When starting a concrete business, goals such as finding the right customers and increasing brand recognition are sure to top your list. And while these are the correct goals to have, you should also focus on setting up the processes required to achieve them.
For instance, to get new customers, you’ll need an effective bid management process. Likewise, to grow your company’s reputation, you’ll have to deliver projects on time and within budget. And these goals can only be achieved through solid project planning and smooth team collaboration.
When starting out, what can help is using technology, specifically construction management software solutions. These tools offer capabilities such as bid management, scheduling, and project tracking to help you win more work, estimate project deadlines accurately, and ensure your concrete workers are collaborating well and meeting their deadlines.
In this article, we look at the top three challenges you’re likely to face when starting a concrete construction business and how construction management software can help overcome them.
During the initial years, you’ll be spending a lot of time finding clients by bidding on contracts. Winning bids is crucial because you need a steady cash flow to keep your business running.
But if you rely completely on manual methods to create your bid estimates, errors or slips in calculations are bound to happen. Manual mistakes such as missing details in your bid proposal document or incomplete forms can make your bid seem unprofessional, increasing your chances of losing the bid.
Most construction management solutions offer built-in estimating to help create accurate job or cost estimates for the projects you’re bidding on. These tools remove the guesswork from your calculations by fetching accurate and updated prices of materials, labor, and equipment from your construction database. You also get pre-made bid proposal templates that can be edited to create professional-looking proposals for your clients.
New businesses like yours typically have a fixed budget. Therefore, identifying and monitoring risks is necessary to ensure your concrete project doesn’t overshoot its initial cost or deadline. But the urgency to complete a project so you get paid on time can sometimes make you rush through the risk planning process.
Not enough planning means you'll be ill-equipped to respond to unexpected events. For instance, if you haven’t planned to regularly monitor the availability and bandwidth of your team members, you may end up with unequal workload distribution, which can delay your project.
Construction management software comes with built-in project planning and monitoring capabilities to help you identify, analyze, and respond to project risks. It provides Gantt charts that let you identify task interdependencies (e.g., task A needs to be completed for task B to start) and create accurate timeline estimates.
The software also offers resource capacity planning that allows you to assign work to employees based on their availability and skill sets. You can use the project tracking dashboard to check if tasks are being completed on time and if the project is within budget. Such close monitoring helps you tackle issues that can crop up anytime during the project lifecycle.
Establishing a successful business in the labor-intensive construction industry requires you to manage your workforce effectively. But since you’re just starting out, you’ll have a new team that’s not yet fully familiar with each other’s working styles.
In such cases, miscommunication between team members can blow up into conflicts that can delay the project. As a result, you may have to deal with missed deadlines or substandard jobs that call for expensive construction rework from clients.
Construction management tools come with built-in collaboration features such as shared activity dashboards, document management, task commenting, and live chat. Document management, for example, lets your team members easily share files such as photos of a job site. It also helps different teams collaborate better by offering a centralized repository to store project documents such as bid proposals, bills of materials, and invoices.
With shared dashboards and live chat, your team members can not only connect in real time to resolve issues but also get notifications on the latest project updates. This ensures all members have a shared understanding of the real-time project progress.
Here’s a quick recap of how construction management software can help overcome the challenges you’re likely to face as the business owner of a new concrete company.
Some considerations to keep in mind when selecting a construction management tool for your concrete company:
Integrations: The construction management solution you choose should integrate with your existing systems for hassle-free data exchange. For instance, if you use accounting systems such as Xero or QuickBooks, then selecting software that integrates with these tools will help you transfer the data of customers, payments, and other transactions automatically.
Stand-alone vs. full-suite solutions: Construction management solutions come bundled with many features such as bid management and CRM. But you can also purchase stand-alone tools if you want only certain features. For example, you can choose a construction estimating solution if you need help only with creating cost estimates for your concrete work.
To compare construction management solutions based on the factors mentioned above and others such as pricing and software deployment options, visit GetApp’s construction management category page. GetApp gathers hundreds of reviews from real software users in one place, so you can easily see how specific tools are working for businesses in your industry.
We can also build you a personalized list of the best software tools for your business needs. Check it out here.
The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations.