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13 reasons why it's time to switch construction sfotware

13 Reasons Why It’s Time to Switch Construction Software

Are you seeing signs that it’s time to consider new tech options?   

As humans, we tend to get overly invested quite easily. We have big expectations of how something should be or work, and we are often disillusioned when they don’t live up to standards. 

In the same vein, we often utilize technology or programs that don’t work well enough, even in the most important construction projects. This isn’t always the worst thing in the world; it doesn’t necessarily mean death to your company. After all, mistakes hold valuable information if you know where to look for it.

Nevertheless, those mistakes can get serious if you persist in using the same old system year after year, despite its proven inability to meet your needs, though. But this is de rigeur in the construction industry. Statistics show a severe lack of productivity in construction: “Over 50% of engineering and construction professionals report one or more underperforming projects in the previous year,” for instance. Moreover, “Just 25% of projects came within 10% of their original deadlines in the past 3 years” and “only 31% of all projects came within 10% of the budget in the past 3 years.”

To excel in today’s high stakes construction environment, it’s critical that companies don’t get dragged down by weak systems and shoddy data. However, freeing yourself from dysfunctional, ineffective systems starts with recognizing the signs that they are dysfunctional and inefficient. If you’re not sure, it’s time to take a closer look.

Why you really only need one reason, here are 13 on why it’s time to switch construction software.

1. Overly Complicated

Many of us like to trick ourselves into thinking advanced technology needs to be complicated. After all, if you’re trying to solve complicated problems, it only makes sense. 

Wrong. The Terminator aside, technology is supposed to help us, not harm us. And while some complications are normal when using any program, they’re not something you have to put up with as a matter of course. In other words, if your user experience is a consistently unpleasant one, your tech needs updating.

Construction software will be used by a variety of different roles with varying levels of expertise, and it needs to be easy for every one of them to truly improve productivity. If it’s too difficult to use, it won’t be used to its full extent and its potential value is essentially lost. If that’s not your situation, time to look into a new solution.

2. Limited to No Use of Current Platform

Finding and retaining talent is a difficult task for any construction company. Looking at current statistics shows clearly the dilemma we’re in, with 2017 and 2018 construction job numbers still not reaching 2007 levels. Add to that the fact that there’s a significant labor shortage and a dearth of young professionals coming in, and you have a recipe for industry-wide trouble in years to come.

Construction technology is part of the solution to fill the gaps in the labor shortage by amping of worker productivity. However, only if employees are using it. But, commonly, many employees are so frustrated by the tech in place, they don’t employ it. It’s not always clear when this is the case, either. Staff might be saying they are using it, but in fact, they aren’t, all because the system falls short and everyone is too afraid to tell the boss.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that if your teams aren’t using the software, it’s not providing any value to your firm. You want staff to clearly understand the benefits of a particular software and want to use it over traditional or other methods. If you find out your current platform is just not being used, there’s a strong chance it might be time to switch construction software.

3. No Clear ROI

One of the biggest reasons to switch construction software is if you don’t see a significant return from the investment. This is surprisingly hard to suss out in some cases. On the one hand, some companies assume that an expensive platform must be delivering “good results.” On the other hand, they might shy away from costly programs due to sticker shock, when really those programs were the only thing keeping the company organized.

The truth is, there is no way to know if a product is worth it from the price alone.

Thoroughly analyzing your return from the investment is the only way to know. And here we have ourselves another dilemma: How to calculate ROI? Well, there’s an ebook for that, and you can get it here.

4. Not Cloud-Based

If your construction software isn’t cloud-based, it’s time to get another option ASAP. We live in a digital world, after all. Your team needs to be able to have the latest information and changes, no matter where they are or what device they’re using. They even need software that works independently of Wi-Fi in the area if your team is underground or in remote locations.

Need more reasons? Cloud-based software reduces administrative burdens of manual updates. Applications are updated automatically, ensuring your team is not at risk of missing valuable information or a new feature.

5. Vendor Has Not Innovated in Some Time

Have you been using software for a reasonable amount of time and haven’t seen the company make any new changes or add new features? This could be a sign of the company’s stagnation and future risk for you. Because listen, here’s a little insider secret about technology: It’s changing all the time. Old software is software that doesn’t work well, period.

Companies who are innovating by adding new features to improve construction’s use of technology are the ones that will stick around and provide long term value for your company and projects. If that doesn’t describe your system, then it’s time to switch construction software.

6. Does Not Connect with Other Programs and Data

Most modern construction companies rely on multiple systems and software these days. It is becoming more critical that these key systems integrate as the technology landscape becomes more advanced and data-driven decisions only increase in precedence over instinct- or committee-driven ones.

When software systems don’t talk to one another, problems arise. It’s not only inefficient to jump back and forth between systems, but vital information could be lost. This is especially detrimental when you are using more than one software for one particular task or process. If your current software doesn’t integrate with most major internal procedures or workflows, it’s time to try something else that does.

7. Major Quality Issues Across Different Devices

Does your software work well across devices? Do you have the same quality experience on desktop, tablet or mobile? Sadly, most construction workers and stakeholders would answer “no.” If you notice poor experiences on one or several of your devices, it might be time for a change.

Since mobile access is becoming more essential in today’s jobsites, particularly look for companies, who value their mobile experience. This will get you the biggest bang for your buck when you switch construction software.

8. Questions Regarding Security

Security of data and information is essential for all companies today.

Today, an average cost of a data breach is estimated to be $3.8 million

Any concerns or questions over a software’s security should be an immediate red flag to switch vendors. Want to learn more about the security certifications and factors you should be looking for in a construction software partner? Check out this blog.

9. Scalability Issues

Your company has grown, but has your software? You need an option that can grow with you, whether that means up or down, accounting for both booms and hard times. For instance, as your company grows more advanced with its use of technology, they will most likely look to standardize processes, documents and devices. Does your software support the growing needs of standardization

If you just don’t see your software being able to keep up with the pace of change at your firm and projects, consider looking for an alternative that can.

10. It’s Not Facilitating Collaboration

Collaboration is essential for projects, and it has some surprising benefits.

According to research, “those who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers.” 

Software can be the tool that primes collaboration or can work against it. If your technology does not support collaboration or creates even more silos of communication and discord, it’s probably time to switch construction software. Today’s team need to be coordinated more so than ever, look for technology that does that.

11. Customer Support Is Lacking

For technology to work at a company, you need support from more than the software itself. You need it from the vendor itself. Exceptional customer support is a part of any good software platform; construction teams need to feel assured they can contact a real person if any issues arise and the technology partner will go above and beyond to resolve their issues.

12. Training Is a Nightmare

Even the easiest to use technology may still require training and support in order to tailor its use to a business’ unique needs. Nonetheless, many software vendors don’t offer robust platforms or options for customers to become successful users. 

If that’s the case with your current platform, it’s time to switch construction software. You need software that has a robust and customized training program if you want it to grow with your business and project needs.

13. It Doesn’t Solve a Key Business or Project Issue

At the end of the day, can you say your technology solves a critical business issue at your company or on your project? For instance, does it simplify your process, easy communication or save you time. If you can’t put into words the reason why you use the software, it’s time to pull the blog and adopt something that does so that you can meet your potential today.

Ready to Switch Construction Software?

If you think it’s time to switch construction software, don’t hold back. If you see any of the above signs, it means your business is suffering, or it could be in the near future. Sure, you might not be bleeding clients or money, but you might not be seeing the kind of growth of which you’re capable. Don’t leave those possibilities in the ether when you could grab them by the horns by merely switching software.

The takeaway? You’ve stuck with us until the end of this post, and that is a sign it’s time to switch, plain and simple. Let go of your old ways and step into a shiny, new, 21st century future today.

Grace Ellis

As a Content Marketing Manager at PlanGrid, Grace is the managing editor for the PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog. With over eight years of experience in marketing, communications and PR for technology companies, she is specialized in high-quality content creation across both traditional and digital media platforms.

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