For managing construction projects, there are two main types of software: project management software for contractors and construction management software for owners. Although they share some similarities, there are also several critical differences between these two types of software. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between project management software for contractors and construction management software for owners.
What is Project Management Software?
When choosing project management software, contractor's and owners' needs differ. Contractors need software that can help them keep track of their projects, schedule tasks and milestones, invoice clients, and manage their finances. Construction management software for owners needs to include features that allow owners to track costs, manage vendors and subcontractors, and keep track of the progress of the project.
Critical Difference One: Construction Management vs Contractor Focus
There are many critical differences between construction management software and project management software for contractors. The main focus of contractors is typically on the financials of the project, making sure they are making a profit. However, construction managers have a much broader focus that includes ensuring the contractor completes the project on time and within budget.
Critical Difference Two: Simultaneous Activities and Asynchronous Communication
Another big difference is that contractors often work with a few clients simultaneously, while construction managers may work on multiple projects simultaneously. This difference in focus can lead to different communication needs. Contractors need to quickly and easily share information with their clients about the project status and budget. Construction managers, however, also need to communicate with subcontractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders involved in the project. This variation in communication means the two different teams interact with the software differently while searching for dramatically different outcomes.
Critical Difference Three: Document Management
Contractors use the document management system inside project management tools to generate proposals and bids, produce invoices, change schedules, and manage their materials, equipment, and labor. Construction management companies need their tools to track submittals, requests for information, revisions to documents, approve changes, generate change orders, track daily diaries, weekly updates, and document project progress. While some critical features overlap, a tool specifically designed for construction management keeps the project team focused on project delivery, not internal operations for construction companies.
In conclusion, there are several key differences between project management software for contractors and construction management software for owners. Contractors should be sure to select software that is tailored to their specific needs, while owners should be sure to select software that will help them manage their construction project from start to finish.
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