The internet is offering dozens of software options for the construction industry and particularly for general contractors. On the one hand, there is a number of big players such as Procore or Jonas Construction, that is mainly focused on large companies and offers “all-inclusive” construction management software. On the other hand, there are a lot of standalone/entry-level tools, that fills the gap for general contractors that outgrow paper or Excel-based work process and are not ready or don't want to invest in expensive, complicated, “all in one” large scale systems. Also, some general contractors already have some software in place and don’t see a need to replace it. They made a decision to use specialized software to automate different processes and feels more flexible to choose software that works best for their needs.
Here is the short list of the software for general contractors:
- Estimating software
- STACK takeoff & estimating software
- Sage Estimating
- Cubit 9
- Square Takeoff
- Clear Estimates
- Budget tracking & construction cost management software
- Bauwise software
- Google Sheets / Microsoft Excel Online
- Project planning & scheduling software
- TeamGantt software
- Microsoft Project
- Document & drawing management software
- PlanGrid Software
- Daily reporting software
- Raken software
Actually, it’s not so important what choose, the most important does it solves your pains in the easiest possible way and helps your business be more profitable. We made internet research and choose 5 must have standalone/entry-level software for general contractors in 2019. In this article, you can also see other great alternatives for your consideration. This is the main categories and top selections so far:
Takeoff & estimating - STACK takeoff & estimating software
- STACK is online takeoff and estimating software. It helps general contractors to speed up the bidding process and avoid costly errors. STACK has a great market response from customers on SoftwareAdvice and Capterra.
- Most general contractors getting their works by bidding on construction projects. Some general contractors creating bids based on self-performed estimates while others rely on subcontractor bids. In both scenarios STACK takeoff & estimating software can help you. For example, you can double-check your subcontractor bids.
- Major benefits of STACK software based on customers responses is easiness of use and speed. The software helps to do accurate & fast quantity takeoffs and calculate detailed material and labor estimates. All data are saved in the cloud and your team can collaborate online (so all plans and related information is online - you can access it from anywhere, anytime). With STACK you can create professional looking bids straight from the system. Also, it has integration with Excel, prebuilt reports and material base.
- Other alternatives: ProEst, Sage Estimating, Cubit 9, Square Takeoff, Clear Estimates, PlanSwift, B2W
Budget tracking & construction cost management - Bauwise software
- Bauwise is cloud-based budget tracking & cost control software designed for general contractors. A number of them are using it daily to track original budget vs costs from accounting, profitability and control costs to avoid budget overrun.
- Worldwide markets are quite different in terms of general contractors and construction accounting. Bauwise is the best fit for general contractors that have no or little amount of own stuff and all or most of the works gives away to subcontractors. It will also best serves for companies that are advanced in construction accounting and focuses to manage construction projects costs efficiently.
- Beside core functions, such as budget tracking, Bauwise is a great tool for cash flow planning, it has online cost approval workflow, portfolio reporting, and great features to manage your subcontractor contracts. Customers highlighting that Bauwise has a nice user interface and it’s natural to use for construction professionals.
- Other alternatives: Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel Online, SmartSheet
Project planning & scheduling - TeamGantt software
- TeamGantt is an online solution for project planning & scheduling. This software is a good choice for general contractors that are looking for a simple solution to professionally plan project on the Gantt chart and assign tasks to the team members. TeamGantt has a lot of positive reviews from customers on SoftwareAdvice and Capterra, you can check it out.
- It's important to mention to mention that planning defining what is to be done and how, and scheduling is answering the question when it should be done. TeamGantt will answer these questions for you in the fastest and simplest way.
- TeamGantt has a lovely and intuitive user interface, it allows to change task dates, duration and rearrange them with a drag & drop on a Gantt chart, you can also create dependencies and plan resources. With a TeamGantt it’s easy to assign tasks to your team members, upload files to tasks and collaborate with your colleagues online. You can see how many tasks are assigned to you and your team. TeamGantt equipped with a mobile app that allows collaborating with your team straight from the phone.
- Other alternatives: GenieBelt, GanttPRO, Microsoft Project
Document & drawing management - PlanGrid software
- PlanGrid cloud-based document & drawing management software gives a construction team access from anywhere to project drawings and related documents, such as specs, submittals, RFI responses, schedules or installation instructions. It’s a great tool to share project information across all the team and collaborate in real time. PlanGrid customers left a lot of good responses about this software on SoftwareAdvice and Capterra.
- Document and drawing management is definitely a priority for most construction companies. The market is offering different DMS, but the construction industry has own specifics, so specialized tools as PlanGrid usually works the best for them.
- PlanGrid includes industry-specific features, such as comfortable sheets & revisions management, markups handling, a great feature is that any document can be added as a custom hyperlink to your plans. With PlanGrid you can also notify teammates or ask for updates by mentioning their names in comments. Beside drawings and documents management, the system offers the ability to assign tasks and track them on the mobile phone, also with PlanGrid you can create nice field reports and attach photos and other documents.
- Other alternatives: Bauhub, Skysite, Folderit, PlanRadar, eFileCabinet
Daily reporting - Raken software
- Raken is a cloud-based daily reporting software which allows you to know what's happening on your job site no matter where you are. It helps to track projects daily progress and what is even more relevant to general contractors, it enables to collect and manage subcontractor daily reports. Raken has a nice market response from customers on SoftwareAdvice and Capterra.
- Daily reporting is very important for the construction industry. Besides the ability to track daily progress, it also allows you to report another field related information, such as safety incidents. Paper reporting is going to the past, so it’s time to look around for online tools, and you can confidently start with Raken software.
- Raken construction daily report software will help superintends to create branded, professional daily reports including photos, videos, voice messages and weather conditions. Raken also allows simply track hours in the field, create and assign tasks to the users and analyze your project progress via dashboard & visual reports. Super Daily feature is specially designed to collect subcontractors daily reports and easily present it for project stakeholders.
- Other alternatives: CDR, Fieldactive, iNeoSyte, Fieldlens
So this was our list of must-have software for general contractors, and now it is your turn to let us know which software is the best fit for you.