Why finding the best construction software solutions depends on trusting the right construction technology partner
Today’s construction is increasingly supported by technology – from the initial design and budget to project scheduling, site management and more. Trusting the right construction technology partner for your business is just as important as identifying the best construction software solutions.
Making smart software choices today means much more than simply looking for product features and seeking to improve operational efficiency. In a world where long-term sustainability and management are a key part of planning the built environment, it is important that information flows freely beyond design and build, through fitout and towards long-term maintenance and asset management too.
Seek out the best construction technology partner, not just the right product
The broad range of available software solutions for different purposes and stages can make the software selection process daunting. But there are some cues that can help the would-be technology purchaser know they’re making the right choice. Today’s selection criteria must go beyond features, pricing and licensing and look towards whether a supportive long-term relationship is possible.
One of the most important indicators is the responsiveness of the technology vendor after the sale – both in terms of customer support and future development. Elecosoft believes in customer satisfaction, with a product development process that has closely tracked changing construction customer needs for decades. It regularly solicits feedback from customers – at user conferences, user advisory panels and through everyday discussions – to ensure that its products and services remain aligned to the industry.
As a result, many Elecosoft customers like Bouygues have found Elecosoft to be a perfect construction technology partner. They have been using its software solutions, such as Powerproject, for many years.
“We prefer Powerproject on the client side at Bouygues UK because it’s very quick and easy to knock out a simple programme rapidly. We can make a quick programme that has almost all the logic, certainly enough for client reporting purposes, to submit then we can play with it later. The main advantage is the sheer rapidity with which you can create a programme,” said David Izaguirre, Bouygues senior planning manager.
The best construction software is customer-driven
Beyond meeting the usual requirements for critical features and competitive pricing criteria, the best construction software is usually customer-driven – meaning it was purpose-built for this industry and its typical user types.
It is also regularly updated based on input from those users. This ensures that the software works the way the users need it to and can grow with the company. This was confirmed by construction company Willmott Dixon’s national planning manager Paul Hoskins. The company formerly used Microsoft Project before moving over to Powerproject as its standard a few years ago. You can read more of their success here.
Evolving to meet evolving construction software needs
Construction and engineering both have unique sets of challenges. Software developers must have a clear understanding of where the industry is headed and which new features will actually be most helpful. This has led in recent years to significant reorientation of project planning software around BIM, including the evolution of the 4D planning capability within Powerproject’s BIM module. It has seen 3D visualisation become integral to design software for everything from interiors to staircase design and necessitated integration with emerging standards in ERP and other business systems. Meanwhile, 4D planning, which enables builders to track progress visually over time, is slowly moving to the mainstream.
Elecosoft has often found that it is the small features that are most valued – such as a one-click reschedule button, or the ability to jump up and down a long, complex schedule of thousands of activity lines. These and other features, like drag-and-drop schedule building and the ability to cut-and-paste from Excel, were direct requests from Powerproject customers.
Essential attributes of a construction technology partner
Elecosoft have found through feedback from software users that firms in the construction and engineering sectors demand the very best construction software that is not only optimised for their specific needs, but also provides:
- Robust and scalable functionality.
- Easy-to-learn, intuitive design.
- Interoperability and information exchange.
- Communication capability.
- Business information.
- Supporting the journey to cloud and mobile.
Questions to consider
Naturally, there are often lots of promises about features and ease of use made by software vendors during the discovery and sales process. It’s not always easy to know which construction technology partner will follow through on those promises and remain responsive after the sale. See more details here for some key questions that can help you spot vendors that will be client-centric.
Remember that you are making a commitment to the software and to the company behind it.
You must trust its ability to deliver products and services that are future proof for years to come.
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