Contractor Management Software: The Best Platforms to Transform Your Operations in 2021

Published: December 23, 2020
Last updated: May 19, 2021
Read time: 4 minutes

There are a multitude of components that go into every construction project. For general contractors, that includes everything from collecting bids and evaluating subcontractors to project management and managing pay apps from subs. For subcontractors, it may consist of estimating, takeoffs and bidding, quality, and safety.  

Fortunately, as technology advances, so does the potential to streamline your operations. Contractor management software can help simplify and speed up many of these processes, so you can run your business more effectively. 

But with so many tools to choose from, what contractor management software is right for your company? Below, we break down the main categories to give you a better idea of how you can use these tools to streamline your operations. We also provide some leading software options in each category, to give you a solid starting point for your evaluation. 

What Contractor Management Software Do You Need for the Pre-Construction Phase?

Prequalification Software 

With prequalification software, a GC can speed up the process of hiring subcontractors — so the project can get started faster. Typically, these software platforms include the capability to send and review qualification forms, approve or deny submissions, and assess a company’s ability to complete the work, both from a financial and skill standpoint.

Options to consider: 

Bid Management Software 

Bid management software can reduce your bid process from days to just hours. For GCs, this type of software can consolidate your bid process to a single platform, where you can create bid packages, send and track bid invitations, and hone in on the most competitive bids. 

Subcontractors can use this type of platform to create more professional, accurate bid estimates and stand out to GCs collecting bids. 

Options to consider:

Takeoffs and Estimating Software 

Construction takeoffs enable subcontractors to estimate costs for a construction project. Typically, this involves using blueprints to determine materials needed for a project, which is then translated to cost estimates, project proposals, and material order forms. Rather than relying on spreadsheets, subcontractors can use takeoff and estimating software to simplify this process, allowing you to quickly build accurate cost estimates and win more projects. 

Options to consider:

What Is the Best Software for Construction Project Management?

Project Management Software 

Many general and subcontractors also opt to use an overall project management tool. This software is generally designed to keep all your project information in one convenient place, where all stakeholders have access to it. It can help you plan and coordinate every aspect of the project, ultimately giving you more visibility and control over the process. Depending on the specific software you choose, it may offer capabilities including:

  • Shared dashboard and/or calendar 
  • Budget management and accounting
  • Document sharing 
  • Data storage
  • Time tracking 

Project management software also typically includes mobile capabilities, so you and your team can access it from anywhere — even the job site. 

Options to consider: 

Quality and Safety Software 

Quality control and safety is essential to your business — not only for your workers, but for your company’s reputation, as well. For both GCs and subcontractors, quality and safety software can help you anticipate and correct issues before they become a problem. Many quality and safety software tools are built to be used in the field, so employees on the job site can access and comply with safety regulations. 

Options to consider: 

Field/Labor Management/Productivity Software 

According to some sources, construction workers can spend a significant amount of time simply waiting to work. Depending on their role, workers can spend anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour waiting to begin, which can increase costs and shrink the profit margins on your projects. While the reasons for work delays can vary, the costs incurred are consistent. “Downtime” in construction will cost you money and, unfortunately, is not recoverable from the customer. Implementing field management and productivity software can help you get — and keep — your workers on-task. 

With this software, subcontractors can track materials, monitor labor costs, and keep your teams productive. 

Options to consider: 

What Is the Best Software for Managing Construction Finances?

Project Financials Software 

In addition to constructing a safe, quality project, your company’s objective is to generate a profit. That’s why financial software is so critical in the construction industry. Project financial management software can help you more accurately and efficiently manage project budgets, as well as keep you apprised of any budget modifications or change orders along the way. When you make spending decisions throughout the process, this software allows you to see how those actions will affect your final budget — so you can course correct if needed. With more accurate budget information across the entire project, you can better ensure that by the end, you’ll come out ahead. 

Options to consider: 

Invoice Management Software 

As a GC, you don’t only have to oversee your subcontractors’ work — you have to ensure they get paid. Invoice management software can make that easier by enabling you to double check invoice amounts, verify work completed, and speed up billing turnaround. In addition, you can submit and track invoices of your own, so you can avoid delays and get paid faster. Depending on the system you choose, you can save hours of work with an invoice management system compared to using an Excel spreadsheet. 

Options to consider: 

Payment Management Software 

For GCs, successful payment management goes beyond sending, paying, and processing invoices. Depending on the project, you may also deal with lien waivers, demand letters, credit applications, collections, extending credit, joint checks, and other payment-related components. Payment management systems can help you request, collect, and track these documents — ultimately keeping you organized and on top of all payment-related issues. 

Options to consider: 

Levelset’s mission is to empower contractors to always get what they earn. Levelset’s products help millions in the construction industry each year to make payment paperwork and compliance easier, get cash faster, monitor the risk on jobs and contractors, and better understand payment processes and rules. The results are faster payments, access to capital, and fewer surprises when collecting payment.

Accounting and Capital Planning Software 

Capital planning and accounting software enables you to look at the big picture of your business. Beyond the cost components of each individual project, you can track overall cash flow and make more accurate financial forecasts. Some capital planning solutions also provide options to better manage your material purchases, like providing extended terms for supplier payments. For growing businesses, these tools can enable you to take on more and bigger projects. 

Options to consider: 

Embracing new types of contractor management software can lead to efficiencies your company may never have thought possible. From more accurate estimating and bid management to financial planning for the future of your company, the right software can transform your operations, so you can focus on growth.