7 Examples of Solutions that Automate Planning and Management in Construction

May 16, 2023
10 min

Automation in construction is not only about robots or drones that help companies get the manual work done fast. Automation starts with the proper estimation of resources and human labor, team scheduling, and communication with suppliers, contractors, and other project members.

The good news is that construction management solutions are here to help you keep the data connected and stored in one place, your activities streamlined, and communication between teams flawless.

Top Benefits of Technology in Construction  

Efficient Planning, Scheduling, and Estimation

Did you know that about 75% of construction firms postpone projects due to a poorly managed supply chain?

Creating and processing invoices, adding real-time updates, and making sure everything is stored in one place with no data getting lost is possible with construction management solutions.

With proper construction management software, you can collaborate with suppliers faster. With estimation and budgeting tools, your team will know the number of materials ordered, their price, and when to expect them. If a delay happens, you can warn your team and reschedule activities – all that can be done in one place.

Better Tracking of Activities

Most project management software for construction allows users to set deadlines for tasks and events and receive reminders when the deadline approaches. Other tools go hand in glove with GPS tracking – from now on, not only can you track your team’s activities and the time spent on-site but also the asset’s whereabouts.

Accurate Predictions

Technologies like building information modeling or BIM are irreplaceable helpers when it comes to reducing errors in design, creating the building’s digital twin, and testing it in a simulated environment that imitates real physical surroundings.

As for the planning and estimation stages, construction data analytics tools can perform a historical data analysis, presenting the results in dashboards and charts.

Enhanced Security and Safety

In construction, security is multifaceted and comes with both hardware and software solutions. You no longer need to worry about your laser scanners or robotics being lost or stolen – simply make GPS tracking technology a part of your jobsite management to prevent or recover stolen property, unauthorized uses, and reduce downtime.

What about cybersecurity? Yes, it is there too. When entered, data is encrypted in construction management tools that often come with cloud protection mechanisms, data loss prevention, and end point protection.

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Main Areas of Tech Development for Construction Industry

Autonomous Construction Robots

In the future, more robots will work side by side with humans. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, since robotic technologies have pioneered automation in construction by reducing repetitive time-consuming tasks and material waste.

From excavation and welding robots to machines that screw, mill, sand, and paint (like Baubot and Okibo robots), the variety is huge. Other machines are brick-layers (can lay more than 3 thousand bricks a day compared to the 1000 a human can do) and on-site drafters.

3D Printing

3D printers reduce time and material waste by up to 70% and help construction companies solve the shortage of bricklayers.

Some communities (like non-profit organizations in Austin, Texas) are already using 3D printers to deal with homelessness, since 3D printers make half-price and half-time building possible.

No, there is no paper involved in the process if that was your first thought. A typical 3D printer often has a nozzle for the ‘paste’ extrusion that layers the soft material like cement in complex geometric shapes according to the algorithm the machine has been infused with.

Drone Technologies

A drone is an aerial vehicle often coming with a ground-based controller and a communications system.

In construction, drones are used for spatial inspection and process monitoring, allowing construction teams to obtain visual data fast and from the most hard-to-reach places while ensuring construction site safety.

The collected data can be further used for 3D model creation.

Construction Planning and Management Tools

That’s all well and good, but no one can turn a construction project into reality without proper planning and management.

This is where construction planning and management solutions come to save a day.

Apart from streamlining the entire project management lifecycle, these tools assist with budgeting, estimating and bidding, integrate with third-party solutions (not all of them – keep in mind that and ask a provider before purchasing a tool), analyze historical data, and improve forecasting.

Key Benefits of Using Construction Management Software 

Key Benefits of Using Construction Management Software

Most construction management solutions are cloud-based and offer a subscription model. This means that all data is stored in the cloud, and anyone can access it with authorized access on any device. All you need is a web browser and a good Internet connection. The perk of opting for a cloud-based solution is that it is upgraded and maintained by the provider.

The opposite of a cloud-based project management tool is on-premises. These tools require hardware and servers for data storage. All upgrades and maintenance work are done by the company’s IT team. An on-premises solution comes with a one-off payment but with less convenience compared to a cloud-based one.

7 Examples of Solutions that Automate Planning and Management in Construction

Construction CRMs

You can stop wasting hours on extracting data from multiple places like legacy systems, document folders, and Excel spreadsheets.

Client relationship management or CRM is a complex data management solution that enables users to store their contacts (clients, partners, contractors and subcontractors, and insurance adjusters) in one place.

With CRM, pieces like company name, location, ID, website, company’s representatives, and the Account owner (the person who has created the company’s Account and modifies it) don’t get lost.

Everyone can benefit from CRM. Construction developers can record details for Consultants and Contractors, add comments to their work and store them in CRM so other teams that are the next to take over the project can access them.

Consultants can classify contractors based on the job types they provide, rate them, and make better decisions.

With custom CRM, estimators can create accounts for the suppliers, upload quotations and leave their feedback, so if the next time there is a need to hire a contractor, estimators can make a better decision based on the feedback they left in the CRM notes.

Meanwhile, contractors will surely benefit from the team scheduling, reporting, and contract and quote management. If you’ve got a sales team as a subcontractor, CRM will help them determine the most prospective leads to follow up with and book the jobs for you faster.

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Construction Estimation and Bidding Software

Tools like On-Screen Takeoff and Heavy Bid help construction companies estimate the project and manage the bids, analyze subcontractor and supplier quotes, and assign quantity values to estimate assemblies.

With the help of construction estimating solutions, contractors can send bidding invitations to subcontractors, save and compare bids, and determine the total project costs, deadlines, milestones, and resources required for project completion.

Some come with pre-built construction estimate templates, including fields like Design, Permits, and Zoning. Others might offer construction scheduling templates, proposal generators, and digital signature functionality for contract management.

Construction Budgeting Software

Unlike traditional accounting software, construction budgeting tools consider all players in the construction field, allow users to track expenses, estimate job costs, and timely proceed with bank transactions.

With access to contract documents and billing, you’ll never forget to pay your contractors or suppliers on time.

A construction budgeting tool can be both as a stand-alone product or embedded into construction estimation and bidding tools for ensuring precise estimation of direct and indirect costs like payments for materials and contractors services

With this software, users can see project value, project cost and gross profit and compare what they’ve planned and how they’re spending.

The user can put their expenses into different categories to get insight into which parts of the project are the most expensive. They can manage financial data by assigning pieces of data to each client they’re working with.

Most construction budgeting tools have interactive financial charts, dashboards, and reporting features that analyze your data, all conveniently stored in one place.

Construction Architecture and Design Software

The vastest category of all, these tools contribute to the automation in construction by reducing design errors and storing the drafts and ready 2D and 3D models of buildings in one place, which external and internal stakeholders can access during on-site building.

Architecture and design software like building information modeling or BIM (tools like Autodesk BIM 360, SketchUp, and Vectorworks Architect) help construction companies identify any potential design and construction issues and revise building plans.

One can create virtual models of future buildings, view the model from multiple angles, and manipulate the components like doors, floors, roofs, and others to ensure future safety.

Tools like IDEA Architecture allow users to compose 2D and 3D models, animation, and export designs that once integrated with VR solutions, allow contractors to improve their walkthroughs, ensure building accuracy, and determine construction risks.

Simultaneously, other members can extract still images and use them as a visualization for their on-site activities.

Floor plan management software is perfect for renovation teams, space interior designers, and real estate agents. Basically, it’s a draft that visualizes the location of the property elements like doors, windows, and rooms among others. You might see how the garage relates to the hall and whether the house needs an additional entry to access the kitchen.

Want to power up your construction design team with more visualization? Then use site plan software. Tools like SmartDraw come with pre-built templates and elements one can drag and drop for building an interactive site map.

Construction Project Management Software

The backbone of any project, construction project management software helps both residential and commercial players avoid delays and cost overruns by offering a 360-degree overview of the project when it comes to communication, document and cost management.

Most project management solutions allow users to coordinate budgeting, procurement, keep project regulations and expectations at the user’s fingertips, assign tasks, and manage workflows.

A standard project management tool provides control and visibility of task progress with deadline reminders and notifications.

A company can manage a few construction projects and communicate with clients, partners, suppliers, and contractors in one place.

Building often involves a few teams of contractors. With project management tools, no time is wasted. Let’s say, the concreting team can’t complete their task because of the material delay. With a proper management tool, you can edit the scheduling, reach out to the carpentry team that’s supposed to take over the project after the concrete work is done, inform them about the issue, and contact the supplier. All this can be performed in minutes with construction automation.

Jobsite Management Software

A top-notch jobsite management tool is not only about field collaboration but safety and real-time project assessment as well. It provides a bird’s eye view of the site activities, on-site team collaboration, and improves communication between the back office and the construction site.

Jobsite management tools come in all shapes and sizes. Tools like CompanyCam are photo-based solutions for contractors that allow users to annotate photos with comments and voice notes, keep them in the form of reports and galleries, and later share them with others.

Other tools like Busybusy suggest GPS time tracking for contractors, hence easy monitoring of labor, resources, and equipment.

Most jobsite management solutions allow the user to work offline without disrupting the connection between foremen and a project manager, which is vital if the construction site is out of the Internet coverage.

On-site management tools usually go hand in hand with the project management software. With proper integration (that is often a separate service to pay for, but totally worth it), construction project managers can receive automated on-site updates.

Let’s say an incident happened. The user can fill in an accident report that will land on the manager’s desk in a minute, so the manager can take timely measures. The same goes for inspection reports and forensic delay analysis.

Construction Data Analytics Software

One of the costliest construction management solutions, data analytics helps companies utilize their data to the fullest. As an example, tools like Autodesk and Procore are powered by machine learning that scans data and identifies project areas associated with high risk.

With 95% of the data being unused in engineering and construction, companies lose an opportunity to reap the benefits of forecasting.

A construction data analytics tool performs historical data analysis and helps users identify patterns with data visualization and report templates: for example, predict the amount of material and the total funding for the project based on historical data.

With proper integration with other tools, one can view data delivered by drones and VR/AR and collect data from other apps.

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Why Consider Ascendix a Construction Software Development Partner?

Ascendix is a Dallas-based team of professionals dedicated to helping companies in real estate, including construction, to streamline their business operations, win more customers, and get the best from technology when it comes to data management and its automation.

Why choose Ascendix as a construction software development partner?

  • We’ve been in real estate for 16+ years;
  • We’re both technology service providers and product owners with 17 products on portfolio. We know what it takes to build a one-stop digital solution that encompasses functionality tailored specifically for your business operations;
  • We’ve got experience in both web and mobile app development;
  • We’ve been building SaaS solutions for years. Hence, we know how to audit your current software and customize it. We can also build and test an MVP solution and help you migrate to cloud;
  • Ascendix has 5 offices in US and Europe, a feature that will save you costs;
  • The world’s most prominent real estate companies – JLL and Colliers International – have been relying on our real estate development services to automate inhouse operations for more than a decade now. Check their success stories on our portfolio.

We know how much timely estimation, scheduling, and follow-ups with customers, contractors, and suppliers matter. Let’s build a digital construction solution that meets your business needs together!

Proptech Software Development Portfolio by Ascendix

Check out the overview of the proptech consulting and software development projects we delivered to our clients.

Which are the top construction management solutions?

Top construction management solutions are construction CRM, estimating, bidding, and budgeting tools, on-site management software, and data analytics. 

What is construction project management software?

Construction project management software is a tool that helps construction project managers streamline project-related activities, provide communication between the back office and sites, assign tasks, and manage scheduling. 

How can automation in construction help my business?

Automation in construction significantly reduces delays and improves on-site collaboration and communication with suppliers, contractors, and other members. It also helps you perform estimation, budgeting and scheduling faster and with higher precision. 


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