EPC Company Software Products
EPC software products and platforms can be a significant investment for a company and research shows that some important factors to consider when considering a product are things like the underlying technology, mobile capabilities, and the ease of use. Some companies that offer EPC platforms include PASKR, Onware, & HeavyJob, all of them with some similar features such as accounting abilities, project management, punch card management, and others with more advanced features like RFI tracking and in-depth reporting capabilities.
Factors to Consider
- An important and often overlooked factor to consider when choosing an EPC program is its underlying technology, programming, and base platform. This will help you determine whether it is outdated, soon-to-be outdated, or will allow for future scalabilty.
- Ensuring the chosen software is based on a scalable foundation also protects the initial investment of licensing costs, training, and time it takes to implement a new system.
- As technology and software capabilities continue to expand into the mobile world, ensuring that your corporate software can keep up is vital in staying efficient and competitive.
- Allowing team-members the capability to enter data in the field has been shown to reduce chances of error considering they can complete a task all in one place, instead of having to input data at a later time. We can also reference Abas, a notable software publication, stating that "Giving employees the ability to work however, wherever and whenever they see fit has boosted productivity considerably. If mobile functionality is limited, those efficiency gains will be impossible to realize."
Ease of Use
- One of the most important factors is the ability to train your team quickly and ensuring they are comfortable utilizing the system in order to fully take advantage of your investment. In Brightworks words — "...software should be deployed seamlessly so you and your team can get to work managing projects and portfolios as quickly as possible. "
- Ease of use is important not only in the initial implementation but in the ongoing use of the software. If your team is unable to, or doesn't like using a software because it is difficult to use, or the user interface isn't user-friendly, you will be losing out on the true capabilities of the software and losing out on your investment.
- PASKR promotes over 20 features grouped into these sections — pre-construction, project management, field management, and accounting.
- Within pre-construction, the features of the software are: Planroom — full markup and annotation ability, upload & store drawings, and upload multiple sets of files, Bid Invitations — easily notify subs, real time document management, and easily compare sub bids, Estimating — templates, simple spreadsheet format, and automate estimate to proposal and Proposal Packages — completely automated proposal packages, quickly send proposals, and professional proposal packages.
- Project Management includes features such as contract management and scheduling, purchase order management, change orders, RFI tracking, meeting & task management, and reporting capabilities.
- The Field Management section of the software has the ability to manage daily logs with voice & video notes, manage time cards, track field expenses, create punch lists, and can be utilized via a mobile app.
- Within the Accounting section, PASKR features lien waiver management, sub-billing & owner billing, purchase order management, expense management and reporting features.
- An issue brought forth by many end-users of the software express the lack of consistency between the desktop interface and the mobile interfaces, this creates a problem in usability in the field. Other have also expressed complaints about the differences between iOS & android interfaces.
- Several customers have found issues in the scheduling module and its ease of use. Some found it so difficulty that they have opted to not use the scheduling features at all within the software.
- Project administration & design features such as communication abilities that include — meetings, action items, e-mail notifications, clarification requests dashboard & deporting, and transmittal. As well as administration features such as file storage & sharing, time sheets & expenses, PDF markup, tagging & stamping, project directories, and document tracking
- Construction sector features include: site communications — supplemental instruction and request for information, quality control — site visit, and payment processing — progress claim and progress certificate
- Onware's bidding & negotiation management features include: request for clarification, request for alternatives, letter of authorization, and addendum.
- Change management features included with that software cover: consultant’s recommendation, change request, proposed change, quotations/CRX, and change orders.
- A common issue among customer feedback and reviews is the new menu system in version 9.0 is confusing and not user-friendly.
- Another prevalent issue brought forth from end-users is the lack of PDF features within the system. Document that are linked together cannot be printed all at once and poor formatted in PDF's that are printed causes readability issues.
- Some main features promoted by HeavyJob are its ability to manage time cards in the field, produce immediate production reports, create & fill out field diaries, and perform accurate forecasting utilizing project data.
- Other features within the software include the ability to take photographs within the application and annotate them, manage subcontractors & material, export payroll & accounting, and account for time & expenses in the field.
- The issue that most companies seem to face with HeavyJob is its steep learning curve. Some users reported that the system would require a dedicated specialist with the organization just to have a positive return on investment. Other said it took longer than expected to become comfortable or familiar with the software.
- A secondary common complaint about HeavyJob is its database integration, some found it outdated, others found it to be incorporated poorly.