15 October 2018

Special Focus - Construction & Project Management Software

Tech Times

 

The Government’s aggressive push in infrastructure has propelled numerous infrastructure and construction projects. The success of any project is a result of the perfect blending of management and implementation. This has opened the gates for software technology companies catering to the project management sector. With so much happening in the construction industry, here is a list on some of the effective tools to have a successful project reports Rohan Ambike.

 

With the massive boost to the infrastructure and construction projects in India, there has been an exponential rise in the demand for the construction and project management software used that result in their completion. Projects are the lifeblood of any business organization – managing them through cost-effective, timely and productive trends is absolutely critical for any company to enhance the overall bottom line.Let’s take a look at the top three types of software that cater to the construction and infrastructure space.

 

Integration with data analytics software:

 

It has been widely known now that data today is the king. With construction companies increasingly relying on the collection of data, it has been a crucial element for analysis to improve efficiency and productivity. Today, the companies are in a dire need of an efficient software to handle the data analytics aspect. This data is being used by managers for various tasks- RFIs, submittals, manpower logs, customer billing, project billing and estimates. To cater to this growing problem, Strategic ERP has come up with its solutions to help optimise processes and enhance revenue. Today, the infrastructure industry spends a lot of time finding solution in new architectural ideas, financing, on time management for sourcing raw materials etc.

 

 

Rebar detailing made easy:

 

Rebars as we know are commonly used to help concrete withstand tension forces.Deformed rebars on reinforcing steel have been a standard requirement since 1968, but plain rebars are also used in situations where the reinforcing steel is expected to slide. This is typically the case when they're installed in highway pavement and segmental bridges.The deformed pattern on a rebar helps the concrete adhere to the reinforcing steel surface. The pattern on a deformed bar isn't specified, but the spacing and the height of the "bumps" is regulated.

 

CADS India, the subsidiary of CADS UK, has come up with some innovations in the cutting edge technologies for analysis, design and detailing of structural steelwork and reinforced concrete buildings. The RebarCAD software by CADS India provides advanced detailing features and technical excellence, which include integration with major fabrication production software.RebarCAD has the ability to detail any structure even those with irregular geometry. The software has been a success for all sorts of building, transportation, water, process and power projects including many precast concrete elements.

 

As per the recent additions to the software, the company has worked on improving the “Order Materials” dialogue. This will allow the user to create a new folder for production output. The software has been a big hit within the Fabricators fraternity as it fully exploits the stable 2D drawing environment of AutoCAD, tailoring a solution for rebar detailing and bar listing that meets the stringent requirements of the industry.

 

 

 

Enabling greater coordination:

 

As construction projects become increasingly complex with many moving parts, it is more important than ever to be able to simulate the flow of the project site from start to finish. The latest construction software, including Navisworks and Revit is enabling construction managers to have foresight into their projects before they even begin.

 

Navisworks by Autodesk is a project review software that enables architecture, engineering, and construction professionals holistically review integrated models and data with stakeholders during preconstruction to better control project outcomes. Navisworks, with its clash detection and model coordination can help anticipate and reduce potential clash and interference problems before construction, minimizing expensive delays and rework.

 

A salient feature of the Navisworks is the clash detective tool. This tool enables effective identification, inspection, and reporting of interferences (clashes) in a 3D project model. With the clash detective tool, the risk of human errors during model inspection. Clash Detective can be used as a one-off “sanity check” for a completed design work, or it can be used as an ongoing audit check of the project.

 

 

 

Constructing concrete models:

 

With the use of concrete in construction rapidly on the rise, contractors are looking for a software that allows concrete contractors to reduce their risks, improve productivity and ensure smooth progress on site with the unique information management tools and constructible concrete models the tool can offer.

 

Constructible concrete models, quickly and easily created with Tekla Structures helps in eliminating the pain caused as a result of the incomplete and uncoordinated drawings. Tekla automates the lengthy manual material quantification and information management tasks, visualize information in 3D and enjoy consistent, reliable, construction-quality building information in real-time in order to manage and coordinate the projects in a better way.

 

 

 

Bringing optimization in construction:

 

Construction industry till today is at large from having a perfect blend of information and civil engineering companies. That has resulted in the rise of a lot of problems for the construction industries. A major problem that many construction industries face is the problem of waste that generates during construction. Dassault Systems, with its 3DEXPERIENCE Platform leverages the Company’s world-leading 3D software applications to transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported, enabling businesses to craft delightful customer experiences.

 

The company has introduced- Optimized construction, a collaborative having an integrated BIM environment which is acting as a boon for the project delivery teams so as to simulate, optimize and manage prefabrication, on-site assembly, equipment, labor and costs. With this, construction players can significantly reduce the waste that is generated.

 

Shanghai Foundation Engineering Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shanghai Construction Group in order to increase the project management efficiency by making the use of advance methods has made use of some of the effective design software solutions. While working on the construction of Chetna Bridge faced challenges as the project required unusual construction methods. This led to the group making use of CATIA by Dassault for the construction of the entire bridge.

 

Optimized construction consists of the industry processes such as the Optimized Work Package which enables real-time document delivery and status reports to improve efficiency and reduce idle time. Integration with the project schedule offers instant progress reporting and measurements. Similarly, Optimized Project, another vertical in the Optimized Construction platform creates a project structure that enables the many members of the construction team to collaborate, automates resource planning activities and institutionalizes best practices.

 

 

 

Improving cost management in the construction projects:

 

Procedures and record keeping is a daunting task for any project manager during the implementation of a project. This is where cost control software plays a crucial role where they are not only tools to record the financial transactions of each project, but also are indicators for the progress and whistle blowers for the errors that have an effect on the project. In true sense, cost control is a process that should be continued through the construction period to ensure that the cost of the building or project is kept within the agreed cost limits.

 

Project cost estimating is a very complex task due to the inherent uncertainty and variability in construction. This is why feedback from the cost control is of crucial importance, so the cost estimating process can increase the quality of the information available in the cost plan, which will be in further use by the cost estimating process.

 

Keeping these points in mind, some of the leading industries have taken to making use of some of the globally-acclaimed cost control software. BuildSmart and Candy software by CCS have been in existence for a fairly long period globally and made an entry into India about 8-9 years back in 2011 and have created a turnaround in the construction operations, from the traditional methods of Quantity surveying, Estimating, Budgeting, costing and project tracking. Companies have move moved to a much fast and an error-free systematic mode to reach the construction data. These steps have revolutionised the MIS programs of various companies, making them informative and at the same time authentic.BuildSmart Cost Control ERP solution has powerful modules of Accounts, Procurement, Plant and Payroll. Whereas, Candy Project Management solution offers classic modules such as Estimating, Planning, Forecasting, Cash Flow, Subcontract Management and Quantity Take Off.

 

Says Narayan Neelakanteswaran, former Executive Director at Capacit'eInfraprojects, “In selecting BuildSmart, a conscious decision was made to avoid getting into the trap of customization of the software to meet the specific needs of the organization. As such, the software itself is construction industry specific, thereby meeting the functional requirements. Thus, the time, cost and effort that otherwise would have gone into customization was saved. 

 

 

It was further resolved that there would be no additional manpower deployment for implementation of BuildSmart, as CCS committed to prove that the implementation would result in the same number of hands managing more number of projects and project requirements.”

 

 

The cost effective 3D way:

 

The construction industry in India is plagued by the shortage of skilled staff, technically complex software, tight budgets, project delays and sudden accelerated schedules. In order to cater to all these problems, AURA GLOBAL, the company known for introducing latest BIM technology in India, has launched a state-of-the-art BIM based 3D software-Cubicost. Explaining about the entire software, K.K.Jagadish, Founder & MD, Aura Global India says, “Cubicost is a new software that can convert 2D architectural & structural drawings into 3D buildings in the virtual space. . 'Cubic' means 'the shape of a cube', which reflects the BIM lineage (Building Information Model) as the core technology, while 'Cost' indicates the key value of the software, which is to provide integrated cost solutions for customers in AEC industry. The entire construction fraternity can use Cubicost to design, construct, operate and manage construction projects. Cubicost BIM suite is comprised of four individual BIM-based software products (TAS, TRB, TME, TBQ), that are focused on different needs of quantity surveying business.”

According to Jagdish, Cubicost can also serve as a connecting link between different stakeholders, including the architectural design team, the real estate company, the engineering team and the contractors, enabling all parties to be on the same platform at all times.

 

 

Estimate and Analyse:

 

For players in search of software that reduces working time and improves productivity, EasySpec by Newton India is the one stop solution. It enables quick drawing out of justification, tender works, contractor bills, analysis of rates and different set of statements with various types of standard data. A unique feature of this software is that when the rate for any particular material changes it is automatically applied to all the related items for that site. This enables the client to have the fresh rates, which gives the exact costing for every material group, rates of which may vary at various sites. This software is useful for contractors, builders and estimating agencies, which follow standard CPWD or PWD pattern.EasySpec generates vital reports required for estimation and tendering. It stores a master database of various important rate analysis required for estimation.

 

 

 

Enhancing efficiency:

 

Xpedeon by Algorithm software is one of the prominent software with a powerful construction estimating ability. The module comprehensively covers with collaborative estimating capabilities that allow multiple estimators to work on a single bid without overwriting or loss of data. Further, users can estimate ‘on-the-go’ by using Xpedeon’s mobile estimating features.Xpedeon calculates bid values in real-time. The applicable regional resource rates are automatically applied resulting in rapid item pricing.

 

 

 

Reinforcing competence:

 

Real Estate industries face huge challenges in planning of project and execution, costing, regulatory compliances, cash flow visibility and collaboration with service providers. With farvision, the users can reduce operational time spent on reconciliation of accounts, engineering, inventory and Statutory Compliances like TDS, Service Tax, etc. The software does not just stop at this. The users can plan fund requirements based on Financial Indicators. Project wise fund planning can be easily executed based on the company’s financial health reflected through Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

 

 

 

Interactive cost effectiveness:

 

SoftTech Engineers Ltd has come up with a QE-PRO, interactive and sophisticated Windows based software for cost estimation of civil engineering structures, preparation of tender documents and bills. It is designed to adopt different District Schedule Of Rates (DSR) or Schedule of Rates (SOR) provided by competent authorities for the execution and monitoring of civil works. QE-Pro offers a user-friendly interface to carry out detailed rate analysis of items of DSR.

 

In addition to estimation, QE-PRO also provides value added inputs for preparation of different types of Tenders like Item Rate, Percentage Above Below and Lump-sum Tenders through the highly efficient engines like Profit Analysis and Sensitivity Analysis.

 

 

 

Managing  projects:

 

The construction projects in India hardly have any technology solutions that cater to the market. Numerous project managers even today take help of excel sheets to track projects and upload data on a timely basis.With the construction industry being plagued by delays arising from badly coordinated schedules, lack of top management visibility into project status at the site level also fuel the markets problems in terms of project management. Here are some of the project management software that can reduce the strain on the projects being executed and are playing an effective role in the entire project management.

 

 

CANDY:

 

The ultimate Construction Project Management Software, Candy is unique, powerful, and dynamically focused on project control in the construction & engineering industry, a field in which they have gained enormous experience. Candy has specifically targeted the contractor’s requirements, from quantity take-off, pricing and planning a project, controlling at site level, through to the final certificate. Candy uniquely provides an interactive link between the Bill of Quantity (BOQ) and the construction program or schedule of work in one exceptional construction project management solution. Put simply, it aligns time and money. By bringing together these two key factors of construction & engineering projects, management and client alike have a wealth of information at their fingertips.

 

Benefits of CANDY at a glance…..

  • Candy combines its powerful features conveniently into a single user interface, eliminating departmental silos
  • Based on best business practices and processes exclusively from Construction domain
  • Versatile and scalable: used by small, medium & large entities
  • Nimble desktop application with various data and licensing deployment options
  • Substantially improves speed, accuracy, transparency and auditability of Estimation and Project Controls while considerably reducing mistakes
  • Low cost of activation and ownership
  • New versions and updates available immediately for download at no additional charge
  • Dynamic integration with BuildSmart for upfront purchase control (procure to pay) and accurate Budget vs Cost analysis and reporting

 

 

 

Agile Technology:

 

Agile project management methodology is the future – a diverse lot of industries such as marketing, finance, and construction have adopted this radical framework to accrue maximum organizational benefits! It’s surely the smartest business move as research has proven that using Agile project methodology can enhance internal business communication, make teams quickly responsive to external environment changes and give a better return on investment. Agile is the way to go for small to medium-sized businesses and the millennial workers find it a far more flexible system than traditional work processes. Also, there is a multitude of compatible tools and applications that make working on Agile easy and user-friendly. We have to understand that Agile is simply not a current passing trend or something that is here to stay in the short run- it’s a new way of doing business and we are definitely geared up for its widespread application in the coming year 2018!

 

 

nPulse- the future of project management

 

The nPulse software by Nadhi is in an all in one which provides it is an online planning suite with an ability to share reliable, accurate, up to date information to all project stakeholders. The software sends SMS alerts and reports that warn stakeholders of potential delays. nPulse is also into inventory management and tracks the material use against estimates and material receipts.The progress reports, communication with consultants, sub-contractors and similar tasks are automated.

 

The solution has been built from the ground up with a focus on the specific needs of the burgeoning construction industry. The target segment for Nadhi includes companies in the areas of infrastructure projects- power, roads, industrial and project management consulting, as well as those in residential, commercial and institutional campuses projects.

 

 

 

End to end solutions:

 

Highbar Technocrat an associate company of Highbar Technologies (An HCC Group Company)providesenterprise business solutions, line of business IT solutions, process consulting & IT infrastructure services  is aimed at increasing efficiencies for Roads, Metros, Ports, Real-Estate, Airports, Railways, Irrigation  and  Water supply. Commenting on the company’s unique solutions in the metro rail space and opportunities going forward, Mangesh Wadaje, Director & CEO, Highbar Technocrat Ltd says, “With implementation of Digital Project Management platform, we have started focusing on Mega construction projects to adopt this platform and consider for efficient project management at respective projects. With implementation of Digital platform at Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation, Highbar has introduced advanced technologies like Open Text ECM, Linear Asset Management, Re-Land, SRM (Supplier Relationship Management),FLM (File Lifecycle Management) first time in India for a linear Mega project.  Maha Metro is using these technologies efficiently for the Nagpur metro project.”

 

He further adds, “Highbar is at the forefront of providing advanced technologies in construction industry. First time an Indian company has implemented SAP Commercial Project Management for construction company in Middle east.”

 

 

 

Making projects smart:

 

With the changing times, there is a growing need of making the projects smart. Venturing in this area, Wrench Solutions has an effective - SmartProject software that can help construction players provide the best quality designs in the time committed. The software helps  in working on the deliverable and helps in  tracking their schedule against the progress that is achieved.

 

The software also helps in taking any corrective measures whenever and wherever necessary. Also, through the real time monitoring of the deliverable, the project can be delivered in time.

The real time visibility:

The collaboration of various aspects of the projects along with a facility to gain real-time visibility is possible through Bentley’s ProjectWise Construction Management software.

This software helps in the elimination of paper-based documentation and repetitive manual tasks to reduce the turnaround time for project communications, such as RFIs and submittals.

The software also helps in providing easy access to data and control the flow of information.

 

 

 

Manage project portfolio:

Strategic PPMS offers a comprehensive functionality of WBS Estimations, Planning, Scheduling, Execution, Control and review.

With this software, users can manage multiple projects with the help of an optimum level of resources. The PPM software can bring in project modeling with the help of work breakdown structures and activities.

The users can estimate cost of project activities or Bill of Quantities (BOQ’s) in terms of materials, labour and equipment

 

 

 

FUTURE TRENDS OF SOFTWARE

 

The Mobile Revolution:

It is the age of business dynamism, and the modern project manager wants to have access to information on the move! Everyone is nowadays hooked on to their smartphones and mobile devices can now be utilized as an essential communication apparatus. The new age project management solution can now be leveraged to provide access to real-time data, while team members are traveling to office or construction sites. That is a valuable feature that saves a lot of time, keeps the productivity levels at an all-time high! Team directories, chats and discussion forums make sure all members remain connected to each other throughout the day, which enhances the quality of organizational decisions. The best project management software trends apps are loaded with sophisticated features that will keep all your project management teams working efficiently regardless of where they may be at any given time. 2018 is the year of the mobile movement and your project management teams will be able to gain access to the click of a button!

 

 

Artificial Intelligence Will Rule:

Artificial intelligence systems that have emerged in project management software trends are a great help in interpreting organisational data, and there is definitely going to be a massive boom in the internet of things implementation projects.

The Internet of Things, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are the buzzwords that will reign supreme in 2018 – transforming project management software trends to the highest levels of automation and efficiency!

These ground-breaking technologies are going to change how project management is effectuated in a number of industries.

It’s going to completely automate a number of existing project management software trends processes such as matching talent to tasks, reducing calculations for level-of-effort (LOE), providing a hub spot for knowledge management, and creating reports with absolute objectivity.

2018 is surely going to be the year that commercially accessible IoT- and AI-enabled project management software trends will actually become affordable- so make to invest in the best!

 

 

 

Wearables Tracking Software To Enhance Project Efficiency:

 

In the coming year, we are going to witness a dramatic rise in the usage of wearables by organizational employees’ and this will lead to a huge optimisation of project efficacy levels! Various software is being specifically designed to monitor the usage of organizational wearables such as RFID badges and it will help management keep track of daily transactions and monitoring traffic flow in specific areas of a building.

Project management software trends will become smarter as it will be able to track employees in the real-time, thereby making sure that the workforce is at their designated place of duty during work hours.

Project management System trends will be enabled to ascertain personnel movement through wearables such as smartwatches, chip implants, sensors in clothing and ID badges.

This new customized software is definitely going to rule the modern futuristic workplace and you need to harness this transformational technology in the coming year 2018.

 

 

Emotional Intelligence Will Lead the Way:

 

It’s no longer necessary for project managers to possess only hardcore technical skills – it’s the age of emotional intelligence and modern project teams will need to score high on this internal competency! 2018 is going to focus on developing emotional intelligence capabilities in project management teams – in today’s work environment it is essential for managers to be adept in relationship building, team development, collaboration, and negotiation. Project managers’ function in complex environments, hence it is imperative for them to remain in control of their emotions to harness the best work quality from their teams. A high level of emotional intelligence has proven to lead to streamlining of work processes, problem-solving and timely delivery of projects. It can also help senior managers coach their subordinates to extract maximum engagement and efficiency from them. 2018 is the year to channelize emotional intelligence in your workforce and position yourself for success in any project management role!

 

 

 

Market trends in construction management software:

 

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Construction Management Software Market 2016-2020" report to their offering.The global construction management software market to grow at a CAGR of 14.96 per cent during the period 2016-2020.The report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global construction management software market for 2016-2020. The report considers the revenue generated from the sales of construction management software and services. The revenue from services is earned from the fee charged for consulting in design methodology, and support and deployment. The revenue from maintenance is earned from the periodic fee associated with software updates.

 

A trend which has contributed to market growth tremendously is the demand for construction management software in the APAC region. The increase in growth of the construction market in China and Japan will contribute to the growth of the global construction management software market during the forecast period.

 

FAST FACTS:
The global construction management software market to grow at a CAGR of 14.96 per cent during the period 2016-2020.
Procedures and record keeping is a daunting task for any project manager during the implementation of a project. This is where cost control software play a crucial role.
Artificial intelligence systems that have emerged in project management software trends are a great help in interpreting organizational data, and there is definitely going to be a massive boom in the internet of things implementation projects.
motional Intelligence has proven to lead to streamlining of work processes, problem-solving and timely delivery of projects.



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