Using Web Based Construction Management

Are you considering a web-based construction management program but need more information? Read all about web-based construction management programs now.

Web-based construction management software (CMS) combines project and business management software features into an online format designed specifically for contractors and construction business owners. The ultimate goal of this type of online utility is to increase the productivity and efficiency of a business. To achieve this goal for construction businesses these programs are required to possess certain capabilities and features.

CMS programs are increasing in popularity within limited sects of the industry. Many contractors and construction companies are still not taking advantage of the benefits they could provide, however. Business management platforms and their multiple benefits are possibly overlooked by contractors or deemed as appropriate only for businesses outside the construction industry. This is not the case, however. Using a web-based CMS might drastically increase your company’s efficiency, output and overall profits. Find out how by reading ahead now.

Construction Management Software 101

Construction management software (CMS) is a project management tool, which is designed to include features and functions specifically relevant to the construction industry. Some project management tools are installed on localized computer systems and used only on the sites where installed. Web-based project management software, however, allows users to work collaboratively on multiple projects from various locations around the country and even the world.

Web-Based CMS - What It Does

Wed-based CMS platforms streamline nearly every process involved in the management of a construction business. Some of these processes used to be handled manually, so the first two contributions a web-based CMS program makes is to save on labor hours and allow the resources it frees up to be reassigned other tasks. A comprehensive web-based CMS allows your staff and business to:

  • Collaborate on multiple simultaneous projects from any of your company’s locations.

  • Delegate and plan workloads in one centralized location.

  • Grant or deny access permissions to applicable management and additional staff.

  • Communicate with fewer delays, more efficiency and less overlap or toe-stepping.

  • Create and organize documents, including real-time editing visible by all permitted users.

  • Evaluate business growth.

  • Evaluate employee performances.

  • Manage inventory (including fast online purchasing and low-supply notifications).

  • Allow workers around the country to see inventory status for all operational and storage/warehouse sites.

  • Handle payroll.

  • Make financial predictions based on prior data and potential market changes.

  • Compare performances between different job-sites.

  • Print out accurate detailed reports at customizable frequencies (and including customizable information).

Open-Source vs. Proprietary

Web-based project management software is either free open-source (FOSS) or proprietary. Proprietary software is owned by the company or person, which also published the program. Open-source software allows any user to not only access, but also make changes to its code. Pros and cons exist for both types. For example, FOSS is commonly less expensive to purchase up front. FOSS is also known to operate with a high level of reliability. Conversely, FOSS has little-to-no customer support system in place. This means when problems do occasionally occur you are left to not only find your own solutions and support service, but you must also pay for those services out-of-pocket. Proprietary CMS platforms are more expensive but include customer support services readily available to solve your problems. Even these surface-level pros and cons highlight the importance of researching the proprietary or FOSS status of your preferred CMS before installing a system.

Using Construction Management Software to Coordinate Construction Projects

Of the many benefits provided by using a web-based CMS, the ability to coordinate construction projects from multiple locations simultaneously is among the most useful. All project details are stored in a centralized location and every employee to whom you grant access can see them in real-time. CMS programs also help you schedule meetings, send out reminder notifications about the meetings, record meetings and more. Does one construction site have an inventory shortage while another has a surplus? Using a web-based CMS program allows all applicable parties to see this information and schedule items to be shipped from one location to another. Not only is this convenient but it also saves your company time and money. No one needs to make calls or look up product availability at various manufacturers or third-party warehouses to get the needed products to the correct job site. Superfluous purchases are also avoided. In the event none of your sites have surplus inventory, a CMS also minimizes the search and contact time involved with ordering new items. This is because CMS platforms are designed to store vital information for quick access, even automating some purchases at customizable frequencies.

Finally, using a CMS also helps your company coordinate timeframes for the beginnings and endings of certain stages of the project. Wasted hours during which one crew waits around for another to finish are all-but eliminated by using a CMS with centralized project coordination features. This type of project coordination also allows you or your staff to communicate completion and budget expectations more accurately with customers and clients.

Additional Benefits

The productivity of your business is boosted when you use a web-based CMS. Operational functionality increases its efficiency and punctuality. Most maintenance expenses are planned for instead of occurring unexpectedly. This benefits your company through the creation of applicable budgets and maintenance expense accounts. Supply chains are run through predictive simulation programs to help you get ahead of potential delays and other product availability issues. Manual human errors are frequently time-consuming and expensive to correct. Using a web-based CMS eliminates human errors such as duplicate data entries and incorrect accounting or other financial-based mistakes. In fact, many tasks run by a CMS program are automated, which eliminates the risk of human errors while also reassigning resources to other important areas. Additional CMS benefits include:

  • Real-time project tracking.

  • Real-time customer/client connectivity.

  • Automatic tax calculations and deductions.

Looking for Information on Top Construction Management Softwares and Their Costs? These Review Sites Are for You

Most web-based business and project management software are priced based on similar concepts. This is true for construction management programs as well. Monthly, annual or perpetual licenses are sold. Prices are also established on a per-user basis. For example, BuilderTrend is one of the top CMS producers in the world. BuilderTrend Core Plan prices start at $99 per month paid monthly or $2,399 paid annually (which saves $1,189 per year). The 3D Repo collaboration software starts at $33 per month per user, however. 

Review Sites

When you are looking for a web-based CMS platform for your construction business you likely want to consider the opinions of current customers and clients using your preferred programs. Fortunately, this type of information is simple and fast to locate in modern times. Some of the top review sites for current information about the top web-based CMS programs today include: