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
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
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
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
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
EADOC is a cloud-based construction management and project collaboration application designed for facility owners and construction managers. The software provides real-time access to project data including drawings, schedules, ins...Read more
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 a...Read more
Flexible estimating tool to quickly and accurately create estimates, Trimble’s Accubid Estimating is a full-featured estimating solution. Available in multiple configurations, Accubid provides a flexible solution for contractors o...Read more
Estimator360 is a cloud-based platform for construction estimating and management. It is suited for smaller construction companies and contractors with a focus on residential projects.
The software performs building calculati...Read more
CompuTool Connect is an integrated suite of business applications designed exclusively for the construction industry. It can be scaled up from the basic version by adding on applications to accommodate growing companies.
COBRA contractors solution is a construction, accounting and service management suite designed for specialty contractors including electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractors. It combines estimating, bid management, project manageme...Read more
B2W Estimate software for heavy civil construction estimating and bidding enables contractors to bid with speed, accuracy, and strategy. Users can pre-populate a centralized database with cost data and structures for labor, tasks,...Read more
Web-based project management systems are changing the way architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms collaborate. By sharing critical documents, schedules and logs over the Internet, efficiency and accountability is improving dramatically. Web-based systems provide a centralized repository to store and manage RFIs, change orders and submittals. Additionally, they give stakeholders a single view of the status of all projects, as well as budgets and spending across those projects.
Online construction software (or cloud construction software) streamlines communication among project managers and subcontractors, enforcing accountability and allowing managers to take action on problems as they arise. These systems will be designed for the construction industry, containing all the terminology used by AECs and ensuring regulatory compliance, document control, inventory, scheduling, project management, customer relationship management and/or budgeting specifically for this industry.
What distinguishes a top cloud-based construction software from an on-premise system is that the program will be hosted entirely by the vendor. Rather than buying and installing the system on the contractor’s computer (or multiple computers), software-as-a-service (Saas), users pay a monthly or annual fee, effectively leasing the solution. The benefit of this is reduced upfront costs, less maintenance and the ability to access the information from anywhere with a Web browser.
What Type of Buyer Are You?
When selecting a system, contractors need to consider what modules or functionality they need. There are a lot of systems that focus on one core feature. For example:
Other programs offer a full-suite, or integrated, solution, combining some or all of these features. Although these systems may come with a higher price-tag, they offer tighter integration between the various departments and will be less expensive and more efficient than using multiple different programs for each type of application.
Before looking at the details of cloud construction programs, identify yourself with one of the buyer types outlined below. Most buyers fall into one of these groups:
General contractors. These buyers are looking for robust functionality that will support bid solicitation, budgeting, document management, inventory, scheduling/deployment of subcontractors and even accounting capabilities.
Speciality and subcontractors. Since these buyers specialize in a particular market and perform the hands-on work, they need to focus on a niche area, as well as maximizing crew performance and minimizing liability. This requires good scheduling functionality and document control.
Estimators.Estimating software focuses less on project management and scheduling and more on the cost and inventory features associated with this type of system. For a Web-based solution it will enable sharing of content and research to ensure accuracy in bidding.
Accountants and office managers. The folks in the office of the construction company, if they’re not looking for a full-suite product to cover all elements of construction management, will want a separate solution that provides accounting and office management capabilities without extra features that cost more and clutter up the interface. These programs will have inventory and ledger control specifically designed for construction projects.
Customer relationship managers. This includes anyone working in sales, marketing and customer service, who want a CRM solution to manage client relationships. There are CRM programs dedicated specifically to the construction industry, tracking new and potential projects and nurturing relationships for long-term business growth.
Benefits and Potential Issues
Online construction management software offers a number of benefits over traditional locally installed software. For example:
Better data accessibility. Contractors deal with all sorts of data: bid proposals, inventory, time tracking, costs, revenues, subcontractors, customer profiles, project status and the list goes on. Having a Web-based construction management tool allows the user to access this data from anywhere, ensuring it’s always entered immediately and accessible whenever necessary.
Improved collaboration. A Web-based system allows project participants to work together closely. From initial bid through execution and follow-up, users can review and mark-up plans and proposals and connect bid estimates and project time tracking to management, accounting and other departments.
Cost amortization. Compared to an on-site software solution, a Web-based construction management program will be far less expensive in terms of up-front costs. SaaS also eliminates the need for an IT infrastructure to manage upgrades and to get the product up and running when problems arise.
Since SaaS construction software programs charge a monthly or annual fee, there is the potential that the user will pay more in the long run than they will for an on-site solution. However, this tends to be the case only for larger companies with bigger budgets and dedicated IT personnel.
Another important consideration when purchasing any kind of construction management system is the implementation plan. Every user will need to be trained on the product, and often the adoption may be met with some kind of resistance from people who are comfortable doing things the old way. Therefore, it’s valuable to get horizontal and vertical buy-in among peers, executives and field users, making sure they can all see the benefits of the software and get excited about using it.
The Vendor Landscape
Although the following list oversimplifies the buying process, the top-rated programs indicated, in general, will be good Web construction software for the specific type of buyer.
HomeDev Pro, attolist, Deltek Vision, Foundation for Windows, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Maestro, Budgetrac, Computer Guidance, Contract Manager, Profitool, EADOC
Customer relationship managers
BTBuilder by BuildTopia, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, GiddyUp, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage SalesLogix, Cosential, Sales1440, BlueFolder
Market Trends to Understand
These market trends should be considered as you select a product and vendor.
Mobile applications. Contractors spend most of their time in the field, requiring managers be able to connect to their system remotely. Between that and the popularity of smartphones and tablet devices, demand is huge and rising for mobile apps that integrate with construction management software. Web-based programs will usually have stronger capabilities in this area, but it’s still important to pay attention to the mobile apps available and platforms supported when selecting your product.
LEED tracking. Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification is growing in popularity, but requires diligent tracking before, during and after construction. For that reason, more and more systems are offering LEED tracking applications. These automate detailed tracking of points required to achieve certification. Firms that will be building LEED projects should carefully evaluate the LEED tracking capabilities of the software products they consider.