Recommendations: Sorts listings by the number of recommendations our advisors have made over the past 30 days. Our advisors assess buyers’ needs for free and only recommend products that meet buyers’ needs. Vendors pay Software Advice for these referrals. Reviews: Sorts listings by the number of user reviews we have published, greatest to least. Sponsored: Sorts listings by software vendors running active bidding campaigns, from the highest to lowest bid. Vendors who have paid for placement have a ‘Visit Website’ button, whereas unpaid vendors have a ‘Learn More’ button. Avg Rating: Sorts listings by overall star rating based on user reviews, highest to lowest. A to Z: Sorts listings by product name from A to Z.
COINS develops, implements and supports enterprise resource planning software for the construction industry. It offers a full suite of accounting, job cost, human capital management and service management modules in a cloud-based ...Read more
Since 1985, FOUNDATION has been a trusted name in construction accounting, project management and payroll processing.
With powerful job cost accounting and features built specifically for the construction industry, FOUNDATION has...Read more
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 fo...Read more
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 informatio...Read more
Conest IntelliBid is a job cost estimating system designed specifically for commercial, industrial and residential electrical contractors. At its core, IntelliBid is a bid management and cost estimating system that helps contracto...Read more
Procore manages your projects, resources, and financials from project planning to closeout. The platform connects every project contributor with the owner and general or specialty contractor. The centralized dashboard allows manag...Read more
Prolog by Trimble is a hybrid construction project management solution that provides construction firms of all sizes functionalities for office and field management, collaboration, cost control and purchasing. The solution can be ...Read more
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 so...Read more
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 costin...Read more
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 reside...Read more
eCMS offers a comprehensive suite of software applications that help commercial contractors manage all aspects of their financials and operations. eCMS is specifically built for the construction industry delivering users business ...Read more
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 ...Read more
BuilderHelper is a cloud-based construction management solution for home builders and residential remodelers. It offers users construction bidding and estimating onscreen takeoff, and construction project management in a single su...Read more
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-scre...Read more
Contractor's Office from PrioSoft is an on-premise construction estimating software capable of handling the needs of contractors across a variety of industries include paving, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, concrete, general contract...Read more
Clear Estimates is a construction estimating system for remodelers and contractors which allows them to create estimates, produce bid requests, draft proposals, manage customers and more. It integrates with QuickBooks and allows u...Read more
Jonas Enterprise is an award-winning, paperless construction management system that contains features for bid-management, estimating, accounting, and more, all with Jonas's impressive 24-hour support. ...Read more
Plumbing Bid Manager is an on-premise plumbing estimation solution that integrates automatic pricing updates with estimating and on-screen takeoff. Key features include digitizer integration, 2D takeoff, excel integration and visu...Read more
DTC Construction solution from Digital Time Capture helps contractors track labor, material, and equipment information from the field. It allows companies to invoice their clients accurately and enable receipt of undisputed paymen...Read more
Buildertrend provides pre-sale tools including a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system, bid requests, project proposals, plus more. Project management tools include scheduling, budgeting, timesheets, and more. Cus...Read more
Reputation for on-time delivery of services/goods and high quality of work.
Knack for producing detailed job quotes, which includes project schedules, staff capabilities, task timelines and cost estimation reports.
Impeccable record-keeping with up-to-date compliance certificates, financial statements and licenses.
It's a challenge to realize all of these traits, so many businesses use subcontractor software to manage the relevant processes. This type of software comes with specialized features to help subcontractors automate project planning, task tracking, cost reporting and document management.
Subcontractors relying on manual methods alone, such as Excel, will invariably create inaccurate project schedules and cost estimates. This will result in project delays and budget overruns, which will tarnish their reputation and hinder their chances of securing future contracts.
We created this Buyer's Guide to help small businesses understand the software market landscape and select a solution that meets their requirements. It lists the common features, key considerations and chief concerns of subcontractor software buyers. It is intended to help both first-time buyers and those looking to switch their existing software.
Subcontractor software is designed for contractors that offer specialized services such as plumbing, electrical work and roofing.
It helps you create proposals with cost estimates (materials and labor costs) when your business is bidding for a contract. After you win the contract, it helps you track the daily tasks of your employees to ensure that the project is progressing as expected and is on schedule.
Subcontractor software helps you manage both pre- and post-contract activities. We'll look into the details of the features offered in the next section.
Common Features of Subcontractor Software
Subcontractor software is a specialized type of software that falls into the larger ecosystem of construction management software. These tools help you with task scheduling, equipment tracking, document management and cost estimating.
Let's take a closer look at the common features of these solutions:
Build a central repository to track different versions of documents such as construction plans, RFIs, change orders, submittals and compliance certificates.
Assign and track the people, resources and equipment involved in a project.
Track a job's progress and ensure that the project stays on track, with regard to the budget and timeline.
Track which employees have signed out specific equipment. Also, keep a detailed account of the equipment maintenance history.
Review your cost estimates and create an accurate and professional-looking bid proposal.
Job costing reports
Track actual project costs compared with the initial estimates, create and send purchase orders, execute change orders, schedule and track payments/invoices as well as submit and approve time sheets.
Integrate third-party tools and API extensions such as accounting software and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Subcontractor software has different capabilities, from managing project proposals to tracking on-site crew activities. However, having the most features doesn't necessarily make a tool the best one—for your business.
The software must offer adequate functionality to automate existing manual (and often error-prone) processes. But you also need to ensure that you don't overpay for features that you won't use.
Below, we've broken down the three most common buyer types, their chief concerns and the main functionality they should seek in subcontractor software:
Large subcontractors. These buyers (businesses with more than $100 million in annual revenue) typically want solutions that offer all the common features listed above and integrations with their existing accounting and CRM software. They typically require built-in project management functionality with planning and scheduling capabilities, such as Gantt charts, to chart a project's critical path.
Small and midsize subcontractors. These buyers (businesses with $100 million or less in annual revenue) are primarily concerned with the solution's price and ease of use. Such buyers seek cloud-based tools with monthly and annual subscription plans. They also need an intuitive system with features such as a drag-and-drop interface, so they don't have to spend a long time learning how to use the tool.
Best-of-breed buyers. With the many available construction management systems, there has been a rise in stand-alone systems. These tools can be a good option if you're trying to automate a specific business process. For instance, if you're an electrical or flooring contractor struggling to calculate the costs of material and labor, you need an electrical estimating software or flooring estimating software, respectively.
When purchasing subcontractor software, businesses should also consider factors such as total software ownership costs, deployment and mobile accessibility. Doing so will help them thoroughly analyze the software's suitability to their needs.
Let's look at some of these considerations more closely.
Depth of functionality. Subcontractors need to closely examine the features that a vendor offers. For instance, the ability to upload and edit images on a mobile device is a key need for many construction teams.
In this case, the ideal solution would be a cloud-based one, as real-time document sharing isn't possible with on-premise tools. Likewise, check to see if the tool offers native mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices, so that users don't face any device compatibility challenges.
Another example of a capability to look for is task tracking. This can be as simple as listing which employee is doing what on a spreadsheet. But, if you have large teams, tracking can quickly get out of hand. In such cases, you need detailed tracking with automated reminders, and maybe even time tracking functionality.
Total costs. The cost of software depends largely on its deployment model—whether it's cloud-based or on-premise. A cloud-based solution usually has a monthly or annual subscription fee. Small businesses tend to prefer this over the on-premise model, where they have to pay a one-time license fee, data backup costs and maintenance charges.
However, software costs are not so cut and dry. Businesses should check whether cloud-based solutions charge for training and phone support (they often don't). Further, if a large part of the software functionality depends on third-party add-ons, then the total costs of implementation and customization will increase considerably.