September 29, 2010

How Project and Scheduling Management Software Benefits Engineering Businesses

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Guest Post from James Moulding of M&B Precision Engineers

ConstructionConsidering the fact that engineers are essentially the people that have the obligation of using scientific knowledge to provide real and tangible solutions for society, it is no surprise that society in turn places a tremendous burden of responsibility on their shoulders.  Businesses operating in the field of construction engineering and structural engineering in particular have got to be well aware of that onus, and they have got to have the means and know-how to handle their projects—from resources to staff and beyond—in the most efficient manner possible.  In our modern times that means using the kinds of software tools that are designed especially for such purposes, such as project management and scheduling management software.

Though paper and clipboards still have their place in any construction site, these days it is far more efficient for workers at all levels of hierarchy to be using computers and handhelds with the right software and with a web connection as they proceed with their work.  Such software programs need to offer various, quite dynamic features in order to be able to satisfy the needs of the engineering business to the fullest extent, among which we can find:

  • Cloud-based: The instant updating of project details via the web is one of the most productive features of such management software, as it makes all parties to the project aware of given changes or advances in real time.  No longer must there be a flurry of phone calls, faxes, or even emails: cloud-based software keeps everyone updated on all pertinent aspects of the project, period—and that means greater efficiency!
  • Collaborative: Inherent in the idea expressed above is the further idea that such software must be collaborative, which is the case with virtually all project management software these days.  Such collaboration means that everyone involved in a given project will have access to the information they need and will be able to contribute in a timely and effective manner to the overall goal.
  • Scheduling: Another key feature to such management software is scheduling, a vital necessity in most all construction engineering projects as they typically entail the handling of a large labor force and many other resources.  Current software packages provide project leaders the ability to keep close track of who needs to be where and when, that minimal staffing requirements are constantly being met, and that both labor and materials converge on a given site at a given time.
  • Issue tracking: Of course, such software packages are only as good as their ability to alert team members of problems as they arise, and therefore it is important to ensure that the software capabilities include issue tracking (also known as a trouble ticket system).  This feature helps guarantee that the minute a red flag goes up, everyone involved in the project is made aware of it and the necessary measures are taken to rectify the situation immediately.

Some such project management programs come with all the above features (and a whole lot more) incorporated, while other programs may be a little more limited or specialized; likewise, some software packages are proprietary while others are open-source.  Only the partners in a given engineering firm will be able to determine whether they need some or all of these functions, though in the end they will always find that they are better off with them than without them.  So go ahead and change the way your engineering business works by finding the right project management software today—once you do, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do so sooner!

Construction Chemicals have materials for anyone in the construction trade, including basement conversions.

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