Instead of using generic software to run your business, consider an application tailored to the construction industry. Such an application can help increase your sales volume, reduce expenses, and win bids you might not have won previously.
Using software specifically tailored to your industry can produce several measurable benefits, including:
True job costs.
If your current software can't tell you which jobs are profitable and which aren't, you may be missing significant opportunities to improve your business. Also, inefficient documentation can cause small expenses to accumulate, making a project move from the plus side of the ledger to the minus side. Construction software can provide detailed breakdowns of costs displayed in a number of different ways (e.g., by type of work, employee time, equipment use, etc.).
Faster, more accurate estimating.By automating the estimating process you spend less time on an activity that provides no direct financial gain and free up time for things that can net the company a profit.
More efficient payroll and accounting.
Performing these rote activities electronically takes a fraction of the time and is more accurate. Electronic accounts receivable can be more timely. After all, the sooner you bill after performing a service, the sooner you will get paid - and probably with less squawking. In addition, you can select a software program with a warning system that prevents overpayments, which will help reduce errors that eat into profits. On the accounting side, the better your records, the better chance you will withstand an audit intact.
Better management of construction projects.
Construction software lets you track projects from bid to finish with all management details - subcontractor information, change orders, purchase orders, etc. - in one place. You also have an historical reference for each project, which enables you to prepare more accurate bids in the future.
Elements of Good Construction-Specific Software
A good construction management program should have:
Single-entry integrated system.
Data you enter, for example, in the estimating section should automatically flow to scheduling, production, and job costing.
The program should handle all your construction business needs. It's far easier to use one program than to try to cobble together several different ones. Modules to look for include: estimating, accounting, payroll, project management, job costing, inventory, equipment maintenance, and scheduling. Even if you don't use or need all these features right away, it's a good idea to have them at your disposal when your company's size warrants them.
Strong training and technical support.
This may be more important than the software itself. In addition to a good training program, look for easy upgrades, a trial period with a money-back guarantee, and fast turnaround on technical support. After all, your business depends on it.