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Compare Construction Business Software

This page is managed by
Forrest Burnson, Market Research Associate
Last updated: September 16, 2014

Top 10 Most Reviewed Construction Systems

BuilderTREND Designed for small to mid-sized custom-builders and remodelers, BuilderTREND is an affordable web-based solution that manages all aspects of a project including scheduling, purchase orders and change orders.
        388 Reviews


in the last 30 days
Co-construct Developed for custom builders and remodelers, Co-construct is a web-based management solution that offers a powerful set of efficiency and productivity tools to make the process of custom home building streamlined and effortless.
        278 Reviews


in the last 30 days
Procore Procore is a flexible web-based solution for construction management. This SaaS application offers tools to efficiently manage work flow, bidding, project scheduling and a central dashboard with a quick snapshot of all projects.
        217 Reviews


in the last 30 days
UDA ConstructionSuite UDA ConstructionSuite is a ConstrucTech Top Products award winner designed for small to mid-sized businesses industries such as residential remodeling, real estate and general contracting. It’s available for on-premise deployment.
        174 Reviews


in the last 30 days
HCSS HeavyBid HCSS is the market leader in heavy, highway, and utility construction with over 45,000 contractors using their integrated suite of estimating, job management, equipment maintenance, GPS and safety software.
        123 Reviews


in the last 30 days

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Maxwell Systems Estimation Maxwell Systems Estimation software is designed for construction professionals in industries such as plumbing, mechanical and electrical construction. The software can serve small contractors as well as large enterprises.
        83 Reviews


in the last 30 days
Dexter + Chaney Spectrum Spectrum Construction Software by Dexter + Chaney is a fully-integrated construction management system. It features over 28 different modules with a broad range of functionality ranging from equipment control to document imaging.
         44 Reviews


in the last 30 days
Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX ProContractorMX, developed by Maxwell Systems, is designed for complete project management for the construction industry. This all-encompassing solution includes procurement, financial, equipment and inventory management.
        32 Reviews


in the last 30 days
FOUNDATION for Windows A leader in accounting software for the construction industry, Foundation is a flexible Microsoft SQL-based solution that offers job costing, scheduling and project management.
        31 Reviews


in the last 30 days
InfusionSoft InfusionSoft is a strong customer relationship management system for construction firms. They offer stand-alone salesforce automation to manage contacts, tasks and streamline the sales process.
        29 Reviews

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Ascent Construction
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Shiver Construction
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Buyer's Guide

Construction software is an umbrella term that refers to a class of applications that help firms manage everything from materials takeoff and estimating to job costing and project management.

With over 200 solutions on the market, construction software is one of the most complex (and fragmented) markets we cover. We wrote this guide to help you understand the various industry applications -- and how they can improve your business.

Here's what we'll cover:

Which Applications Do You Need?

Construction software applications map to the processes required to take a project from initial plans to completion. In the table below, we profile the most common applications--and how they are useful--to help you decide which applications you need.

Takeoff Enables faster and more accurate takeoffs by allowing the estimator to measure lengths, areas and volumes from paper blueprints or digital files (e.g., CAD drawings or PDFs). Many systems allow you to perform takeoff entirely electronically, eliminating the need for paper records.
Estimating Creates professional-looking bids based on your takeoff. To increase the accuracy of estimates--and profitability of projects--the system pulls current labor and materials prices from a costs database.
Bid Management Manages procurement, purchasing and contract management processes. For instance, the system provides a database to store subcontractor information so you can quickly pull a list of subs to send bid requests at a later date.
Project Scheduling Enables the critical path method (CPM) to help project managers efficiently schedule people, resources and tasks. It tracks who is working where, when you’ll need project resources to arrive and the use of equipment. To visualize schedules, most systems use familiar Gantt charts.
Project Management Helps you track project costs, manage important documentation (e.g. change orders) and collaborate with all parties involved on the project. It also tracks estimated project costs against actual to help stay on budget.
Program & Portfolio Management Provides a specialized set of project management applications to assist building owners, site managers and homebuilders in coordinating capital projects. These commercial construction software applications focus less on scheduling and the hands-on details and more on the high-level overview of the projects and portfolio cycles.
Accounting & Job Costing Handles the core accounting and job costing needs of contractors. Most offerings are designed around a job costing module that allows accounting staff to allocate costs by the job and by CSI code to manage projects profitability.
Customer Management Tracks all customer contact information, past interactions/jobs performed, and future potential customers. For most firms, a general application will suffice. However, homebuilders should evaluate a homebuilder CRM system due to unique needs.
Field Service Management Supports the needs of contractors with multiple field service technicians. Allows contractors to create work orders, dispatch technicians in the field and monitor their spare parts inventory.

Common Buyers Scenarios

To help you narrow the field, we present five common buyer goals below. One or more of these goals might align with your needs. Keep these in mind as you read and evaluate construction software reviews.

1. You want to consolidate multiple applications.
If you’re using construction management solutions from multiple different providers and are frustrated by the lack of integration, you should evaluate integrated construction suites. Large companies will want to go with enterprise-level providers such as Oracle or SAP. Meanwhile, mid-sized companies should look at systems like Foundation for Windows, Sage Master Builder Software or ComputerEase because they offer robust core functionality with a variety of add-on modules.

2. You need to boost efficiency in one area (e.g., estimating).
If you consistently have issues with one aspect of your business, you’ll want to look at vendors that offer standalone, or “best of breed” applications so you don’t pay for more functionality than you need. Because these applications are best of breed, they also tend to have deeper functionality than what’s offered in suites.

Buyers often ask us about standalone estimating and project management applications, in particular. See our buyer’s guide on cost estimating for a more thorough breakdown of this market.

Meanwhile, we frequently recommend Paskr and Procore to buyers that need a standalone project management application. These vendors are laser-focused on this need and have experience serving a variety of specialities. Refer to our project management buyer’s guide to better understand this market.

3. You’re a specialty firm that needs a unique system.
Many specialty firms will find that modules in general software for construction doesn't adequately fit their needs. For example, an estimator for an electrical contractor might require a highly specialized electrical estimating system to adequately estimate voltage drops and the number of conduit boxes needed. Some of our more popular specialty buyer’s guides address the electrical, concrete and heavy/highway trades.

4. You’re having difficulty adapting a general accounting package.
If you find yourself frustrated by having to adapt a general accounting package to accommodate your payroll, subcontracting and job costing needs then it’s time to move to a construction-specific accounting program. Large and medium-sized firms should evaluate Viewpoint V6 and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office). Meanwhile, small firms upgrading from an entry-level package such as Quickbooks or Peachtree should evaluate ComputerEase, FOUNDATION for Windows, Maxwell ProContractorMX and Construction Partner.

5. You’re looking to get off pen and paper.
For your first construction company software purchase, it’s important to choose a system that can serve your needs now and into the future. To that end, you’ll want to choose a system that can expand with your business. We find that small firms should start with a lightweight and affordable system that can automate some of your processes right away. A few products to consider in this scenario are Sage 100 (formerly Master Builder), Jonas Enterprise, and Plus Series by Contractor Software Group.

Of course, there are other factors to consider in addition to these buying scenarios. A few things that will influence which vendor offers the best construction software for your business are the size of your business, your trade specialization, and your availability of IT resources and expertise.

Market Trends

A number of trends are worth noting as you evaluate systems:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS--a deployment model in which applications are hosted by the vendor and accessed via a Web browser--is slowly gaining in popularity within the industry. The most common SaaS, or Cloud, applications focus on project management. SaaS is less common in accounting and estimating. Buyers looking for new project management applications should definitely evaluate SaaS offerings.
  • Vendor Consolidation. Larger construction management software vendors such as Constellation, Sage and Maxwell Systems continue to acquire smaller vendors. While these vendors have continued to extend and support acquired products, buyers will generally want to work with consolidators rather than those vendors likely to be acquired. Buyers should carefully assess vendor viability and corporate strategy.
  • Mobile platforms and capabilities. Mobile platforms--and the systems that run on them--are improving all the time. This is an important development in this market as many contractors and workers stand to benefit from having access to their project information while in the field. If this is an important feature for you, make sure the vendor’s construction solution is compatible with mobile devices.

Construction Software Market Breakdown

As mentioned earlier, construction business software is a fractured market with a wide range of vendors and pricing models. Below, we’ve created a rough map of the vendor landscape..

Construction Software Vendor Landscape

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