construction management Archives - 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.

Why (and What) Construction Companies Need to Automate

It always seems like there’s just never enough hours in the day. It’s funny—you set deadlines and goals for months or even years down the road, yet you always find yourself competing against the clock in crunch time. “Man, if I could just get caught up, there’s so much I could do.”

The truth is that it’s never been about not having enough time. You, I, and every other inhabitant of planet earth gets 24 hours a day to live, work, and make decisions. So the issue isn’t exactly a lack of time, it’s a lack of direction. Don’t misconstrue that as meaning there’s been a lack of hard work—that’s the farthest thing from the truth.

The main issue plaguing you and other construction managers is that tedious and tiresome tasks eat up far too much of your day. Given their vitality, it can almost seem irresponsible not to dedicate an overwhelming amount of time to them. Instead of completing tasks with the goal of moving in a productive direction, you find yourself completing tasks just to stay afloat. 

Crunching numbers, tallying spreadsheets, and certifying OSHA regulations don’t have to drain the hours from your day. Yes, these things need to get done, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do them. Construction management software that provides automated operation of simple yet voluminous tasks is something that your business should take advantage of—and you won’t have to break the bank to make it happen. 

Business is Booming: Get Your Backlog In Order

When it comes to construction project management, you’ll face problems of all shapes and sizes. Right now, there’s one problem that you’d be fortunate enough to recognize as your worst professional malady—business is booming. 

“While most of the economy remains under pressure, housing continues to be an exception. Solid demand as well as low mortgage rates are driving growth in home sales,” Rubeela Farooqi, Chief U.S. Economist at High Frequency Economics

(Source: MarketWatch)

The housing sector has continued to succeed while other divisions of the economy have faltered, with housing starts rising 11% compared to 2019. In the Northeast, the pace of new housing growth has unquestionably outshined all other areas of the country with a 67% jump in new housing starts.

So, how exactly is “too much work” a problem in today’s world? Given that the coronavirus pandemic essentially hit the pause button on the construction industry (and life) for several months, having your backlog under control is more important than ever. 

The truth is, having a hefty backlog can do severe damage to your business and its reputation. If work is severely delayed—or worse yet, faulty or incomplete—this will be reflected in online customer reviews. Even if your explanation for delayed work is something truthful and understandable along the lines of “we had other jobs to finish first”, that simply isn’t good enough. If your customer does not feel as though they are being personally catered to, you haven’t done well enough. 

Despite the possibility of skating by with minimal customer resistance during a delay, you still have OSHA reviews to be concerned about. Though you prioritize safety and compliance at every one of your job sites, disorganization never helped a business in its efforts to stay compliant. 

Real Time Budget Adjustments

Having a steady cash flow is good. Having accurate, exhaustive reports of your business’s finances is great. Having accurate, exhaustive reports of your business’s finances that are easy to view, share, and adjust in real time is what will take your business to the next level.

When was the last time one of your jobs followed its original schedule? Or the last time a project came in under-budget? Expenses on the job change every day, perhaps even every hour—the cost of construction materials has steadily risen this year. If your estimating software is rigid and inflexible, you’ll have a hard time accommodating the necessary needs of the project. 

Real time budgeting transparency doesn’t just exist so that you can keep a close watch over the job. It also helps your customers stay in the loop about what’s happening—and what isn’t. As you know all too well, customers and vendors often have a selective memory of sorts when it comes to what they want, don’t want, and are willing to allow. If you’re able to clearly answer all of the five W’s, chances are disputes will be much less frequent and shorter in length. On top of that, you’ll save yourself time by having your entire construction management software system just a click away. 

Keep Your Subcontractors Close

You and your customers aren’t the only people who would benefit from clear, transparent automated processes. There’s a lot of people from outside of your business that you need to keep in the loop—various subcontractors, electricians, material suppliers, plumbers…the list goes on and on. 

Having an unreliable subcontractor can torpedo an entire job. You probably have a horror story or two to share. Unfortunately, there are going to be people who are simply unreliable and/or negligent. It comes with the territory of being a professional in the construction industry. However, most disputes and disagreements don’t actually stem from malice, they stem from a lack of communication.

So what can you do to avoid these situations? The best bet for you and your business is to stay involved and informed. Set the parameters for workplace communication. Have a centralized database where you can keep tabs on your subcontractor’s certifications, insurance coverage, and most importantly, the status of the job.

When it comes to insurance coverage, both contractors and subcontractors have a lot to keep organized. Different requirements for different states (let alone countries), legal expenses, medical claims, etc. For these reasons and many more, it’s important to make sure your business can keep track of it all—without having to do it all manually.

There is no fool-proof, fanciful tactic to fully prevent a subcontractor from lapsing on his or her duties. What you can prevent, however, is ambiguity and wasted time surrounding their work. By putting systems that facilitate transparency in place, you’ll be able to assess whether the subcontractor is adequately performing the task at hand or if it’s time to pull the plug. Either way, you’ll be able to service your customer efficiently. 

Construction Management Software, Evolved

This year has provided a lot of twists and turns, but through it all, the construction industry has once again established itself as a resounding backbone of the American economy. Projects were put on pause, but now that some semblance of normalcy has returned, it’s time to prepare for what’s ahead.

If you were anxiously awaiting the cliché of all clichés, here it is: time is money. All kidding aside, it’s the truth. Finding ways to help your business better deal with backlog, manage real time budget adjustments, and keep tabs on subcontractors will allow you to get back to doing what you’ve always aimed to do, but seemingly didn’t have time for: growing your business.