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Assignar is a cloud-based construction management solution suitable for businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include timesheets, custom forms, inspections, scheduling, compliance management, invoicing and payroll. Workers... Read More
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Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office)

Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, formerly Sage Timberline Office, is part of Sage’s line of construction and real estate solutions. Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate is a construction management system that offers functionality... Read More
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Buildertrend is a construction management system for home builders, remodelers, specialty contractors and general contractors. It combines project scheduling, project management, financial management, customer management and service... Read More
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CoConstruct is a project, financial, and client management system for custom home builders and remodelers. It is the only single-entry estimating system that allows each user to enter a piece of information once, and have that data... Read More
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Procore is a cloud-based construction management software application that helps firms increase their project efficiency and accountability by providing streamlined project communication and documentation. Users are able to manage... Read More
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SiteMax Systems

SiteMax Systems is a web-based project management solution suitable for commercial construction firms in several trades like finishing, landscaping, concrete, and design/build. Native mobile apps facilitate transparency into a site... Read More
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Kosmas by DocuWrx

Kosmas by DocuWrx is a cloud-based construction management solution that connects the office to the field utilizing mobile devices, tablets, desktops, and virtually any other Internet-connected device. Customizable with over 80 modules,... Read More
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BuildTools is a web-based construction management system designed for residential construction firms. Designed with the help of custom home builders, the solution offers project management, scheduling, service management, document... Read More
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ProContractor™ by Viewpoint

ProContractor is a comprehensive estimating accounting, and project management solution designed to help small and midsize contractors manage critical financial operations. Deployed either on-premise or in the cloud, the solution enables... Read More
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ProContractor Estimating™

ProContractor Estimating software offers tools for takeoff, estimating, and bid management in a single system. The software features include accounting and project management, mobile applications, and business intelligence solutions... Read More
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Projectmates by Systemates, Inc. is a construction management tool that allows users to manage the entire project lifecycle from concept to closeout. Enterprise-level organizations from industries such as retail, real estate, government,... Read More
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A fit for small to midsize service-based businesses, WorkflowMax is a project management and construction system providing quote creation, timesheets, job costing and other features integral to the project process. Within the lead... Read More
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MarketSharp is a cloud-based CRM solution used by residential remodelers and other professionals in the construction industry. In addition to the core CRM functionalities, the solution also offers project estimation, task scheduling,... Read More
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Fieldwire is mobile Construction Management Software that allows foremen, supers, and engineers to share files, blueprints, and RFI’s while on the job. The system can be synced to existing cloud storage and the user can automatically... Read More
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PENTA Construction ERP Software

PENTA is an enterprise system that manages every aspect of accounting, project management and service for construction, engineering and service firms. Delivered via cloud hosting or on-premise, PENTA provides functionality for construction... Read More
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e-Builder is a cloud-based construction program management solution for capital projects that provides performance data across the project lifecycle. Facility owners can track business processes with centralized project information,... Read More
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Knowify is a cloud-based construction management system designed for residential contractors and small to midsize commercial subcontractors. It's suitable for many trades, including concrete, plumbing, masonry and roofing. Knowify... Read More
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eSUB is a mobile application and cloud-based project management solution that helps commercial subcontractors across various trades to manage day-to-day operations. eSUB offers tools to connect field workers with office managers and... Read More
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COINS develops, implements and supports enterprise resource planning software for the construction industry. The company has been in business for nearly 40 years, working with construction companies across the U.S. The COINS construction... Read More
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FOUNDATION Construction Accounting

FOUNDATION® construction accounting software is a job costing, project management and scheduling solution available as traditional installed software and on the cloud. The system offers hundreds of automatic job costing reports and... Read More
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Sage 100 Contractor (formerly Sage Master Builder)

Sage 100 Contractor, formerly known as Sage Master Builder, focuses on small to midsize construction companies, whether they are a general contractor, service or specialty contractor or a home builder. Suitable for companies that... Read More
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Meridian Systems is a highly decorated software firm that has received over 20 industry awards over the last decade. Most recently, they were named to Construtech’s Top 50 companies of 2011. Their Prolog solution won top product... Read More
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QuickMeasure OnScreen by Tally Systems

Quickmeasure is a useful tool for companies that currently manage their estimations in excel but do not have a formal takeoff system. The system integrates with excel so that users do not have to tailor their process as per the software... Read More
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SharpeSoft Estimator

SharpeSoft Estimator is an on-premise cost estimating software for contractors and sub-contractors in the construction industry. Offered on a best-of-breed basis, SharpeSoft provides integrated tools for labor and equipment costing,... Read More
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On-Screen Takeoff and Quick Bid

On-Screen Takeoff is a construction estimating and takeoff solutions for contractors and construction professionals. The solution offers tools for estimating, managing bids and having project visibility. Both commercial and residential... Read More
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eCMS Construction ERP

eCMS is construction ERP software that offers integrated project and financial management applications supported by business intelligence, content management, workflow and mobile applications. The solution can be deployed on-premise... Read More
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HCSS HeavyBid

HCSS HeavyBid estimating and bidding software is built specifically for the construction industry. Used by more than 50,000 estimators, HeavyBid helps users build estimates and manage daily bids.  The software helps automate repetitive... Read More
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Electrical Bid Manager

Electrical Bid Manager Enterprise is the offering of Vision InfoSoft that serves the bid management needs of commercial and residential electrical contractors. The software provides features such as conversion calculators, on-screen... Read More
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Jonas Enterprise

Jonas Enterprise is an intuitive, integrated solution for contractors that has been present in construction and service management for over 25 years. The application offers service, accounting, and operations project management capabilities... Read More
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ComputerEase was founded in 1983. Since then, the vendor has built a large customer base of over 6,000 contractors. It offers a fully integrated construction management suite with accounting, project management and service management... Read More
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Vista by Viewpoint

Vista is an integrated suite of finance, operations and project management applications for contractors and capital project owners that can be deployed on-premises or hosted in the cloud. Users can manage workflow and reporting that... Read More
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DTC Construction Software from Digital Time Capture helps contractors track labor, material, and equipment information from the field. It's designed for industrial construction, and can be used by electrical, mechanical, HVAC, piping,... Read More
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Accubid for Electrical Contractors

Accubid offers an estimating program for electrical contractors. The solution offers both cost estimating and digital plan takeoff capabilities in its electrical estimating system. The estimating application can be sold on a best-of-breed... Read More
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WinEx-GRADE from Roctek is an on-premise site development takeoff solution designed to give users the ability to import, edit and create site drawings. The solution allows users to import images from Vector PDF, DWG and DXF CAD files... Read More
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JOBPOWER is an integrated construction accounting management system. JOBPOWER includes accounting, detailed job costing, construction oriented billing, payroll by job, and many additional features designed for contractors. JOBPOWER... Read More
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B2W Estimate - Estimating & Bidding

B2W Estimate from B2W Software (formerly BID2Win) is an application for heavy civil construction estimating and bidding. The system offers the ability to create and pre-populate detailed databases with costs, including default templates... Read More
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WenDuct and WenPipe

WenDuct and WenPipe are construction estimating and digital takeoff systems designed specifically for mechanical contractors. Wendes Systems, the maker of WenDuct and WenPipe, has a long history of helping specialty contractors create... Read More
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PlanSwift is an on-screen digitizing and takeoff system that is suitable for both commercial and residential GCs and subcontractors in a number of industries, such as electrical, heavy/highway, plumbing, and custom and production home... Read More
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McCormick Estimating Software

McCormick Systems offers a comprehensive Windows-based electrical contracting estimating software for commercial, industrial and residential contractors. McCormick offers four levels of estimating programs - WIN 1000, WIN 3000, WIN... Read More
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FastEST, Inc. is the United States based developers of takeoff and estimating solution designed specifically for plumbing, mechanical, HVAC and sheet metal contractors. FastPIPE and FastDUCT are two of the company's comprehensive... Read More
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QuoteSoft Duct & QuoteSoft Pipe

QuoteSoft is a takeoff, estimating and bid management solution developed to meet the unique needs of piping, plumbing and ductwork contractors. QuoteSoft is an industry-specific solution that is used by more than 3,000 contractors... Read More
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InEight Estimate

InEight Estimate is construction software that enables multi-user collaboration throughout the estimating process. InEight Estimate can be used to estimate projects of any size, across all construction and capital projects markets... Read More
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Trimble Accubid Enterprise Mechanical

Accubid offers cost estimating and digital takeoff in their mechanical software package. The estimating system can be purchased by itself, but the takeoff application must be purchased together with cost estimating. Key features in... Read More
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EarthWorks Excavation Software by Tally Systems

EarthWorks Excavation was developed by TrakWare and their main takeoff offering for excavation plans. The product first surfaced in 1992 and is now in use by hundreds of companies. This takeoff system for excavation plans comes with... Read More
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Maestro is the flagship product of Maestro Technologies, a Canadian-based software company that has been in the construction software industry for the last 20 years. Their solution has helped over 2,000 customers manage construction... Read More
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Sage Estimating (formerly Sage Timberline Estimating)

Sage Estimating is an on-premise based construction estimating software designed specifically to serve contractors and sub-contractors in construction and real estate industries of all sizes. The solution provides interactive tools... Read More
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ProEst Estimating

ProEst Estimating combines cost estimating, digital takeoffs, and bid day analysis in a single solution. The solution is built using Microsoft SQL database and .NET development platform that gives users a Microsoft Office like look-and-feel. ProEst... Read More
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Aconex is a cloud-based operation management solution for managing information and processes between companies on complex construction and engineering projects. Several functions include document management, workflow automation, bid... Read More
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SureCount is ConEst's best-of-breed construction takeoff system. It is designed for commercial, industrial, and residential electrical contractors of any size. ConEst says the system can also be used for other construction and specialty... Read More
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SmartBid Bid Management Software

SmartBid is an online construction bid software designed for general and prime contractors to manage subcontractor data, prequalify subcontractors, share project documents and send invitations to bid. As a web-based system, all communications,... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

Construction Software Quick Summary

Construction software helps firms automate critical processes such as takeoff, estimating, project management and accounting and integrates various applications and stages of the project life cycle, from pre-sale through building and final billing. These tools can help firms modernize, grow their business and operate more efficiently.

Benefits of Construction Software

Implementing construction software can benefit your business two key ways:

  • Win more bids. Performing takeoff and estimating calculations by hand is not only time consuming, but error prone as well. Construction software can read a blueprint and perform these calculations in less time and with greater accuracy because it syncs with an online database of labor and material costs), saving you time and helping your firm win more bids.

  • Provide an audit trail. The sheer volume of documentation—Blueprints, quotes, contracts, purchase orders, RFIs, change orders, punch lists, invoices—needed for any construction project is enough to make your head spin. Construction software acts as a centralized database, allowing users to upload and store this information in a single, searchable location. This database provides firms with a virtual paper trail for every project.

Competitive Advantages of Construction Software

Here are a few examples of how these tools can help you gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace:

  • Scale your business. If you're trying to manage multiple jobs and coordinate paperwork across job sites, mistakes are likely to happen. Software helps avoid costly legal fees and offers a more disciplined approach to managing projects, especially as you take on more projects and complexity multiplies.

  • Operate more efficiently. Whether you're looking for a best-of-breed estimating software, or an integrated suite to manage the entire project life cycle, construction software can help you standardize processes and automate tedious functions, which ultimately increases the productivity of users.

  • Provide more value to clients. Even if you outbid a competitor, should they provide an itemized quote detailing every cost and outlining various "what-if" scenarios, they may have a better chance of winning a contract than you do. Construction software helps standardize your processes, increase efficiency and provide more value to clients.

Business Sizes Using Construction Software

Among things that will influence your construction software purchase are the size of your business, your availability of IT resources and your trade specialization.

Business size and IT resources typically breakdown as follows:

  • Single user: Less than $1 million in annual revenue. This is likely a small, family firm with no IT department and a single software user.

  • Small business buyer: $50 million or less in annual revenue; 2 - 100 employees; likely no IT department; requiring 2 - 10 software user licenses.

  • Medium business buyer: $100 million or less in annual revenue, 2 - 100 employees; IT department; 11 - 100 user licenses.

  • Midsize - enterprise buyer: $100 million+ in annual revenue, 100+ employees, IT department; 100+ user licenses.

Common buyer demographic segments and trade specializations include:

According to our 2016 SMB buyer report, buyer segments most interested in purchasing construction software are general contractors (30 percent) and home builders (18 percent). Trade specializations most represented in our sample include electrical (12 percent) and concrete (5 percent).

Combined, 80 percent of construction software buyers are from small to midsize firms with $25 million or less in annual revenue.

Software Related to Construction Software

Construction software is designed to help you manage the entire project life cycle, from blueprint to billing. Here are some related tools that focus more on one stage in the project life cycle:

  • Construction project management (PM) software: This software helps contractors manage the entire build process, from scheduling through to client billing. These tools provide firms with the the oversight and document control needed to monitor RFIs, change orders and purchase orders, so project budgets and timelines aren't disrupted.

  • Takeoff: Takeoff is a pre-sale process in which the estimator measures construction plans (blueprints and drawings) to determine the amount of materials and labor required for a job. Takeoff software is commonly sold as a standalone application or grouped together with estimating, or as part of a comprehensive, integrated suite.

  • Estimating: Estimating software is used to calculate the material costs and labor takeoff to produce bid proposals. It's sold either as a standalone system or grouped with takeoff or as part of a comprehensive, integrated suite.

  • Bid management: Bid management, in which a contractor solicits bids from subcontractors and suppliers before submitting a job quote, is a process that helps bridge the gap between pre-sale and project management. Bidding can be found as an application within many construction systems or can be purchased as a standalone software.

  • Accounting: Construction accounting software helps firms manage their job costing, core accounting, fixed asset accounting and payroll. It's common to find some job costing and budgeting in construction PM software; however, if the PM systems you're evaluating don't offer core accounting, you should look for integrations with general accounting systems, such as QuickBooks or Xero.

Features Guide

A List of Common Construction Software Features

In the table below, we profile the most common applications that you can expect to come across as you evaluate solutions.

Enables faster and more accurate takeoffs by allowing the estimator to measure paper blueprints or digital files (e.g., CAD drawings or PDFs).
Calculate material and labor costs based on your takeoff and create a bid proposal from those estimates.
Manages procurement, purchasing and contract management processes.
Helps managers schedule people, resources and equipment for various projects.
Helps managers track project costs, manage important documentation and collaborate with all parties involved on a project.
Handles the core accounting and job costing needs of contractors. Job costing allows accounting staff to allocate costs by the job.

Feature Details and Examples

Takeoff: Takeoff measuress blueprints and drawings electronically to determine accurate material quantities and volume. Many systems allow you to perform takeoff entirely electronically, eliminating the need for paper records. This process, coupled with estimating, largely informs the scope of a project.

Estimating: Estimating calculates labor and material costs for a project based on up-to-date pricing data and then generate itemized proposals from those estimates. To increase the accuracy of estimates—and profitability of projects—the system pulls current labor and materials prices from a costs database. Additionally, you can Maintain a historical database of your past projects so you can reference data from past jobs with comparable materials and labor requirements.

Estimate sheet in ProEst

Bid management: Bid management is closely tied to both the estimating and project scheduling processes. It helps general contractors coordinate the solicitation and procurement of bids from subcontractors and suppliers during the estimating and proposal generation process. It maintains subcontractor and supplier database, which stores all contacts and communications between relevant parties. It also manages procurement, purchasing and contract management processes.

Dashboard in SmartBid

Project scheduling: Once you've won the job, project scheduling software tracks who is working where, what their start and end dates are and when project materials and equipment need to arrive to a job site. Often, managers will use the critical path method and Gantt charts to visualize the project timeline and identify constraints and dependencies than might impact the completion date. Scheduling is often included with or closely integrated project management applications.

Scheduling in BuildTools

Project management: Construction project management helps users manage project schedules, track costs compared to budgets, view and store important documentation (e.g., RFIs, punch lists and change orders), and collaborate with other users (i.e., field techs, office staff and clients). Often it includes time tracking, task management, automatic alerts and mobile access. Users can also typically centralize storage for drawings, photos, change orders—any and all important documentation that impacts a contract and informs the audit trail. Additional tracking capabilities include a job-specific dashboard or a program dashboard offering insights into all open projects.

Change orders in Procore

Accounting: Accounting helps you balance your core accounting with industry-specific needs, including maintaining fixed assets and depreciation schedules for equipment, tracking timesheets and managing subcontractor payroll and facilitating job costing, e.g. allocating job costs by job and CSI code. While sales invoicing is often available, unless the system offers "core accounting," i.e., general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable and bank reconciliation, it does not offer full accounting functionality.

Job overview dashboard in Sage 300

Construction Software Buyers' Most requested Features

Construction software capabilities most-often requested by buyers in our 2016 buyer report include:

  • Project management (83 percent, combined)

  • Cost estimating (60 percent)

  • Measure takeoff (40 percent)

  • Accounting & job costing (37 percent)

Top-Requested Construction Software Functionality

The Construction Software Features You Really Need

Your construction needs will be largely influenced by the size of your business. Startup firms won't require the same breadth of features as a growing business looking to optimize their processes.

Small business
  • Estimating: Create professional-looking bids based on your takeoff. Free estimating tools can help you win more jobs without breaking the bank.

  • Project management: Many cloud-based construction management tools can help small businesses operate more efficiently without a hefty upfront investment.

Medium business
Midsize - enterprise business
  • Customer relationship management: Manage interactions with current and prospective clients throughout the entire customer life cycle.

  • Program management: Manage a portfolio of projects, track costs across job sites and look to optimize profitability.

See the above section "Business Sizes Using Construction Software" for business size breakdown.

Pricing Guide

How Construction Software Is Priced and Hosted

Construction software pricing varies drastically from product to product, and it can be difficult to apply a blanket pricing structure when categorizing these tools.

Products are also sold via perpetual and subscription licensing just as they are in every market, but there are other pricing considerations to keep in mind as well. For example:

  • Some construction management products are priced per project and include unlimited users. Other project management tools may follow a more standard subscription licensing priced per user (on a monthly or annual contract) and include a fixed or unlimited amount of projects.

  • Bid management tools offer "plan rooms" that allow for unlimited projects and are priced by number of users.

  • It's common for integrated construction business management suites to be sold "buffet-style," meaning, products are designed with an array of applications and can be configured according to the specific needs of the buyer.

Additionally, many vendors will offer discounts for purchasing annual contracts or a high volume of projects or user licenses. As such, it's common for product pricing to be hidden on vendor websites and they ask that buyers contact them directly for a customized quote.

What Businesses Typically Budget for Construction Software

As "construction software" can refer to both standalone applications as well as an integrated suite, it can be hard to know what you should budget for these tools.

To give an idea of what your peers are spending, we analyzed a random sample of consultations with prospective buyers and compared budgets among those looking to purchase a single platform spanning the entire project life cycle, from pre-sale through to building to final billing.

Here's what we found:

  • Firms of more than 20 people spend upwards of $42,000 per year on web-based construction software, on average.

  • Firms of 10 or fewer people spend less than $18,000 per year on average.

Average Annual Budget Per Number of Users, Subscription License

Average Annual Budget Per Number of Users, Perpetual License

For a detailed breakdown of costs for standalone applications, read our construction software pricing guide.


What Questions Should I Ask Construction Software Vendors?

When evaluating products, be sure to ask vendors about the following:

What does the software not do?

This is perhaps the most important question you should ask vendors. Knowing how a product aligns with your requirements will let you know if it will be able to scale with you or if you'll need to supplement or integrate with another solution. Be sure to discuss your product requirements and business needs with each vendor on your product shortlist and ask them directly about the product's attributes as well as its limitations.

What is the average implementation timeline?

Implementation timelines can vary drastically depending on the tool you choose. If you're implementing an integrated business management platform, this will require a much more significant investment of time and resources than a standalone tool. Consider the time you'll need to get the new tool up and running and to get your users trained on a new system.

What data transfer services do you offer?

Some vendors will include data transfer within the cost of the software license, while other vendors may only offer data transfer at an additional cost. Asking about this service upfront can help you avoid sticker shock when you receive a price quote from the vendor. If data transfer services aren't included at all, you may have to hire a third-party to help you move your data into the new system, which would require an additional investment of time and resources.

What support and training services do you offer?

Support and training can make or break and implementation. Before you start evaluating systems, consider your end users and the type of support they'll require over the life of the tool. Would they prefer support services over the phone or over chat? Are they tech savvy enough to help themselves by reading support forums and discussion boards? Ask vendors about the support and training services they offer, and at what cost, so you can be sure to choose a tool that aligns with the needs of your users.

How Popular is Cloud-Based Construction Software?

Cloud-based construction software products are becoming increasingly popular among construction firms, especially cloud construction management tools.

In fact, according to JBKnowledge in their annual Construction Technology Report, when firms are using standalone systems, they are more likely to use cloud-based bid management, project management and CRM systems than they are to use cloud-based estimating/takeoff and accounting products.

One reason for this is the need for mobility on job sites. Whereas presale functions, i.e., takeoff and estimating, mostly require internet access and connection to a database, during-construction activities requires more immediacy, both in terms of connectivity and rate of data transfer, than is available with on-premise software.

Prospective buyers looking to purchase an integrated construction business management suite should consider a cloud-based platform so as to provide project managers and contractors the ease of access they need to remain competitive in the industry.

What Are the Hidden Costs of Construction Software?

Evaluating construction software doesn't have to end in sticker shock. Here we outline a few common fees so you'll know what expenses to expect and what hidden costs to look out for as you compare vendor price quotes.

Purchasing Construction Software: Common Fees and Expenses

Software license
Construction software is sold via perpetual license (one-time, upfront fee where you own the rights to the software) or subscription license (recurring monthly or annual subscription, where the vendor owns the software and you pay to use it).
Data migration
Costs of migrating data from your old system into the new.
Fees associated with installing the software on client servers (perpetual license) or setting up user accounts on the vendor or service provider's server (subscription license).
Can include costs for personal computers, mobile devices, networking gear, backup drives as well as servers.
Perpetual license software often requires you to purchase maintenance and support services separately, costing about 20 percent of the software license fee. Subscription license software includes the costs for basic maintenance and support in the cost of the software license, but users can often purchase premium support services for an additional fee.
Training is critical to a successful software implementation and training services can range from vendor-supplied free online guides, to over-the-phone support, up to expensive on-site learning tutorials.

What Are Some Drawbacks I Should Watch Out For?

Although construction software can offer your firm a competitive advantage, it's unlikely that it will check every box for every user.

The following are some common sources of dissatisfaction we've seen among users, along with the real reviews:

  • High cost
    "Prohibitively expensive in some cases." - Jordan from SKANSKA

  • Poor integration
    "It still doesn't integrate perfectly with Sage for the financial aspects and it is very expensive to buy." - David from Hedrick Brothers Construction

  • Limited or lacking accounting functionality
    "The financial tools fall short and do not compare to standalone financial tools." - Aaron from William Charles Construction

  • Custom report options limited
    "The biggest con for us is the limited customization when it comes to reports and forms." - Brandon from Caddell Construction

Tips & Tools

Build a Business Case for Construction Software

How do you justify an investment in construction software? Typically, you'll want to start with ROI. Don't fret, though, we've provided a template to help you build your business case.

Relevant Articles

For more research about construction software and the latest industry news and trends, check out our construction software resources page.

Some of our latest articles include:

What Are Some Popular Product Comparisons?

Over the last decade, a few integrated construction business software suites have positioned themselves as market leaders. This list includes Procore, Buildertrend and CoConstruct, among others.

To see how these products compare to one another, click on any of the following pages for more information:

Recent Events in the Construction Market

Market growth: Construction software market expected to grow at 14.96 percent CAGR. Research from WiseGuyReports estimates that the global construction software market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.96 percent into 2020. The report breaks the market down into three geographical segments: Americas, APAC and EMEA. A key market driver is the rising demand for construction management software in the utilities sector.

Mobile apps. JB Knowledge found that the use of mobile devices and apps has increased since 2012: nearly 37 percent of survey respondents in 2016 note that mobile capabilities are very important, compared with around 29 percent in 2012. This growth indicates that mobile technology will be an important consideration for prospective construction software buyers in the years ahead. If this is an important feature for you, make sure the vendor's construction solution is compatible with mobile devices or offers a native mobile construction app.

Oracle acquires Textura. In April 2016, Oracle acquired Textura, a provider of cloud-based payment and contract management solutions. The goal of the acquisition is for Textura to help build out Oracle's project management software, Primavera. Together, Primavera and Textura will form a new business unit called Oracle Engineering and Construction, designed to help construction companies manage full project life cycles, from pre-construction through building and performance management.