Interior fit out companies today are faced with several emerging challenges today. Whether it is the rising price of materials, changing ideas about what office spaces are for, or accommodating new trends in design, adaptation is vital. These challenges are complex, but they become easier to manage when you use software for fit out companies.
By deploying technology that is tailored to the interior fit out industry, running your projects becomes smoother and more efficient. Software for fit out companies can help:
- Save time
- Avoid unnecessary repeat work
- Improve communication and collaboration across sites
- Reduce unnecessary spend
- Minimise waste
There are many technology businesses providing software for fit out companies. Let’s explore the different software types available to get a feel for what is out there.
7 kinds of software for fit out companies
The following seven kinds of software can help businesses that offer interior fit outs with different aspects of their work. We have categorised software for fit out companies according to major themes, and provided examples of brands providing each kind of tech.
Interior design software
Designing interior fit outs was traditionally a paper-based activity. However more and more fit out businesses are using software that allows them to rapidly build up floor plans.
Using design software for fit out companies, you are able to create accurate 2D and 3D models of your floor plan. You can then populate the plan with realistic fixtures and fittings (the software often has libraries of partitions, furniture, flooring and even things like wall art and indoor plants). This software can also generate a BIM model that is used on the site. And some design technologies even generate fully interactive virtual reality environments so customers can explore the design for themselves.
Examples of design software for fit out companies: RoomSketcher, SketchUp, ArchiCAD.
Project management software for fit out companies
If your fit out company is working on multiple projects across several sites with different timeframes and subcontractors, project management software is incredibly helpful. It allows you to track project progress, schedule tasks, manage subcontractors, communicate across sites and do things like snagging. Project management software can also produce handover documentation, and help with aftercare for the client.
Example of project management software for interior fit outs: PlanRadar
Case study: How one fit out company uses software on its projects
Take-off software is very useful when it comes to costing your interior fit outs. Once you have completed a BIM or CAD model of the floor plan, take-off software then analyses the design and provides an estimate of the entire project’s costs for things like wiring, studs, joints, plumbing, flooring, lighting and even labour. This makes producing a quote for interior fit outs a lot faster.
Examples of take-off software: Stack, Square TakeOff, PlanSwift
Suggested reading: The difference between Cat A and Cat B fit outs
Many office fit out companies will be working with several subcontractors across multiple sites. Relying on paper timesheets to track where all staff are, and how many hours they’ve worked is extremely complex. In other words, this is where timesheet software for fit out companies can help.
The technology allows subcontractors to digitally sign in and out of sites and record working hours reliably and consistently in a single place. That also provides transparency, ensures prompt and fair payment, and reduces potential disputes.
Examples of timesheet management software: Clockify, Hubstaff
When office landlords or tenants contract an office fit out company to refurbish or upgrade their working environment, they often request regular updates on the progress of the project – in terms of completion level, financials, or health and safety reporting.
Traditionally, interior fit out businesses would have to compile all this information manually, but software for fit out companies can automate the process. By reviewing which tasks have been completed, and analysing project spending data, the software can generate reports that are delivered to clients on a regular basis.
Examples of reporting software for fit out companies: PlanRadar
Recommended reading: What makes a great commercial fit out?
Floor plan creation
Interior fit out businesses often refer to the original blueprint of a building when they are working on a new design. But sometimes – and especially in older office buildings – a reliable or accurate blueprint is simply not available (or is not accessible in a digital format).
And this is where modern floor plan creation technologies come in. Using little more than a smartphone camera, this software can quickly build up an accurate estimate for the size of the office space and turn it into a blueprint your designers can start working on.
Examples of floor plan creation: CamToPlan (Android/iPhone), magicplan, Locometric.
Equipment and materials management
Interior fit out businesses are often working across multiple sites with equipment and materials in many locations. This can make it difficult to know how much inventory you have and whether you are running low. This is also where tool and material tracking software can help. These apps can provide a real time inventory, so you know exactly where all materials and equipment are currently held and how much of them you have.
Examples of equipment and materials inventory software: SiteSense, Sortly
Are you using software for fit out companies yet?
As the examples above show, there is a growing range of digital technology that interior fit out businesses can use to improve how they work, minimise waste and save time and money. So, which software for fit out companies could work for you?
Keep learning: 7 reasons fit out software is essential for your projects