Construction contractor software: protecting profit margins

At all levels in the construction industry, margins are often tight and all businesses need to take care to maintain profits while offering a competitive service. Even small mistakes can lead to costly rework; legal action over disputes can lead to business ruin. This drive to remain competitive while protecting margins can lead to conflict between contractors, sub-contractors and planners.

Construction contractor software can help to protect margins and drive profits. In fact, PlanRadar saves companies on average £6750 a year by:

  • Allowing contractors, architects, clients and third-party specialists to communicate freely through a single platform
  • Enabling fast decision making through shared goals and time-driven actions
  • Providing a single-source-of-truth for entire projects, allowing all parties to share data and view key project milestones

 

Construction contractor tools

A complex industry driven by documentation and hierarchies

Construction projects require collaboration. Even smaller projects often have multiple contractors and sub-contractors working together and in larger projects, there could be hundreds. Large workforces and integrated tasks require project management. The more complex the project, the more time you need to manage the relationships between different organisations and workstreams. Ensuring that workers have the resources, space and time to complete tasks is important and poor communication can lead to dips in motivation and reduced performance.

Added to this complexity is the hierarchical nature of construction. Many have tried to flatten the chain of command on construction sites to improve productivity and communication. However, these efforts always meet with challenges. This is largely due to the need to check and sign-off construction tasks, to ensure quality and safety standards and to protect warranties. The risk of missing a defect or safety concern is so great that construction firms have introduced hierarchies to mitigate the risk and reduce the chance of defects being passed across during handover.

This process has resulted in increased documentation. These formal records confirm that safety and quality checks have been carried out with due diligence. These procedures require a huge administrative effort which can be costly to manage. Paper-based reports and siloed data further complicates processes, leading to data loss or duplication and documents that can be hard to find when they are needed.

Although hierarchy and increased documentation limit risk, they can also lead to miscommunication and contractor dissatisfaction. When combined with the complexity inherent in many projects, this can introduce new risks and start to erode margins.

Fortunately, construction contractor software has advanced to make laborious paper-based processes a thing of the past. Contractors can now ensure that they have checked safety and quality standards and signed them off through a collaborative, digital system.

Digital documentation and communication with PlanRadar

PlanRadar is a market-leading digital documentation and defect management system. This construction contractor software promotes collaboration and reduces the time taken to check, validate and monitor safety and quality audits.

By creating tickets, users can log and manage defects. Anyone with access can append relevant photos, text and voice notes. Users can even attach the ticket to its location on a digital version of the plan or BIM model. Supervisors can then allocate tasks to relevant contractors, along with deadlines, and track the jobs through to completion. The PlanRadar app allows users to easily create and view tasks via a standard smartphone. Once tasks are completed, push notifications alert the supervisor and project manager.

Managers can easily view all tasks and project progress, reducing the number of meetings or any email relay of information. On completion of a project, the task also forms part of a comprehensive audit trail. Users can run PDF or Excel reports at any point, on any aspect of the data, to provide a status update for senior management, clients, regulators or other stakeholders.

The entire data flow and all audit information can form part of the handover document. You can even create as-built documentation as the construction is completed. PlanRadar’s uses aren’t limited to construction. Project, maintenance and facilities management tasks are just as easily managed within the system. When you control construction through PlanRadar, you create a tool for the future management of the building too.

Replace laborious written communication with a fully automated system, reducing the amount of time taken to log defects, complete tasks, run audits and compile reports. With a dramatic reduction in administration and the errors that can be introduced with manual processes, cost savings are realised and margins protected.

Driving performance through construction contractor software

Construction contractor software helps drive efficiencies for all contractors and subcontractors on-site but it is a particularly valuable tool for general contractors. As the site overseer, the general contractor takes responsibility for providing all construction services up to the completion of the building project. The general contractor also needs to fulfil the project and liaise with sub-contractors and specialists to make this happen. Accounting, estimating, products, processes, and manpower are all integrated into the general contractor’s accountability and the firm must assume responsibility until building handover.

With complex projects and multiple stakeholders, conflicts can arise for many reasons. The biggest risks, and those bringing the biggest costs, are usually due to underperformance and disruptive behaviour.

By using construction contractor software, such as PlanRadar, you can recognise and address conflict and underperformance before they become risks. Effective and efficient project management, through automated solutions and a single-source-of-truth, highlights risk-points and allows you to implement mitigation strategies. Users also reduce ambiguity, clearly define responsibilities and reduce the amount of costly remedial work. They also reduce the friction that can lead to disagreement and even court action.

Save time and money with PlanRadar. Try our demo version for 30 days free-of-charge.