We’re In a Construction Tech Boom – Here’s How That Will Affect Your Construction Software Choices

6 min read

For many years, the construction industry lagged behind most others in adopting new technologies, adapting to a digital world and developing construction software solutions to solve common problems.

Those days are over, however, with a recent report projecting that by 2028, the construction software market will reach $2.2 billion dollars in annual sales.

Why Is Construction Software and Construction Estimating Software in High Demand?

The growth of the construction tech industry has been a slow burn compared to other sectors, and a lot of that is because of the nature of the industry.

Many construction companies are just too busy to take on big infrastructure changes like a major software upgrade, and many estimators, designers and project managers are set in their ways, content with a patchwork of software, spreadsheets and good old pencils and paper. In a word, many of us have been very stuck in our ways.

While there were signs of change in recent years, it seems that the Covid 19 pandemic may have been the catalyst for the rapid adoption of new technologies in construction and related industries.

Construction may have been designated essential services in most places, but offices were still shut down, and management teams, estimators and project managers had to find new ways to get things done fast. Cloud-based construction software that allows collaboration from anywhere stepped into the gap and quickly entrenched itself in the industry.

So, in this case, necessity may not have been the mother of invention, but it certainly drove the adoption of those inventions and innovations.

Disparity Between Different Levels of Industry

There’s no doubt that the demand for construction estimating software and construction software, in general, is high and rising.

However, there is still a dramatic difference between companies at the top of the construction spectrum, like architects, engineers and large general contractors, and the small businesses that actually get their hands dirty on site.

Small contractors and sub-trades have been the slowest to adopt new technologies, and even with the latest boom in construction tech, that does not appear to be the case for SMEs in the construction industry.

Some of the reasons cited in the report include the high cost of construction software products and the steep learning curve involved in using and rolling it out.

Growth in On-Premises and Cloud-Based Construction Software Demand

Across the industry, many companies have adopted cloud-based solutions for construction estimating software, project management tools and more simply because of the accessibility these products offer a geographically spread out team.

The demand for sophisticated, modern intranet services in the construction industry has been growing as well as companies have realized the value of online collaboration and communication tools.

As more and more architects, engineers, general contractors and property developers embrace this kind of technology, they’re starting to expect the same from their subcontractors and trade contractors.

Unbundling Construction Software May Serve Small Businesses Better

One of the biggest problems small businesses in the construction industry face (besides the high cost of enterprise-level software solutions) is that many of the packages that are available have tools and features that they will never use.

Construction software solutions designed for large corporations often pack in as many features and functions as possible, aiming to be a one size fits all solution for their corporate clients. This kind of bundling makes sense to those companies, who will probably use most, if not all, of those features.

However, it’s very hard for smaller construction companies who only require a reliable and easy-to-use construction estimating solution and perhaps a project management and planning tool to justify spending all that money when they will only use a handful of features.

This is where the new crop of construction software solutions like the CostCertified estimating platform is making all the difference. By creating tools that contain only the elements smaller construction businesses want and need and pricing them accordingly, the smaller, underserved businesses in the construction industry can also take advantage of the construction software boom.

Improving Efficiency and Accuracy Critical to Profitability and Growth

If you’ve ever thought that it’s hard to get your productivity to the level you need it to be to increase profits, you’re not wrong. In fact, according to a report published in The Economist in 2017, construction industry efficiency has dropped by about half since the 1960s.

Even though we have vastly improved tools and equipment, it’s taking longer than ever to get construction projects done on time and in a time frame that maximizes profits.

Some of that is undoubtedly attributable to the increase in red tape, health and safety requirements and other administrative issues, but it’s also because we’re still trying to cope with all those new demands using the same old methods we used to. We still have the same size teams too, so it’s only natural that from time to time, someone’s going to drop the ball.

Efficiency in construction is not only about boots on the ground and shovels in the dirt. In fact, it starts a long time before you ever reach your construction site.

In order to complete a construction project on time or even ahead of schedule, there are many things that need to be done, such as:

  • Accurately assessing and measuring the scope of work
  • Generating detailed and accurate estimates of materials and labour
  • Managing the purchasing and supply chain process to ensure materials arrive on site on time
  • Monitoring progress and adjusting schedules as required to meet production targets
  • Communicating with the client and other stakeholders effectively
  • Maintaining accurate and detailed project records

When you’re trying to do that for five, ten or more jobs at a time, it gets a lot harder to keep all the balls in the air, and that’s where productivity and efficiency suffer. The fact is, if you’re not supplementing your administrative toolbox with construction software, you’re trying to do more with less, and that’sprobably affecting productivity and profits.

Cost and User Friendliness Top Priorities for Construction SMEs

The construction software boom is well underway. There are more construction software options than ever before, and they’re designed to handle nearly everything you can think of in the construction industry.

However, if you’re a construction SME, subcontractor or trade contractor, most of those bells and whistles probably aren’t necessary. In fact, overly complicated and expensive software that is designed for much larger companies might be more of a hindrance than a benefit to your business.

Instead of looking for bells and whistles that will never be used in your business, it’s better to focus on options that are simpler, lighter, and more focused. Construction software that is built and designed for SMEs doesn’t cost nearly as much, and they’re a whole lot easier to learn and use. So you don’t have to spend time you don’t have learning complex systems.

When you are evaluating construction estimating software and other software tools, focus on the tools you actually need and will use in your business. There’s no point in having complex reports and software integrations you’ll never use.

Find Out If CostCertified Is the Software You Need

At CostCertified, we’re very excited about all the changes in the construction tech world. But we’ve also worked in the construction industry for a long time, and we know that big, flashy, expensive enterprise software bundles are not what most smaller construction businesses need.

We built Bolster to have all the features our customers need and none of the stuff they don’t. So it’s accessible on the cloud, easy to set up, offers excellent tech support and helps our clients to close more deals.

So whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options in the construction software world or given up on finding a tool that works for your business, we’d like to invite you to give it one more try.

Contact the CostCertified team to book a live demo of our construction estimating software and see for yourself how simple construction tech can be and what it can do for you. There might be a lot of construction software solutions out there, but we all know it’s about finding the right tool for the job.

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