"Best Construction Scheduling Software" - Really?

You're searching for software, "construction scheduling software" to be more exact, and you come up with oodles of search results. Some of these results get your attention, like "Best Construction Scheduling Software for 20XX" or something similar. You click on these links, and hope they lead you to the perfect fit solution quickly. Why not, I mean, "they" say it's the best... whoever "they" are. Amazing to think of the credibility "they" have.

Who are "they" - it's worth asking.

A good friend of mine, and sales guru, shared this thought with with me years ago that stuck.

    It isn't true unless it's true for you.

While this is debatable if taken out of context or taken to an extreme, let's for now apply it to the "truth claim" of some random website I found searching on construction scheduling software.

Here's their claim:

The Best Construction Scheduling Software for 2022

And they list several companies you ought to consider.

So, here's what you need to know:

1. The author of this article is a professional writer with a real estate background.

2. The "experts" of this website have backgrounds in tax, business law, and business insurance.

3. There is a financial kickback to the owners of this website if you click on certain links - they are clear on their website that "...We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links".

So... the author or principals of the website don't have a construction scheduling background, presumably have never been in your shoes, never scheduled out teams, or coordinated with trades on a construction project. But they are making recommendations to you. There are mountains of articles, press releases, websites, all making such claims, many written with the express intent of garnering "clicks". Very little useful content when you really dig in.

Let's look at the software they recommend... and our comments on each

AutoDesk Construction Cloud - not even in the ball park of construction scheduling for 98% of construction businesses on the planet. Purely enterprise level, which means if you're reading this, you most likely wouldn't even give this platform a thought. Never in 20 years has AutoDesk 'anything" been compared to BuildIT. A quick glance at their site and you are confronted with BIM (building information modeling). Way beyond simple construction scheduling !!

Buildertrend - being that this system is everywhere now, advertised ad nauseam on every imaginable online marketplace and Google ad that remotely relates to construction, it's no surprise that this one makes the list. For sure it's good mid-level project management software, but overkill for the majority of SME builders and trades just looking for a simple scheduling and collaboration tool. We've written about the differences between BuildIT and Buildertrend here.

Fieldwire - again, more of an enterprise level system focused on project managers, superintendents and trades. In 20 years, we may have come up against Fieldwire a couple times, as this system is better suited to much larger construction firms, not the vast majority of companies that have fewer than a dozen employees and do less than a few $ million in annual revenue.

CoConstruct - essentially a mirror image of Buildertrend, so much so that Buildertrend acquired CoConstruct in early 2021. The comparison to BuildIT would be similar. Both systems require extensive training for teams to get lift off, and that training comes at a cost of time and $$ that smaller construction outfits are unwilling or unable to commit to.

Procore -  some of the largest construction firms on the planet use Procore. This is an enterprise project management suite, and in terms of scheduling, Procore requires that you bring to it your own preferred scheduling software. In fact, they state that you can't update schedules in Procore - you can only edit schedules within the third party schedule software you have chosen (such as Microsoft Project). So in essence, Procore is not really a construction scheduling system at all !! Surprisingly, we often get compared to Procore, but like Buildertrend, that is due in part to the fact that both software systems are so prevalent online that anyone searching for construction software will get exposed to both.

Foundation Software - these guys have been around for a looong time, and their focus is on construction accounting for enterprise level firms. In 20 years, we have never come up against them on any front, and their scheduling system is just not a contender with our market.

So there you have it. Our take on the "their" top 6 list.

But don't take our word for it. Try them out (if they'll even let you on a free trial basis - some require you to jump through a few hoops with some sales pitches and 1:1 demos before they'll let you in) and see if "it's true for you" that one of them is "the best".

Here's our truth claim: our many customers (some have been with us for over a decade) who use BuildIT regularly would tell you that BuildIT is the best construction scheduling system on the planet. Who are we to argue? It's true for them. And it could be true for you as well... if you're willing to try us out and discover the benefits and wins for your company.

Remember, the "best" construction scheduling software is the one that works for your team. Period.

Here to help - give me a shout and we'll talk construction scheduling among other things !!

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1




Good morning Buildertrend

BuildIT got its start a couple decades ago.

2000 was the year, post dot.com boom.

It was still the wild west of technology, especially for construction tech. Back then, the "smartphone" wasn't a thing, dial up internet was standard fare, and contractors in general were leery of any sort of construction software, or dealing with digital/PDF design drawing (remember getting high on ammonia when you were waiting for your blueprint copies!?). 

We hit our growth curve big time in 2005/2006.

We boasted the #1 position for "construction scheduling software" in all the major search engines at the time, and held that lead for several years and into the next decade.

A couple major events happened in 2006:

1. One of our competitors (Constructware) got acquired by Autodesk for US $46M. That got our attention.

2. Buildertrend construction software was founded.

Today, if you are searching for any sort of construction software, you will find Buildertrend. They are the bright shiny object online, the juggernaut of construction tech. We tip our hat to this company, they have built a massive company, and recently just hired their 500th employee

But bigger isn't necessarily better.

This is not about mud slinging or trashing the competition, in fact, I have recommended Buildertrend to numerous homebuilders over the years who are looking for more of what their software offers! This is about answering the question I get asked most often:

How do you compare to Buildertrend - what are the differences?

Glad you asked.

1. We're older. And some things that are older are better (whiskey, cheddar cheese, cast iron skillets)

2. We're smaller. Many 100's of employees smaller. Therefore we don't break a sweat at payroll.

3. We focus on scheduling, file management and communications. We don't get involved in "the numbers" - our customers tend to have that part of their operations taken care of.

4. We're less $$, far less in fact. If all you need is scheduling, that's all you should be paying for, not 100's of other features that you'll never use.

5. We don't have a bus. It would be nice to have a bus, but we don't. We could buy one, but we'd rather invest in our technology and infrastructure. Nice bus though...


6. When you call BuildIT, you'll be speaking to one of the owners. And you'll be speaking to someone with decades of experience in the construction industry.

7. You can reach BuildIT on weekends and holidays.

8. Me. I know, but I'm one of BuildIT's secret weapons. Call me and you'll see.

Buildertrend's success has, to some extent, fueled our success, and the success of many other construction software companies. They will do well and will continue to educate the market. And we will continue to find those contractors who tried it, and discovered it wasn't the best fit for their companies. And when we welcome a past customer who left, tried Buildertrend, and returned to BuildIT, we will likely get Buildertrend's attention, as we did today:


Good morning Buildertrend - to your success, and ours!

Happy new year.
The race is on.
Gentlemen, start your engines.

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1


Inconceivable

Google the word "inconceivable" and you'll undoubtedly come across this movie clip from the Princess Bride:

In it, the sinister mastermind Vizzini keeps using the word "inconceivable" to respond to scenarios that are, well, not really that inconceivable". His sword wielding sidekick Inigo Montoya, eventually puzzled by his continued use of the word, questions the Sicilian criminal, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means".

Classic.

And so goes the English language. Fast forward 33 years, and I get a call from this lady from Canada (could be anywhere on the planet, but hey, I'm from Canada, and kind of expected more from my fellow "countryman"!).

------

Caller: "Hi, does your software have an employee time tracking system?"

Me: "No, were a construction scheduling and project management system. You need time and attendance software"

Caller: "Well, I'm looking for something more robust".

And with that, she hung up on me.

Nice. So much for Canadians being a polite bunch.


Robust, eh!?

There are several definitions:

  • Strong, healthy, vigorous, strong and rich in flavor or smell.
  • Sturdy.
  • Able to withstand or overcome adverse conditions.

I don't think this is what the caller had in mind. But there is a definition here that pertains to software:

Robust or Robustness:  the ability of a computer system to cope with errors during execution and cope with erroneous input.

So given that definition, how will the caller know if BuildIT is robust or not? She would have to be a career systems analyst or quality assurance specialist, and would have to spend literally hours logged into BuildIT, throwing everything she can into every field that exists, attempting to crash our system or generate invalid or unexpected results.

Of course, having been in business for 20 years, and having employed such people to test, test and retest our system... plus the myriad of users that are logged in every hour of the day throwing data into their user accounts and executing functions... we can confidently make the claim that BuildIT is, well...

Robust :-)

What the caller fails to understand is the inclusion of a particular feature/functionality does not make a software system robust. Similarly, the lack of a particular feature/functionality in a software system is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when that feature is not part of (and not intimately connected to) the core competency and purpose of that system. In fact, in a recent case study with Mike Mitchell Construction in California, too many unused and/or unrelated features in a software system can be a liability, and a detriment to actually getting the system implemented with the team. We refer to such software systems as "bloated", and while "feature rich" sounds like you're getting more for your $$, in reality, you'll be paying more each month for unused features.

I suspect the caller doesn't got to Home Depot, speak to the tools rep about a compound miter saw that doesn't drill holes, and explains to him that she needs something more robust.

Or maybe so?

 Scott Hutchinson
 scott@builditsystems.com
 1 866 585 5050 ext 1