increased level of organization and speed of access, your documents will be safer, too—a cloud-based, cryptographically protected, backed-up document storage solution will make sure that your data is never lost or damaged. 

Compared to the single, lock-and-key filing cabinet, contractor management software is a much better solution for making sure that you and your employees are fully protected, both physically and legally.

Better Talent Acquisition and Onboarding

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business—making sure that your pool of prospective talent stays warm should be of the utmost priority. 

The hiring and onboarding processes are never without hiccups and a substantial time commitment. This becomes even more true when your business relies on the services of subcontractors and freelancers. 

Hr Manager Hand Hold Cv Resume Of Construction Worker Over Group Of People Different Professions Choose Candidate

Building a better and more efficient hiring process takes time, energy, and yes, money. Investing in your employees and their well-being begins before they officially sign on—it starts with the hiring process itself.

The good news is that your talent acquisition solution doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead of relying on costly sites such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn to manage your hiring processes, you can (easily and cost-efficiently) handle it internally. Better yet—most of the process can be automated.

Beyond cost savings, you’ll be able to find candidates that truly match your organization’s needs.

The best contractor management software solutions offer an integrated HR portal that handles everything you need to attract, hire, onboard, and retain top talent. Create job postings, store background checks, resumes, and other documents, and automate recruiting workflows by position. 

Operational Overview

While delegation and trust are important qualities of being a business leader, it’s still just as important to maintain an accurate, informed overview of all of your business operations.

Though you may not be directly involved in certain aspects of a project lifecycle, it’s still crucial to be able to access all of that information at a glance. 

Let’s take a look at this example:

A customer drastically changes their mind about the direction of a project. In the beginning, they were looking for something “simplistic”, but things have changed—new decision-makers have been appointed, and they have their own vision of how things should look. They’re signing the checks, after all, so you do your best to accommodate.

Your project manager comes to you for input about the client’s requested changes. 

“We’re going to need a bigger daily budget, more highly-specialized contractors, new materials that need to be shipped from halfway across the world…”

As you’ve probably witnessed firsthand, the list of variables that change during the lifecycle of a project is seldom only three items long. If your processes are disconnected and disorganized, the logistics of making these changes a reality will be a major headache.

Double-checking figures, searching for missing documents, scouring through old text messages and emails, manually taking inventory—in all reality, these few hang-ups only scratch the surface of what you’ll need to account for.  

Project managers, and employees in helmets

Contractor management software keeps the small details neatly organized while never losing sight of the big picture. Create interactive workflows, organize tasks for each employee with smart labeling technology, and easily adjust job scopes and timelines.

Not only will this make you and your workers’ lives easier, but it’ll also provide your client with up-to-the-minute, fully transparent information. 

Even after the contractors are done, it’s important to remember that they’re not the only people involved in the business surrounding buying, selling, and maintaining it. It’s important to make sure that the software you choose to help increase efficiency and boost profits also acts as software for real estate development teams that are affiliated with this property.

Contractor Management Software Keeps Your Business Moving

Contracting is never a one-size-fits-all industry. No matter the project, there will always be changes, updates, and hurdles. This will never change. As a leader, your job is to navigate these choppy waters with planned precision and professionalism. 

Contractor management software helps immensely—it allows you to plan ahead while being able to make adjustments with ease. It allows you to intuitively remove inefficiencies in order to cut costs. It also allows you to plan for the future by ensuring that your pipeline of contractors and subcontractors is skilled and plentiful. 

all in one contractor and construction management software

If you find yourself consistently looking for a better, less stressful path to completed jobs and sustained success, contractor management software will allow you to accomplish just that.

Integrated Business Software: What You Need To Know

Every business has a lot of moving parts. Whether your business manufactures goods in a factory or provides in-home services to customers, it is equally important to have a unified and clear picture of all of the components of your operation. 

As you work towards attaining a more all-encompassing view of your operations, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of projects and tasks. In other words, sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees

One skill that can be useful in tackling an abundant and overflowing to-do list? Delegation. 

When you hear the term “delegation” you are probably imagining handing off work to your employees. While this will still be true, some of the most powerful delegations are not ones you task to your employees—it’s the work you hand off to your integrated business management software.

integrated business software

Delegating tasks to your integrated business software provides some of the same benefits as traditional delegation. You (and your employees) will have time to focus on higher-level tasks, it will open up time to learn new skills and conduct market research, and it will improve efficiency across the board.

Even for tasks that still require a deft human touch, integrated business software provides a tangible procedural advantage that improves operational success and efficiency across the board.   

What Is Integrated Business Software?

Integrated business software is a seamless collection of solutions, processes, and data. Accounting modules, customer records, and smart calendars are just some of the previously isolated functionalities and features that integrated business software unifies. 

integrated business software system

Notably, business needs vary by size, industry, and even season of the year. One key element of integrated business software is that it’s adaptive and elastic to the nuances of industry needs—while one business is looking for an alternative to their existing accounting software, another will focus on generating automated sales reports

Integrated business software handles it all, providing connectivity and clarity throughout every facet of your business.

On the highest level, it ensures that you, your customers, and your employees have immediate, accurate, and complete access to all pertinent information. It detangles and connects previously disconnected silos within your business so that processes can run smoother and more efficiently than before. 

Challenges Caused By Disconnected Software Systems

Without an integrated business management software system, businesses typically rely on a handful of disconnected software suites to get the job done.

Even if you’re primarily using standard, powerful spreadsheet and storage software systems, there are still issues that arise. The tricky part? Many of these issues often don’t come to light until it’s too late.

Let’s take a look at some of the operational issues and inefficiencies caused by disconnected software systems:

Delayed Data and Reporting

Having accurate data is good—but having accurate, real-time, and easily accessible data is great. 

Without accurate, timely, and complete information, businesses suffer each year—it’s estimated that businesses lose 20% of their potential revenue due to poor-quality data. From marketing to sales to inventory management, bad data can have a profoundly negative impact on your bottom line.

Wasted Productivity

Every minute spent having to correct an error or reiterate a piece of information’s authenticity is a minute wasted. Businesses that are aiming for rapid growth can’t afford to waste this much time.

If your business is using software systems that don’t communicate with each other, it sets into motion a cascade of worsening problems—extra time spent accessing and parsing data sets leads to errors in data entry, which delays reporting time and adds unnecessary hours to your payroll. In turn, it takes time away from more important tasks.

When your employees are entering data in multiple locations, manually sifting through invoices to address a single customer’s issue, or constantly having to check back in from the field, progress suffers. Processes like these can be automated by integrated business software.

Increased Cost

As business owners know all too well, unexpected costs always have a way of dipping into—or breaking—your budget. 

Some costs of having disconnected software systems are obvious and upfront. As in, paying for numerous software solutions and the corresponding upgrades, repairs, and support. 

Other costs are more indirect—multiple software systems mean multiple interfaces, which typically require additional employee training and time spent learning the nuances of each. This leads to more time spent learning how to transfer data between each and time spent correcting errors that occur during this process. 

This wasted time eats into productivity which could be spent on more productive and profitable tasks.

Benefits of Having Integrated Business Management Software

All businesses have growing pains. It’s natural. But as a business owner, it’s important to recognize the difference between when you’re simply adjusting to a learning curve rather than when it’s time to rethink and reshape inefficient processes and procedures.

erp business management software hr

These are the main ways that integrated business software will help alleviate ongoing procedural woes:

Increased Visibility

Your data needs to be universally accessible—one person on a certain device in a particular location shouldn’t be the sole arbiter of your data. Sure, not everyone in your organization will need access to the same information, but it’s important that people have access to what they need, anywhere and anytime. 

Informed decisions are great— but those that can be made quickly without sacrificing accuracy are the best decisions. When most employees are required to get data to make a business decision, only 3% are able to do it in seconds. For 60%, it takes hours or days.

Process Efficiency

Inventory management, accounting, project management, and the hiring process—while these processes all seem separate and different in nature, they actually have a lot in common. 

Namely, they are all common business processes that can eat up valuable time during the workday. In other words, your business can benefit from automating these processes using integrated business software.

Currently, CEOs spend 20% of their time on tasks that could be automated—imagine the innovation and growth you could achieve with 20% more time to put towards work that requires that critical human touch. 

Cost Savings

According to a McKinsey report, 45% of current paid activities can be automated by today’s technology, an equivalent of $2 trillion in total annual wages. 

Automation capabilities aside, integrated business software is a cheaper alternative than procuring, installing, and maintaining multiple software—and possibly hardware—systems. 

Integrated Business Software: The Bottom Line

Integrated business software isn’t only for large businesses or even businesses in certain industries. Sure, there will always be nuances, but at the end of the day, every business needs to put an emphasis on efficiency and cost-cutting.

It’s not always easy to abandon the way you’ve done things in the past. After all, your success has gotten you this far. The good news is that you don’t have to abandon anything really—utilizing integrated business software is about changing how certain processes are completed, not changing the processes themselves.

integrated business software system

Increased operational visibility, process efficiency, and reduced costs are just a few of the benefits that integrated business software can offer. Every business is unique—talking with an expert can help you figure out how your business can put integrated business software to work for you.