It’s a huge challenge to pick the right construction software for your business, and clearly a lot of construction managers have trouble figuring out what features they need. There are more emerging technologies on the market to consider every year, but cost remains the driving factor much of the time. Understandably, when it comes to any kind of financial investment, you want to make sure you’re investing money in areas where you’ll see the return.
No matter which way you look at it, software is an expense. However, if it’s an expense that can save you money in the long run and improve overall processes and efficiency, then construction companies must realize that it’s worth the investment—right?
Unfortunately, many construction companies are still struggling to prioritize information technology (IT) budgets. Last year, JBKnowledge surveyed over 2,600 builders on a variety of topics related to construction technology, one of which being how construction businesses budget for IT resources.
Did you know that the majority of construction companies now spend 1% or less of annual sales volume on IT? It’s a trend that is accelerating at a rapid pace: 45% of companies surveyed by JBKNowledge fell into this category in 2015, but it’s now at 70% in the latest report just a year later.
Many construction professionals are well-aware of the vital role technology can play in improving efficiency, but the reality is there’s still not enough emphasis placed on budgeting for technology. According to Forrest Burnson, author of the Construction Software Buyer Report, “The most important thing that construction professionals need to realize is that the software they use is a tool [and] like any other tool, it’s better to invest in something that adequately suits the user’s needs and is well-made and reliable.”
So what’s the most cost-effective solution that’s not only scalable and flexible as your business grows, but a reliable option for the future of your company? The construction software stack.
The Construction Software Stack
What’s a software stack? It’s a collection of software that work together to make it possible to complete a task or achieve a common goal. Bridgit’s latest Tech Trends eBook covers how this type of model is beginning to gain traction, with the emergence of progressive cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions built for the jobsite.
It’s difficult to find an all-in-one-solution that meets the various needs of a construction company. Although a full-service solution may be necessary for your business needs, many project managers and site superintendents agree that there aren’t many all-encompassing solutions that are robust enough to perform each aspect of managing a construction project well.
Matthew M. Emma, a Superintendent at the Hunter Roberts Construction Group in New York, believes that “currently, there is no all-in-one solution. A suite of products is the most efficient way to manage a major building construction project.” This type of suite could be carefully selected point solutions which address each business need or a combination of full-service systems, bolstered with specialized point solutions that provide equal support in all areas.
Choosing Your Own Stack
By selecting a variety of software technologies that can integrate and “speak” to each other, whether it’s point solutions or a combination of full-service systems partnered with specialized products or services, your business will benefit from a more customized software experience. Unlike many standalone full-service models that claim to do it all, a software stack solution can include a combination of point solutions that have mastered how to do one thing—and how to do it well.
These types of solutions allow for a faster installation and setup process, saving you both time and money. Not to mention, the benefits of seamless product upgrades and subscription-based payments.
Ready to Build Your Construction Technology Stack?
If you’ve experienced the frustration that comes with a one-size-fits-all model, a software stack may be a good solution for you. Here are a few questions to ask to get started:
- What features is your current software missing?
- How many people on your team would benefit from these features?
- What pain points do the missing features contribute to?
- How much time and/or money would being able to solve these pain points save?
With the answers to these introductory questions you can create a list that prioritizes lacking features and gives you insight into what point solutions may be a good fit. From there, resources like Capterra’s list of construction management software and this eBook on how to select the right construction software features are perfect places to begin researching your options.
Did we miss something? What does your construction software stack look like? Let us know in the comments below!