Constructech Top Products

The Constructech Top Products competition highlights some of the best products tailored for the construction and homebuilding markets.

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2010 Top Products

Construction firms that can offer clients creative pricing strategies, and faster project cycle times, are finding more work in today’s economy. Technology is playing an enabling role in helping these firms complete projects more efficiently.

How can companies find the best construction technology products? To help in the search for new solutions, Constructech reveals its list of Top Products. These products feature powerful functionality that will allow contractors to capitalize on the biggest trends in the industry today—building information modeling, mobility, and document management, among others.

This year, there were a high number of products submitted, as well as a significant number of applications that qualified for the award. However, there were a select few that were on the cusp of winning. These products all have the potential to offer great capabilities to the industry, but the editors thought the products were just a bit too new.

Contractors should keep an eye on Prolog Converge from Meridian Systems, www.meridiansystems.com, Folsom, Calif., Digital Takeoff Table and Digital Production Control from On Center Software, www.oncenter.com, The Woodlands, Texas, ProEst v2010 from ProEst Estimating, www.proest.com, San Diego, Calif., and Pre-Qualification Management from Textura, www.texturacorp.com, Deerfield, Ill. These products have some great features that could provide significant value going forward.

 

Digital Takeoff
 

www.accubid.com

 Concord, Ont.

cadLive
As the need for accuracy and speed during the takeoff process increases, cadLive provides a product that allows MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) estimators to perform on screen and reduce the number of steps in the procedure. The product integrates fully with Accubid’s estimating and change order applications, allowing contractors the ability to share proprietary estimating data and eliminate redundant data entry. Beyond just raster images, the product supports native AutoCAD files and eliminates the need to transfer or export takeoffs. Takeoff versions are displayed on screen as drawings are revised, allowing users to view the history, and each takeoff applied in this product can be applied to future drawings or similar projects as necessary.
   

Capital Program and Project Management

 

www.cipplanner.com

Santa Clara, Calif.

CIPAce
As an integrated Web-based system, CIPAce provides portfolio, capital project, and construction management capabilities for public and private owners. The technology allows owners to manage projects, costs, funding, schedules, resources, documents, bids, contracts, purchase orders, and invoices. With the built-in analytical module, owners can create reports. This type of feature is ideal for owners that need to get a realtime look at a project. The product also allows owners to create ‘what if’ scenarios for schedules, project ranking, and funding analysis for planning. The product’s Dynamic Form and Workflow Engine technologies enable users to design customizable interfaces and rules to support processes. Additionally, the product has a built-in Web application programming interface. This means CIPAce can integrate with third-party applications for financial, GIS (geographic information system), project management, and document management software.
   

ENTERPRISE

 

www.cmic.ca

Toronto, Ont.

CMiC
By integrating financials, project controls, project management, and customer-relationship management under one platform, companies are able to reduce redundant data entry and unnecessary software costs. The database stores mission critical information and improves data flow, increasing communication and collaboration throughout the organization. While CMiC has all the enterprise data on one platform, it also has an open architecture, allowing construction companies to integrate the enterprise data with BIM (building information modeling) and plan rooms, among others. In the past year, CMiC has also offered CMiC On-Demand, which brings down the cost and technology infrastructure obstacles for organizations to run a fully integrated suite of operations and finance software. CMiC continues to enhance the product from the standpoint of usability and interoperability for the end user.
   

Estimating

 

www.conest.com

Manchester, N.H.

IntelliBid
Complete with an industry database of more than 125,000 electrical and data cabling items and in excess of 500,000 prebuilt assembly options, IntelliBid provides a robust set of functionality specific to electrical, low voltage, and data cabling contractors. The company has built functionality around things that matter most to these contractors, such as the ability to factor labor based on historical job costing, the power to check and correct NEC code calculations, and build estimates based on regular/OT/shift hours. Built with the company’s Smart System Technology, which analyzes data to assure compliance with labor and material requirements, IntelliBid helps electrical, low voltage, and data cabling contractors focus on accuracy and consistency when it comes to labor and material costs.
   

Digital Takeoff

 

www.conest.com

Manchester, N.H.

SureCount
This digital takeoff tool is built with unique features to help electrical, low voltage, and data cabling contractors view, count, and measure takeoffs onscreen. One such feature is Auto-Count, which gives estimators the option to instantly locate and count repetitive items for takeoff. With this, estimators can highlight and count hundreds of items in a matter of seconds, rather than the upwards of 20 minutes it would normally take on average using manual methods. The Overlay feature highlights any additions, modifications, or deletions from the original drawing. The product also views and stores digital drawings and CAD (computer-aided design) files, adds custom text and symbols to drawings with takeoff notes, and calculates price quotes based on assigned symbol costs.
   

Email Management

 

www.construction-imaging.com

Rocky Mount, N.C.

Correspondence Management
Facing the growing requirement to retain and manage emails on projects, yet still struggling with a lack of storage capacity, contractors need a tool to manage digital content. Based on increased demand from its customer base, Construction Imaging has enhanced its Correspondence Management platform to include emails. This allows companies to structure their Outlook environment with index fields relative to their department, documents, and individual processes. Automated archiving and structure allows for emails to be stored as a business record, rather than archiving all emails from the Exchange environment. This eliminates the need for end users to manage folders and subfolders. On an enterprise scale, this product helps as it copies emails to the document management system and automatically associates with departmental documentation and processes.
   

Capital Program and Project Management

 

www.e-builder.net

Plantation, Fla.

e-Builder Enterprise
Lower costs and reduced risk are some of the high priorities for corporate owners these days. e-Builder offers e-Builder Enterprise, an integrated capital program and project management software platform. The technology consists of document, cost, and schedule modules, which are integrated through a business process automation module. With a higher focus on reporting and complying with regulatory requirements in the past year, this technology helps companies manage business processes through a conceptual view of programs and project status via executive dashboards. Keeping in line with some of the biggest trends in the construction industry, e-Builder’s integration toolbox allows companies to integrate with other systems through the import-export toolset, Web services, API (application programming interface), and a configurable XML (extensible markup language) translator. e-Builder can also integrate with solutions to enable the BIM (building information modeling) process.
   

Project Management

 

www.freighttrain.com

Los Angeles, Calif

FreightTrain
FreightTrain is an online construction management suite that allows construction companies, architects, owners, and subcontractors engaged in construction management, commissioning, and transition planning to integrate quality control processes. The technology has customized analytics and metrics tools that provide access to construction data, which graphically presents current status relevant to target goals. Among the unique features in FreightTrain are the patented Visual Fragnets, which are colorized room-based drawings that are created based on the construction status reported in FreightTrain and can be uploaded and viewed in realtime. FreightTrain’s Web-based, point of construction technology allows users to have access whether in the field, at the office, or using a handheld device. The technology enhances scheduling of subcontractors and inspections, while also improving communication.
   

Service Software

 

www.jonas-construction.com

Richmond Hill, Ont.

Service Management
As service remains a priority on the job, contractors are looking for a comprehensive platform to meet these objectives. At the core of Service Management are five primary components: Service Work Order, Service Dispatch, Service Contracts, Flat Rate, and Tasking; all fully integrated with other key applications within your enterprise. Jonas offers two add-on components to Service Management, including the Web-based eService portal that allows customers to initiate new work orders, view service and equipment history, and view outstanding invoices. Taking service to the field, Jonas Mobile allows dispatchers to send work orders to technicians via PDA (personal digital assistant). Recent upgrades to Mobile extend this functionality to tablet PCs and laptops, addressing the diverse line of hardware being used in the field.
   

Hosted Services

 

www.loadspring.com

Lawrence, Mass.

SpringBoard Control Console
As a Web portal for project managers, SpringBoard Control Console provides secure access and the necessary functionality to run specialized project management applications remotely. Supporting project management-specific applications from companies such as Oracle Primavera, Meridian, Microsoft, U.S. COST, and Timberline, the application is fully scalable to meet any number of users deployed with a fixed monthly cost per user. The product also features data recovery and storage options, data integration with third-party applications, and LoadSpring can host internally developed applications from companies which it deems qualified—further lessening the IT burden on project teams. This product provides a cost effective option for project teams as it can be deployed team wide in days and is scalable as project demands change.
   

Tablet PC

 

www.motioncomputing.com

Austin, Texas

Motion F5
When it comes to tablet PCs, the Motion F5 has a lot of features that would allow the construction industry to do more in the field, and the device is also rugged and lightweight. With the Motion F5, workers can view project information to help improve documentation, materials management, and collaboration. The tablet PC has a range of features including a digital camera, RFID (radio-frequency identification) reader, barcode scanner, and mobile broadband. The company continues to add new features to the product to help it be more durable in the field for the construction industry, such as a durable outdoor display technology. The F5 is also able to withstand exposure to dust and moisture and the occasional bumps or drops that occur out at the jobsite. Motion continues to partner with software providers specific to construction, further enhancing this piece of hardware for the field.
   

Digital Takeoff

 

www.oncenter.com

The Woodlands, Texas

On-Screen Takeoff
Digital takeoff technology continues to be one of the hottest areas of growth for construction technology. With that in mind, the applications that will stand out from the crowd are those that are continually enhanced for productivity improvement. In the past year, On Center Software has reinvested in its application, announcing the latest upgrades in On-Screen Takeoff 3.7. The handling and performance of PDF files has been improved in the product. In particular, the process of flipping through pages of a plan has been sped up using a combination of cached memory, color options, and algorithms. On Center Software also expanded the support of image file types to include Autodesk DWFx files. A second view window and compatibility with Windows 7 were among the other highlights of this upgrade to one of the most widely used digital takeoff tools in the industry.
   

Bidding

 

www.oncenter.com

The Woodlands, Texas

Quick Bid
Speed and accuracy in the bidding process has never been more essential, and Quick Bid provides the enhancements to comply. The latest enhancements, delivered via Quick Bid Version 4.9, include a compatibility upgrade to support Windows 7, and the ability to export job budget files to many leading third-party accounting programs. A Material eQuote feature allows estimators to request and obtain pricing info from suppliers in a more streamlined manner. Pricing info is received via email and can be instantly imported into Quick Bid, which updates the bid instantly. Another new feature is a collaborative effort with supplier Armstrong to create an assemblies database to include its materials and assemblies into the Quick Bid database.
   

Estimating

 

www.tcli.com

Geneva, N.Y.

Estimating Link
It takes market expertise to compile an accurate estimate, and Estimating Link provides a solid tool for heavy/highway and environmental contractors. It provides all necessary components for costing, including an unlimited library for labor, equipment, rental, subcontractor, and materials, among others. Balanced bid items are calculated using job overhead, markup, and profit percentages entered into the system. Interfaces for the Dept. of Transportation systems streamline the bidding process, while the ability to re-use task data from previous projects and scale appropriately reduces redundant effort. With a focus on helping ease the job of estimator the company is constantly adding tools to enhance the view of field personnel capabilities, allowing for changes to be made in a timely manner to avoid potential losses.
   

Asset Management

 

www.toolwatch.com

Englewood, Colo.

Enterprise Job Cost and Billing
Knowing your cost on assets and how to charge for usage can be a game-changing component to managing expenses. As an enhancement to its Enterprise software, ToolWatch allows companies to automate the job cost and billing process for tools, materials, and consumables throughout the entire organization. Charges are made automatically and applied at the user, department, or project level. Unique features of the product include concurrent job cost and billing; automated fixed rate and usage billing; defined billing charges by cost center; reporting capabilities, and integration with third-party accounting. Delivered in a SaaS (software-as-a-service) model, this product makes it easy to deliver detailed accounting information for each tool or piece of equipment throughout the organization. Create financial incentives based on tool retention for each project and watch accountability improve dramatically.
   

Enterprise

 

www.viewpointcs.com

Portland, Ore.

Viewpoint V6 Software
Viewpoint V6 Software is an enterprise solution integrating accounting, human resources, project management, document management, and operations. Among the enhancements to the product is a preconstruction module, which will allow construction companies to use technology at the very early stages of a project. This module allows users to identify the available pool of qualified subcontractors. With the subcontractor prequalification form, companies can collect information including general data, legal and financial, and subcontractor capabilities. Companies can also use advanced features in Viewpoint V6 Software such as workflow and business intelligence with prebuilt customizable templates. The product is built on the Microsoft .NET Framework and uses the SQL Server database. Viewpoint Connects is a Web portal with integration to V6 accounting, project management, human resources, and preconstruction, enabling collaboration with all project stakeholders.

 

Below, please find the full list of winners.

Trusted Products: cadLive, Accubid Systems; ALMobile Suite, Austin Lane Technologies, Inc.; CIPAce, CIPPlanner Corp.; CMiC, CMiC; SureCount, ConEst Software Systems; IntelliBid, ConEst Software Systems; Email Correspondence Management & Email Archiving, Construction Imaging; e-Builder Enterprise, e-Builder, Inc.; Contract Manager Version 7, Explorer Software Group; FASTTAC, FASTTAC, Inc.; Foundation for Windows, Foundation Software; FreightTrain, HTS, LLC; Innovaya Visual 4D/5D BIM Software Suite, Innovaya, LLC; SpringBoard Control Console, LoadSpring Solutions, Inc.; On-Screen Takeoff, On Center Software; Quick Bid, On Center Software; Sage Master Builder, Sage; TeleNav Track, TeleNav, Inc.; Construction Payment Management, Textura Corp.; Estimating Link, The Construction Link, Inc.; Viewpoint V6 Software, Viewpoint Construction Software; WennSoft Construction Software, WennSoft

New Products: BUILD2WIN Field Tracking, BID2WIN Software Inc.; Foundation Construction Payroll Service, Foundation Construction Payroll Service; Service Management, Jonas Software; Motion F5, Motion Computing Inc.; ToolWatch Enterprise Job Cost and Billing Module, ToolWatch Corp.; 3D-MC2, Topcon Positioning Systems; TRA-SER SX, Trade Service Co.; Vela Systems, Vela Systems; Vico Office, Vico Software