Why Subcontractors Should Still Not Use Project Management Software Designed for General Contractors

Why Subs Should Still Not Use Project Management Software Designed for General Contractors

Contractor project management software might not seem different from subcontractor project management software, but they have strong differences. The work general contractors and subcontractors do day to day is incredibly different and requires a separate software solution. A subcontractor can maximize their profits and the return on investment for the software simply by using a solution built with them in mind. General contractor-centric software focuses solely on protecting the general contractor and their profits. However, subcontractor-centric software focuses on the needs of subcontractors and can be used to protect the subcontractor. While subcontractor-centric project management software Subcontractors should avoid general contractor software solutions, especially when it comes to drawing and plan management.

 

construction project management software

Photo by Anthony Ginsbrook on Unsplash

 

Here are just some of the reasons Subcontractors benefit from Subcontractor Project Management Software.

 

Mitigating Risks and Protecting Profits

 

General contractor project management software is designed for the general contractor workflow in mind. However, subcontractor software thinks of subcontractors first. One of the big problems that subcontractors face is mitigating risk and profit protection. Subcontractors need to ensure that they have documentation backing up their change orders. Without proof, they can be on the line for large amounts of money. Subcontractors need resource management, scheduling, daily reports, and submittals as well. These features help subcontractors mitigate risk from undocumented work, manual processes and other work that won’t get paid without the right proof. These tasks are almost completely specific for subcontractors and generally aren’t built for general contractor project management software.

 

General contractor project management software often focuses specifically on how to manage subcontractors, and maintain communications with designers and owners. General contractor software must have submittals and scheduling to manage subcontractors better. However, it doesn’t provide subcontractors with the necessary systems to manage their crews and documentation. Subcontractors can’t see if they’re falling behind and add more people to the schedule to prevent costly delays when they use general contractor software.

 

Subcontractors software helps them track lost hours

 

Lost hours are a large source of issues for subcontractors. When subcontractors can track their lost hours, they can ensure they’re paid for them. Subcontractors can also use it as a way to provide the general contractor with information about the site, specifically any issues they regularly encountered. And subcontractors can use historical data to better understand underlying patterns to their successes or failures to better future projects.

 

Leverage the field and daily reports

Subcontractor project management software is set up to help subcontractors leverage their field and daily reports. They can use the data in the reports to create other reports to protect their businesses better. Project managers can easily create reports like Percent of Efficiency, Hours Lost, and Cost to Complete reports, providing subcontractors with better control of their businesses. Project managers can even ensure accurate information for time cards and better collaboration between the field and back office.

 

Improve Documentation and Project Lifecycle With Subcontractor Project Management Software

 

Subcontractor project management software should help subcontractors manage their reports; such as daily reports and cost reports. It should help subcontractors with payment records, change orders, schedules, costs, correspondence, requests for information, and bid storage. Subcontractors need to be able to manage all documents, reports, and meeting minutes to ensure that they are protected from unexpected costs or

 

Records of All Key Documents In Your Own System

 

Along with documentation, subcontractor software also encourages better communication between the general contractor and the subcontractor. With better communication, subcontractors and general contractors can resolve issues or misunderstandings quicker and keep projects on schedule. Subcontractors need to know if they are on track on a daily basis so they can make corrections and avoid costly mistakes. It’s also a good way for subcontractors to ensure they have key documents in their system. Sometimes subcontractors have licenses in their general contractor’s system. The main problem with this is that when the subcontractor moves on to the next project, all of the documents in the system, their evidence, belongs to the general contractor and isn’t passed on.

 

Rely on Your Drawings

 

General contractor software doesn’t integrate with all of the drawing tools that subcontractors need to do their best work. So many projects are created in 3D, with plans made off of the models. General contractor software doesn’t always integrate with the tools subcontractors need. Subcontractors need to have access not only to the 2D drawings that the general contractor’s give them, but also the BIM models that the designers, engineers, and architects are working off of. When subcontractors have a project management system that helps the access the most recent documents and can handle BIM files, they can participate in the project fuller. This fuller participation creates better projects since subcontractors can use their expertise to help provide better drawings and models.

 

Affordable software based on your seats not based partly off revenue

 

General contractor project management software tends to be more expensive than expected for subcontractors, so it’s recommended to perform an ROI analysis or forecast model on future fees before making the decision to purchase a new program. With subcontractor project management, like eSUB, the price for the software is based on the number of users instead of based on revenue which frequently changes and is hard to predict. Subcontractors should choose software that has a flat rate, and focuses on helping the business instead of penalizing it when it does well.

 

Utilize Important Project Management Features

 

eSUB software has many specific features, like eSUB Time which makes it easy for users to track and manage their time. eSUB Time is a native application that allows for field workers to punch in and out of the job site, as well as punch in their breaks. This information is then sent to the back office so they can approve the time cards. eSUB Time even takes the location of each punch in and punch out. That way the back office can be positive of who was on the site.

 

construction project management software

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

 

Conclusion

 

Subcontractors must be careful when choosing software. While many general contractor project management software seems like they can be modified to fit subcontractor workflows, often they are too different. Subcontractors should be aware that some software may include hidden fees that balloon over time. Subcontractors benefit from using software designed for subcontractors.

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Posted in Construction Software.