Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped hundreds of construction firms choose the right project management software so they can improve project governance and automate tasks.
Construction Management Software
206 systems found
Construction PM Quick Summary
Construction management software helps contractors manage the entire build process, from scheduling to tracking worker to-dos and punch lists to client billing. These tools provide firms with the appropriate oversight and document control required to monitor requests for information (RFIs), change orders and purchase orders so they can adhere to project budgets and timelines.
Benefits of Construction PM Software
Adopting construction project management (PM) software can benefit your firm in several ways, including:
Improved accountability. Document control capabilities help minimize liability by creating a virtual paper trail for plans, RFIs, change orders, submittals etc. All documentation is stored in a centralized repository with tracking and version control, so all parties know when something is added or updated.
Financial visibility. With a budgeting and cost control module in place, managers can track actual costs relative to estimates, and set up notifications to alert them if a project is in danger of exceeding the budget. If the system is integrated to accounting and job costing systems, the data will be even more accurate and offer increasingly valuable financial insights over time.
Improved collaboration. Because most construction PM systems are online, team members can collaborate even when not at the job site. Parties can review and markup plans, submit RFIs and receive responses and execute a change order—on the web and all in real-time.
Competitive Advantages of Using Construction PM Software
Firms that implement and make use of these systems can gain the following competitive advantages:
Scale your business. Most firms start out using manual methods—pen and paper or spreadsheets—to track projects, but eventually reach a breaking point. Either they take on more jobs, hire more people or they suffer a claim or a lawsuit from a mistake that could have been prevented. Construction PM software offers a more disciplined approach to managing projects and people.
Operate more efficiently. If you had a way to standardize processes on job sites, reduce confusion around change orders and track purchase orders and job costs, why wouldn't you use it? Construction PM software can offer this and more, helping your firm adhere to regulations and streamline communications among workers and clients. With access to a centralized repository of pictures, blueprints, punch lists and other job documentation, you can make operations more efficient and cut down on costly mistakes.
Increase the number of jobs completed on time and on budget. One of the greatest advantages these systems offer is increased visibility into estimated versus actual project costs. This transparency can help you adhere to budgets and schedules and alert managers and executives when projects are in danger of exceeding those benchmarks. Ultimately, these tools help firms complete more projects on time and on budget.
Business Sizes Using Construction PM Software
Your construction PM software purchase will be heavily influenced by your size of business, your tech maturity and availability of IT resources, as well as your demographic segment (i.e., job title and responsibility).
Business size and IT resources generally break down 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.
Midsize 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.
Most construction PM software buyers fall into one of the following groups:
General contractors. These buyers are looking for robust functionality that will help them track costs, manage documents and in many cases, schedule projects. Project managers at these GCs will seek best-of-breed solutions, while C-level executives may push for integrated construction management and accounting suites.
Building owners. These buyers manage a portfolio of capital projects, and keep tabs on the timing and costs of all projects in in aggregate. They seek best-of-breed and portfolio management systems that enforce accountability for all parties, while encouraging collaboration over the web.
Independent construction managers. Construction managers require advanced construction project software functionality that includes budgeting, costing and document control. However, smaller managers may not have the resources to deploy enterprise class construction PM systems. These buyers will do well with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) systems or independent desktop licenses.
Subcontractors. These buyers approach managing projects from the standpoint of maximizing their crew's performance while minimizing liability. This requires subcontractor project management software with scheduling functionality to make sure the right crew is on the right job at the right time. Document control is critical for tracking change orders, transmittals, RFIs and other documents.
Software Related to Construction PM
"Construction software" refers to a class of applications that help firms manage the entire project lifecycle, from pre-sale through the actual build process and onto final billing. Increasingly, firms are looking to purchase an integrated software suite to help them manage this entire process.
However, if you choose to use a best-of-breed construction PM system, you'll need to know about the software related to this process to ensure each system can integrate and transfer data between applications.
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. It is less common to find takeoff within a construction PM tool.
Estimating: Another pre-sale process, estimating software is used to calculate the costs for the material and labor takeoff, and then produce detailed bid proposals from those estimates. Sold either as a standalone system or grouped with takeoff, it's less common for estimating to be included within a construction PM system. Unless, of course, each application is included as part of a comprehensive, integrated suite.
Bid management: Bid management, wherein a contractor solicits bids from subcontractors and suppliers before submitting a job quote to a building owner, is a process that in part bridges the gap between pre-sale and project management. As such, bidding can be found as an application within many construction PM 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.
A List of Common Construction PM Features
Look for the following construction PM software capabilities as you compare solutions:
Feature Details and Examples
Project scheduling: Once a job has been awarded, the scheduling application helps contractors, subcontractors and project managers finalize the project schedule and assign workers, resources and equipment to projects. These tools help each party identify dependencies and constraints within the schedule so they can effectively manage multiple teams and/or projects.
Key features include the critical path method (CPM) and Gantt charts.
Scheduling in BuildTools
Project tracking: Helps firms track tasks and to-dos from start to finish and monitor the progress of projects. Automates the process by which executives and clients are notified when project thresholds are met and milestones achieved. Includes alerts for when projects are in danger of exceeding initial estimates for budget and/or timeline. Also provides notifications for users when changes are made to the schedule, when documents are updates or added or when new tasks are assigned.
Key features include dashboards, reporting, time tracking, task management, automatic notifications and mobile access.
Project dashboard in RedTeam
Document management: Archives all project documentation including blueprints, drawings, contracts, RFIs, change orders, photos etc., in a centralized, searchable database. This offers version control, increases organization, reduces errors, facilitates collaboration and provides firms and clients with a digital paper trail.
Key features include upload/download capabilities, plan markup, digital signature and mobile access.
Document search in Jonas Enterprise
Job costing/project finances: Ability to track actual project costs compared to initial estimates, create and send purchase orders, execute change orders, schedule and track payments/invoices as well as submit and approve time sheets.
Key features include job costing, budgeting, financial tracking and integration with core accounting system.
Project finances in Sage 300
Construction PM Software Buyers' Top Requested Features
The construction PM software capabilities most-often requested by buyers in our 2016 buyer report reflect the key functions highlighted above:
Job costing: 37 percent
Project tracking: 34 percent
Document management: 25 percent
Project scheduling: 24 percent
Combined, these applications make project management the number one business process construction firms sought to automate and streamline in 2016.
Top-Requested Construction Software Functionality
The Construction PM Software Features You Really Need
Some construction PM software features are more critical than others, depending on your size of business. This table shows how construction PM software needs grow as businesses grow (please reference the section "Size of Businesses Using Construction PM Software" for business size definitions):
Document management: Manage and store all project documentation in a centralized repository.
Project scheduling: Assign workers, resources and equipment to projects with a specified start and end date. This is especially important if your firm runs concurrent and/or back-to-back jobs.
Project tracking: Monitor the progress of tasks, the completion of project phases and the achievement of milestones.
Job costing: Track project costs and any variation from initial estimates. Monitor KPIs and project profitability.
Core accounting: Manage your company's GL, AP and AR; track project costs and financials including payments, invoices, change orders and contracts.
Bid management: Receive job prospects, upload plans to an online plan room, solicit and procure bids from subcontractors and put the best bids together into a quote for the job.
Program management: Manage your firm's portfolio of projects and optimize profitability; track budgets, schedules and resources across job sites.
Customer relationship management (CRM): Nurture leads and turn prospective customers into clients. Manage interactions over the entire customer life cycle.
For an accurate snapshot of what Construction Project Management software costs, download our Pricing guide here.
What Are the Key Functions of Construction PM Software?
Construction project management (PM) software helps construction managers and general contractors oversee the actual build process. The key functions of these tools include:
Project scheduling: Evaluating the project's critical path and assigning workers and equipment to jobs.
Project tracking: Tracking the completion of tasks and the achievement of milestones.
Document management: Maintaining a centralized repository of all project documentation, e.g., change orders, submittals and transmittals, punch lists, purchase orders, invoices etc.
Job costing/project finances: Tracking actual project costs against initial estimates and monitoring the job's profitability.
What Questions Should I Ask Vendors When Evaluating Construction PM Products?
When comparing construction PM software, be sure to ask vendors about the following:
What support and training services do you offer?
Especially if you're moving from manual methods to software, it's likely that you'll need extensive training on the new tool. Forgoing training can jeopardize the success of the implementation (and your investment). Look for a vendor whose support services align with your needs and preferences; e.g., 24 hour support vs. regular office hours, phone or email services etc.
How long does implementation typically take?
Factors that impact implementation timelines include your IT resources, your comfort with software as well as the complexity of the tool. For example, it'll likely take less time to implement a standalone construction management system than an integrated business management suite.
What product updates/changes do you have in the pipeline?
Vendors typically plan product updates around current customer requests and complaints. Asking what product changes you can expect gives you insight into both the state of the current product as well how dedicated the vendor is to improving their customer experience.
What accounting integrations do you offer?
While many construction PM systems include a job costing and budgeting module for tracking project finances, not every system includes core accounting (GL, AP and AR). If not, you'll need to ensure that the PM system integrates with your accounting platform.
Does your product include a mobile app?
Mobility on the jobsite can not just save your workers time, but also help cut down on errors. Look for tools that allow your team to take and upload pictures to project folders and draw up change orders on the spot and have customers sign them in real-time.
Does your product offer or include support for building information modeling (BIM) technology?
BIM is a growing trend in the industry and increasingly available to small and large firms alike. Whether you're currently using BIM as a software application or considering adopting the process in the future, it's important to evaluate whether products offer or include BIM integration.
What Are Some Drawbacks I Should Watch Out For?
The best way to understand the common sources of dissatisfaction among construction PM software users is by reading user reviews. The following are some common complaints we've seen among reviewers on Software Advice:
High cost. There are several variables that impact the final cost of your software purchase, including:
Set up and/or installation
It's important to remember that you'll have to revisit these costs each time you add a new user to the system. Additionally, customization and integration costs are not one-time fees, so you'll pay for these each time you renew your contract.
Also, unless you have a fixed-rate contract, vendors can increase rates during your contract period so you'll have to pay more when you renew.
Poor integration. It's important for your construction PM software applications to "talk," i.e., transfer data to the other software you use, specifically your accounting tool. Accurately balancing the books depends on your ability to track project costs and subcontractor payroll.
When your construction PM tool doesn't integrate with your other business software, your administrative teams will have to rely on manual entry, which is time consuming and error prone. It's critical to find a PM system that integrates with the other tools in use at your organization.
Tips & Tools
Build a Business Case for Construction PM Software
When building a business case for new construction PM software, you'll need to consider both the benefits and costs stemming from your investment.
The following are three sources of ROI cited by reviewers on Software Advice:
Standardizes processes across teams and projects.
Helps facilitate greater collaboration and connectivity between field workers and office staff.
Increases efficiency by saving time otherwise spent on manual tasks.
Popular Construction Software Product Comparisons
Construction PM Market Trends
These market trends should be considered as you select a software product and vendor:
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). SaaS, or cloud-based software, is prevalent in this market. There is a substantial need for improved collaboration between participants, and web-based construction tools make that possible. That, and the cost and ease-of-implementation benefits of SaaS have made web-based systems very popular. Most systems are now SaaS or web-enabled and we recommend that buyers seriously evaluate these systems.
Mobile applications. The nature of construction requires that managers spend time in the field, and those managers want to stay connected to their software applications. As a result, there is huge demand for construction apps. The booming popularity of smartphones and iPads is accelerating this trend. Pay close attention to the mobile apps available, and platforms supported, for each vendor.
LEED credit tracking. LEED certification is increasingly popular, but requires diligent LEED tracking during construction. More and more systems are offering LEED tracking applications. These automate detailed tracking of points required to achieve certification. Firms that will be building to LEED standards should carefully evaluate the LEED tracking capabilities of the software products they consider.
Improved offerings from full-suite vendors. Traditionally there has been a trade-off between the deep feature set available from best-of-breed vendors and the seamless integration that results from implementing an integrated suite. In the last few years, a number of full-suite vendors have released stronger applications that can hold their own against best-of-breed solutions.
Top Products - January 2018 FrontRunners
Our Construction Project Management FrontRunners™ Quadrant
To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 350 Construction Project Management software products. Only the top 25 to 30 products made the quadrant because they scored highest in capability (x axis) and value (y axis). Those scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have). You can download the full FrontRunners for Construction Project Management report here.
Small businesses should use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about which software is right for them. See our About FrontRunners page for more information.
FrontRunners® for Construction Project Management, January 2018
What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?
A Graphic of the Top-Performing Construction Project Management Software Products
FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.
To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 350 Construction Project Management (PM) products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.
Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).
Is One Quadrant Better Than the Others?
Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs
Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.
FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:
- Upper Right = Leaders: Leaders are all-around strong products. They offer a wide range of functionality to a wide range of customers. These products are considered highly valuable by customers.
- Upper Left = Masters: Masters may focus more heavily on certain key features or market segments than Leaders do. If you need a more specialized set of functionality without bells and whistles, then a product in the Masters quadrant might be right for you.
- Lower Right = Pacesetters: Pacesetters may offer a strong set of features, but are not rated as highly on value. For example, a Pacesetter might offer greater functionality, but cost more.
- Lower Left = Contenders: Contenders may focus on a more specialized set of capabilities that are priced at a higher point. This makes them ideal for companies willing to pay more for specific features that meet their unique needs.
Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.
Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 4.0 for capability and 4.0 for value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.
For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners sub-quadrant might be best. This is because products in the Pacesetters and Leaders sub-quadrants may offer more functionality than products in the Contenders or Masters quadrants.
This means that, while all of the products on the quadrant meet our minimum market criteria (in this case: project scheduling, project tracking, document management/control and job costing, as well as at least two of the following: change orders, punch lists, purchase orders, RFI and submittals and/or transmittals), products in the Pacesetters and Leaders sub-quadrants may be more likely to also offer additional functionality (or integrations with these applications), such as bid management, customer relationship management and accounting.
Conversely, products in the Contenders and Masters sub-quadrants may be more likely to focus more exclusively on the core Construction Project Management functionality.
You can download the full FrontRunners for Construction Project Management report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.
How Are FrontRunners Products Selected?
Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data
You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.
To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, to place on the construction PM FRQ a product has to offer at least three of the following: bid management, project scheduling, document control, job costing and change orders.
From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.
Got It. But What if I Have More Questions?
Check Out Our Additional Resources!
For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:
- Check out the FrontRunners frequently asked questions (FAQ) for more detailed answers and information about how it works.
- Check out the complete FrontRunners methodology to understand the scoring.
Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You’re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.
- Simply take this short questionnaire to help us match you with products that meet your specific needs.
- Or, talk to one of our experienced software advisors about your needs—it’s quick, free, and there’s no-obligation—by calling (844) 687-6771.
One Last Thing—How Do I Reference FrontRunners?
Just Follow Our External Usage Guidelines
Check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:
FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.