The best Construction Project Management Software for you is the
one that most aligns itself with how you operate (or wish to be operating).
In considering which
software to use, try considering these important factors:
1. How well does the software handle your overall workflows as
well as the VAT implications?
Most of us will remember
our early days where white boards and yellow sticky notes were the primary
planning and organisational tools of the office. Everybody knew the system and its
limitations, particularly if operating in a multi-team or multi-site
environment. When introducing new
systems, ensuring that it will be effective is paramount. After all, there is little point having a new
system that saves you 10 minutes if it adds ten minutes to the work load of
each member of your team. Where
possible, trial/workshop a new system with a trusted core group to really ‘test
drive’ the collaborative features of the software. This is likely to highlight the pros, cons
and potential challenges that could come from a wider roll out.
2. Cost or Investment?
Implementing Construction software is going to have an impact on
time and money. Done correctly, however,
the right software will more than pay for itself many times over in terms of cost
savings and productivity when in operation.
This is amplified even further when taking into account the cost
implementing new processes and procedures for VAT and the potential cost in
fines alone (let alone in terms of manpower and time trying to find and correct
errors) if done incorrectly.
The options available on the market vary
massively in price so best to start by focusing on the features that will meet
your specific needs. Then, compare the cost
of obtaining and implementing that software against the cost or impact of not
doing it. If the benefit is greater than
the cost, the argument is all but settled.
Be sure to consider all the
elements of both cost and benefit including time, errors and opportunities.
3. Does it Fit?
Think of the process you
went through finding office space or warehousing. All too often, the problems or flaws only
become apparent after you have signed the lease and moved in.
When choosing the right software for you, you should have the
opportunity to ‘try before you buy’.
This could be a workshop or demo or even as a selection of training
modules to let you experience how it operates first hand. In terms of VAT, you should have the
opportunity to see it in action handling the calculations and accounts elements
that concern you the most and be comfortable the software all but removes the
VAT headache for you.
Consider how the software you are trying will match with your
current team dynamics and how smoothly and swiftly they can adapt to it. Would it have any impact on other software or
systems you are using?
When testing, think about what the product is actually
delivering for you in real terms and value.
Are the extras delivering value or are they ‘add-ons’ for decoration
rather than functionality? Check for
intuitive functions that will enable the team to execute common jobs without unnecessary
manual processing. Check also how the
more advanced, non ‘day to day’ elements might work.
4. Real Return on Investment?
Getting the maximum benefit in the shortest time will be a
driver to the immediate value of your software.
Having the teams involved in the evaluation process is useful in getting
‘true’ feedback and having them feel engaged and part of the buy-in
process. On the flip side, keep that
trial to the appropriate length and keep it straight forward. As tempting as it may be to explore downloads
and side functions, keep a strong focus on how it will fit into the workflow
and core functions. A too long or
in-depth evaluation process can create confusion or even changes in workflow
that are harder to reverse.
5. Will they use it?
An easy way to gauge the
success of your construction software integration is to check who is using
it. If it is only the accounts
department and project managers, you may have missed some very important
elements of the roll out and are not likely to be getting the maximum benefit
and value from your solution.
Like all changes and
enhancements, planning is key. Consider
the depth and scope of use required by each of the team members and plan for
them to be trained specifically for those functions that will be used. If that is only one of the functions,
answering questions or comments for example, limit the training initially to
that. Exploring the rest of the platform
can come later as the system becomes embedded.
Make sure your own
workflows and processes are squared away.
Identify any manual or bespoke workarounds that are occurring in the
workplace before rolling out the new software.
After all, the implementation plan is likely to be based on the
documented procedures and workflows.
There may be elements of
an individual’s role that will change or information or files may change
location so make sure they are aware and prepared. It goes without saying that
integration with other software or systems will have been checked and checked
again before launching.
Who is using it in the
Construction Industry in the Middle East?
Software systems for
construction need to be bespoke developed for the industry. In the Middle East region, the heavy hitters,
movers and shakers have got their systems integrated and developed to deliver
the maximum benefits from take-off, project planning right through to final
certification with the inclusion of detailed on site management. Candy and BuildSmart were and continue to be
developed for the Global Market and have been developed with an extensive
practical knowledge of the impact of tax and levies as well as all other
complications relating to the operation of construction projects. You can be sure this software will take the
introduction and handling of GCC VAT in its stride with consummate ease.