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Construction Management and Quickbooks February 18, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, project management software.
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Whether you are a residential or commercial general contractor, Quickbooks is the most popular accounting software serving the construction industry in the United States. The challenge is achieving an integrated solution with estimating, scheduling and project management capabilities while addressing detailed job costing. As your contracting firm grows your needs typically outgrow what you can do with Microsoft Office so where’s a GC to turn?

If integration is important, and you really want to avoid silos between finance, estimating and operations you’ll want to look at Corecon. They were the first to embrace the API’s available with Intuit and have managed to address everything but BIM and CAD needs for the small to mid-sized construction company.

Construction Project Management and Quickbooks

Corecon is a Software as a Service solution all based in the cloud and works with the popular browsers so there’s no need to install software of worry about upgrades and backups. It’s all done for you. What really separates this solution with others (I’m disclosing that I do sell this software) is the depth of integration and the capabilities.

Estimating, Bid Requests, Preconstruction, Purchasing, Safety, Submittals, Correspondence, Progress Billings, etc. It’s all there. It even has a mobile login for accessing your contacts, viewing you To do List, receiving Alerts, tracking project leads and reviewing all your project’s Correspondence, documentation, schedule, Time Entry, Miscellaneous Expenses, Procurement and Financials. There’s even handy charts to visually see your construction project’s financial health.
Corecon Project Management

For additional information visit Corecon.com and tell them Carol Hagen sent you in the comments.

If you have time take a peak of the mobile operations in this video:

Construction: What’s Your “X” factor? December 22, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, project management software.
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Successful contractors know what their xfactors are and if they align with your supplier’s, employee’s or project owner’s interests.  Your differentiaters can attract talent, press and business. Just how do you leverage your xfactors?

Talent Attraction Xfactors

When it comes to talent, three items come to mind: culture match, reputation and technology.  The best talent looks carefully before putting your construction firm on their shortlist.  Smart leaders make sure all three shine through in their people, projects and on the internet. They empower their employees to showcase their work in the company intranet, and include employee stories in their newsletter.  They keep content fresh and update their blog when new technology is deployed in the office and field.  They share success stories on Facebook and YouTube that reach out to communities, showcasing company values, through volunteer efforts while making the content easily shareable. The message is human and caring. These same efforts often lead to free press.

Press Attraction Xfactors

Always looking for an angle, journalists love stories about overcoming obstacles, announcements that impact their community or improve the quality of life.  Your construction projects are ideally suited to these storylines. Building a bridge? Share shorter commute times, connecting commerce, job creation and closing gaps in your press pitch.  Now spin your xfactor into the story – your commitment to veteran hires or the  team diversity can reflect your company’s culture. 

Business Attraction Xfactors

Every completed project stands as a testimony to the special talents of the project team, but delivering on time and under budget doesn’t always convert to repeat business. 

Communication and shared core values is the key.  Setting clear expectations, how you handle crucial conversations and sharing key progress throughout the project  team is critical. Your emod factor showcases your commitment to safety, your ability to keep project costs lower and your business values are aligned with your entire team. If your systems are well defined, software can help with the deliverables, communications and the collaboration. So can smartphones, tablet PCs and iPads. 

Can a small firm (perhaps using Quickbooks) compete in technology? Surprisingly yes. Creating a central document repository, tracking milestones and collaborating can be done effectively and affordably without a Sharepoint Server. The key is delighting the team, especially the project owner.  Recently Corecon announced their new Team Link Portal which extends the project management activity out to the architect, engineer, subcontractor, supplier and owner.  Here are a few Screenshots:

Corecon Team Link Portal – Owner Project Financials Dashboard

    Corecon Team Link Portal – Correspondence Tab

      Corecon Team Link Portal - Correspondence Tab

      Making critical information accessible keeps people happy and coming back for more.  What I like about Corecon (and why I rep for them) is the straight forward approach, recognizing that small and medium sized construction firms, who don’t have full time IT staff actually have a competitive advantage. They’re more nimble. This and other xfactor offerings can help keep repeat business occurring and attract new business too.

      What are you construction xfactors and where do you share them? Please add them in our comments.

Xoom for the Construction Project Manager March 4, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, project management software.
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Update 3/23/11: With Firefox 4 for Android soon to be available, it is expected that Corecon will run the full version of their software on the Xoom!

The Motorola Xoom has been available at Verizon for a few weeks and all the competition keeps repeating is “there are no apps for it.” Who needs apps when smart software developers offer access to their applications in the cloud? For instance, Corecon, a construction project management and estimating system. Their Corecon mobile login provides the project manager access to his projects, job financials, documentation, correspondence, contacts, etc and a way to update directly from the field. Here’s a video showing a few project management functions on the Xoom:

It works well on all the other popular platforms too like Android, iPhone, iPad and Blackberry. This isn’t just for the commercial general contractor either. Architects, engineers, homebuilders and suppliers use Corecon everyday collaborating, estimating and responding to requests for bid, RFI’s, and more. So you know, my client’s bought Corecon from me to streamline their operations.

Personally I am awaiting the 4G upgrade (coming summer of 2011) before I grab a Xoom, but once I do, I’ll be Xooming presentations, videos and keeping projects up to date without the size limitations of my smartphone or the need to lug or boot up my laptop.

Corecon project management and videos on other devices can be viewed in a previous post entitled:Project Managers Go Mobile

Tucson Contractors Soak Up IT Knowledge February 4, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, estimating, project management software.
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Tucson contractors have already put my presentation to good use on “All things Information Technology (IT)” at the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) luncheon yesterday. Excel Mechanical’s Carrie Stone emailed me her results this morning and I can only hope everyone in attendance will also share their success.

Topics during my 45 minute chat included: Search, Backups, Data Storage, Cloud Computing, and construction project management. Sound’s boring right? Guess again. Humorous videos, made light of heavy topics and kept the pace moving…ever see storage take a ride down a pool slide? Questions popped up while audience members confessed to being email hoarders and a few still used tape for backups. Thank you Sundt’s Kevin Burnett who was the example for how to think Lean and taking it on the chin when I explained why small firms are often more nimble than large.

There was great interest in how to get your company to show on a local search, what Removable Disk Cartridges (RDX) offer as advantages over tape and regular hard drives, and how estimating, project management and job costing can effectively be done in the cloud. I’m beginning to think that Corecon might become my top selling construction software solution here in Arizona.

Questions after the lunch were as involved as during. I don’t recall who I was speaking to, but one contractor had an iPhone so I suggested he try the CardMunch app which lets you suck in all the business cards you collect when networking with general contractors, service providers and subcontractors at CFMA events. It’s owned by LinkedIn and the service is free.

For those that didn’t take notes or can’t recall the name of a particular product or service mentioned during the presentation, I am willing to share the powerpoint, just drop me a line. Hope to hear from you soon!

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