Anyone involved in any construction project knows that on paper it may look easy, but the reality is that it requires a number of skills and can feel like you have to balance about 20 balls in the air at the same time. Timescales can be very tight, managing contractors, sub-contractors, keeping the budget on schedule as well as dealing with all the various statutory authorities such as Building Control and the Fire Authority can create stress that is constant and never lets up.

So anyone involved in construction project management needs all the help they can get and where better to start than with the foundation tools? This is where construction project management software comes in and is certainly worth the investment.

The beauty of construction project management software is that it is not a ‘one type fits all’ type of software, there is a lot of different packages available, so that whatever your needs are and however big, or small your company is there is a package to suit your needs!

Recently many providers have offered packages that are web based only, which means that there is no software to be installed, so the whole set up is really quick and easy and there is very little to go wrong.

Most also have unlimited users, so anyone who is involved with the project can access information in a way that is straightforward and also safe in terms of being secure.

So what exactly is available? Well the variety is simply astounding and shows no sign of reducing as more and more packages are being designed to cater for all aspects of the construction industry.

For example, the software Computerease is specifically designed to assist construction companies who are actively seeking to increase their profits, which is important, given that the recent recession has decimated the construction industry in certain parts of the country. There is also a ‘problem solving’ angle to this software, which means that it can be used to tackle problems that could take ages to sort out in terms of man hours.

Smaller businesses are also catered for with packages such as Buildertrend, which focus on the needs of small to medium sized construction companies. There is even a tiered pricing structure available for this product, so that companies who are really small and cannot afford significant investments can simply buy as much access as they can afford.

Packages such as ConstructJob are systems that have been designed specifically to enable contractors to collaborate and communicate both within the project management team and external agencies/authorities.

New packages such as Sage Project Lifecycle Management may be the ‘new kid on the block’ but has already had a significant impact in terms of simplifying the workflow of a project by holding all project data securely and centrally.

Even those who are involved in project management on a micro basis have packages designed for them. TRACKpoint, by eSUB is a software package that enables subcontractors to track the actual time spent on any particular job and then helps them easily generate all the paperwork necessary to facilitate payments being made; a huge boon to subcontractors!

Some packages such as ServiceBiz help combine various aspects of construction and project management. So there is a section for job cost outlines and quotes, project management sections as well as purchasing and even marketing which can be difficult for smaller contractors to take on. It even comes equipped with a section on human resources and payroll!

Given how comprehensive these packages are, they really are the foundation tools for anyone involved in the construction industry in any way, but are even more vital for project managers. The range on offer is so great, that all needs can be catered for and there is also a good range of prices available, so that a business can acquire a specific package that is useful to their own particular business or project.

Many can also be used by facility owners, which means that after the construction is complete, they can then take over and access all the information about the project and keep accurate and up to date records of the buildings history securely and all in one location. Proof, if proof were needed that these software packages can build really solid and concrete foundations!

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