Construction Project Management Software Comparison – What Questions Should You Ask Before Buying?

Construction Project Management Software Comparison – What Questions Should You Ask Before Buying?

Today, there are now a few great construction project management programs available. Choosing what program is best for your construction project should be similar to the interview process a human construction manager would go through. Consider the following dissection of these program options to be a written resume and references rolled into one for 5 popular construction project management software programs: EADOC, Autodesk, Trimble Navigation Meridian Systems, Oracle Primavera, and Microsoft.

Here are the top 8 questions you should ask before purchasing a construction project management system.

1. What does the construction project management system cost?

The cost involved in buying and using the construction project management program itself varies between the different options. EADOC is the only construction project management software available whose cost is based on a per project (per program) basis. On the other hand, Microsoft charges for each individual user as well as for each server license. The price of the other programs mentioned is determined by the number of users. The only way to truly know what cost is most efficient for your construction project is to compare prices and evaluate that number based on the number of those involved in the project. We created a great construction project management comparison chart here.

2. Do they offer a demonstration of their project management system?

A very useful way to help you compare construction project management systems would be instant access to an online demo. This allows potential users to get a “feel” and understanding on whether or not the software will be the most helpful. Many construction project management websites do not offer this option. However, EADOC and Microsoft are among the few as they both offer website demos for those looking into their product. We created a great construction project management comparison here.

3. Is the construction project management system web based?

Having a web based construction project management system is what allows speedy communication and universal access to important documents and information anywhere there is internet access. This is especially important for construction projects that involve numerous departments and contractors that may not be housed within the same office building. Construction project management programs that offer this option are EADOC, Autodesk, and Trimble Navigation Meridian Systems. Oracle Primavera and Microsoft do not offer this service. You can view more about our construction project management comparison here.

4. If the construction project management system is web based, which browsers can you use?

Which browsers a construction project management is accessible through is important, especially for the sake of inter-office coordinating. Four of the construction project management software programs mentioned are only completely accessible through Internet Explorer, while half of those must be run on Windows. EADOC is the only construction project management program whose server can be accessed through Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.

5. How much time, energy, and resources does it take to be trained on the construction management system?

Because construction project management programs can be complex, there is training time required to allow each user to fully understand and take full advantage of everything this type of software has to offer. Eadoc boasts the shortest average training time for construction project management software. Generally, all they really need to train their users is 2-4 hours. The longest amount of time required for each person to learn Autodesk can last anywhere from 5 to 10 days. Another option, Oracle Primavera requires at least 5 days of training, usually longer. Individual training in Trimble Navigation Meridian Systems takes 1 to 5 days. The training time needed for Microsoft depends entirely on what you build with their platform.

6. If you use sub-contractors and sub consultants, can they have access to the construction project management software as well?

Sub-contractors are a large part of a construction project and they need the ability to access information just as often as the rest of those involved in the construction project. This is another area of a construction project management software program that should be a requirement. Both EADOC and Trimble Navigation Meridian Systems agree with that logic. However, for those construction projects using Autodesk or Oracle Primavera, an additional application is needed to allow sub-contractors access to the construction project management software. Microsoft also makes this step more difficult by requiring this function to be built by the client requiring significant time and expense.

7. Does the construction project management system allow document linking?

The reason you would purchase construction project management software is to allow access and provide a central place for all the documents involved in the project. One of the advantages of this type of program is the option of document linking and document logging, allowing information to continue to flow smoothly and continuously up-to-date. All the construction project management software programs mentioned here do allow for document logging, however, only EADOC has document linking available. We have assembled a construction project management comparison chart here.

8. What sort of reporting tools are available?

Reporting is a vital way of keeping all involved in the construction project on-track and up-to-date on current changes. Both EADOC and Autodesk have a reporting tool built directly into their construction project management software. On the other hand, Trimble Navigation Meridian Systems and Oracle Primavera also offer a reporting tool, but they use outside sources such as Crystal Reports and Sybase InfoMaker. Like many of the options available with Microsoft’s construction project management software, their reporting tool must be hand-built.

For more information, please view our construction project management comparison chart.