Contractor management systems: Do you need one for your construction business?

By Georgia Galloway | 10 May, 2022 | 4 minute read

There is little doubt that technology has improved the construction industry.

A carpenter wouldn't think twice about using a hammer or a nail gun these days - and that's just one example where technology has helped trades on site do more with less.

Contractor management systems are no different.

They're a tool that can help contractors working on site better control their tradespeople, their jobs, their safety, and their budgets - all whilst simplifying the paperwork of their business.

Sounds too good to be true? 

contractor-management-systems As a company expands, it faces challenges such as an increasing workforce and managing a more extensive staff with more paperwork and administration time.

One of the most straightforward ways to overcome these growing pains is to use a contractor management system to streamline your processes, cut out repetitive manual tasks, and connect your office staff with your on-site workforce.

Contractor management software allows you to automate and manage the flow of information between all of your team. By using a centralised system, you can keep track of wages, documents, and health and safety quickly and efficiently, to name a few.

What Is a Contractor Management System?

A contractor management system is a software application that helps construction businesses manage their site projects, contracts, and employees or subcontractors.

A contractor management software typically includes site and plot budget management, document management, wage management, personnel management, issue management, contract management and streamlined communication.

The ultimate goal of using a management system is to improve communication and collaboration between the various levels of personnel within a construction company involved in the build of a site, from the developer, site manager, contractor, and contract manager to subcontractor or worker.

Having all project information in one central location allows everyone to be on the same page and work together more effectively.

Do You Need a Contractor Management System?

Now that you know what a contractor management system is, you might wonder if your construction business needs one. The answer will likely depend on the size and scope of your construction projects. If you manage small projects with just a few subcontractors, you might not need contractor software.

However, if you manage large projects with many subcontractors, software can be invaluable in helping you stay organised and on track.

The benefits of using a contractor management system are numerous, but ultimately it comes down to saving time and money while improving the quality of your construction projects. If you're looking for a way to streamline your construction business, a management system is worth considering.

The Benefits of Using a Contractor Management System

There are many potential benefits of using a contractor management system in your construction business, including:

  • Improved communication and collaboration: As mentioned earlier, one of the main benefits of using a contractor management system is improving communication between the various parties involved in a construction project. 
  • Streamlined operations: Contractor management software can help you optimise your construction business operations by automating repetitive procedures and offering quick access to the information you need.
  • Reduced paperwork: It can help you reduce the amount of paperwork associated with your construction projects. All of the information you need will be stored electronically, so you won't have to worry about keeping track of physical documents.
  • Increased accountability: A management software can help increase accountability among all your contractors and subcontractors. With all relevant information stored in one place, it's easy to track progress and identify potential problems.
  • Better-informed decisions: By having all of the relevant information available in one place, you can make better-informed decisions about your construction projects. You'll be able to see what's been completed, what's still outstanding, and the potential risks.

If you're considering using a contractor management system in your construction business, these are just a few of the potential benefits you could experience.

How to find the right contractor management system for your business

Construction contractors that work for the UK's largest housebuilders are one of the most challenging industries to streamline. It's tough to grow exponentially from a team of two or three to twenty or even 250 workers, yet there are many examples of tradespeople accomplishing just that in the UK. Carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are just a few professionals who began out on the tools. So, what were their methods?

Ryan Jones, Operations Director of LJ Construction, says, "We've added over 100 subcontractors to our site over the last 15 years. Without a good management system in place, we would not have been able to keep the company running. Thankfully, we worked with a software expert who assisted us in designing and developing a unique solution that fulfilled our company's requirements.

"We began looking for a contractor management software 15 years ago when there was no other option except to design your own solution, unlike now. While we've spent more than £500,000 over the previous 15 years, we've seen a reduction in our office pay bill and increased our capacity to 'do more with less'."

Ryan continues, "Sales revenues are at an all-time high, yet our business isn't creaking. We can still take on more work, hire more subcontractors, and win more jobs. Our management system is the company's backbone, and it could not have survived without it."

However, it is unfortunate that most contractor management solutions have all been designed toward bigger developers in the UK housing industry, such as Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes. Very few systems have been built specifically for the subcontracting companies who work for house builders. 

As Stephen Clark from a leading contractor management software provider, Site Manager Pro, says, "Most construction contractors who work for house builders start small, where the boss is working alongside two or three employees on the tools, and they have very little in terms of management requirements because the boss has eyes on the team and the work it's producing. This visibility gets lost as soon as the company scales.

"If the company hasn't implemented processes to overcome that challenge, the business begins to creak. It's usually that the contractor will do one of two things, either they throw more admin at the problem or find software that can take the strain. I know of contractors with 22 office staff and no system versus one with just two office staff and a system. The savings on administrative wages alone make software a serious consideration for anyone who is or intends to scale."

Stephen says, "My advice to any contractor looking for a software solution that helps streamline their subcontractors or PAYE workforce to seek out the smaller applications and solutions that your rivals are using."

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