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Jun 20 2016

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“Top 10 (US) Construction Apps”

In the UK at least, we are coming up to the time of year when some construction software vendors start thinking about the Construction Computing Awards (the so-called “Hammers”). As I wrote in July 2015, when last year’s call for nominations opened, I have long been a somewhat sceptical observer of this event, seeking greater clarity on the criteria for inclusion and shortlisting in a category, and wanting the judging process to be as transparent and objective as possible. Other autumn 2016 awards programmes are also being promoted – I see London Build (unfortunately, clashing with Digital Construction Week – and both a week after the Build Show) has a software category in its London Construction Awards, for example.

Top 10 Construction Apps

Tsheets Top 10 AppsSo I was interested to get an email about another construction awards or ratings programme (I was also offered an infographic – here). Idaho, US-based TSheets – a provider of SaaS-based, time-tracking, scheduling and pricing applications – recently ran a “Top 10 Construction Apps” programme. They basically reviewed a longlist of 100 or so apps with “experts from a wide range of construction companies”, based on:

  • How good they are at solving specific problems for construction workers
  • How easy they are to use
  • The number of users each app has
  • The number of integrations each app has
  • The quality of each app’s customer service
  • The previous track record of each app developer
  • Their average ratings in the Apple App store and Google Play store
  • Additional ratings and reviews in the press and on other websites, such as Capterra
Some useful criteria there but, as you might expect, I was told “most of the tools were developed in the US and have large customer bases there“, though “at least one comes from France (BulldozAIR, the runner-up in the Construction Plans and Blueprints category) and many have significant customers outside of the US, including in the UK and Australia.” I also understand that the reviewers were mainly from contractors, so the listing may be skewed towards their needs rather than those of, say, architects or engineers. And there is also a danger that the reviewers just rate the tools they’ve personally selected or been told to use – there may be better ones on the market but they may not be in a position to make comparisons.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given that it’s a vendor-instigated listing, Tsheets own product features as “best app for time tracking and scheduling”; the rest of the (very US-centric) list featured:

If nothing else, this ‘Top 10’ underlines how parochial the international construction application market is currently, and also how fragmented and open to new entrants it remains. Across most of the above categories, I can think of (and have written about) alternative products in the UK and other international markets, and even some that span continents (looking at some of the mobile tools available from the major SaaS collaboration and design authoring vendors, for instance). That said, it would be tough for a US contractor to rate an app designed to support, say, UK or Australian building regulations, just as a UK worker, used to working in metric, might find it difficult to evaluate a tool that delivers outputs in imperial measures. Will we, in five years time, see similar lists that are more international in nature?

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2016/06/top-10-us-construction-apps/

1 comment

  1. Livable Landscapes

    A wonderful construction blog for the new business owners like us.

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