Selecting a Construction Software System

When a Construction Company decides it is ready to implement a software system, it is imperative that a number of important business factors are taken into account, in order to make the selection process as comfortable and as effective as possible. Most construction companies already have some kind of business processes in place; even if those processes are not the latest and greatest of best practices for the industry.

In most cases, construction companies should be able to find Construction Management Software solutions to fit their specific business models, since there are certain common denominators in just about any construction type business. Each construction project will require manpower, materials, equipment, vendors, and other similar components in order to carry out the overall construction project plan. Therefore, selection of a software package should include a robust and user-friendly Workflow module that allows flexibility and real-time monitoring and management of the resources and commodities that make up that process.

Workflow processes within the construction industry will follow pretty much the same basic route to get from point “A” to point “B,” or from start to finish of a construction project. Every construction project needs essentially the same kinds of commodities and resources in order to execute the project effectively and efficiently. In addition, a good Construction Management Software package should include a flexible and easy to manage Change Order functionality, since nearly every construction project will be faced with unforeseen circumstances, requiring updates to the master project plans and associated details.

It is also important to ensure that the Accounting sector of the construction company is an integrated module within the software package, to enable real-time cost monitoring and controls. Likewise, it is critical that field operations on construction projects have access to the Construction Management Software functionality, in order to field supervisors and others to input real-time project data, and to be able to monitor project progress and costs. Many field supervisors use hand-held data devices (similar to cell-phones) to keep up with the day to day project issues and data input or output.

Other construction industry functionality important to Construction Management Software solutions are such items as Vendor pricing data, Supplier integration, Federal, State and Community specific guidelines, Contact information, and other Collaborative construction project features. As with any software selection, the company business processes should be clearly and accurately mapped out, in order to marry those processes with the very best software fit for your particular construction business needs.

Additionally, it might be prudent for construction companies to take some hints and lessons from some of the Construction Management Software best practices, in an effort to help streamline processes and reduce duplications and other unnecessary operating costs.

Buy, Lease or Rent Construction Equipment

Renting or leasing is the traditional best option for contractors who do not have large reserves of cash. The contractors who could not afford to buy the construction equipment have these methods as an alternative arrangement. Renting of construction equipment is an option to face a short-term need whereas leasing is the option suitable for long-term needs.

According to a survey conducted by the industry, there is less desire on the part of the contractors to own construction equipment and they always go through reviewing the concepts – leasing or renting – to select the best option.

Leasing or renting should be seen as a forerunner to buying since it gives a chance to test the construction equipment without the burden of large cost or long-term investments. Normally the rental of construction equipment for six months leads to out the right purchase to avoid the loss of equity investment.

In a typical example for a project with three contractors bidding for the work, the contractor with equipment owned outright has to consider only the interest amount spent on financing the purchase while costing the project.

Whereas a construction company which opted for leasing only has to consider the recurring monthly payments for leasing while making the estimate for the project. The contractor who rents the construction equipment has only to calculate the rent he is going pay and he is not saddled with equipment, which is not incurring a loss when left unused.

Complicating the matters further, there are too many types of finance plans, with offers of a wide range of schemes beckoning the contractors with repayment terms averaging from 3 to 5 years. Manufacturers such as John Deere and Caterpillar have their own sub division for financing, which permits the contractors to lease the construction equipment directly from the manufacturers. These types of sources serve nearly twenty percent of the market.

Leasing opportunities are also offered by banks. Because of the inherent risk, most of the banks steer clear of the construction industry. Still, around sixty percent of the financing of construction equipment is carried out by banks or companies affiliated to the banks.

Construction Insurance

The construction industry is one that involves a considerably large number of manpower and colossal cash investments. People who work on a construction site often put their lives at great risk because they usually work with dangerous tools, work at great heights, handle heavy equipment and toxic materials, and so on. For this reason, the construction industry is strongly associated with great amounts of risk for both finances and lives. A small negligence or stroke of bad luck on the part of the owner of the construction company or worker may prove too dear. As it may result in a great financial loss; these unfortunate incidents require implements which can help the company out of a bad situation; enter construction insurance.

Like other types of insurance, construction insurance is used to protect the different parties that are involved in the construction process. If you own a construction company it is imperative that you get an insurance policy that is tailored for the construction industry. Getting the right insurance policy will cover all the costs that may be incurred as a result of damage to property or personal injuries suffered at construction sites. You need to understand that this type of insurance will not only include the owner of the company but will also include employees, subcontractors, workers, sole proprietors, business partners, and tenants.

Construction insurance is extremely important and should never be ignored. As mentioned earlier, construction entails the use of heavy tools and equipment, labor, materials etc and is quite prone to accidents. It is common knowledge that at every construction site, there is ALWAYS an accident waiting to happen. It falls on the owner of the construction company to pay for the medical treatment bills of injured workers or pay compensation to the families of a deceased worker who died on the job.

The material cost that is associated with construction is pretty high and any type of damage to the material or the structure will definitely lead to a humungous financial loss. If your company has construction insurance, you can easily seek financial assistance from your construction company. People who purchase the apartments or the constructed structure will have every right to sue the construction company if the purchased property is faulty. In cases like these, the construction company will have to pay the repairing or the remodeling of the constructed property.

By having insurance tailored for the construction industry, builders will be protected from those claims because their insurance company will provide the necessary financial assistance. Aside from the aforementioned circumstances, construction insurance also offers a wide variety of coverage providing security to your business in case of unforeseen events.