The Ultimate Guide to Construction Software Selection
Investing in the right software to run your construction business is paramount. Construction management software has the potential to be a game-changer, enabling improved resource utilization, empowering strong decision-making, enhancing client service, and ultimately more profitable projects.
However, when selecting construction software it’s essential to do your research in order to make the right buying decision. A successful outcome requires thorough evaluation and consideration to find a solution that aligns with your company’s long-term goals and objectives. During this process it’s important to go beyond considering the business you are right now and instead think about the business you want to be in the future.
To assist you in selecting construction software and making this critical software purchase decision, we’ve identified five essential criteria that you should weigh carefully before you seal the deal and embark on this digital transformation journey.
Check out this feature-by-feature comparison chart to see the advantages of moving from QuickBooks to Sage Intacct for Construction
1. Document your Business Needs and Requirements
To improve your construction firm’s performance, it is crucial to start by thoroughly documenting your business needs and requirements. Take the time to carefully identify the bottlenecks and breakdowns that are hindering project management or other areas of your business, considering various aspects such as process workflow, analytics, operations, mobility, accounting, procurement, and client experience. Evaluating the financial impact of these construction management shortcomings is also essential in order to prioritize them accordingly.
As you navigate through this process, transparency is key. Engage all relevant stakeholders in the discussions to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the construction management challenges at hand — and the process of selecting construction software. This includes inviting end users, executives, financial decision makers, and IT personnel to the table. Pay close attention to important aspects like usability, considering how the software can effectively scale to support increased users and revenue. Additionally, it is essential to assess compatibility with the construction project management software and other products you are currently using or may consider in the future, ensuring easy integration and efficiency.
By taking a comprehensive approach and giving due consideration to these factors, you can lay a solid foundation for a new way to drive sustainable growth and success for your company.
Questions to ask:
- What are the current issues and pain points?
- What do I need the new software to do?
- Who will use it most and for what?
- Does the team need mobile access to real time data?
- What systems do I need to integrate?
- Can it help me eliminate the need for other applications?
- What data and information needs to be collected?
- Is there room for growth?
- Does the software require customization?
2. Ensure Usability and Adoption
How easy it is to use the software directly influences its adoption by workers. A key element to selecting constructing soft interface is not only intuitive but also fast. In today’s digital age, employees, especially the tech-savvy digital natives, are accustomed to delightful user experiences across popular platforms like Facebook, Uber, and Spotify. They naturally expect the same level of user-friendliness in their workplace.
To ensure successful implementation, it is highly recommended to involve the individuals who will be using the software on a daily basis in meetings with the software vendor. This inclusion allows them to provide actionable insights and perspectives, giving them a sense of ownership over the process. Encouraging flexibility and open-mindedness is important, as employees may initially be skeptical and reluctant to let go of their familiar ways of doing things.
By taking these steps, organizations can create an environment where employees feel heard, empowered, and willing to embrace new software with enthusiasm. This, in turn, will contribute to smoother transitions and increased productivity in the workplace.
Questions to ask:
- Is the software easy to learn and use?
- Will it be easy to collaborate and share data?
- Will I have to jump around between multiple windows and systems?
- Does the product have good peer reviews and testimonials?
- Can I easily access the software remotely?
3. Evaluate Price and Determine Budget
Once you’ve established a comprehensive list of features that are most critical to your needs, it’s time to delve into the financial aspect and determine your budget for a software purchase. Take into consideration the specific problems you’re currently facing with your existing software and evaluate the recurring costs associated with those issues.
But don’t stop at the sticker price alone; broaden your assessment to encompass the entire spectrum of expenditure. This includes implementation, support, maintenance, hosting fees, upgrade fees, and training expenses. Additionally, it’s important to factor in any potential required process changes. It is worth noting that just because you’ve followed a certain approach for an extended period of time, doesn’t necessarily imply it’s the optimal or most efficient method.
By taking a comprehensive view and considering all relevant factors in selecting construction software, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with both your needs and your financial capabilities.
Questions to ask:
- Will I need to buy other applications to fill in capability gaps?
- Are there implementation costs?
- Are there support and maintenance costs?
- What about training?
- Will there be integration costs?
- Are there per user costs?
4. Understand the Implementation and Training Process
Just like any construction management project, it is crucial for your software implementation to follow a well-thought-out plan, complete with a detailed schedule. As you carefully evaluate the software publisher, take into consideration the availability of regional consultants who can provide guidance to your personnel throughout the entire sequence of events and training required for the successful implementation of the new system.
During this period of transition, your employees will be faced with the challenge of learning a new system while simultaneously carrying out their current system and day-to-day activities. However, with the appropriate guidance and support in place, this process does not have to result in a major disruption to your business operations. By ensuring that your team is adequately assisted during this transition, you can minimize any potential setbacks and maximize the efficiency of your software implementation.
Questions to ask:
- How long will it take to implement?
- Will I need to invest in additional infrastructure?
- Will I receive help or am I on my own?
- What training is available?
- Is there post-sale support?
5. Consider The Software Provider’s Reliability
When you make the decision to invest in construction software, it’s important to understand that you’re not only purchasing a product, but also establishing a long-term connection with the software publisher. This connection will shape your experience and determine the level of support you receive throughout the years.
During the evaluation process, it is crucial to verify the reputation and credibility of the software publisher. You want to ensure that they have a track record of reliability and are committed to assisting their customers.
One indicator of a strong software package is a large user base. This is significant because software solutions with a substantial user community often possess built-in functionality that has been refined over time, based on feedback provided by users. These solutions have benefited from continuous improvement and are likely to offer features and capabilities that are truly valuable to construction professionals.
By considering all these aspects and thoroughly evaluating the software publisher’s reputation and user base, you can make an informed decision that will not only meet your current needs but also provide long-term benefits for your construction projects.
Questions to ask:
- How frequently does the software publisher make enhancements to their product?
- What would happen if they acquired no new customers for a year?
- Does the publisher have customers similar to you?
- How large is their customer base?
- How innovative is the solution, compared to others on the market?
- What are the software publisher’s support hours?
Finding the Right Value-Added Partner
Sage sells their products exclusively through a network of value-added, locally-based, independent partners. In this way, Sage ensures that customers receive top-notch products and exceptional service from knowledgeable professionals in their local communities.
What does that mean for you?
- Extensive experience with industry-specific solutions; i.e., they speak your language.
- Offer fast, professional, local service if the need arises.
- Help match your business with a solution that best addresses your business issues.
- Provide on-going consultation and value-added services (implementation, customization, training, etc.).
Sage Intacct Construction—Cloud Financial Management Solution
Sage Intacct is the first native-cloud financial management solution purpose built for the construction industry. With innovative features and advanced functionality, this modern cloud based software solution revolutionizes the way financial operations are handled, providing construction businesses with unparalleled efficiency and effectiveness. Say goodbye to traditional financial management systems and embrace this cutting-edge solution to improve your construction operations like never before.
Choose a partner that understands how general contractors do business and can help you build the infrastructure your team needs for more effective financial and project management, pre-construction, and field operations. As a trusted Sage partner, you can be sure MicroAccounting has the experience to ensure a successful construction management software purchase, regardless of your size or specialization. Contact us for a personalized Sage Intacct Construction demo.