7 Strategies for Maximizing Adoption of Construction Project Management Software

You’re a leading home builder or remodeler. You have a very clear idea of where your team can improve, what systems are holding up progress, and where time and money are being wasted. You know your home building operation could be more efficient. There are specific business and operational problems you would like new technology to solve, and you have investigated the project management software options and identified the right solution.

But new technology and new processes require buy-in from more than just you. To get the most out of home building project management software, your team needs to be right there with you. Here are our recommendations for getting your crew to adopt new construction technology.

1. Know your reasons for choosing the system

This starts with understanding the benefits yourself. A great way to make sure you’ve got a grasp on exactly what new construction technology can do for you is to schedule a one-on-one demo where you can ask questions and see the system in practice. This is the quickest and easiest way to get a grasp on the return you’re getting for your investment.

Once you do this, you should understand why the software is the clear winner so you can share the benefits with your team, specifically the primary users of the software. You should be prepared to demonstrate support and technical proficiency with the product. If not you, then you should have a champion like a project manager who will learn the ins and outs of the software and help drive adoption of the new technology with your team.  

2. Develop an implementation plan

Your new software will need to be implemented in phases, which may include the following:

  • Assessment of all functional tasks relevant to software capabilities
  • Educating company stakeholders on technology capabilities and business expectations
  • Assembly of an implementation team
  • Appointment of an internal champion
  • Appointment of internal point person for tech questions
  • Data migration
  • Employee training
  • Pilot program
  • “Go-live”
  • Review of first week/month
  • Fine-tuning of the software and employee use  
  • Ongoing technical support
  • System performance evaluation at 6-month and 1-year intervals

The delegation of responsibility and accountability in your plan is especially important. Who will be responsible for selling the investment to internal stakeholders, like other power users of the software? Who will drive the implementation and who will aggregate questions and issues to work through with the vendor?

3. Engage employees in training events

A great way to share the benefits and accelerate your team’s path to proficiency is through dynamic launch and training events. Consider bringing in an expert trainer from the vendor to walk through the system and answer all questions, as well as provide hands-on training. Skilled trainers can assess the learning styles of your team members and adapt their presentations as necessary. They may want a multimedia presentation or a Q&A session. The trainer can tailor the experience to ensure your team gets the most out of it.

Allow your champion to hit the ground running by assisting the trainer. Incentivize quick learning by providing rewards to team members that demonstrate mastery of key concepts and tasks. Let the training be a reflection of your workplace culture, whether it’s formal or casual.

4. Ensure your team understands the benefits

Your employees arealready doing most of what the software offers each of them: managing budgets, adjusting schedules, making change orders, and more. The difference is that now, everything is centralized to save them time and frustration. The software is also eliminating the needs for redundant communications, updates, and tasks, cutting out much of the chaos of construction projects.

Now they can communicate more easily with one another because everything is centralized and much of the work is automated. They don’t have to do the same work twice because there are templates in place to save time. They can manage a change order with a click rather than a phone call. The list of benefits can go on and on and will look different for every team.

To get complete buy-in, have your team leaders and champion continue to extoll the benefits of the system to each of the users on a personal level. Relate the specific benefits to the individuals using the system. Meet with the group and present the improvements you are seeing in the business as the team ramps up its use of the new software. Use key performance metrics to demonstrate the benefits.

5. Expect a learning curve

No matter what system you have in place now (different software, an old ratty notebook, or no system at all), a new system will always require some level of patience. Even if your current system is slow and clunky, it’s familiar and is therefore the path of least resistance in the immediate future. Let your team know that you expect a learning curve and they should, too, but that the grass is much greener on the other side once they master the new tool.

6. Provide access to support

“Hmm, how do I _____?” That’s part of the learning curve. While your new construction application will come with instructions and helpful how-to resources, sometimes your employees just need to ask an expert. Make sure they know where to bring those questions. Let them know whether you want them to come to you or to bring them straight to product support. If it’s vendor support, give them the phone number, email address, and website they can utilize if they hit a snag, along with any other online or offline resources.

7. Ask for specific feedback

Think of the leaders on your team as your stakeholders. Keep them engaged in the process and insist on getting their input throughout to address any issues early. The continual buy-in of your champion, trainer, and point person, as well as other team leaders will go a long way in increasing employee buy-in. It’s also a valuable leadership development opportunity for your team.

Formally survey your employees periodically to track the progress of the technology solution. In the beginning, find out what parts of the new technology excite each employee most. Learn what job functions are most enhanced and where the time and cost savings appear to be originating (by position and function). Find out the aspects of your employees’ work they now enjoy more and how the application has improved their performance. Learn about concerns and issues they may have. Hold a meeting and let your team process these developments and questions so they feel they are part of the decision-making process.

These steps will increase the likelihood of buy-in from your crew and will ensure the return on investment you expect from your new construction project management software system. Want to learn more about the psychology of change and best practices for increasing adoption of new technology? Download our free ebook, How to Sell Your Crew on a New Construction Management App.

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How a Construction Project Management App Simplifies Your Day

Home builders and remodelers who use construction project management software deal with the same daily tasks and challenges as those who don’t, they just do it faster and more efficiently.

If you have a phone in your pocket or a tablet on the job site, but you don’t have residential project management software, you’re letting your most powerful time-saving asset collect dust.

Here are nine daily tasks that are made easier with home building software:

1. Retrieving data

If your data is all over the place (email, spreadsheets, notebook, the back of a napkin, your brain) just think of how much mental energy you’re spending each day to keeping it all straight. The goal of project management software for builders is to save time and energy by centralizing and organizing everything within one app. Accounting features including budgeting, billing, invoicing, and cash flow reporting are at hand. The same goes with bid management, scheduling, change orders, purchase orders, service requests, and more.

Instant access to information enables executives, sales reps, project managers, trades, and everyone else involved in the project to collaborate efficiently, get updates automatically, and get answers to questions without delay.

With real-time data, you can also provide accurate job costing. Your system includes standard set rates for your company’s services, with cost details that apply to each supervisor, production manager, and crew member. Job costing functions include managing schedules, generating purchase orders, creating invoices, and tracking expenses.

2. Managing projects, crew, and subs

Assigning tasks to your crew and subs during each stage of construction can be an incredibly time-consuming process, especially when you don’t have technology at your disposal. Project managers often struggle to keep track of schedules, dispatch work orders, assign tasks, adjust for new client requests, manage subs, and keep projects moving forward. Forget about managing multiple projects at the same time. Homebuilding software helps you manage all these tasks, so nothing falls through the cracks.

3. Communication and mobility

Builders often see half their day slip away while they’re busy on the phone or sending emails and texts. With homebuilding software, not only are your team, subcontractors, and clients all using the same system to communicate and move projects forward, but the software itself eliminates the need for most of your messages in the first place with things like shared task lists and automated progress reports. This eliminates redundant work, including multiple phone calls and emails to alert contributors with job status updates. Best of all, everyone’s can manage communications from any internet-connected device, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

4. Delegation and accountability

Construction project management software gives your team the peace of mind to ensure everything is getting done, even the little things that can be easily missed. As they say, “the devil is in the details” and nothing is truer for custom home builders and remodelers. Task lists are synchronized with the project schedule and developed into templates, creating action items for each project that can be recreated with a single click. Once a task is assigned via the app, you can check progress by looking at your phone rather than having to play phone tag to find out what you have to do and by when. You can even automate reminders to keep the task front-of-mind until it’s completed.

5. Budgets and schedules

Aside from the convenience of storing all of your data in one place, the real magic happens when all of that data is interconnected. When you enter a change order, for instance, the system will roll over all of the variables for you: your schedule will update, your budget forecast will take the new change into account, and notifications will be sent out to everyone affected.

6. Keeping clients informed and happy

Since your reputation relies on great client relations, a well-designed construction app gives your clients enough access to keep them happy and up to date without the need for frequent meetings. You clients get their own login credentials to browse updated data (only the data that you’ve chosen to give them access to) and project photos at any time. You can keep making progress while they check in on their own time.

7. Document and photo management

Construction apps centrally house all of the photos and files for your project and eliminate the work and expense of maintaining an antiquated filing system. But even with a paperless office, too many builders and project managers fumble around with sharing access to different systems like Dropbox, Drive, and email attachments. When it’s all in one place, documenting any piece of project information is quick, easy, and secure. You can store photos and documents indefinitely, with far greater storage capacity than any filing cabinet, and move on knowing that it is stored along with all the project data for quick access.

8. Progress reporting

Putting custom reports together can be a time-consuming process. You shouldn’t have to jump from Excel to your notebook to your email to a phone call just to gather the data you knew you would need at some point anyway. When using an app like BuildTools, you can set up report templates that automatically pull the right data, so when it comes time to send updates you just need to review, add your own notes if needed, and click send.

9. Change orders

Nobody likes a change order, but they are inevitable. They don’t have to be a headache, though. If your phone is in your pocket or your tablet is nearby, you are ready to take a change order in stride and move on. Construction project management software allows you to document the specifics of a change order, get the client’s signature on the change, send automatic updates to your team and subcontractors, update your schedule, and update your budget, all within the app.

What’s the next step?

Schedule a time for a walk-through of our software and get your questions answered one-on-one. We can help you determine if project management software is right for your company. Click below to find a time that works for you.

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Are These 5 Things Holding You Back from Growing Your Residential Construction Business?

So, you know you need a construction project management software. Knowing you need one is different from biting the bullet and actually implementing one. Many custom builders and remodelers struggle to make the leap and invest in a construction project management tool. Does this sound familiar? Here are five common excuses for implementing construction software – and why they shouldn’t matter:

1. I Don’t Have Time

This is the number one pain point we hear from builders. We get it. We’re builders and we’ve been there. From late nights balancing books to frantic phone calls and flipping through paper records, it’s hard enough just to manage your daily workload and stay above water.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. A cloud-based construction management solution cloud-based technology can make your work more efficient and accurate. With your coffee in one hand, you can easily and immediately pull up the delivery schedule your subcontractor is asking for, the exact paint color from your client’s last change order, the contact info for your drywall guy, and any other information you may or may not have anticipated needing on-site that day.

You rely on your notebook but what if your notebook is the reason you’re behind? Take back control of your day with a construction project management app.

2. It’s Too Expensive

Sometimes, we hear from builders who want the benefits of a project management system but who are hesitant to put any money down. Think about it this way: if you’re spending all of your time on double entry for budgets, schedules, and change orders, that’s time―and money―down the drain.

You need an affordable solution that increases your efficiency and profitability without too high of an upfront cost. Some solutions offer multiple plans with different features or charge based on every project you start. You shouldn’t be punished for taking on more projects and growing your business.

That’s why a system with a flat fee like BuildTools often makes the most sense. You can get up to speed on the projects you’re working down and increase your capacity without worrying that your fees will go up too.

3. It’s Too Hard to Get Everyone Up to Speed

All builders have their own way of doing things, which is why this can be a real concern whenever you’re implementing a new process. You need a system that improves your efficiency, not one that takes up valuable time you need to be spending focused on your builds.

That’s why systems like BuildTools come with dedicated support staff, ready to respond to your needs. Our dedicated implementation team will ensure implementation goes as smoothly and quickly as possible so you can get up and running right away.

Don’t just take it from us, though. Check out our case studies to hear how builders successfully implemented BuildTools and took their business to the next level.

4. My Team Won’t Get On Board

Are your subcontractors skeptical of new technology? Not a problem. The best construction project management platforms allow you to send your subs project updates by email or text – whichever they prefer. Simply having a phone handy allows your subs to get the benefits of a powerful platform like BuildTools without time wasted learning yet another piece of technology.

5. If It’s Not Broken, Why Fix It?

People often think construction project management solutions are too much for them. If you’re overwhelmed or too busy with the work you already have, your processes aren’t working for you. It’s important to put the structure in place to help you grow effectively. So instead of putting people to work on tasks, you’re putting your technology to work to help you streamline processes and make information more accessible.

If you’re not looking for new ways to innovate, be more competitive, and win more clients, you can bet other builders and remodelers in your area are. Builders are already making the transition to construction project management software because they know it’s the key for staying competitive.

Isn’t it time to stop making excuses for not investing in a construction project management app and start looking for ways to build better?

Don’t wait. Start growing your business today with BuildTools. Learn more about finding the right construction management software for your business with our free buyer’s guide.

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