On the Need for Fully Integrated Contract Management Software in Construction

 

In 2017 there is a plethora of software available to assist contractors, land developers, and their various consultants. Products range from document management solutions to e-tendering and in-field work order management-type products. However, in choosing software, there are various pitfalls that can easily lead to costly mistakes.

Consider for example, the impact of selecting a change order management product for a company already using an off-the-shelf e-tendering package. Unless the e-tendering product exports to a data format that the change order management product understands, then there is unavoidable duplicate data entry; entering the full contract once into each of the two products. Before deciding, we recommend considering carefully the impact that this will have on your workflow by asking the following questions:

  • How much extra time will be required to export from your e-tendering product to your change management product?
  • Are there compatible products which will not require this extra step?
  • Does the cost savings of this combination make up for the extra time added to your workflow?

These same concerns need to be considered in any software you choose to adopt. And not doing so can lead to costly or time consuming mistakes.

Even after a work flow has been established, there is still the issue of document management. Anyone in the industry knows that this is a constant nightmare. Over the course of a 5-year long contract, what happens to these change orders, invoices, drawings, and documents after they are generated by their respective software packages? Are they rotting on various hard drives, never to be seen again? Or do they live on in a proper document management system in the cloud, accessible at a moment’s notice?

The point is, even with the excellent software tooling available out there, it isn’t enough to ensure each product serves its own purpose. We need them to play nicely together.

Dan is the president and CTO at ContractComplete. He graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor's degree in Software Engineering & Management from McMaster university. When he's not working tirelessly to improve ContractComplete, you can usually find him at the gym training for his next running event.

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