After speaking to hundreds of contractors at the Association of General Contractors (AGC) Annual Convention in Las Vegas, I heard a lot about: lean construction, site productivity, information security, and the focus on digitization to help solve these problems.
I know that my colleagues in other parts of the world have similar conversations, and that contractors as a group tend to experience one or more of the following situations:
Does this sound like your world?
- You use a mix of spreadsheets, email, & other manual processes. Lack of visibility & control slow you down and, with your growing portfolio, you need help.
- You use clunky, outdated software that your teams hate. Even worse, you have to keep duplicate records to protect yourself from litigation. It’s time for an upgrade, but you’ve heard how painful upgrades can be …
- You’re testing out a modern, easy-to-use system that handles: RFIs, contracts, change orders, field inspections, budgets, and so on. After all, the new “table stakes” is software that is:
- Easy to use – especially for construction site teams who are less tech savvy.
- Easy to “turn on” for new projects – cloud-based software and easy to configure workflows are important here.
- Mobile – ensures ease of use and real time data capture, and mobile depicts efficiency when bidding on new work.
- Integrated across your project controls processes.
Regardless of which scenario most resonates with you, selecting the right construction management software for your business is a big decision.
First, Consider Technology Partners vs Software Vendors
It’s not just about the software.
A Regional Director of Construction / Global Lead for a Major EPC Company said it best at the AGC convention when he recommended that construction leaders focus on finding a technology partner, NOT just a software vendor.
No one knows what the technology landscape will look like in 5-10 years, which is why he chooses technology partners that have a vision, innovate, and are willing to go with him on their journey to continuously improve project delivery.
Second, Ask your Potential Software Partner These 6 Questions
In addition to the “table stakes” mentioned above, we compiled a list of questions that every potential software partner should answer for you.
- Does the software easily adapt to your processes? Software should be flexible to the way you work, not the other way around. And easily configurable workflows ensure you can start or adapt projects quickly.
- Will it support different project types? Without flexibility, you’ll need different systems for your design-build vs design-bid-build, or government vs private projects.
- Does it allow you to delete documents or alter the audit trail of decisions? Why would you or any other organization trust using a system that gives one organization the power to delete documents and communications? An unalterable audit trail between organizations is critical for: minimizing disputes, fast dispute resolution, and gaining adoption across the project team. Adoption is critical for project insights.
- Does it give you insights at every level? Early visibility into the status of your processes and your project or portfolio’s health will help you act faster and mitigate risk. And accurate insights are only possible if the answer to #3 is “NO!”
- For your government-related work, does it meet security & compliance requirements? If not, how will you win those deals?
- What kinds of service, training, and consulting are provided? The best partners ensure your success by setting-up software properly and quickly, and by making it easy for you to get help when you need it.
To learn more about the top trends and considerations when researching software, check out our “State of Construction Management Software” report.
Ready to learn why 17,000 construction projects have chosen Aconex to drive performance? Check out this 3-minute video.