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On time and on budget: the role of construction software

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Cost overruns in the construction industry are common. However, overruns don’t just happen.

Inaccurate estimates and unrealistic timelines are the two major contributing factors, which is why it’s best practice to implement non-technological steps to manage projects.

Technology, particularly computer software, has improved timeline results. Construction management professionals across the field use software to improve planning, coordination, and project management for varying types of projects, from residential and commercial to civil. One example is the use of construction accounting software used to plan and estimate project costs. Software also assists construction companies with communicating, making decisions, managing budgets, creating schedules and controlling costs with the goal of meeting time and budget constraints.

Bidding and estimating

Because bidding is competitive, it is common for the lowest bid to be accepted. But the lowest bidder isn’t always the best choice. Some companies submit a low bid but raise costs as the project moves forward. If a bid comes in low, beware; this could mean the full scope of the project doesn’t accurately reflect the time the project will take or how much it will cost.

I have found that the more accurate the costs the higher the chance that the costs stay on track and in the end, savings are realized. Murfey Company prides itself in providing well thought out and accurate budgets that represent the true cost of building a project.

Design errors

When there are design errors, disputes can arise. Resolution of a dispute can involve attorneys and the courts, resulting in costly delays and fees. Incomplete designs can lead to delays and cost overruns as well.

Specific software can decrease the risk of errors. For instance, one type of 3D modeling reduces the chance for errors or incomplete designs, because the scope of project and the responsibilities are spelled out. Murfey Company has experience analyzing projects in 3D models and providing BIM coordination.

Project management

For projects to be successful, there needs to be strong communication and consistent collaboration. Project management software allows all relevant job information to be stored in one location for easy access and important information to be accessed within seconds. On any given day, anyone who is part of the project can secure details, such as how much has been spent on building materials or the sum paid to contractors.

With mobile apps, everyone can access the same information in real-time, too. As changes are made, those affected are alerted. If a question surfaces, the appropriate person is notified. Even skilled workers and subcontractors are kept in the loop, which is essential to completing a job.

The right software helps reduce the number of administrative errors because sometimes project managers get information too late or there is a misunderstanding about who is carrying out a particular task. Generally, the solution is to provide project managers with the tools for tracking a project and to collaborate.

Murfey Company uses Procore as its construction management software. We also use Microsoft Project for our Gantt Chart scheduling software.

Although these types of software programs can be pricey, we have found them to be a great tool. In the end, the dollars spent for construction management software adds up to profitability by streamlining business processes and improving efficiency.

The Murfey Company, a leader in commercial and residential construction, is dedicated to delivering on-time, on-budget projects and utilizing current technology to do so. For more information, visit www.murfeycompany.com.