The modern software market is extremely competitive
with multiple providers supplying what can appear to be very similar
solutions. In that environment, how can
you choose the right provider for you?
Of all the whistles and bells that may appear attractive, a business
owner or manager with a strategic outlook will know to look for a solution that
offers routing and workflow. A key
challenge to adapting the right solution is that a considerable element of
businesses view Construction Management Systems as something they have to adopt
rather than understanding fully the benefits and ROI. This can often lead to a solution being
selected on the basis of price rather than suitability.
Where businesses take the time to align
of their software solution to the tactical and strategic plans of their organization,
the benefits are amplified exponentially and drive effectiveness through
ensuring the work they bid for is profitable, that the projects they carry out
retain margin, manage or even reduce infrastructure and IT expenses and
minimize both commercial and corporate risk.
Where consideration is given to these factors
selecting a software partner becomes more focused in ensuring they will deliver
and implement the tools to handle these requirements at the same time as refining
both internal and external process and procedures. In fact, the right software will in many
respects automate the vast majority of these whilst identifying risks,
challenges and issues requiring attention.
What things should you be looking for in a construction
that will help you make the best choice? You will be
best served by a solution that has workflow and routing. Let’s take a look at a
few examples for each of the tasks above:
Bidding for Profitable Work – At the bidding stage of a potential
project, the stakeholders and actions can be pre-determined ensuring all these
elements can be managed and carried out effectively and consistently. Your construction software will ensure that
all your internal and external partners needed to input elements to your bids
will be provided with the right information at the right time through workflow
and routing allowing them to respond effectively.
- Retaining Margin – Management of Correspondence, RFI’s, Change Orders
and Status (to name a few) is a commonly identified challenge in the
construction industry. Effective document routing and timely identification of
approaching or missed due dates vastly mitigates risk and reduces the chance of
error. Efficient management of Change Orders in itself will have a visible and
identifiable impact on the final margins.
Commercial and Corporate risk – Managing elements such as payment
approvals and accounts payable should be routed within the software
system. This routing function looks after
these processes and allows for situations such as the primary signatory being
absent to ensures delays are not encountered.
Delays in payments out (and of course invoices to payments in) are a
core and common cause of delays and over runs that present significant
commercial risk in the modern world where margins are typically less than
10%. Corporate risk is further reduced
when dealing with subcontractors for example where elements of
pre-qualification and progress tracking are utilised.
- Management or reduction of infrastructure costs – Having best
practice automation embedded in your system and processes allows for maximum
efficiency. Removing manual processing
and data collation frees up your personnel to carry out work that requires
human interaction and attention rather than tying up hours, days or weeks
completing tasks that the systems can accurately complete in moments. This can lead to requiring less staff (and
less cost) or ensuring you gain maximum productivity from those individuals in
the core specializations they cover.
As a construction professional you will apply
fundamental principles to how you would go about building a structure. You make a plan and consider contingencies
and variations. Apply the same principal
to choosing your software partner. Plan
what you want to achieve from the system to make sure you get the best fit for
See how CCS and ALEMCO tackled this - "CCS Case Study - ALEMCO
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