Compared to other industries, the construction industry has been slow to familiarize itself with digital technology. However, contractors and customers alike should consider using construction project management software to improve efficiency and avoid construction delays.

Here we discuss the four main causes of construction delays, as well as the ways project management software can help.

4 main causes of construction delays

1. Project finance

Construction projects are usually financed by commercial construction loans, which cover the up-front costs associated with the project: labor, materials, land development, etc. Since construction loans are considered risky, the credit process can take a long time.

Part of the process of securing loans is the preparation and organization of financial documents. Project management software with robust file sharing capabilities can help immensely. This software creates a central, secure place to store and share documents with sensitive accounting and banking information.

2. Construction drawings

Before you can break the ground, you need to get construction drawings from the designer. This includes floor plans as well as drafts for electrical and sanitary facilities. Drawings go through multiple drafts, and any changes to the design inevitably lead to construction delays.

Design is a collaborative process, so project management software that can handle collaboration and file sharing for PDFs as well as large CAD, DWG, and RVT files is a must. Look for software that tracks document changes in real time, archives previous versions, and accelerates document access on mobile devices. In addition, the ideal project management solution includes tools that enable communication between internal and external teams.

3. Materials

The global supply chain suffered badly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and material prices are a reflection of this volatility. The price of iron and steel rose 15.6% between January 2020 and January 2021; the price of softwood rose by a staggering 73%. What’s worse is that construction suppliers have difficulty fulfilling orders on time due to a shortage of raw materials.

Material-related construction delays are nothing new, although the current conditions are extreme. The best choice to keep a project on track is to keep an eye on material prices throughout the construction phase. Project management software can help your team keep track of prices versus project budget, as well as track resources used and available.

4. Conformity

The construction industry is a highly regulated industry. A job that doesn’t meet the requirements will face fines and delays. Adhering to compliance by institutions such as OSHA, EPA and OFCCP will ensure the project moves forward in a timely manner. With robust project management software, the construction team has access to calendar and scheduling for planned audits and inspections. You can also track and record incidents such as injuries on site and upload documentation from a mobile device to a cloud workspace.

Construction project management software can help

Construction timekeeping software can play an important role in construction projects by helping to avoid delays. By tracking the progress of construction projects and documenting construction activities, construction managers can more easily identify potential sources of delays. In addition, construction time keeping software can help construction managers to communicate more effectively with project stakeholders. By providing accurate and up-to-date information on construction progress, construction managers can avoid misunderstandings and keep construction projects on schedule. In short, construction timekeeping software can help construction managers to prevent delays and ensure that construction projects are completed on time and within budget.

Depending on the provider, construction project management software is provided either as a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) or as an on-premise solution. Read more about the best construction management software and tools for 2021 at Project-Management.com.

Michael Bonebright is a digital content editor with 17 years of industry experience. He is well versed in developing and maintaining brand voice and content strategies. He is a leading voice in market forces affecting businesses and consumers, and his expert research has been published on CNBC, Business Insider, CNN, Fox Business, and many others.