Keeping a job on budget, on time and within regulations is challenging as it is. When project managers also have to hunt down invoices, track statuses on RFCs and maintain their field notes, all while volleying phone calls and emails, project management can look a lot like a juggling act with a whole lot at stake. A dropped change order or a missed email can cost days of work and tens of thousands of dollars. Slowing down the pace of business isn’t an option. So how do contractors keep project management organized on jobs that can change at the speed of the Internet and have as many moving parts?
Technology Alone Isn’t the Solution
Whether the technology is a smartphone to send and receive emails, a mobile app to take field notes or a pad of paper, technology in itself isn’t going to help keep projects organized and efficient. Even the most current, cutting-edge solutions, if implemented in pieces and parts, aren’t going to help the whole work together better. Having software to manage purchase orders only helps so much if RFCs are bouncing loose between email accounts. And even if those field notes are available anywhere from the cloud, that doesn’t necessarily keep them stored together with all of the project correspondence. The problem remains that all the moving parts aren’t being kept in sync. Think of that project manager just juggling shinier, more aerodynamic objects–like swords, for example.
Integrated Software Puts PMs in Command
If juggling paper isn’t working and juggling swords isn’t much better, the idea is to retire the juggling act altogether by bringing all the pieces together in one place. Construction accounting software integrates the various aspects of the job that are important to project managers into one application, whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud. More, the Job Center in Foundation construction accounting software lets project managers access and update the most relevant project documents and data all from one central location. Emails, field notes and punch lists, RFCs, RFIs and RFPs are all detailed alongside change orders, purchase orders and subcontracts. Users can even define custom document types to upload, add notes to, store and track, as well as add notes and attach files to other documents. The Job Center is like a command center for project managers, where instead of a juggling act, job documents seem to orbit around them.
Project management software has an added advantage when it integrates with an email client to keep job correspondence organized alongside other important project documents. Foundation’s Microsoft Outlook® integration gives project managers the ability to save emails and their attachments to the Job Center, so old emails are always easy to search, sort and find, creating a valuable and reliable history of communication. Email-integrated construction software can subsequently allow project managers to review a custom-sorted summary of an entire job’s correspondence.
Finally, when integrated project-management solutions are adapted for mobile technology, the command over projects that PMs have in the office can extend its reach into the field. Not only can managers record quantities and log field notes right from the job site; this data can be submitted to the office instantaneously, where it can be synced with the rest of the system to yield practically up-to-the-minute job progress reports and keep the office current on job site conditions without having to look in multiple locations. Foundation mobile® can submit timecards, notes, weather, equipment usage and more, right from the job site. There’s also no juggling between field and office when both are able to maintain the same record almost simultaneously.
Project management is all about keeping multiple balls in the air. But whether project managers are juggling paperwork or juggling different tools, construction accounting software can offer a better, more integrated solution. Foundation keeps the most important documents, data and tools close to hand so that project managers can keep their projects humming and contractors can keep their business thriving.