How to navigate the clutter of construction software choices?

Since 2012 the use of cloud based software by construction firms has more then doubled according to Technology News and Blog’s annual report. With so many choices out there how can you know that you found the software that’s right for you? Well we’re going to help you overcome the three largest challenges to finding the right solution for your needs.

The most common challenges when looking for a new software are:

  1. Knowing where to start with so many options
  2. Making room in the budget for new software
  3. Managing your team’s resistance to change

Thankfully these common challenges have solutions.

Create a needs vs. Wants List. The best place to start is with a clean spreadsheet and just start to write down everything you need the software to do and then everything you’d like the software to do. Look for the areas that are least automated, most time consuming or most problematic in your current workflow as the key process that could benefit from software’s help. Make sure to include two key must haves for all software purchases:

  • Flexible. The selected tool has to be able to grow and expand to meet your changing needs.
  • Easy to Use. There are some robust systems out there that will do everything you could ever imagine. They will charge you more money than your firm thought possible and are so complex no one will ever use them. When looking for tools keep your scope reasonable and pick a solution that is easy to use.

It’s always tricky when it comes down to budget especially if software wasn’t a line item last year. The key to freeing up some dollars to try software out is to understand the money that is saved from using the right tool. All those hours spent looking for the latest version of that RFI – that cost is gone with instant search built into software. Those days or weeks at the end of a job organizing all the documents into filing boxes or digital drives – eliminated with software that has instant archive wizards. That over payment made due to poor communication with the field – not an issue when your software is available on your field teams mobile devices preventing breakdowns in communication.

Resistance to change is an emotional response and can be as large a challenge as squeezing a few more dollars out of the budget. The key here is to understand why your team is resistant so you can respond with the correct solution:

  • Fear of the Unknown -> Provide your team notification in advance of any change
  • Mistrust -> Secure your teams feedback during the review and selection process
  • Loss of Job Security -> Outline how their role will change once technology is introduced
  • Bad Timing -> Secure a phased approach to rolling out a new system

No matter what the challenge, there is a solution. While the process may seem daunting take it step by step and remember that the overall goal of bringing in software is to make everyone’s lives a little easier.