Construction scheduling software: what construction pros use to plan, organize, and monitor timing on construction projects.
Scheduling allows construction project managers to precisely plan the work that’ll be done, while optimizing the project’s time and budget. They also allow for project forecasting and the ability to identify problems early on.
Needless to say, scheduling is an important part of construction.
A typical construction project has multiple stages:
- Conception & design: deciding how the building is going to look.
- Pre-construction: completing all the prep work and gathering the resources and materials you’ll need to start building.
- Construction: building time.
- Commission: making sure everything works and the building is safe.
- Occupancy: moving people in.
Now of course, all of these stages need to be scheduled as part of project planning. Just think about it though, why would you use a totally separate software just for scheduling a meeting when you could just use you CRM instead?
Keep reading to learn why you should replace your construction scheduling software with a CRM (and reap better results by doing so).
CRM has evolved. Scheduling software… not so much.
Back in the day, CRM had one purpose: managing customer information. But CRM is so much more now.
A good CRM serves as a centralized platform where all of your project communications and updates live and keeps your whole team on the same page. This makes it the perfect place to house your construction schedule as well, where it’ll be visible to everyone involved in a project.
A lot of scheduling software, though, are pretty much the same thing they were decades ago: basic, spreadsheet-type interfaces that require a bunch of manual data entry and aren’t integrated with the rest of your tech stack.
Don’t get us wrong, construction scheduling software’s definitely got some pros. They can:
- Shorten completion time
- Save you money
- Increase productivity among construction teams
- Let you more easily coordinate with subcontractors
- Help spotlight potential scheduling problems before they turn into real problems
- Ensure work is completed in proper sequential order
- Mean less risk of unexpected problems coming up
- Create more efficiency among construction teams as deadlines are clear
- Enable project transparency
You know what else can do all these things? A CRM.
Construction scheduling software vs. CRM
Before we dive into the advantages of using a CRM over scheduling software, let’s just go through this chart real quick. As you can see, CRM gives you many of the same features as typical construction scheduling software:
Here’s why a CRM is better than scheduling software (even the free ones).
“I don’t waste money paying for scheduling software and I sure as heck am not going to pay money for a paid scheduling software, let alone a CRM.” - skeptical construction pro
Money’s a thing. We get it. But you need to make sure you’re looking at the bigger picture and figuring out if using free construction scheduling software—which are usually pretty bare-bones—is really saving you money.
If you’re running a smaller construction company, you may be able to get away with free or open source scheduling tools. If you have plans on growing however, scalability is something you’ll need to look at in addition to affordability and ease of use.
CRM can easily scale up or down with your company. It also offers so much more than a scheduling software.
Here are four reasons why CRM is better than plain old scheduling software:
Reason 1: Get notified about project updates in real time.
Rather than having your construction scheduling software separate from the rest of your tech stack, a CRM gives you a unified platform that’ll help your entire team stay organized by syncing calendars, communications, documents, budgets, and more.
By keeping everything in one place, the whole team will be able to monitor the construction project and get notified in real-time with updates such as budget or scheduling changes.
If your CRM is cloud-based and mobile-friendly, you’ll be able to access your project info anytime, anywhere. You’ll also get push notifications with someone on your team makes updates to the project, straight to your mobile device.
Reason 2: Collaborate better with G Suite.
G Suite is a leader in collaboration software. Copper integrates with G Suite, and in doing so, empowers teams project-wide to collaborate and work toward common objectives and deadlines in the most efficient way possible. This means no duplicate work, no wasted time on emails and administrative duties, and a schedule that’s stuck to.
G Suite programs like Google Docs (more tips for Docs here) and Sheets let you and your colleagues collaborate on documents in real time, no matter where you are. Construction managers, subcontractors, engineers, architects, surveyors... they don't exactly all work out of the same office. Rather, they're often spread out on the job field, so having on-the-go access to project documents ensures everyone stays plugged in with the most up-to-date data.
Plus, G Suite is mobile-friendly, with privacy settings that keep your documents secure to authorized users. There's no need for a VPN to access them—all you need is the internet.
For example, here's how a CRM integrates into G Suite:
Reason 3: Manage all your relationships from your Gmail account.
Working in construction involves forming relationships with people in a variety of roles: clients, subcontractors, vendors, partners, laborers, and so on.
That’s a lot of relationships to manage.
According to a The CRM Benchmark Report, three quarters of participants reported using Gmail as their primary email host. Now imagine all those emails with these various project members all syncing into your CRM—including your scheduled meetings and deadlines. Beautiful.
Spoiler alert: Copper integrates with Gmail too.
Reason 4: Makes scheduling meetings easier than ever.
Copper’s meeting scheduler makes it easy for you and your contacts to find time to chat. It does this by letting you send them an up-to-date Google Calendar link (more GCal tips here) where they can select a time that works for them. As soon as they pick a time from your calendar, the meeting will be scheduled automatically.
This is super useful for setting meetings with subcontractors, vendors, or anyone else you need to touch base with easily and efficiently.
Here’s how it works:
- Set your availability in Copper. When you share your Google Calendar with someone for them to pick a meeting time, they’ll be able to select a time within this availability.
- Create an event type. This will tell your recipient what type of meeting this is, how long it’ll be, and where it will take place.
- Insert the event type into an email. Select the event type you just created and compose any message you want attached to the meeting invite. Alternatively, just copy and paste the event type’s link into a fresh email in Gmail.
Take Copper for a spin (for free).
You’re a construction pro. You know that no matter how big or small a project is, scheduling and meeting deadlines is critical. So, it’s important you’re using the best tool to manage your construction schedule.
You could use traditional construction scheduling software, or you could skip the extra (and oftentimes, redundant) software by taking full advantage of your CRM.
If your CRM doesn’t help you plan and schedule your construction projects while also serving as a collaboration platform, manage your business relationships, and overall improves the way your projects are carried out, it’s time for an upgrade.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial of Copper. If by the end of your trial, you decide you’d still rather use your traditional construction scheduling software, that’s totally cool. (We’re pretty confident you’ll love it though.)
Ready to give it a shot? Change the way you schedule today.