Should Subcontractors Use Their Own Project Management Software?

As smartphones and tablets are slowly becoming one of the most prominent and powerful tools on construction site, construction technology companies are still largely focusing on construction management firms and general contractors.  What’s lost on many is the fact that there are dozens of subcontractors on every jobsite that also need to manage their projects.

Subcontractors and specialty contractors are put in a fairly tough situation when it comes to technology, however.  They’re typically forced to use the project management software that the prime contractor is using.  That’s no problem for that specific project, using any type of project management software is lightyears ahead of only using paper documents, but subs can work for multiple GCs at the same time, who all possibly use different software.

The need remains the same for subcontractors, though. Every contractor should have a single source to store all of their data, communicate from the field and to the office, and have the mobility to get their info on the go.

So, should subcontractors seek out their own project management software, in addition to the ones they have to use for their various projects?  Procore suggests that thousands of them already are for several good reasons.

In a recent press release from Procore, the company announced that there are currently over 1,200 sub or specialty contractors using their platform independently from prime contractors.  They’re seeing significant growth in the area recently as half of the subs currently using Procore came within the past year.

Some of the major benefits specialty contractors are seeing with software is integration with accounting software like Sage or Quickbooks, time sheet tracking, and invoice management, in addition to having all of their project documentation at their fingertips through the cloud.

"We’ve seen immeasurable improvements in accuracy of labor data. We used to spend hours every week organizing time from different crews and jobs that was sent in on scraps of paper and cardboard box lids,” said Brandon Lopez, Field Operations Manager, ABLe Communications, in the press release. “With Procore’s Timesheets tool, our foremen enter accurate crew time and select correct cost codes every day. The approvals feature then gives us a built-in checks and balances for accuracy before payroll processing."

Procore, of course, isn’t the only developer of a timesheet tracking app, nor are they the only suitable project management software available, but their press release did bring up several very valid points in favor of subcontractors investing in their own management software.

The bottom line is that sub and specialty contractors can’t let others dictate how they run their own business.