Running a firm in the construction industry isn’t a walk in the park. There are so many factors to be considered during every phase of each project, so having the right project management software is important.
Construction software helps streamline project tasks while keeping tracks of the personnel and the projects.
These software are usually built or designed to be complete solutions that streamline project tasks while keeping track of projects from beginning to completion.
The right building information modeling software can help you be efficient, effective, stay on budget, manage your team and stakeholders, and meet project deadlines.
What you need to look for in a good BIM software are the main features it offers and whether these meet your needs, as well as the cost as it impacts your budget.
Other factors like the size of your business and customer support also affect the software you’ll pick to help with all your needs for your AEC professionals team, and client projects.
Buildertrend is one such software that helps you not only be efficient and effective, but also increase your productivity. It is a leading solution both in New Zealand, as well as around the world and is cloud-based which means work is done in real time with everyone connected and updated.
This BIM software makes it feasible to manage many jobs simultaneously and efficiently, without your team having to spend time on their phones making calls or jotting down notes in their diaries for follow up purposes.
What is Buildertrend?
Founded in 2006, Buildertrend, which was a result of an observation by founders Dan Houghton, Jeff and Steve Dugger, is one of the fastest growing ways you can increase productivity in your construction firm using technology.
The founders figured that residential construction companies needed a software that is both friendly and easy to use, and web-based, to enable them build more and complete projects much faster, while reducing costly errors of communication and maximizing clients’ satisfaction.
Thus Buildertrend was born. This is a cloud-based software that brings together project managers, subbies, clients, and builders as well as anyone else that needs to be updated on the progress of the project in real time.
It can be accessed from any smart device or PC so everyone is kept updated from any location and any time without the need for additional hardware.
The platform currently serves more than 5,200 customers in more than 40 nations globally, with over 240,000 users that range from subcontractors to homeowners. As stated, this award-winning BIM software is created for remodelers and home builders and packs all the tools you need in one comprehensive suite.
Below is a list of some of its benefits to businesses and teams in the AEC industry.
Feature packed and helps you find business opportunities
Buildertrend comes loaded with a number of benefits based on its features that are designed to help AEC professionals and other users discover and find business opportunities. Among these is its lead management tool that helps users build and/or monitor their leads, while converting them to working projects.
Eases making of proposals and bids
Another benefit here is in terms of proposal and bid making, which is made easy as users simply refer to past data to make precise estimations. It also saves any successful proposals which can be used later again in the future.
Easily send documents from any device
Users of Buildertrend can access the software from mobile devices, which means sending documents or sharing files is easy and fast. This helps them function properly even when they’re in a remote location.
Integrations with other critical apps
Buildertrend is integrated with tools you need to make sure that all the phases of the building lifecycle are catered for. Among these tools are scheduling, which shifts automatically with any new changes made in the system. All persons involved in the project also get up-to-date or real time updates owing to the software’s notification features. They can also be assigned their to-do lists or tasks, and a log is available to monitor assignments that can be given to, and shared to every concerned user or group. The timesheet feature helps with this, and it can also be accessed from mobile devices.
Elimination of errors from purchase orders
With Buildertrend, you can manage your purchase orders and eliminate any errors from purchasing. Its real-time comment feature and private messaging lets you easily communicate with users in the same system, thus you get outstanding collaboration opportunities.
Backup and export of data
Buildertrend allows you to export your data to Excel as well as other major and commonly used formats through its data portability functionality. Whatever information you have on Buildertrend through your account can also be retrieved conveniently, in non-proprietary but open file formats.
Import your data from other software
You can import your data from another software using Buildertrend as it has data conversion as well as implementation for all customers. Your account manager will help you determine a plan during the ‘Getting Started Process’, so you can plan how to move forward.
Buildertrend features are divided into different groups including:
- Pre-sale process tools
- Project management tools
- Financial tools
- Customer management tools
Let’s look at each of these categories and the features they come with that facilitate communication, documentation and collaboration in your construction business.
Pre-Sale Process tools
Buildertrend has everything you need in order to land more clients or jobs, while creating estimates that are more accurate. The tools that enable this include:
- Bid requests. With this you can send bid requests much faster, lower your costs, work without using paper, and collaborate better, which is crucial for successful jobs
- Estimates. Buildertrend provides single entry estimating, which helps generate proposals that are professional. It also has seamless integration with other applications that aid in estimation.
- Leads/CRM. With Buildertrend, you can integrate custom lead generation, create mass marketing campaigns, and in turn close deals much faster.
- Proposals. This feature allows you to save and use your proposals at a future date, get instant signatures via mobile devices, and get faster proposals by creating a catalog.
- Customer login. Buildertrend offers a customized login page, and with this you can easily access reviews from customers on your website, while making impressive sales presentations
- Auto email marketing. This feature allows users of Buildertrend software to create automated drip-email campaigns, and prevents your leads from falling through the cracks
Project management tools
Project management is made easier by Buildertrend as you can work from your office, or on site. The features that make this possible include:
- Daily logs: You can document jobs notes, shoot photos easily, and use voice to text to record anything that you note while working.
- To-Do’s: Just like the regular to-do list, you can use this Buildertrend feature to hold your subs to account, get alerts upon completion, and get access to the field work.
- Scheduling: This provides custom schedule templates, with multiple views, plus you can schedule your shifts automatically and receive notifications
- Doc & Photos: This feature allows you to share your progression photos, and blueprints, even while you’re on the jobsite so others on the team can see them in real time
- Messaging: You can comment on threads, or search for messages by topics, and share only with those who need to see them.
- Warranty: This feature lets you create a punch list while onsite, streamline warranty requests and use key reporting tools
- Plan mark up: This comes with features such as access to mobile, multiple version history, and annotation over blueprints
- Trade partners: With this, you can update your schedules, send Purchase orders and bid requests
Better processes in your AEC businesses, means larger margins for your bottom line. Buildertrend helps you attain this with the features listed below:
- Payments: With this, you can schedule requests for payment, track all payments, and accept online payments
- Budget: This feature lets you view all financials in one spot (automated), while doing job costing for projects
- Purchase orders: This provides custom cost codes, and maintains accountability while allowing you to collaborate with team members
- Integration: Buildertrend integrates with Xero and Quickbooks for accounting, social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter; it also integrates with online payment software like WePay and PayPal
- Lien Waivers: With Buildertrend, you can release subs for electronic approval, integrate to online payment systems, and link waivers to purchase orders
- Time clock: This offers custom reporting, mobile clocking in or out, and it is easy to export it to your accounting software for billing
- Change Orders: With Buildertrend, you can create COs easily on the fly, use mobile touch for signatures, and get project cost summaries for each transaction
Customer Management tools
Buildertrend ensures you benefit from the power of referrals from happy customers using its customer management tools including:
- Customer Login: This provides a customized login page, which also allows customers to post their reviews directly to your website, and you too can make impressive sales presentations to the clients
- Selections include online selection approval tools, and you can use it to keep work scheduled and coordinate your selections based on the schedule
- Surveys/Review: This lets you send and/or analyze surveys, while promoting reviews on your website
- Communication. You can search by topics, comment on threads, and share information or files with those who need to see it
- Mobile app: Buildertrend’s mobile app gives you access from wherever you are, even on the field, and from any mobile device like tablets or phones, and keeps voice to text logs.
Buildertrend pricing plans are determined by the number of jobs started monthly or annually and the type of jobs. This means it can be cheaper as you add more jobs, and it has no setup fees or any long-term contracts.
It also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, and for thirty days, you get to add unlimited number of projects, risk free.
Pricing plan monthly: $99/month
With this plan, here’s what Buildertrend offers:
- 1 project every year
- Unlimited number of users
- Unlimited phone and email support
- Unlimited sessions for training
- Unlimited storage for your files
- Marketing materials are included
All customers get unlimited support, users, training, and file storage, so their pricing isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. It starts from $99 monthly, but you can call for more information at 1-877-309-0368.
The training options available for customers include live training, with free access, and support resources. Their knowledge base is extensive and comes complete with walkthroughs, answers to FAQs, and short training videos. You can also schedule one-on-one trainings that you need and this comes at no extra cost.
Supported devices: Windows, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, Web-based
Pricing: Monthly payment
Customer Types: Small and medium businesses; large enterprises; freelancers. Clients span across teh world, most of them are classified as home building, remodeling, general and/or specialty contractors.
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone (Mon-Fri 8am – 5pmCST) 402-905-2506, x3; Toll Free: 1-888-415-7149
- Live support – Monday-Friday 8am-5pm CST
- Dedicated account manager
- Learning community
- Training videos
- Written tutorials
- Online help section
- Live webinars (free) – weekdays from 10am-11am CST
- Newsletters (monthly)