Software for trades and construction: Are you using a hammer or a nail gun?

Business AdvisoryTrade and Exports

23 June 2022

Although not traditionally known as a hi-tech industry, the trades and construction industry is no different to any other industry when it comes to selecting the right software to help streamline operations and give you back more time.

With time a precious commodity, selecting the right software can be an effective way to help you save more of it by freeing you up to work on other areas of your business, while also helping to mitigate your compliance risks.

Get it right and it’s like moving from a hammer to a nail gun. Get it wrong and it’s like trying to hammer a nail with a piece of wood.

The part many trades and construction struggle with is knowing where to start and what options they have. With such an array of choices, it’s important to base your purchase decision on more than price. You should also consider:

  1. Your business requirements – every business is different, mapping out your current processes can help you identify the ‘must haves’ vs the ‘would like to haves’. These are the key drivers when it comes to picking the right solution.

  2. The functionality of the software – Once you understand these, you can then go into the process of comparing your key business requirements to the systems that are available out there. This is where using a professional who knows the industry and the systems available can help, as this process can take a lot of time.

  3. How much time that piece of software can save you? – Once you understand the key needs of your business and what functionality is available, you need to weigh the cost of implementation up with the potential long term gains you will achieve by increasing efficiency and staff satisfaction.

  4. How easy it is for you to use? – Look at user reviews, talk to others who use the system, understand what support is available if things go wrong. A lot of systems now are supported offshore, so having confidence in the support system in place is vital to your business.

Every business is driven by its job management tools and it can be a big process to change systems. Leadership needs to be on board to drive the changes and help ensure the team embrace the process.

Some of the key benefits of having the right systems in place are:

  • Quoting – Supplier integration, mobile capabilities and templates make accurate quoting easier to do.

  • Scheduling – Move away from the whiteboard and implement a scheduling system that makes it easy to plan your teams’ week, lifting productivity and ultimately improving profit in the business.

  • Job Management – Have all your job information in one central place, saving time and freeing you up to work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ the business.

  • Integration – Having systems that talk to each other reduce doubles entry and ultimately saves you and your employees’ time.

  • Reporting – Once you have your systems in place, you will have all this great data available to you to measure your key metrics, budgets and be alerted to any red flags before it’s too late.

Get help supercharging your trades business

We’re hosting an evening for trade business owners on Wednesday 6 July to hear from our experts on the learnings they’ve developed from working with hundreds of tradie business owners.

Click here to register and come along.

Author: Michael Alexander

As an Associate Partner in the Business Advisory team, Michael works with a broad range of businesses across the Otago region with the focus to help them grow and thrive in their industries. Michael has expert knowledge in digital solutions and helping business owners setup, integrate and streamline their operations. He can help manage any milestone of a business from the initial purchase or start up, cashflow and tax planning, bank lending, phases of growth, succession planning and business sale.