How Custom Software Can Solve Specialty Contractors' Unique Challenges
By Megan Young | 3/21/2023
When companies are seeking to improve their business processes, choosing the right software is critical. However, with so many options available, selecting the right tools can be a daunting task. Established software platforms such as Procore, SmartSheet, BuilderTrend, and others, are often the first choice for many companies, but they may not always meet the specific needs of specialty contractors. In some cases, companies may start a trial phase with an off-the-shelf solution but end up abandoning them in favor of custom software development.
Problems a specialty contractor might face with off-the-shelf solutions:
Construction companies have complex needs, and the construction industry is one of the most specialized sectors in the economy. Specialty contractors have unique requirements that often go beyond the capabilities of off-the-shelf software tools. These needs may include project management, scheduling, cost estimating, inventory, equipment maintenance, and safety compliance.
Off-the-shelf software may lack the necessary features and functionalities required by specialty contractors to manage their operations efficiently. For instance, larger platforms may not be able to meet the specific estimating requirements of specialty contractors, which are crucial for tracking project profitability. These pre-built solutions are often designed with general contractors in mind and may not consider the unique needs of contractors who manage and perform their own work. This necessitates more flexibility in how individual components such as labor, equipment, trucks, materials, and other expenses are managed in an estimate.
Data Integration issues
Specialty contractors may face challenges with data synchronization and workflows when using third-party solutions that are not compatible with their existing systems and tools. This can cause users to spend an excessive amount of time on data entry across multiple systems, leading to delays in completing jobs on time.
Off-the-shelf software often provides insufficient customization options, making the investment unjustified. Additionally, these solutions can be excessively intricate and restrictive, resulting in specialty contractors only being able to leverage a limited set of features.
How custom software can help:
Specialty contractors who manage their own work can experience a significant transformation by implementing custom software development. The ultimate outcome is a bespoke workflow solution built specifically to meet the unique needs of a business, with the goal being to streamline processes, reduce friction, help with a long-term business valuation, and enable better decision-making.
Designed for estimating your way
Estimating is a key differentiator amongst specialty contractors when it comes to winning jobs and every company has its own way of doing it. Custom software gives specialty contractors the ability to take their proven estimating process and automate it where possible to create greater efficiency without compromising the quality of the final output. Additionally, custom solutions allow contractors to hone in on all the components involved in cost estimating, to get a more refined price based on historical data.
Save time on data entry
While working in the field, it is essential to stay focused on completing the task at hand. However, if your software involves a substantial amount of data entry, sluggish and inefficient pickers, and unnecessary steps that don't pertain to your work, it can waste valuable time. Ideally, a tailor-made solution should anticipate your requirements before you arrive at the site and minimize the time spent on data entry, enabling you to concentrate on finishing the job. Custom software solutions can also integrate with the contractor's preferred tools, reducing the need to switch between different platforms.
Fully customizable for the way you work
Custom software solutions prioritize efficiency and are tailored to meet the particular workflow demands of your business. They are also crafted to be both scalable and adaptable to suit evolving business requirements over time. This ensures that every bit of functionality in your solution is deliberate and prioritized based on the value it provides to your business processes.
Selecting the right software is a massive decision for businesses as it can either lead to significant gains or become a costly error. While off-the-shelf solutions may work for some companies, they may not satisfy the specific requirements of specialty contractors. Custom software development can revolutionize the way a business operates, turning a tool into a facilitator in a contractor’s workflow.
If you are curious about whether custom software development is right for you, we would be happy to help you navigate the best path forward https://gearboxgo.com/#contact-form