A 2017 McKinsey & Company study highlighted the slow rate of productivity and lack of technology adoption in the construction industry. As a result, companies began looking for solutions. Construction technology (ConTech), designed to innovate the way construction projects are planned, designed, built, and overseen, emerged quickly to remedy the problem.
The ConTech sector received $5.1 billion in funding for startups between 2015 and 2019. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the construction industry hard during the early months. However, the industry is recovering quickly. Construction growth rises to meet expected demand. Accordingly, the industry’s need for more efficient software also grows.
What does this growth mean for construction companies?
Due to a continued shortage of skilled workers, existing companies will likely be facing larger-scale projects and increased work. Meanwhile, they still must meet the stringent requirements of the industry. To keep up with demand and avoid being uprooted by competitors, contractors should consider investing in ConTech. These software solutions are designed to streamline old, slow processes.
When seeking ways to organize large jobs and speed up production, consider these tools designed just for your industry.
ConTech for Design & Architecture
To start with, large-scale construction projects require complex designs. Critically they also need streamlined communication for effortless collaboration. Accordingly, design collaboration software provides design teams with a way to exchange data. It can also track design changes with powerful visualizations of the project.
For example, Autodesk Construction Cloud revolutionizes design collaboration. This software suite improves production during the design process with these features.
- Track design processes from start to finish.
- Easily share data in curated packages with strict controls.
- See design changes by team, project phase, or building level.
- Explore shared data before accepting changes.
- Display the impact of changes on work-in-progress models with visualizations.
- Automations track design changes and model updates.
Project Management for Construction
Managing large-scale projects with multiple contractors and teams of subcontractors requires careful precision and transparent communication. Without the right ConTech in place, this is impossible to achieve. Project management software is used to store data, improve communication, and keep the most current versions of a project visible to everyone involved.
Procore’s cloud-based platform houses apps, documents, and employee information. In fact, all information can be within the platform for convenient access wherever you are. Procore is one of the most popular and robust management tools in the industry.
Ultimately the software manages everything from preconstruction forms and approvals to placing 3D models. Procore connects teams in the field by showing costs to your budget in real-time. Correspondence tools improve communication and compliance regulations can be included as well. Procore allows you to choose products for the suite of tools that customize your workflow and fit your budget.
Smartbuild is another option for project management. It was born from 20+ years of experience in the construction industry. Its founders desire to provide a cost-effective construction project management platform that handles the actual day-to-day activities. The platform features many helpful tools like messaging, reports, completion monitors and more.
Accounting Tools for Construction
Accounting in construction is no small task. While QuickBooks is a popular choice in many industries, it falls short for construction companies. Unfortunately, QuickBooks can’t properly manage change orders, provide detailed job cost reporting, or ensure subcontractor compliance.
Conversely, financial management solutions from Sage are designed for the construction company. Sage construction financial products give you complete visibility into and control over all product financials. These features address all the pain points of construction accounting.
- The ability to stay on top of job and labor costs.
- Incorporates change orders.
- Keeps track of accounts receivables and payables, purchase orders, and work orders.
- Customizable alerts for compliance issues.
ConTech for Billing & Pay Apps
Mis-managing pay apps and all the related documents can lead to delays on any project. Large-scale projects mean you have to juggle pay apps from GCs and multiple tiers of subcontractors. Unfortunately many companies use unsuitable tools for this crucial documentation. Using Excel or communicating change manually leads to costly human errors.
Fortunately, avoiding these issues is easy. Using construction billing software cuts out many human errors. Likewise, it decreases the time spent on manual data entry. Flashtract specializes in construction billing software just for the construction industry.
Flashtract users get automated document management, custom workflows, and automatic reminders. These features prevent delays in the approval process, and make everyones’ job easier.
Material & Fleet Management ConTech
Large-scale construction projects require the use of company vehicles, heavy equipment, mid-sized assets, and tools. Unfortunately, tracking these assets is quite difficult. The loss or damage of expensive equipment can be catastrophic to a job or entire business. Ultimately, keeping accurate inventory of the number and condition of your fleet is tantamount.
Material & Fleet management should not have to be difficult. In fact, Tenna helps you keep track of the way you purchase or rent your equipment. Specifically, it tracks where your fleet is located. Tenna even holds users accountable for the way equipment is treated. This content gives you visibility into your mixed construction fleet in these ways.
Subcontractor management: COMPASS by Bespoke
General contractors must consider several factors when hiring new subcontractors. For example, GCs are ultimately responsible for all the actions that occur on a project. Consequently, hiring inexperienced or irresponsible subs can lead to disaster.
For this reason, COMPASS provides efficient counter-party risk tools with integrated bid management. They do so through strict centralized data collection rules, transparent analytics, and powerful visualization tools. You can view their full suite here.
Safety & Compliance: SafeSite & KPA
Next, safety and regulatory compliance are essential in all construction projects. Large-scale projects have dozens of safety and compliance risks on every level. Automated safety management systems designed for construction help eliminate risks.
Given these points, Safesite goes beyond safety compliance. They cover every element of safety in the construction industry. The platform includes features designed for field safety, a management dashboard. Additionally it boasts ongoing customer service for complete safety success.
Another company offering compliance software is KPA. KPA creates software tailored to the needs of your business. Their software engages employees, instills a culture of safety, and enables regulatory compliance. Lastly, the comprehensive all-in-one platform works for employees, managers, and EHS managers. Obviously, KPA empowers every member of the team.
What to take away?
In conclusion, when working on large-scale projects, it is important to put the best foot forward. With so many moving parts, changes, and parties involved, it is critical to use tools specifically designed for your purpose. ConTech is finally here to revolutionize the way that the construction industry gets things done.
With so many options and solutions, modern companies can find software that meets their needs. The days of making do with out-of-industry programs are over. In the long run, adopting ConTech that meets the needs of your company will help you thrive in the industry.