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By Amy teutenberg, Hotwire
September 5, 2017
No matter what industry you’re in, software is becoming increasingly vital to success, and the construction industry is no exception. With one of the lowest digitisation rates of any sector, the potential for software to improve collaboration and drive efficiencies in construction is significant. Therefore, when it comes to choosing a construction management software vendor, it is critical to make sure that you are getting a product and partnership that will help make your processes simpler, faster, and smarter.
First things first, don’t compromise on time spent up front to define the problem. Identify your pain points, the gaps in your processes, and your key focuses. Then, map out the perfect project management process for you, so you know what you’re looking for and how to brief prospective vendors.
It’s critical to involve software’s end user in the planning processes – they’ll be the ones who’re asking the relevant questions as they’ll be using the software.
George Panacheril, Group Executive of Strategy for SHAPE, Australia’s leading fitout and refurbishment specialist, has created the below list of essential questions to ask prospective software vendors to ensure you choose the right partner for you.
Good software doesn’t require you to be over-reliant on the vendor for routine administration.
A key goal of construction software is to facilitate collaboration. Company directories need to be accurate and easy to manage.
Ideally, your project management tools should be integrated with your accounting system.
Reporting and dashboards
Really good software will democratise your data and make it accessible to everyone.
Tendering is an administrative intensive process within a compressed timeframe, so you need to understand how the software helps facilitate this process.
When thinking about pricing, you need to consider long-term value, not just cost. Any good software will be evolving, growing, and improving. In this scenario, what you’re paying for isn’t just the existing features, but also all the features that are to come.
When it comes to the pricing model, named user licenses (which provide you with a set number of individual log-ins), and concurrent user licenses (a pool of licenses under one user) can often restrict collaboration by allowing a limited number of staff to access the software at the same time. On the other hand, an unlimited access license will encourage constant collaboration and communication across the whole organisation. This is the one you’ll want to go with. The more people on there, the more effective it is.
There is no one construction management software that does everything an organisation needs, and the reality is that you are going to have to integrate it with other existing or future software. When making a decision, look for its ability to integrate with other systems that you have.
PRODUCT OR PARTNERSHIP?
Selecting the right construction management software for you is not just about the product features. With the product comes a partnership, too. Good construction software will integrate with every part of your business.Effective implementation requires effort and commitment, and so switching costs are high. To avoid having to jump ship early in the relationship with your software vendor, make sure you do your due diligence on the people as much as the product.
Implementation and ongoing support
Research and development capacity and commitment
If you liked this article, here are a few more you might enjoy:
The Future of Construction Software
Construction Software Buyer's Guide
Building a Retail Brand with Construction Software
Cloud-Based Construction Software
Project Management Software
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