Software modules vs. complete construction software packages: the right choice?

abyplcselectIntegrity Software explore the differences in the structure of software for construction companies and help you decide which approach is right for your company…

Builders’ software comes in many forms, from high end packages aimed at multinational construction companies to basic accounting software for sole traders. Choosing the right construction software for your company is a tricky task, with dozens of different options available for construction companies of all sizes.

During the decision making process, you’ll probably consider variables such as features, monthly price, quality of customer service and ease of use. However, you shouldn’t just consider these factors individually, but how they affect each other. For example, the price of the software may be low, but are you paying for all the features? Will you have to pay more to have access to phone support?

A popular type of software comes in the form of a base package plus a series of optional bolt-on modules. The base package may be provided for free or at a low price, while the optional modules will incur additional costs. This type of construction software has its advantages:

– A basic option. If your company only needs a bare-bones accounts system, this software provides it at a low cost.

– Tailored. In theory, your business only pays for the features it needs. As your needs grow, you can purchase additional modules to use.

– Gentle learning curve. The base package contains few complex functions. Once your staff are confident with them, you can slowly gain more        modules and learn how to use them one at a time. A gentle learning curve makes this type of software a good choice for companies who haven’t upgraded in a while.

Other companies offer construction software as entire packages, with all features included as standard. The company may market different software products for different businesses (based on sector and/or size) and may offer free trials or software demos, with the complete package priced at a greater premium than the bare-bones package we discussed above. Despite the cost, these packages have many benefits:

– Full integration. All software functions are designed to work seamlessly with each other, ensuring that data can be stored in one part of the software and used by another in just a couple of steps. Modular software may use separate databases and struggle to transfer data quickly.

– No pressure to upgrade. As modular software providers gain most of their income from bolt-ons, it’s likely your account manager (and the software itself) will suggest upgrading frequently. With a complete software package you won’t be under pressure to upgrade.

– No gated features. With all the features you need available in the complete package, you won’t face any ‘gated’ functions or support services that require another payment to unlock, meaning you’ll have full access to crucial features such as telephone support.

Ultimately, each software structure has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you have weighed up the options and decided that your business needs the integrated, complete approach that a construction software package provides, take a look at the features that Integrity Software’s Evolution M can offer your business.

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