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
So 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
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:
- Best App for Safety – SafeSite
- Best App for Estimates and Bids – JobFLEX
- Best App for Calculations And Measurement – Construction Master Pro
- Best App for Photo Annotation – Photo Measures
- Best App for Task Management – Fieldwire
- Best App for Construction Plans and Blueprints – PlanGrid (post)
- Best App for Project Management – Co-Construct
- Best App for Reporting – Raken
- Best App for Communication – BuilderTrend
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?
A wonderful construction blog for the new business owners like us.
Wow. A full list of best construction apps. You can also include our builders software tool by acris co-construct.
I would suggest adding SKYSITE (https://www.skysite.com/company/) to the list. I have been using this cloud based construction project management software over the past six months and it has transformed the way we manage construction projects. This software offers a 30 day free trial for first time users and is an easy tool to use that makes construction project management easy with multiple users fast and easy. At times some of the projects often include members in other cities, states, and sometimes other countries. However, SKYSITE allows everyone to be on the same page and work on updated documents that make these kinds of projects so much easier to handle. The newly added submittal feature allows us to manage submittal and transmittal on the same page and get rid of our old stamp system.
I am not in a position to add SKYSITE to this top 10 (you will have to take it up with the organisers). I wrote briefly about Skysite in July 2015 – http://extranetevolution.com/2015/07/skysite-a-repro-take-on-collaboration/.