Managing construction projects is a stress-inducing pursuit, no doubt. It can feel like everyone constantly needs attention – there’s never enough time in the day. You don’t remember when they started, but all you know is that the nightmares about the piles of paperwork on your desk are costing you sleep.
It’s little wonder you’re here, looking for some sort of lifeline. Here’s a blog post about reducing paperwork in your construction company, but if you’ve already decided that software is your fix, you’re in the right place. This post will dive in and help you ascertain which solution is right for you.
Take note, if we had a magic wand to make all your paperwork disappear, we’d wave it right away. Sadly, we live in the real world, and out here, there’s only one thing that’ll gradually make the paper nightmares fade, and that’s steady work towards the paperless dream. Let’s get stuck in. 🔧
Why Invest In Construction Management Software?
The benefits of ditching paper are almost common knowledge by now. The usual regurgitated perks are that you’ll save time and money, lose less paperwork, etc.
The main benefit, however, is efficiency. When you free up your employees’ time (and your own) with paperless operations, everyone gets to spend more time on the actual job at hand. So while you may save a bit of money here and there, the impact on your bottom line is where you’ll see the greatest returns.
That’s why it’s important to switch – especially with all the economic challenges we’re currently facing. Cost saving will be a buzzword for a while, but then why not focus on increasing revenue instead of cutting costs and potentially sacrificing the quality of your work or the happiness of your employees?
As mentioned before, this is no magic wand. So how do you start the journey to a paperless construction company?
Identify Your Core Issues
The first step when setting out on a digitalization journey is identifying your main paper problem. This will largely guide your initial phase of the search. Are important paper documents going missing all the time? You’ll need a secure cloud storage solution that works for you.
Does your paperwork slow down your job completion time, thus limiting the number of clients or customers you could serve? Find a way to speed up data transfer without compromising data integrity.
The obvious place to start is an area that’s either hemorrhaging money or severely behind in production. If you do find that the core problem isn’t paper-related, ditching paper may still be enough to mitigate the core problem while you deal with it. Though we do recommend setting your paperless journey aside in this event, while you iron out the true core problem. ✊
Identify Potential Solutions
Once you have your core issue identified, it’s time to make a list of possible solutions. A good way to start is by utilizing search engines like Google, YouTube, Bing, etc.
Try phrasing your search terms differently to find as much different software as you can. The next place to look would be review platforms like G2 or Capterra. They may contain diamonds in the rough with no reviews or tried and tested solutions with millions of great reviews.
Whatever the case, look for something that meets all your needs, and compare prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
In our case, for example, some of Appenate’s competitors charge up to 7 times what we charge. So do be careful in your search.
Make a list of all the promising solutions – especially ones that offer free trials – and move on to the next step.
Make Use Of Trial Periods
Once you’ve found solutions that promise to solve your problems, it’s time to test them out in the real world – without spending a dime.
There are two options – either sign up for the trial and test the solution out yourself or prepare a small team to test the solution on-site. Live site tests are always better.
If you end up picking something like Appenate, you’ll find the best way is to use the 15-day trial to learn the platform and build out the forms you need, and then use our 90 days for $90 offer to train a core group of employees to spearhead your paperless movement.
The same methodology could be applied to most software. Just make sure you get the most out of your free trial and keep a look out for any special offers that can blast off your adoption of the solution.
Create Forecasts On Productivity And Costs
To aid in decision-making, it’s wise to keep a close eye on what your chosen solution is actually doing for your company. If there’s no rise in productivity, drop in costs or job time, or any other benefit, then what’s the point?
If you don’t have a special tracking sheet, just use your WIP document (works in progress) or something similar that you use to keep track of project progress. Make sure to add estimates and actuals on both costs and time, both before and after you implement your solution.
This will give you the clearest view of a path forward.
If your solution ends up causing more headaches than anything else, take a step back, look at another promising solution and try again. This is worth it for all the benefits a well-fitting solution can create.
Final Points To Consider
The final thing to consider before actually clicking any ‘buy’ buttons is what’s included in the price. Is your software solution all-inclusive, or are they going to charge you at every bend? Several ‘Software as a Service’ companies seem affordable at first but then charge you for everything from support to training. Some also offer a very basic form of their software upfront for cheap and then charge you for every additional feature you use.
Don’t fall for this.
As a point of reference, we at Appenate offer free support and training. We also offer a transparent pricing model. The upgrades we do have are mostly for large enterprises or resellers who need even more out of Appenate (it’s a fair-value exchange). That said, we have many larger companies running on our base pricing, too – it’s all up to the individual needs of the business.
Make sure your chosen provider follows a similar methodology and puts you, the customer, first.
Make A Final Decision And Get Everyone On Board
Once you have all the facts together, dive in. Don’t hesitate, and don’t procrastinate. You already intuitively know your site will be leaner, more efficient and overall easier to manage if you replace paper processes with software.
So go ahead, sign up for a free trial now.
If you’d like to explore Appenate a little more and how we can help construction companies shed paper, check out this blog post.
Whatever your path forward looks like, we hope you find awesome success. ✊