Leaps and Bounds
It’s amazing: Project management and estimations software have never been more advanced. And whether you need it on your laptop, iPad or smartphone, it’s available. As software platforms designed to make contractors’ lives easier continue to improve and expand, masonry industry manufacturers of all types are joining the party. Whether it’s an app to determine the best brick shape or mortar color, or to determine if weather is favorable for bricklaying tomorrow – the innovation just never stops. Masonry has profiled eight software advancements and new products we think you’ll find useful. More and more, it’s a tech-lover’s world.
BID2WIN Branding and Vision
BID2WIN Software is changing its name and rebranding itself as B2W Software Inc. This new brand identity, paired with the company’s expanded operational suite, more accurately represents what it has become: a provider of enterprise-class construction operational software. Enjoying tremendous growth during the last 10 years, the company has expanded its product offerings, services and the size of its staff to meet the needs of a rapidly growing client base and shifting construction market. The most significant driver of B2W Software’s evolution is its strong vision and technical expertise in mobile development.
Operational elements include: estimate – managing the entire estimating and bidding process; dispatch – planning, analyzing, scheduling and dispatching your human, mechanical and material resources; track – comparing original bid numbers to real job costs to better understand and remain in control of real costs; maintain – minimizing unplanned downtime and optimizing production.
Revu 11 Software
Bluebeam Software, a developer of PDF-based collaboration solutions, has released Revu 11. The new version of Bluebeam’s flagship solution makes it easier than ever for users in document-intensive industries, including architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), and oil and gas to collaborate on project documents and digitize technical reviews.
Studio Projects Offline mode enables project teams to centrally maintain a digital master set. Bluebeam Studio allows users to access and edit files stored in a Studio Project from a desktop, tablet PC or an iPad. Revu 11’s AutoMark feature allows organization of PDFs by automatically creating bookmarks and page labels from PDF content, such as drawing title blocks. “Sets” enables team members to view, navigate and edit multiple files as if they were one. The Format Painter applies property settings across multiple annotations. VisualSearch performs robust searches, regardless of an object’s size, color or rotation or even another intersecting object. Users can create 3D PDFs from any IFC file, and do more with 3D content.
Spectrum Project Management Software
Dexter + Chaney has released its new Spectrum Project Management software. Spectrum Project Management is available as part of the suite of applications that comprise Dexter + Chaney’s Spectrum Construction Software product line.
Spectrum Project Management combines the tools and information that project managers need into a single application. Project managers are at the center of a storm of data and documents, says Dexter + Chaney. The company adds that, instead of using three, four or more applications to build a picture of project status, they can use Spectrum Project Management to combine financial and field information, manage people and documents, and track workflow from a single project log screen that eliminates the need to maintain multiple logs. The application covers numerous project management functions, including job cost and progress reporting, project logging, submittal and RFI tracking, and project document storage and sharing.
Johnson City, Tenn.
Mobile App for Construction Planning, Estimating
General Shale has launched a mobile app to assist construction professionals and homeowners with designing buildings, selecting products, calculating costs and purchasing materials for their projects. The app can be downloaded free via the iPhone App Store. It allows users to browse product colors and sizes in brick, thin brick, pavers and do-it-yourself outdoor living kits, and then email favorite selections or final cost calculations without leaving the app. A calculator function enables the user to estimate material costs when building with brick or pavers, based on parameters such as square footage, brick size, labor costs and more. Estimates do not include shipping prices or taxes.
Mobile app users may locate the nearest General Shale retail store or distributor, as well as a GPS map, from the “Where to Buy” feature. They also can link to the General Shale or Brick Industry Association websites.
Holcim (US) Masonry App
Holcim (US) has introduced its Rainbow Masonry Designer App, which allows architects to collaborate in real time with building owners and/or construction companies to visually select brick façades that reflect a project’s vision. The Masonry Designer App allows users to view and select brick colors, pattern/bond and mortar colors in real time. Once a combination is selected, a PDF of the choices can be sent to various brick manufacturers for samples and estimates.
By dynamically selecting brick colors, patterns and one of the 60 different Rainbow mortar colors available, much of the guesswork and color speculation can be avoided. The free application is supported by the Apple iOs for the iPad via web browsers. Other technology solutions include Holcim’s weatherApp, which utilizes ACI standards tied to global forecasting to determine the favorability of conditions for placing concrete.
King of Prussia, Pa.
ProContractorMX Web-Based PM Software
Maxwell Systems ProContractorMX Web-Based Construction Project Management software delivers seamless capabilities for bidding, budgeting, scheduling, field reporting, documents, resources and cost control, all online and available in a single solution so contractors can complete projects as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“ProContractorMX Construction Project Management has saved us countless hours of pain and frustration,” says Harry Pettyjohn, president of HP Flanagan Inc. “ProContractorMX has several weapons in its arsenal. With the Daily Field Reports we can update multiple projects in minutes versus the hours it used to take. The Work-In-Progress reports allow us to update the schedules in real-time; this allows us to see if items are on track to meet deadlines or moving ahead of schedule. ProContractorMX is an intuitive system that sends us alerts and notifies our trades. The real values are better visibility and one stop organization; everything can be managed in a central location. No longer are there stacks of paperwork to bog down our time, it allows us to be where we belong – out in the field building.”
Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate 2013
Sage North America has released the latest version of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (formerly Sage Timberline Office). Designed specifically for construction companies, new and enhanced capabilities within Sage 300 better arm construction companies to address the complexity, risk and time demands involved with tracking and managing subcontractor and vendor compliance associated with lien waivers, insurance and certified reporting.
The latest release of Sage 300 also provides users with improved design and software performance to simplify everyday tasks and work more effectively. New capabilities include expanded Microsoft Outlook and Excel integration as well as direct integration with Aatrix tax eFiling Services. A highly skilled specialist in providing government forms through its partnership with more than 170 government agencies, Aatrix offers Sage 300 customers a highly automated, hassle-free filing process that greatly reduces the risk of errors, minimizing late filings, fines and penalties.
Master Estimator with On-Screen 3D Estimator
Tradesmen’s Master Estimator with On-Screen 3D Estimator (OS3DE) was designed for the mason contractor, by a mason contractor. The OS3DE module allows you to take-off your masonry walls and render them directly on the floor plan(s) in 3D. Obtain your quantities with your cost, and see your bottom line bid price from the 3D take-off. You and your team can take a virtual tour through the finished project and see how the building is put together. Review and catch any costly mistakes before you submit your bid.
Use the On-Screen 3D Viewer (OS3DV) to help manage the project in the field. The new viewer allows you to put your project into the hands of more people without the worry of sharing private company data. Tradesmen’s now offers an .IFC export for your projects that require a model for BIM.
- 51Bluebeam Software’s PDF Revu 9 allows construction professionals to create, share and edit project information, electronically, in PDF. Features include 3D PDF viewing, allowing for a more detailed view of vital project elements.
- 46Almost six years ago, when I first entered the world of masonry, I was highly impressed with the different types of software available to contractors and project managers.