Cloud Software for Construction & Trades
Updated: Jan 7, 2019
This blog is about cloud software that allows trades and construction companies to manage projects. We are talking about larger projects that last a few weeks to a few months.
If your business deals with short jobs of a few hours to a day, we’ll discuss cloud software that fits your need in a future blog.
PAIN POINTS THAT CLOUD SOFTWARE CAN SOLVE:
1. TIME SHEETS
You have a team that is at a site, running a few sites as well as a management team that is managing multiple projects.
You must gather all those time sheets at the end of the day and put that all together and get that to your bookkeeper by the end of the week.
Going to a cloud solution, using an app or log in on a tablet or phone you can enter it once, enter now and move on.
2. PROJECT COSTS, MARGINS AND HOW MUCH PROFIT YOU ARE MAKING
Traditionally in Sage or QuickBooks desktop you would get all your invoices to your bookkeeper sometime in that week or month, ideally.
Bookkeeper enters it into Sage or QuickBooks and hopefully early the following week or month, you get a report on how you are doing.
This was revolutionary in the 90’s but we are in 2018 now and this can be done better!
Cloud software allows you to see your projects cost up-to-date much faster, even as fast as in real time with the proper process.
With cloud-based project management software, you will be able to integrate with a cloud-based accounting software.
For example, Workflow Max is great software for project management that integrates perfectly with Xero, which is an accounting software.
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN CHOOSING CLOUD SOFTWARE:
1. MAKE SURE IT PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
The beauty of moving away from desktop software and to the cloud, is that many of those cloud software's will let you to connect multiple other add-ons to them and let you create one system. This is called integration.
You can 3,4,5 software programs doing what they do best, and integrated them together to have one system that plays nice together. Because some of this require a deeper understanding of how the info flows between the various software's, that’s where we can come in and help you out. We specialize in delving into those kinds of connections and how they speak to each other and make sure it goes smoothly.
2. EASE OF USE
You want ease of use and the just the right amount of customization. That is, enough information to create meaningful reports and to track what’s important to you, but not so much options that it’s a chore to manage and/or what’s important to you gets lost in the noise.
Look at the app and see if that is easy to use and navigate. Can you find where to create a new project, add a cost to a project, or enter time relatively easily?
Look at their help center and their knowledge base. Is it comprehensive in what they cover as well as the level of details? Is it easy to follow or too technical?In many cases, it’s more efficient to just watch the videos or read on your own time instead of being on phone support.Other times, you’ll prefer a responsive email or phone support.
Security is another point to consider – often the main concern about using cloud software.Your data should be encrypted when at rest (when you are not using the software) and in transit (when you are using the software). The best in class software will cover both of those with encryption at least as strong as that of your bank.Also make sure they support strong password because that will be your encryption key protecting your data.Talking of strong password, see our previous blog about best practices for password here.