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Co-construct Construction Management Review

 
Parker Custom Builders purchased Co-construct LLC’s eponymous Web-based construction management software two years ago to unify workers, management and clients throughout the entire construction process. The average size of a Parker home is 8,000 square feet, with an average cost of about $2 million, said Christopher Parker, president and CEO of the firm -- so clients expect only the best.

With so many options available to clients and the need to manage an army of subcontractors and outside experts such as architects and interior designers, Nashville-based Parker Custom Builders wanted software to replace its manual process of adding changes, monitoring progress and communicating between all parties, said Parker.

"We use Co-construct to communicate with clients and for managing clients' choices. The software is Web-based, so our clients can access information about their new home, add comments and changes, at their convenience," he said. "This is much more efficient, and we have far fewer mistakes in the field. Since it's accessible to everyone involved, there are fewer arguments with clients about selections, leading to higher customer satisfaction."

But there are also hard dollar benefits, said Parker. In at least one instance, a subcontractor had billed Parker Custom Builders for days it was not on-site. Using Co-construct, Parker was able to prove that the sub-contractor was mistaken.

Although it is infrequently needed, Co-construct's technical support and user documentation is excellent, according to Parker.

The only downside to the software stems from some bugs in the construction scheduling application, he said.

Overall, Parker rated Co-construct's Web-based construction management software a 9.5 out of 10. He noted that Parker Custom Builders plans to purchase the next version of Co-construct as soon as it becomes available.

Full Review

How long have you been using this tool?: 

I have been using Co-construct for two years.

What kinds of construction projects do you mostly work on?: 

We design and build high-end custom homes. The average size of these homes is 8,000 square foot, with an average cost of $2 million.

Where did you obtain it?: 

I bought it during a builder trade show.

How much did you pay?: 

We paid $2,500.

How are you using this product?: 

We use Co-construct's Web-based construction management software to communicate with clients and for managing clients' choices. The software is web-based so our clients can access information about their new home, add comments and changes, at their convenience.

Why did you pick this product?: 

We enjoy Co-construct's ease-of-use and its technical support. The software's also clean, efficient and easily customizable to our needs.

Was this product compatible with the software programs you were already using?: 

No.

Did you look at other tools on the market before picking this one?: 

Yes. Co-construct's pricing was better, and so were its features, quality and ease-of-use. In addition, the vendor's technical support was superior.

Before you bought this product, were you using a different one to do the same job? : 

No, we did not have any software in place for these tasks.

How many people are using this software? : 

The number of users depends on the homes we're designing and building. Users include clients, project managers, the president, office manager, field operations director, our base of sub-contractors, the interior designers and architect.

Comparing the way you work now with the way you worked before you bought this tool, what has changed? : 

We are much more efficient and we have far fewer mistakes in the field. Since it's accessible to everyone involved, there are fewer arguments with clients about selections, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Can you give us an example of a job where this tool really made a difference?: 

This Web-based construction management software keeps track of what happened on-site, day-to-day, as far as operations. In one instance, we were able to go back through these daily logs and proved discrepancies with some sub-contractors who were billing for work when they were never even on the site. That, obviously, saved us a lot of money.

Can you estimate how much time or money you saved or other measurable benefits your firm realized using this tool?: 

I feel it may have eliminated the need for one staff person. That means one less salary and benefits that we have to pay for each year.

What are the best features (for your business) in this tool?: 

Selection management and client communication are the best features for Parker Custom Builders.

Do you think it's a fair value for the price you paid?: 

Yes.

What would you change about the product if you could?: 

The construction scheduling feature still has some bugs that Co-construct needs to work out.

Are there features that you don't use?: 

I believe we use most of the application.

Who would you recommend use this tool?: 

Custom builders.

How much computer experience do you think someone needs to use this tool effectively?: 

You don't need much. In fact, you can be up and running in 20 minutes.

Did it take much training (or studying) to learn to use this tool?: 

We spent a few hours on training.

Have you ever called the company's support lines and asked for help?: 

Yes and it's excellent -- the best in the business.

How would you rate the user documentation? : 

It is helpful, although we have not needed it.

When the next version of this software comes out, will you upgrade to it?: 

Yes.

Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool?: 

9.5.

 
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