How to Build The Best Construction And Development Stack
Your construction and development stack is important to your business efficiency and planning. A well-thought-out stack can make for effortless work when developing and planning projects that span multiple needs. You can also keep your office happy with software that allows for easy communication and task management. We offer recommendations for the process of building a stock and why you should consider one.
What is a Stack?
A software stack is a collection of tech applications companies can use to manage the most important parts of their business, including estimating, budgeting, document management, property management, and project management.
These programs are often “cloud” based. This means the applications are available on the Internet without the need to have an information technology hardware room in your office.
Why a Stack?
Some software companies offer an all-in-one solution for all the above projects. Having an all-in-one software has been a good thing in the past. With the “cloud” you can readily access multiple applications easily just using an internet capable device. Imagine your project manager showing your client construction ideas using a development app, then later presenting them an estimate as the information provided moves through automated parts of your stack.
How do I start?
First, consider your existing technology. Your computers and devices need to be able to reach the Internet. If you want your employees to be able to process estimates on the spot with your customers, you will also likely need a laptop or device with a hotspot for the Internet where no data is otherwise available.
The first part of stack development has less to do with software. You need to know what kind of business process you want to be able to perform with your stack. Project management, property management, and estimating are common needs that can have separate apps for your business needs.
The better question is, if you are using all-in-one software or don’t have software – what functions should your software perform?
Find the right software and compatibility
Now that you’ve defined your objectives, you need to find individual software apps that fulfill your needs. To quote Apple, “There’s an App for that”. The good news about stack is that you can be selective about which applications you want to use for which purposes rather than being isolated with an all-in-one software suite.
Many software companies know you intend to use your software in a stack and design your estimation software to be compatible with the document processing app. The confirmed estimate can be sent straight to the right spot within your contract and budget app. Check their reviews to ensure compatibility. Bridgit offers a comparison of two systems: Bridgit Bench and Laborchart, to give you an idea of what these types of systems offer.
While some companies don’t offer out of the box compatibility, other apps can be found to bridge the gap. Otherwise, many construction software companies have customers with the same issues. Tell them you want compatibility, and they may offer it.
Office vs Field
One of the more important compatibility issues comes from the office. Do you have office employees who perform roles like payroll, accounts payable, or help buy materials? Make sure your stack is set up so that you have compatibility between your own workers. Project sites are more connected than ever and being able to tell your office to order more materials or prepare documents in a certain way while sending them can make your business highly efficient and keep your workers organized and happy.
Get feedback from your employees about things they think you can be done more efficiently between the office and the field. They are the ones doing work and can offer the best ideas regarding what works and what doesn’t. Imagine being able to change your project management scheduling and having a notification sent to the office where changes can be communicated. That’s the efficiency of a stack.
Finding the Right Software to Start
We mentioned earlier that to quote Apple, “There’s an App for that.” The good news is that you probably have many choices especially if you are first starting your stack. The bad news is making those choices. A stack allows you to pick the best of the best for your needs with previously mentioned considerations for compatibility.
Look at reviews for software choices to ensure you are both getting the best deal and that the software performs the specific function you need it for. See if it sends the results to another app that you could use for the next stage in your project.
The best part of the stack is choosing just the right easy to use software for every party of your construction management. Since the software is not all in one, you can also decide later to switch to a different app for the purpose.
As mentioned, stacks enable you to change software more easily since each piece of software is doing something specific. What happens when you expand into more kinds of construction or you need more capability? You can simply choose a different software that works better without replacing the entire stack. Stacks are meant to be highly flexible and work for your business as your needs change.
For people who want to do more with their construction management software, building a stack can be an exciting process. You have the ability to choose from your own suite of software to accomplish all the tasks you and your home office want to tackle. In the future, you can simply replace the software.
When making choices, make sure your hardware and computers are ready. Finding a series of products with great training will also help you become more efficient faster. Put your programs together and watch your business grow!
We hope our article helped you know a bit more about the process of finding the right combination of software and why you should consider using a stack of software versus an all-in-one software for your business.