Between managing field crews, budgets, schedules, and so much more, contractors have a lot on their hands to get a job done and keep their customers satisfied. Since you’re juggling many tasks in such a high-stakes industry, a contractor's software program can help you streamline and manage your various workflows.
In general, software for contractors includes various functions for managing complex, critical tasks, such as estimating, scheduling, accounting, project management, and more. But not all programs are created equally.
If you choose the wrong program, you risk harming your bottom line. And the software could make your jobs more complicated, ultimately defeating the purpose of implementing it in the first place.
So, how do you choose the right contractor software for your business? Let’s explore.
It’s essential to know precisely what contractor software is and how it can help you since there are many different labor management programs on the market today.
General contractor software is designed to improve your business operations at every stage:
While this is a top-level overview, most software programs for contractors offer many other features that streamline your business processes at every stage, organization-wide.
Implementing contractor software into your business operations can help you achieve various critical objectives.
Owning and operating a contractor business requires you to communicate with different stakeholders. Trying to keep track of your messages in email, text, spreadsheets, or scrap paper isn’t ideal or efficient. It’s easy for critical messages to get lost in the shuffle.
Contractor software keeps your communication in one place and accessible at your fingertips. Search capabilities further enable you to look through your messages and clear up misunderstandings.
The most robust software for contractors provides analytics and forecasting capabilities. You can compare estimates with the actual costs of a project and various expenses incurred along the way. This enables more accurate budgeting and is much more efficient than plugging numbers into a spreadsheet by hand. In turn, the software frees up time for back office staff.
Being organized is one key to success, and contractor software unlocks your company’s full potential. Dedicated contractor software manages your data and business processes, such as scheduling and invoicing.
Additionally, operating an organized business is crucial in reducing your liability. Safety documentation and procedures can be housed within the program, lowering your risk of fines and fees and protecting your field techs from injury.
Most importantly, you need to understand your business must-haves and the unique challenges it faces. So here are a few questions to ask to get you started narrowing down your contractor software:
Some business owners choose bare-bones contractor software to keep track of documents for single projects. Others may need a more robust system with integrated accounting, job budgeting, bid management, project scheduling, etc.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can narrow your search to software that offers the features you need to improve your business processes.
You’ll want to look for the following broad capabilities in your general contractor software program:
Maybe you already have an accounting or billing software program that you love. In that case, you’ll want to choose software that offers integration capabilities.
You’re already busy putting out fires. The last thing you want is contractor software that makes your job harder, not easier. Choose a program that’s easy to maintain and automatically upgrades. You don’t want to purchase something that will become obsolete in a few years.
Shortlist companies that offer software with mobile solutions. Chances are, you’ll want your field techs, subcontractors, and customers to easily access certain program capabilities.
The various contractor software programs on the market today often include the following features:
With this feature, you can invite, analyze, and manage bids from different subcontractors and vendors. Having all your bids submitted in one place makes comparing and choosing the best deal for your project easier.
Estimating features enable you to parse relevant data and information, creating an accurate estimate. Additionally, you can track the job’s profitability as the project progresses. Estimating capabilities can help you improve and protect your profit margins.
Managing cash flow is critical to running any successful business. For general contractors, a software program with job costing data and invoicing capabilities allows you to improve your billing efficiency and accuracy. If this is important to you, you’ll want to choose a robust general contractor software package that can manage various project expense streams.
Some software programs offer dedicated accounting capabilities, while others will integrate with your current accounting software. Regardless, accounting capabilities enable you to keep track of your payables and receivables, so you have an accurate financial picture as work progresses.
With this feature, your essential documents and data are housed in a central hub and easily accessible. As a result, you can make quick, intelligent decisions and seamlessly pivot and manage your projects on the fly.
A central hub where customers can make requests keeps everyone on the same page and enables faster, more reliable communication. With change order capabilities, you can accurately track customer requests 24/7 and as soon as they arrive.
Otherwise known as a CRM, this feature provides all the tools you need to communicate efficiently with your customers and other stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle. After project completion, you can also keep in touch with your customers and offer support.
Between managing your schedule, the customers, field technicians, and subcontractors, it’s difficult to accurately allocate resources and personnel. Scheduling capabilities allow you to do this and quickly change the schedule in one central place, alerting all key stakeholders asap.
Keeping everyone in the loop is essential for seamless project management and customer satisfaction. RFI management features allow you to organize requests for information on the project’s progress.
Integrated site management tools offer features that monitor employee performance, enforce safety requirements, and track tools and equipment in use or in need of repair.
You wanted to be a general contractor, not a professional juggler. However, when you own a thriving contractor business, juggling all the tasks you must perform to get the job done and keep customers happy can quickly overwhelm your team.
The bottom line is that the best contractor software for your unique business lightens your workload, helps you grow, and grows with you. When you save time across your entire business operations, you’re free to do more of what you love!
VIIZR is a mobile app that offers solutions for a wide range of needs your general contractor business has, and it’s designed to grow with you as you scale and become more profitable.
Best of all? It’s FREE for a limited time.
Sign up today for your VIIZR free field service management software trial. No credit card required.