New residential construction jobs generate oceans of paperwork. One project includes requirements, blueprints, work orders, estimates, contracts, check lists, photos, change orders and more.All of that turns into a document management headache that’s both annoying and expensive. In fact, spending just one hour a day dealing with paperwork costs construction companies an average of $9,000 a year. 
Guest Post by Joshua Causey, C&B Electric, Dallas, TX
Everyone in construction is talking about the shortage of skilled labor and we constantly are asking how we as an industry can close the gap. Many conversations mention well meaning programs like builder sponsored trade school partnerships with local community colleges, as well as how different trades might create their own school to quickly educate a non skilled employee. These are all great conversations and solutions for the future, but from a practical viewpoint, what do we do in the meantime to address the issue, today?
I recently had the privilege of joining the Texas Association of Builders at their annual Sunbelt Builder show at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. Sometime during the 2-day event I made a few observations on our industry that I would like to share with you. Here are my Sunbelt takeaways:
You’re probably thinking “Its time. Time to make one of the most important decisions I will make for my company. Time to choose the software that will be at the foundation of all that we do.” So what do most people do? We start searching the internet for using search terms like “subcontractor software, construction management software, contractor software, and best contractor software.” As you have probably discovered, trying to sift through the thousands of software companies in the world is confusing and complicated and your probably now asking yourself “why on earth can’t this just be simple?” Well, your now in the right spot. Use this guide to simplify the process and pick the software best suited for your needs. If your answers to these questions raise red flags in your mind, it could be an indicator to look somewhere else.
1. Modern Accounting
By modern, I mean that your accounting software should easily give you job costing, and other logical reports at the click of a button. Technology that works is expected in today’s world so don’t settle for an accounting system that doesn’t. At BOLT, we recommend QUICKBOOKS for the average subcontractor. At the time of this article, they are the only software for contractors that has made the transition to the 21st century and done it the right way. All the other software you use in your company should easily integrate into QuickBooks. However, if you are a large subcontractor or have multiple shops, you may want to consider Sage 300 and Spectrum Dexter + Chaney. We have integrations with both programs. Pro Tip: if an accounting software doesn’t have API’s, run away. None of your other programs will communicate with it, and custom made integrations will be a pain to work with.