Vadim
Struk
Product Manager at Relevant Software

Building Construction Project Management Software the Right Way (+ Case Study)

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At least one day per week.

That’s how much time you may be losing if your construction project scheduling and coordination are botched. Add the cost of never-ending paperwork and missed deadlines, and you’re so in the red.

But here’s a silver lining.

If your construction plans often go awry because of poor project management, you can think of this as a warning shot. Admit it and find a way to do something about it. Or, you can keep reading to learn about your lifesaver without going elsewhere.

Construction project management software is a missing link between your project managers, subcontractors, engineers, and site workers. When it props up how you coordinate teams and oversee jobs, you can fight back time killers and inefficiencies. Adopt it wisely, and you’re in the black again.

At Relevant Software, we can show you how to bring in any construction software. We’ve had a hand in creating many web and mobile solutions, including those for project management. (You’ll have a chance to take a look at one of them at the end.)

Where is the construction industry on its digital transformation path?

Many construction companies tend to go against the tide as other industries proactively say “Yes” to digital transformation. According to the report delivered by WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development), digitalization is only in its infancy in the entire sector. 

In other words, construction firms aren’t making the most of digital solutions like project management software programs yet. Why? There are several deterrents to embracing progress in the industry:

  • Your legacy systems and those of other stakeholders may cause the misalignment of your processes, making digital transformation hard to embrace.
  • An aging workforce is reluctant to adapt and lacks the skills to do so.
  • Your business culture may be old-fashioned, getting in the way of you keeping up with technology. (We’ve covered some strategies on how you can do this in this post.)
  • Digitalization is impossible without investments, and it won’t pay off in as little as a month.

But the thing is that none of these challenges can downgrade the importance of project management software in the construction industry and digitalization as a critical move. There are no plausible excuses for shying away from transformation.

While digitalization is no mean feat, it’s worth the effort. With digital solutions, you can keep processes consistent across departments, improve communication between your project managers and site workers, reduce costs, and move the needle on efficiency. 

Internal benefits aside, digital transformation is also a harbinger of improved sustainability in the construction industry. By decluttering your desks from paper documents and allowing for the more efficient use of resources, it can help green your business and clean up your image in the eyes of stakeholders. 

With IoT sensors, for example, you can keep your carbon footprint to its lowest while monitoring the performance of your machines and construction equipment.

Digitalization has a way of creating a ripple effect. Transform your construction company digitally, and you’ll behold it straight away.

What software solutions are used in the construction and engineering industry?

Would you be surprised to find out the global construction software market is amid unprecedented growth? 

Because it really is.

Contractors and builders look set to optimize their processes with full-fledged solutions, ballooning the market to a shade over $2.7 billion by 2027. It’s happening now, so your rivals may have already brought software to their management tables.

construction management software market

From all-in-one construction software to platforms for specific processes, here are five solutions you may want to leverage for your business:

  • Business process management software. It houses extensive functionality for accounting, workflow coordination, invoicing, monitoring, tracking, and more. BPM systems are often available as cloud or web-based construction management software.
  • Takeoff software. If you’re tired of estimating the old-school way, this software is for you. It makes it easier to do takeoffs for any construction project, prepare proposals for general contractors, and take every dollar into account when bidding.
  • Worksite document exchange solutions. These can keep your workers in the loop about RFIs and engineering drawings you’ve just received while they’re in the field. They make sure all your teams are on the same page about your construction projects.
  • Equipment tracking and maintenance software. Whether you rely on your own heavy equipment or rentals, you want to maintain your assets. This software can do the trick, gleaning insights from IoT sensors to spot setbacks and create upkeep schedules.
  • Construction project management platforms. The functionality of these systems is second to none. They allow you to perfect every facet of project management, from planning and job progress tracking to forecasting and reporting. With a custom solution, you can even expand its range of features to include those that are exclusive to your company.

One thing to remember: smooth management is where your construction project success stems from. You can’t notch it up with other software if cost overruns and delays batter you all the time. So yes, project management solutions have a lot more in store for you.

Benefits of investing in project management software for the construction industry

Setbacks can hamper any construction company. But it’s the best of us who can bring them under control and pull through whatever is ahead.

Construction project management software development is one way to make your processes more efficient at the office and field levels. PM solutions pack organization and tracking benefits in spades, and they can make all the difference for your project managers, site workers, and bottom line.

For project managers

Ask your project managers if they’re okay with multiple spreadsheets and the paperwork they have to trawl through every day. Make no mistake: you’ll hear deep, weary sighs nine times out of ten.

Turning what once was a heavy burden into a snap is the key benefit of adopting a construction project management solution. With a PM system, your office team can do the job scheduling, workflow planning, and budgeting without an avalanche of paperwork weighing on it. When done digitally, these processes are way more efficient.

Also, PM software can save your project managers hours of tracking and reporting. You don’t want to overlook that, as these tasks may take over 25% of their time. This translates into more than two hours per day that could be spent coordinating field teams or resolving issues that require immediate attention.

For the construction crew

Your site workers know first-hand how closely poor field-office communication is tied to project delays. If they’re always in the dark about change orders and engineering plans while they’re in the field, any construction task is a roll of the dice.

However, web- or cloud-based construction project management software can help you make sure everything goes to plan. It sets up a real-time communication channel so that your field crew can receive change orders and updated plans as your clients issue them. 

It also stores all project documentation, allowing your site workers to dig up any blueprint or specs on short notice.

Using a PM system, your workers can stay aware of what construction tasks need to be handled first and log their time as they proceed with them. That’s how you know your project unfolds the way it’s supposed to, while your field teams know they’re paid fairly.

For your bottom line

There’s a fine line between construction projects that deliver substantial returns and those that may throw your business into a financial hole. And this line is often blurred when you fail to keep tabs on all expenses and deadlines.

Project management software reduces the risk of exceeding your budget in the middle of a construction project. It lets you put all your expenses (equipment rental rates, material costs, etc.) in one basket so that you can monitor how much you’re spending. 

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Plus, it can do the calculations for you to prevent costly mistakes when adding up numbers and feeding them into your accounting system.

What bodes well for your bottom line is that PM software can help you take on more projects in the long run. Because it expedites the management process and eases your job tracking pain, it empowers you to get more done without putting in additional time.

Ready-made PM solutions that shine today

You have two ways to go to avail yourself of construction PM system benefits. You can either hire a software development team to get hand-picked pros to create a custom solution for your company or adopt a ready-made one.

If you aren’t into reinventing the wheel, look at these five best construction project management software solutions to go ahead with (or check them out for inspiration for your own one):

  • Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate. A suite of end-to-end construction management tools coupled with many collaboration features.
  • Procore. A construction management app lauded for its integrations, logging, and job tracking functionality.
  • monday.com. An intuitive platform for project and workflow management with scores of collaboration tools and communication features.
  • Wrike. Decent construction project management software for subcontractors, main contractors, and enterprises managing hundreds of projects simultaneously.
  • Buildertrend. An easy-to-integrate system that can help with logging, paperwork management, messaging—all the way to invoicing.
Top 5 Ready-made Construction Project Management Software Solutions

But keep in mind that none of the ready-made PM solutions can match a custom one for business-specific processes. When it’s developed exclusively for you, its features are thought out for your company’s unique needs.

PM software features you want to have access to

Whether it’s some off-the-shelf PM solution or custom web development that kindles your interest, consider what features are cut out for your business. Ideally, you’d want to have your heart set on those that allow you to:

  • Track the progress of your construction projects
  • Schedule tasks and delegate responsibilities
  • Receive and send construction documents from/to stakeholders
  • Monitor your ongoing expenses
  • Keep in touch with your site workers
  • Manage timesheets
  • Prepare reports for your clients, building control bodies, and other agencies
The Essential Features of Effective Construction Project Management Software

These are basic features. If you need advanced functionality like billing, payroll processing, or heavy machinery tracking, custom construction project management software development can unlock it for you. When going this way, you can get a PM solution jam-packed with any features you want for improved control over your processes.

Construction PM software case study

At Relevant, we always deliver on our promises. So here’s our case study on a scalable construction project management system we’ve built for Svenn.

Svenn is a Norwegian company that serves small construction businesses in over 45 countries. Its platform is designed to simplify most daily tasks project managers deal with, from time tracking to payroll processing.

Our story with Svenn began in 2015 when the company decided to roll out mature SaaS construction project management software. Fast-forward several years, and now Svenn is a platform of choice for over 10,000 daily users.

Take a look at how we did it.

The features we’ve packed into Svenn

When Svenn first turned to Relevant, the company’s managers were very clear about their goals. Specifically, they were looking to build a PM platform with value-added features, not just tracking construction project statuses.

With this in mind, we extended Svenn’s basic functionality with:

  • Advanced tracking (projects, tasks, ongoing expenses, etc.)
  • Logging for hours, overtime, and more
  • Document management and exchange
  • Invoicing for hours worked and billing
  • Automated payroll
  • Custom reporting

As we specialize in web and mobile app development services, we embedded these features into Svenn’s web platform and app for iOS and Android.

Tech stack

When building a construction management system for Svenn, we created a modular architecture to make the end solution flexible. With that, we stuck to a nimble tech stack:

  • Cloud services: AWS
  • Programming languages: PHP, Java, Swift
  • Frameworks: Yii 2.0, Angular
  • Databases: MySQL
  • Runtime environment: Node.js

We also used other technologies and tools like Cron, Elasticsearch, and Kibana to keep Svenn well-presented at all levels.

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Challenges

PM software development isn’t all roses. When creating a Svenn platform, we faced several challenges associated with:

  • Customization
  • Data accuracy
  • Permissions
  • Integrations

But these challenges galvanized us into finding the right solutions to set Svenn up for success. We customized the platform’s reporting tool for granular reports without overhauling the entire system and skyrocketing development costs. 

Besides, we brought unique permission sets into Svenn, drawing a clear line between users, managers, and admins for the sake of data security. We then validated the data to prevent misleading entries upon the database transfer.

Integrations are challenging in their own right, regardless of the software type (dive into the process for ERP solutions). For Svenn, we surmounted the difficulties with data silos and inefficiencies while integrating a flexible billing system into the platform. This allowed Svenn to offer users additional payment-related functionality and scale without roadblocks.

Conclusion

Digital transformation isn’t really favored in the construction industry, but is resisting progress a smart way to keep going? This is something all business owners should ask themselves.

If you’re still here, you’re on the right track. Setting out on your transformation journey with construction PM software is an excellent starting point for pulling off more projects and streamlining workflows.

Now that you’ve matured away from spreadsheets, you’re ready for the next step. Relevant can help you take it while drawing on our experience developing construction project management software and real estate management software for small businesses. We can create it for you from scratch and embed custom features for your company. No cookbook approach.

At Relevant, we know the drill. Contact us, and we’ll prove it to you by giving you a few pointers on your construction PM software.

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Written by
Vadim Struk
Product Manager at Relevant Software
For more than 6 years, I've been working as Business Analyst and Product Manager at Relevant. I'm responsible for requirements engineering and management and solution implementation control.

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