The outlook for the construction industry this year and the following years is positive. A summary of a report posted in a building design and construction website lists growth in construction projects in many parts of the world. For example, commercial building, institutional building and public works construction are all seen to increase this year between 5 and 15 percent, with an average rise of 9 percent amounting to more than $600 billion in the US alone. Similarly, employment in the construction project management industry is projected to grow faster than average compared to other occupations, according to government labor and statistics bureau.
What is Construction Project Management
Construction project management (CPM) is a specific application of PM discipline for construction project types that include agricultural, residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, heavy civil and environmental. The construction project manager specify objectives and plans, maximize resource efficiency, implement various operations, and develop communication and mechanisms, among others. Although the technology, institutions, and/or processes are different, CPM has many similarities in the management of projects in other domains and industries such as aerospace, pharmaceutical and software sectors. For instance, construction projects are required to reach an objective at a given schedule, budget and quality.
The Top 5
In the same way, CPM also benefits in utilizing applications and tools that automate administration tasks, simplify estimating and billing, facilitate planning and scheduling, manage workload assignments, centralize document management, and promote real-time communication and issues resolution. Below are five PM software that are valuable in completing construction projects.
WorkflowMax is a job, time and invoice management software delivered as Software-as-a-Service. It is an end-to-end PM solution that has tools for sales leads, initiation, implementation, close-out and billing phases of the project. Pricing is at a convenient user per month basis, so it is easy to scale depending on the company’s business load. It is ideal for architects, building and construction professionals, surveyors and engineers, among others. It is an integrated workflow and PM toolkit that works well with Xero accounting software.
Procore is a cloud-based CPM software designed specifically for the construction industry by Procore Technologies. It is designed to use the latest web technologies to provide a simple but secure cloud-based application. It utilizes a one-page project dashboard where the user can manage multiple projects and monitor their progress. It is full of features including a change order system and a drawing management tool. It offers a simple flat-rate annual pricing depending on how the software will be used.
BuildTools is a web-based construction management platform that manages communication, project schedule, budget, tasks, documents and more. It is for custom builders and remodelers, especially built for managing custom projects. It is accessible to any web-connected device. Scheduling conflicts are automatically brought to the builders’ attention. BuildTools is offered at a flat monthly rate and includes for unlimited use, projects, users and document storage. It is built by a privately held company based in Minneapolis, USA.
Co-construct is a web-based and mobile CPM software for custom builders, remodelers and design-build firms. Its features are based on the most common challenges that users encounter. Thus, it has a selections function to make changes in a project easy. It has a calendar feature that helps coordinate schedules and make sure deadlines are met. The comments section enables users to inform anyone involved in real time regarding updates, and many other features. Pricing plan starts at $99 per month. Co-construct was founded in 2005.
BuilderTREND is a cloud-based, award winning home builder and remodeler PM software. It has features that support pre-sale process such as lead management, proposal generation, and bid management. It has scheduling, to-do lists, time sheets, messaging, and accounting software integrations. It also has customer management functions such as change orders and documents management, to name a few. Pricing starts at $99 per month at one project per year with no setup fees or contracts. Pricing scales as the need to accommodate more projects are required.
Different groups in the construction industry predict a positive growth in 2015, especially in residential and commercial construction, as national and overall world economy gets better. For companies in this particular industry, it is great news for business. It is also high time to review if present PM practices, applications and tools are ready to handle the new projects slated to come along.