A recent survey from Software Advice, a company that helps construction software buyers find the right vendor(s), has offered insight into the preferences and pain points of prospective buyers who are seeking to implement a new software system in their construction business.
The survey analysed the responses of 250 participants in order to better understand what software features are influencing their purchasing decisions in 2015. You can take a look at the full report here, but I’ve put together a summary of its results which may help you understand the benefits of investing in software, and guide you through the process of finding a solution that works for your construction firm.
A little slow on the software uptake...
Apparently over half of you are still using pen and paper (52%), or time consuming spreadsheets (32%):
Yikes! No wonder you’re wondering if there’s a better way to be doing things. As your business grows and you take on larger scale projects, those manual methods are going to become inefficient and ineffectual. These methodologies for running your business are certainly not going to allow you to remain competitive in the market!
Hey small spenders!
It seems that for most of you, your hesitation towards moving to a software system is around cost, as well as the time you’ll have to put into implementing it and training staff. According to the survey data, most building and construction companies have relatively small budgets to dedicate to their IT spend, with 71% of respondents indicating that they allocate less than 1% of their revenue towards IT infrastructure costs.
This means that what you’re looking for is a low-cost, scalable solution that offers a very clear return on investment. Construction software doesn’t have to be a huge investment. With a job management system like WorkflowMax, you can adapt the software to fit around your processes, and scale your investment as the business changes.
Here are 4 tips for choosing an affordable software solution:
- When looking for software, consider whether it offers pricing systems that can be scaled to suit your business as it flexes to workload demands
- Don’t forget that with desktop software you’ll face additional costs when the time comes to upgrade, so think about choosing a cloud-based option instead
- Be sure to understand the features that are included in the pricing plan, as well as extras such as technical support and resources
- Try before you buy - most good providers will offer you a trial period so you can see exactly how it will work for your business. Use this trial period to carry out a project right from start to finish.
Your pain points
Next, the survey takes a look at the biggest concerns that builders are hoping to address in their business in 2015.
It’s no surprise that of top priority is creating accurate estimates. After all, you don’t want to price yourself too high and miss scoring the job, or bid too low and risk losing money on the project. By tracking your time and costs using job management software, you gain greater insight into how best to price your services. You’ll also dramatically cut down the time it takes you to produce a quote.
Considering that many buyers are currently working with multiple systems to manage their admin and jobs, it also follows that 20% of buyers are seeking software in order to improve organisation.
If you’re currently in the process of choosing software, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Understand your workflow - take some time to read WorkflowMax Implementation 101: Scope your business to get an idea of the questions you should ask yourself
- Do you need your new software to integrate with other software?
- Consider add-ons, integrations and customisation. This means looking at what other applications will work in with this software to give you a customised solution
- Understand your business goals. Choose software that is going to help you achieve these goals and support your business at different stages of growth
Top requested features
If accurate estimates are one of builders’ top priorities, it’s no surprise then that the ability to have a materials list and accurate job costing is top of the requested features list.
What other features and functionality are critical for your own business processes?
- Create a list of must-have features and check them off against the software
- Talk to your team - their expectations on functionality might be quite different to yours. It’s important to have a thorough understanding of the requirements of all of your team before you make a call - this includes talking to your accountant or business advisor
Adopting software in your business is becoming less of a choice, and more of a necessity. But knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. If you’re in the process of seeking out software, take a look at credible online review websites for third-party feedback on features and functionality. Many software providers will also have some client case studies with businesses in your industry that will give you a closer look at how the software can work for you.
Are you looking for construction software for your business? What features are important to you?