Construction Scheduling Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: December 05, 2023
Delivering construction projects on time is a daunting task due to their broad scope and complexities. Contractors have to stay on top of construction project schedules, all the tasks that need to be carried out within a single construction project, and other project scheduling requirements. Levelset survey shows that only less than 30% of construction professionals manage to complete their projects within budget and on time. So, if you want to meet deadlines and keep your construction project on track, you should consider investing in a construction scheduling software. These robust and dynamic products will let you deftly handle the complexities of all your construction projects while meeting costs and deadlines.
When looking for a construction scheduling program that will give you a competitive edge over others in construction and project management, you need to know what exactly to look for. This guide can help you get started by providing a comprehensive overview of the best-in-class construction project scheduling offerings and give you a better idea of what to look for before you make a buying decision. We will walk you through the essential features and core benefits of construction scheduling tools so that you can select the best vendor to fit your company goals and business objectives. The guide will begin with a brief overview of the construction scheduling process and then delve into the key factors for choosing the most suitable technology developer. Overall, it will help you make a more informed buying decision.
What you'll find inside:
- What is construction scheduling?
- Understanding construction scheduling software
- Benefits of construction scheduling software
- What type of buyer are you?
- Tips on how to identify your needs
- Salient features of a construction scheduling software
- Assessing the expenses
- Potential Challenges
- Popular construction scheduling software
What is Construction Scheduling?
Construction scheduling is a foundational part of the project planning phase and requires different skills, including planning, resource management, and leadership. You have to plan and align multiple construction project tasks to achieve the desired outcomes. An efficient scheduling process ties up the various stages of a construction project. It lets you manage resources like machinery, labor, and materials, while accommodating any unexpected events and keeping your projects on track.
Understanding Construction Scheduling Software
Constructon scheduling tools foster thoughtful planning of project phases, resources, tasks, and labor while keeping everyone in the loop and ensuring timely delivery. These technology-driven products reduce costs related to excessive delays and prevent bottlenecks for quick project delivery. You can efficiently plan and organize every step of your building projects to meet deadlines, avoid overbookings, and complete the project within budget. By optimizing pace of work and supporting more precise planning, a construction scheduling software results in cost savings and shortens completion times. The increased efficiency enables construction professionals to coordinate resources and detect problems early. Simply put, this software program helps project managers coordinate tasks on a daily basis. It provides building owners the much-desired transparency into how a project moves forward and increases the contractor accountability.
Benefits of Construction Scheduling Software
The key benefits of construction scheduling software include, but are not limited to:
- Project and time management
- Improved communication
- Cost control and efficiency
- Better client relationships
- Quick task completion
- Automated record keeping
- Better project coordination
- Increased productivity and efficiency
What Type of Buyer are You?
Before you dive into the details of different construction scheduling systems, you'll want to understand what type of buyer you are:
Project schedulers: Project schedulers are the type of buyers who focus primarily on project scheduling and are concerned with automating this task. They run a number of different scenarios and their project schedules are extremely detailed. They usually look for advanced functionalities, such as earned value analysis, which helps them in measuring the progress of a project. Therefore, project schedulers should go for the best-of-breed scheduling software with enterprise-level capabilities.
Project managers: Construction project managers are typically after construction project management functionalities, such as job cost estimates, construction project scheduling, document management, and cost control. Consequently, they prefer using construction scheduling programs that are offered as a part of the generic construction project management software.
Goal Setting: Areas You Want to Improve
Before you begin with the process of evaluating construction scheduling systems, you should conduct proper research and understand why you need one. This way you will enter the process with the right information in hand to select the best software for your construction business. You should set effective goals and understand how you can utilize the software in a way that helps you complete projects on time and within budget.
Define Your Current Problems Before Seeking a Solution
To ensure successful software selection, you need to be certain of the deficiencies in your current processes and highlight the areas that need improvement. You should analyze the current processes you have in place to pinpoint the areas that can be improved with the construction scheduling program. This will help you make a wise decision for your company as you will be able to align your scheduling pain points with the most appropriate solution. You can’t find the best possible software solution if you can’t identify the problems you need to solve.
Vendor Shopping: Features to Look For
Now that you’ve determined the project scheduling needs of your construction business, it’s time for you to find a vendor that perfectly aligns with your unique needs. Keep a few features of construction scheduling software in mind as you evaluate the shortlisted options. The right software solution will offer all the tools you need to optimize your scheduling processes and while keeping everyone on the same page. Conduct due diligence to make sure that you don’t sign up for a software that causes problems for your workflow or lacks any fundamental features.
Construction scheduling software solutions are crossing boundaries with their combination of functionalities. You should shortlist the features depending on your unique needs and the type of your construction business. Make sure that the scheduling tool you choose to implement for your construction business allows you to align multiple construction project activities and achieve desired outcomes before you lock yourself into a contract with the software company.
When exploring construction scheduling systems for your projects, be sure it comes with the following features:
- Job Scheduling
- Document Management
- Service Management
- Calendar management
- Project scheduling
Job Scheduling: Job scheduling, also known as workload automation, allows users to schedule project activities in the right order and balance. You can allocate equipment and skilled workers over multiple projects, as well as re-balance if any unforeseeable delays occur. Not only this, but it also lays out project timelines, sets reminders for subcontractors, predicts inter-dependencies of equipment & labor, and adjusts schedules according to the project progress.
Document Management: This allows you to optimize processes and boost contractor productivity by generating all workflow data from a centralized interface. The document management feature also supports integration with some external productivity modules, such as Excel.
Accessibility: Cloud-based construction scheduling tools allow construction professionals to access project files directly from their job sites. They can modify data on-the-go to support faster decision-making while also eliminating the need to visit the office every time they need project details. Overall, it speeds up the project turnaround time.
Service Management: This allows you to set standard rates for all the services that your company offers. It also defines costs for each employee or contractor, production manager, and supervisor. You can easily generate purchase orders, manage project timelines, and produce actionable data to improve productivity.
Calendar management: This is one of the staples of a construction scheduling program. It allows users to create, share, and manage multiple calendars. They can also track staff hours using a calendar view.
Project scheduling: The project scheduling feature helps contractors in identifying critical tasks that make up a project. They can also assign start and end days for all these project tasks.
Reporting: The best scheduling tool in the construction project management software market will let you generate project analytics reports like architectural costs and budgets to give you more autonomy over your project data. Moreover, you can use these accurate, real-time data reports to evaluate project stats while pinpointing the underperforming and risk areas.
Assessing the Expenses
The deployment method you choose to implement will decide how much you end up paying for construction scheduling software systems. You can either choose to host your software on the cloud or deploy it on-premise. An all-inclusive software solution that allows you to schedule, manage, and track construction projects can range from $10 per month per user to $300 per month for unlimited users. For on-premise solutions, you will have to pay an upfront license fee that can range from $40 to $15,000. The cost of purchasing these scheduling products also varies according to the following factors:
- Number of users supported
- Customer support
- Contract terms
Considerations When Purchasing Construction Scheduling Software
Integration requirements: You will be best off with a construction scheduling program that seamlessly integrates with other systems you have in your tech stack, such as accounting, project management, inventory management, estimating, and customer relationship management. You should invest in a construction project scheduling system that is capable of playing well with other applications.
Size of projects: Every construction project has its own unique set of requirements. Some of your projects may be simple with easy scheduling and limited subcontractors. However, others may be complex with a larger number of subcontractors, requiring you to use a construction scheduling product with multi-user, advanced functionality and mobile app. Therefore, consider the size and type of the construction projects you need to handle before you invest in a construction scheduling system.
The Top Construction Scheduling Software
The following integrated construction scheduling software systems have positioned themselves as market leaders:
Choosing What's Best for Your Company
Construction project scheduling is an uphill task that requires dynamic and robust software solutions to handle all its moving parts. This is why an ever-growing number of construction professionals rely on these technology-driven tools to improve performance, prevent bottlenecks, save time, and ensure project success. From pre-construction to project completion, it helps you keep all stakeholders in the loop with automated updates and real-time collaboration so that you can make more informed purchase decisions. Conduct due diligence and understand your unique business needs to select a product that will help you land all your construction projects on time and within budget.