Any subcontractor Googling ‘construction software’ or ‘construction management systems’ and then trying to work out which ones to have a look at will see the problem: there are a LOT of systems that offer the world in terms of managing construction projects. Most have a massive database and tools for head contractor-type operations, so figuring out which one will make a subcontractor business more productive and efficient is hard.
The risks of not using construction scheduling software in a subcontracting business are too big to give up the search for the right solution. There are a few features of subcontracting software that are important for a business operating across three or more projects at once and from around 20-200 staff.
Easy to use, for everyone
Construction scheduling software offers a massive opportunity for a small, medium or large subcontracting business, in terms of becoming more efficient, reducing errors and also reducing time and money being wasted. But only if everyone is using the one system, and using it well.
For everyone, the system has to make sense, be simple to use and let them share from the same up to date project information.
Construction management software for subbies will give the office team the full dashboard of what is happening, where and when. They can schedule and update jobs. They can see the details recorded by the project team in the site diary, to know what has happened on site. They can see timesheets to know who was on site and at what time against their scheduled time, and integrate the data into other key software such as payroll and bookkeeping to gain real efficiencies.
From the same system, the supervisors and field workers can get the information that they need without getting bogged down in a super confusing system so that they can get on with the job. It needs to give the worker their own schedule and tasks, and a place to record their own timesheet. For supervisors, they need to see what needs to happen next, and who is scheduled to be there to do it and be able to adjust and approve timesheets.
Easy to get started
Onboarding a new construction management system into the business should not be hard. It needs to be easy to get started so that the whole team can quickly reap the benefits of having all of their project and scheduling data in a cloud-based system with different apps for supervisors and fieldworkers. It needs to be intuitive so that the people in the team who prefer to learn by feel rather than by an instruction manual can get on the program quickly.
Replicate your workflow, not turn it upside down
A good reason why the right subcontractor construction software is easy to get started for the whole team is that it replicates your team’s workflow – what you already do but making it quicker, smoother, easier – rather than making everyone start from fresh with a whole new way of working. Digitising your subcontracting business, including introducing a new construction scheduling software, will require some change from your team. But a new system should not turn your daily work life on its head, so look for construction software that has just what you need and can be set up to match the way you and your team likes to work.
Reducing risk of disputes and not getting paid
Once the construction scheduling and management software is set up, the whole team needs to be able to start using it with minimal training time. Who has a spare week for all staff to learn new software? It needs to be straightforward and intuitive to use, so that it quickly becomes part of the normal working day. For example, it should be easy to see how to record data into the system so that supervisors and field workers can capture the activities of the day in a digital site diary. Having the team able to record activities big and small on site builds a full record of what has happened on site in the company database.
Without a record, a subcontractor can be at risk when a claim is made against them. With the constant down flow of project risk from the client and head contractor downwards, too often it can land in the lap of the subbie. However, consistent use of an easy-to-use digital site diary builds a full history of a project which can help to defend a claim that a delay or problem was caused by the subbie. Incomplete records can put that big invoice at risk – of being paid late, with deductions or of not being paid at all.
No bloat – don’t pay for software you won’t use
Many of the big construction management software options out there are built for big developers doing a wide scope of work. Their construction software is massive, complex and can virtually put a rocket on the moon – which is great, if that is what your business does.
For subcontractor businesses in Australia, having an operations system with scheduling and management tools needs to be simpler. It needs to keep the projects organised, staff updated, and site information recorded. When a subcontractor business uses the right-sized system, it can improve productivity, profitability, and reduce business risk – at a price that makes sense. Paying for software to do tasks the business will never do is a waste of money.
The best construction scheduling and management system for subcontractors is quick to get started and is easy to use by the whole team. It gives everyone the slice of information from the same system that they need, and nothing they don’t. The cost of the software is affordable for a small-medium business, and the return on investment is easily recouped by the time savings in a more efficient operation. Most importantly, the business reduces its risk of disputes and non-payment by having a full set of project data recorded, organised and accessible.
To find out how Neo Intelligence can help your subcontractor business reduce its risk, and increase its productivity and profitability, contact our team today to book a demonstration.