An Introduction to Construction Project Information Management Software
So, you are in charge of managing a seriously big construction project, and you use Microsoft Project for staff and build resourcing. Is that all there is to managing your project?
No, if you are like other managers, and your project is like most other construction projects, you want more. How about: paper and plan management, managing the contract paperwork, help with bidding, managing subcontractors, keeping track of photographs of the development of the project, producing progress reports. All of these items and more can be handled by computer. You really need a system that allows your workers to access it from their iPhones or Android phones, so they can report items to be added to the punch (or fix) list for the project and to report their time or other information back to you, the manager.
The following packages are all cloud-hosted construction project information management software. This means that the programs and data are stored on the package developer’s servers, and you and your workers can access them from any Windows PC, or mobile devices when in the field.
- Procore is a company that provides the Procore construction project management software. Procore is based in California. It has apps for Apple and Android mobile devices. See the list of modules shown below.
- MySmartPlans is developed by a company in Kansas City, MO, and it is project management software for construction with capabilities to coordinate planning, collaboration and information distribution. This can accelerate every step of the project lifecycle, for every member of the project team. There is an iPad/iPhone app to allow field staff to update the system whilst they are out on site.
- Aconex is sold as “construction Software – online project management and collaboration”. It is widely used and provides modules similar to those shown below. It is developed by an Australian company.
Modules covered by these applications:
- Document Management (to keep electronic versions of all your documents in one place)
- Contract and change management (easy ways to manage contracts and keep track of changes)
- Drawing management (for managing, sharing and revising project drawings)
- Directory (record the people in projects and their access rights to project data)
- Daily log (create logs by dictating them into a phone, have weather reports added automatically, etc)
- Scheduling (which ties in to MS Project)
- Bidding (manage bids from vendors wanting to fill your contracts)
- Punch list (have items to be fixed sent in by your workers via phone when they visit a site)
- Timecards (allow employees to easily enter timecard info anywhere, anytime, through smart phones)
- Photo archive (the app can archive and protect your digital photos of project activities)
- Submittals (automatically track submittal and submittal package revisions)
- Meeting minutes (Send out comprehensive meeting agendas to all of your meeting attendees)
- Reporting (generate analysis of project data in the system to the detail you require)
- Multilingual interface (for projects using foreign workers)
There are other software packages and vendors, and you need to assess software for yourself before adopting a package in your business.
Contact Drew, our project management software specialist at 757-646-5612 for more information on how these types of solutions can benefit your business.