Despite continued technological advancement in the construction industry, professionals still find sharing information across the project lifecycle cumbersome. Systems lack interoperability, information isn’t readily accessible in the field, and manual curation opens the door to costly errors. This traditional workflow hinders team effectiveness and can interfere with the overall success of the project.
However, construction management software is a solution that addresses architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) workflow problems by improving collaboration and the handoff of project data. These solutions are tailored to meet the needs of an increasingly complex industry, bridging the gaps to reduce risk, increase efficiency, and improve profitability.
By addressing common pain points, here are five ways that construction management software saves time and reduces the risk of project errors:
- Improves Decision Making: 2D and 3D plans are in one system, saving time and giving stakeholders the visualization they need for faster, more confident decision making.
- Streamlines Communications: Markup functionality is far more sophisticated and is maintained between versions of docs, making communication more fluid and transparent.
- Ensures Quality and Accuracy: Document version access and approval controls make sure the team is always working with the latest set of approved plans.
- Enhances Data Accessibility: Text and properties are fully searchable, not only saving time but reducing risk by making sure the right information is quickly and easily referenced.
- Simplifies Collaboration: File sharing and viewing sheets are made faster, simplifying collaboration.
So, what would the implementation of this software mean for the workflow of a project? Let’s explore some of the major benefits of adopting best-in-class construction management software.
Right now, most of the digital tools in broad use are siloed by specialty; designers are using one set of tools and field staff using another. A comprehensive construction management software system offers a graceful solution to bridge gaps in document handoff, saving time, costly mistakes, and eliminating barriers between teams.
Designers and those working in the field can now standardize information across teams, working off a single, up-to-date model. This gives project managers and site foremen better visibility into project status, enabling more accurate procurement and scheduling.
Having a single system that is built to enhance collaboration also saves firms the cost of deploying multiple technology solutions and learning resources. This provides owners and CIOs peace-of-mind while minimizing costly errors by reducing risk from users accessing the wrong model. With a reduction in managing multiple tools, decision–makers can now focus on maximizing the value of solutions and meeting compliance.
Architects & Engineers (A&E) can share both 2D and 3D plans and revisions in the same system, significantly reducing the amount of time spent moving and converting documents. A digital solution is especially advantageous in this regard as A&Es can manage their own documents and push out revisions to stakeholders more easily. They’ll also be able to find 2D and 3D plans in the same system and show the relationship between different sheets.
Clash detection is now practically seamless with unified 3D modeling, allowing most issues to be resolved before the first bolt is purchased. With cloud-based collaboration, scope or design changes are available in real–time, RFIs can be answered, and issues addressed from the field without wasting time walking back and forth to the trailer.
Issue reporting and punch down activities that are tracked digitally help ensure accuracy. Pictures tell a thousand words, and when subcontractors can reference the plan directly with an RFI and digital photo taken on the spot, uncertainty and guesswork are eliminated.
Errors and rework can cause a headache on any project. In fact, according to an FMI report, poor project data and miscommunication on projects is responsible for 48% of all rework in construction in the U.S.
The traditional method of printing pages and carrying folders out to the jobsite created numerous opportunities for errors. Using software to put the plans and information in the hands of the people who need it most is the best way of making sure that contractors are working with confidence. This single factor, combined with early clash detection, significantly cuts the probability of rework. Not only does this boost efficiency and quality, but it also reduces waste and helps keep the project on schedule.
More Fluid Communication
Construction management software creates opportunities not only for greater collaboration but also for clearer, more fluid communication. Built-in access control gives project managers the power to define role-based and version-based access for necessary team members. This means electrical subcontractors won’t have to wade through pages and pages of plumbing plans and notes; they’ll have what they need and only what they need. If there’s a question or an issue, they simply reference it on the plan, and the note is instantly sent to the right person.
RFIs have never been easier. With the integration of smart devices, that means that issues can also include photos, and 3D location data, creating absolute certainty when it comes to finding solutions. The same is true for progress tracking and punch lists, giving project managers and owners a real-time view into the status of a project.
Unlock Your Competitive Advantage with Construction Management Software
The days of clipboards and coffee-stained pages are nearly gone. Smart devices and cloud sharing are paving the way for easier collaboration, higher efficiency, and better quality for project delivery across the industry. Frustrations that have plagued the building process for decades are becoming more manageable through digitization. Construction management software is giving us the power to not only keep building but to build better and smarter, maximizing our ability to compete in this fast-moving industry.