PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
buyer's guide to construction software

The How’s and Why’s of Buying Construction Tech [A Guide]

The Ins and Outs of Evaluating which Construction Software is Right for Your Team

The landscape of a construction project (and the industry as a whole) has been rapidly changing over the last decade. For many teams, gone are the days of pencils and paper documentation on the jobsite. Others have gone further and abandoned Excel sheets and Word docs, choosing tools that offer better version control and collaboration functionality.

To stay competitive, contractors are trying to stay ahead of the technology curve. The future looks to be exciting, with cutting-edge innovations like hardhats that monitor an employee’s safety and robotic exoskeletons that allow workers to carry greater loads coming into play. With this all in mind, it’s important to have a good foundation when selecting which software tools your team uses to get work done.

For guidance on how construction teams benefit from software tools and help selecting and piloting a software vendor–download our ebook titled “The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Construction Software.”

Download Now

Why New Software?

The first step in purchasing construction software is determining why you will be using it. There are software tools for nearly every step of the construction lifecycle, including:

It’s important to ensure that everyone making a decision about new tools fully understands the needs of your company and the employees that work there before selecting a new software tool to adopt.

Streamlining Construction with Technology

Audit Your Current Tools

Before jumping into purchasing construction software, it’s important to assess the tools you’re already using. From there, decide why each tool is successful (or not) and why that might be the case.

Armed with this information, it’s easier to determine which features are necessary and which you can leave behind. Make sure to ask enough questions across the organization to get input from all of your key stakeholders that will be using the new tool or tools.

Selecting a Vendor

The first consideration when selecting a software vendor should be the ease of use for your team. A complicated tool will not get adopted by your employees, especially if they’re reluctant to change from the start. Conducting a pilot program is a good way to ensure you have buy-in from your team while giving a vendor a test run before making a purchasing decision.

Security and data integrity are especially important when selecting a software vendor. If you’re holding a formal request for proposal (RFP) process (and you should be), it is a good opportunity to wrap in any questions necessary to understand their security policies.

For the full rundown on what to consider when selecting a software vendor, download our buyer’s guide to construction software. 

Download Now

Further Reading:  Top 10 Construction Companies in the World [SlideShare]

Include Your Stakeholders

The company-wide adoption of any software will succeed or fail on the shoulders of the employees using it. Ensure a smooth rollout with four simple steps:

  1. Get buy-in from users and senior staff early on
  2. Be realistic about your timetable for getting the new program up and running
  3. Find some internal champions for the software
  4. Provide robust training for everyone expected to use it

Selecting construction software can still be confusing and overwhelming. But any company can take steps to ensure smooth rollouts while simultaneously holding down costs. It can be a long process when done thoughtfully, but a very rewarding one for everyone when the dust settles.

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas is a Content Marketing Manager at PlanGrid. He develops PlanGrid’s content strategy and creates assets to educate their customers based on his experience working at Gilbane Building Co. and Truebeck Construction. He has more than six years of marketing experience and a Bachelor's Degree in Scientific and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University.