How construction management software can aid in construction planning

Published on 1/18/2022 by Sonal Srivastava

Construction could potentially be the backbone of Canada’s economic growth, and should ideally be planned using a suitable strategy. According to Randstad Canada, “The construction sector is a massive industry in Canada, employing approximately 1.2 million men and women, or approximately 7% of the Canadian workforce.”  With the growing need for housing and infrastructure, general contractors could potentially face challenges while construction planning and executing multiple projects. 

How construction management software can benefit during construction planning

In order to align with the client’s needs, a general contractor could likely benefit from using construction management software. In the next section, let’s explore some of the features of such software that could help in construction planning and understand how general contractors could use it.

What is construction management?

Construction management is the process of developing a strategy to design, plan, coordinate, and monitor the construction process of various properties. Such properties could include residential, commercial, government, and educational buildings, among others.

Useful software features to consider for construction planning 

Imagine you were to create your own garden, where you would need to first identify a suitable location, check for resources and equipment, plan your budget in case of additional requirements, and begin planting as per your design and strategy. Implementing a construction planning strategy is similar to this. 

In order to implement such construction projects, general contractors may use construction management software to manage their workflow. However, they may get confused between multiple software solutions available. Which is why we are going to explore a few features that could help general contractors understand how to use construction management software to their advantage.

Financial tracking

General contractors should assess the amount of investment required during the construction planning stage. These investments could be earmarked for maintenance and repair, stocking resources, or even paying wages to workers. As construction planning for projects could range from building new infrastructure to just repair and maintenance, financial tracking solutions offered as part of construction management software —such as accounting modules (executable programs that perform a specific function)— could help a general contractor. This is why you should keep this feature in mind while choosing suitable construction management software. 

Project reporting

Once a project has been commenced, a general contractor may struggle to monitor the execution of several construction planning strategies and activities in various stages. In order to help with this, some construction management software offer multiple construction modules that could potentially help automate tasks. Such tasks could include updating schedules and notifying team members, providing risk assessments, checking completion status, and calculating the time required for individual assignments through dashboards and project tracking tools. 

Moreover, a general contractor can also potentially check on and help resolve issues while implementing construction plans and designs at earlier stages, as this feature could help generate reports on project status and budget requirements in a shorter span of time.

Inventory monitoring

During the construction planning and execution process, a general contractor may need to deal with issues like important resources and inventory going out of stock. This could delay the construction process and push back the deadline for finishing a project. With the help of inventory monitoring modules, a general contractor could monitor inventory requirements regularly and ensure that they are met in a timely manner through automatic updates. This can also be done using features such as batch processing. According to Gartner, batch processing refers to the processing of an application’s data and programs individually, i.e., one process is completed before starting another one. 

Documenting workflow

As a general contractor may have to perform multiple tasks to deliver the requirements of their clients and other stakeholders, it becomes important to document important details and information. The digital documentation module of construction management software could potentially help during construction planning to digitally record strategies, navigate through different documents for reference, and even prepare and generate documents. This feature should ideally be considered to help a general contractor choose software that meets their digital documentation requirements.

Pros and cons of construction management software

Gardeners usually opt for suitable resources and equipment to create their gardens. Similar to gardeners, if general contractors could use suitable construction management software, it could help them align with their construction planning strategies and streamline their workflows ideally cost-effectively. We will now explore some key pros and cons of construction management software.

Helps improve safety

The use of construction management software could potentially enable general contractors to use advanced technology —such as sensor-based safety management solutions— to prevent any accidents. With the use of this software, a general contractor may be able to identify risks beforehand and take measures accordingly. Some such software also offer tools like hazard management which can help enhance safety, particularly while operating heavy construction machines, handling heavy construction materials, and using electrical devices. 

Aids in facilitating faster access to crucial information

During the construction process, a general contractor will likely generate official client approvals, design plans, and regulatory documents. It can be difficult to store and access these documents. With the use of construction management software, a general contractor may be able to conveniently access important documents and information, as they can be digitally stored and retrieved.

May be a costly investment

A general contractor could find it difficult to invest in construction management software solutions as they may be costly. As some construction companies are small to midsize enterprises (SMEs), this investment may not fit the project budget. As a result, the price of the software could potentially be a factor that could discourage a general constructor from opting for it. 

May need downtime and offer a slow response

Construction management software could potentially help in streamlining the construction planning process. However —owing to a lack of technological infrastructure and resources— a general contractor could struggle to operate these software due to slow response or greater downtime (the time period when the system is not operational). For instance, due to an unstable internet connection, incompatible operating systems, system failure, and lack of supportive applications, a general contractor may face issues while operating these software. 

To sum it up

Construction is gaining significant importance in the country. According to a report by CBC, the average cost of Canadian housing reached an all-time high in November 2021. In such a scenario, with an increasing demand for more housing, a general contractor can ideally meet their construction planning requirements and benefit from the use of construction management software by identifying features that align with their requirements.

Looking for construction management software? Check out our catalogue.

This article may refer to products, programs or services that are not available in your country, or that may be restricted under the laws or regulations of your country. We suggest that you consult the software provider directly for information regarding product availability and compliance with local laws.

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About the author

Sonal was a content analyst for GetApp.

Sonal was a content analyst for GetApp.