Six Questions To Ask Before Buying Construction Management Software

Ben Conry
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Finding the perfect construction management software for your company may seem overwhelming. You’re probably asking yourself where to even begin in the process. A multitude of factors go into this decision and having a better understanding of what to look for should prompt you in making the right decision. If you need an idea of the questions you should be asking before purchasing your construction software, look no further.

Construction management software’s main function is project management, but there are several other functions. Possible functions are document management, budgeting, accounting, workflow automation, and resource management.

Have you ever wished you could be in two places at once? Well in construction, your architect may be in Nashville, while you are in Atlanta, and your subcontractor is in Dallas. All of that and your project may be in San Francisco... In this case, you would need to be in four different places at once to properly communicate. Construction management software makes it so your whole team can be in one place at any time.

While construction management software can seriously assist your company, there are certain questions you should ask before committing to the right software. There are plenty of software solutions out there, so how do you narrow it down to selecting the best one for your business?

Before you buy, ask yourself these six questions:

1. What Features Do I Need And Do they Integrate With My Existing Systems?

Construction company employees navigating a new ERP system on a laptop

Software integration’s main purpose is to make your life easier. The right software for your company should come with a high sense of connectivity. There are many different options when it comes to selecting software...

You could go with a full-service platform that incorporates almost every aspect of construction project management in one place to help you. This is most beneficial for large-scale projects with a very spread-out team. Full-service platforms are not right for every company or project. If you are on a smaller scale, you may not have a use for every aspect of a full-scale platform. So, paying for the entire service could be a waste.

If you only need assistance in some departments, you need to be a bit more hesitant in picking construction software. For example, if you like the way your company handles submittals and RFI’s, but you need help with bid management, you should choose a software

First, jot down what you are specifically seeking for a software platform to help with. Are you solely looking for construction software to handle your accounting? Or maybe you want the software to completely handle all aspects of your business? Whatever it is, make note of it before you begin researching construction software. Because you want this to be of value to your company, you may not necessarily need everything included. You may have team members who are exceptionally talented in pre-construction and may not need that assistance.

If you decide to go with a more point solution to solve a specific aspect of your business, it is paramount that your software provider integrates it into the other solutions you are using.

It’s important to ask your software provider if they offer an application program interface (API). APIs allow you to integrate with complementary software. For software, APIs are the connection that brings software together. For instance, have you ever been on a site and a box pops up asking if you would like to share your location? That’s an API.

With construction software, it can easily communicate with other software programs through the use of APIs. So, whatever you need in your construction management software, it can be added on.

2. Is the option I am choosing secure? 

Data security is crucial when choosing construction software. You do not want a Facebook circa 2017 incident. In order to avoid all of your information being released on the world wide web, check for these indicators:

  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Availability

Cloud-based software proves high security and provides strong authentication protocols. With the cloud, data protection is a top priority. Everything is stored in one spot, so it is easy to keep a record of your data. However, it is recommended that limited access is granted to cloud-based software to ensure that data is only given to those who need it.

Are there policies set in place for protecting your data? One question to ask a potential construction software vendor is if there is a data security plan laid out. In the case of a crisis, it is crucial for software to have a data security plan to be able to quickly get everything back under control.

Changes in construction payment technology

One policy that is commonly used is two-factor authentication. In this case, when a user attempts to log in, he or she is prompted to use a second device to grant access to log in. By using this method, it allows you to be in control.

In terms of integrity, ask the construction management software if they implement any kind of auditing in terms of data security. It is important that these companies regularly test out their own product because your security is on the line.

In the case that you buy construction payment software, you may worry about giving out your personal payment information. Ask about the payment security standard that they use and how you can trust that they will keep your information protected.

3. Are there real people on the other side of this?

When buying construction management software, you want to make sure that you’re not just going to be signing up for software that has no satisfactory customer service. The right construction software is there to build a meaningful relationship with you and assist you in whatever you may need.

While you might not have the chance to meet face-to-face, it is important to have a relationship with the people behind your construction software.

Before committing, you want to make sure that customer service has timely responses. Should something go wrong, they are the ones on the other side to provide you with the resources to make sure everything runs smoothly. So, in the case of a crisis, everything should be handled quickly. When you are in the process of picking, check the response pattern of the companies.

To make sure that the vendor maintains beneficial relationships with its customers, ask if the vendor can provide you with some customer references. This will allow you to see how other customers view the product, as well as how they interact with customer service.

4. Am I getting a good bang for my buck?

There is a wide assortment of construction software out there, but it is important to factor in price to choosing the right one before buying construction management software. This is why it is important to understand what kind of software you need. If you choose an all-inclusive option, you may be overspending and not using the software to its full potential.

There may be months where you will not need the service as much; ask the vendor if there is a usage plan. Your project may need major assistance in June and part of July. However, will what you didn’t use rollover to August?

Is there a service level agreement involved? This will be helpful in understanding what features you are getting as a customer. This can help you outline the features included and compare them to the price you are paying. SLAs provide a breakdown of the services provided, as well as legal needs.

5. I’m not a technology person…will I be able to figure this out?

Construction software should be simplified for its consumer base. The best way to make sure you are choosing a usable one is to request a demo. Construction software companies are always willing to show customers a demo because after all, they are responsible for your ease on a project.

In addition, does this software provider have a “try before you buy” option? This will allow you to test out different programs and see which holds the best usability for you.

Also, think to yourself about what factors will benefit your project. Would it be best if the software you choose has an accompanying application so you can have access to everything on your mobile device? Whatever you may need that will be compliant for you and your team, make sure these options exist.

6. Will this fit with my business principles?

You need to look for software that conforms to your business practices. Imagine it as if you’re a loyal customer to a certain grocery store around the corner from your house. The next closest grocery store is 20 miles away. You are currently looking for a new credit card, but you come to find out that the card that has the greatest reward program and you are most interested in is not accepted at your local grocery store. It would not make sense for you to have to drive an extra 20 miles to the next closest grocery store due to the limitations of the credit card.

The same is true for construction software. Just because it’s an ideal software with tons of bells and whistles doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice the way you do business. A phrase that is often lost is a software as a “service.” If your software provider is not servicing your particular needs as a client, they might not be the best fit for your company.

You want the product to enhance your productive goals, so it is important to find construction software that fits your flexibility. It is critical to ensure that the program you choose will fit accordingly to your own business. You do not want the software company to change its standards and negatively impact your business.

Flashtract as Your Construction Payment Software

Flashtract’s main purpose is to adapt to the customer’s needs, so we make that our top priority. Flashtract puts a large focus on construction payment management and not only doing it effectively but also efficiently. We want to be your best resource and assist you in whatever you need. Think of us as a tool in your toolbox. Flashtract’s construction invoicing software is a resource in the grand scheme of billing and payments for your company. With data security and privacy, Flashtract makes this its top priority. Our online construction payment management is hosted on a cloud-based platform through Amazon web services, a top security platform. We have policies set in place to protect your data. Having mutual trust with our customers is of high importance to us and that starts with established security.

Because Flashtract’s payment management software places significant interest on the customer’s needs, customer service is something we strive to do well in. We want to build relationships with each of our customers and invest in their needs for the product. We are more than willing to talk with our clients and assist them at all times.

Flashtract puts an advantage point to its pricing. We provide multiple pricing tiers to fit the consumer’s needs. Flashtract understands the volatility of work that can occur in any given month, so we are able to provide assistance. We hold true and follow the SLA and provide the best construction payment software to our customers at a reasonable price. Since day one, Flashtract’s contractor billing software has focused on creating a product that is simple to use. We want to speak the same language as you. Therefore, no matter the background, this product is simple to understand. If you are interested in seeing a demo, we would love to connect and set that up for you.

Our construction payment management software is designed to be flexible and mold to your exact business practices. Because your needs matter to us, we’re willing to work with you. We are here to serve you and your needs as a company. One of our key values as a company is adaptability. We are willing to fit your needs into our construction software, so it adapts to your business.

If you are interested in hearing more about Flashtract and how we can provide construction payment software for your business, contact us today and schedule a demo.

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