Stereotypical “old-school” construction workers resisting software at all costs are like flip phones. You come across them now and then, but the sightings are increasingly rare.

As construction applications evolve, along with market pressures and employee expectations, the old excuses that “software isn’t for us”, “our existing systems work just fine” or “we’re not ready for software” are dissolving fast.

Fear among managers and executives that their employees just couldn’t or wouldn’t embrace software technology was a longstanding barrier to adoption. For many, that fear was rooted in reality. Any construction software is only as good as its ability to be accepted as a valuable alternative to the old ways of doing things on the job site. Failed attempts to implement complex applications with clumsy interfaces, often without adequate strategy and training, sent them running back to pencils, paper and clipboards.

Market Conditions, however, are changing. Paper-based processes for estimating, field tracking, scheduling, dispatching, fleet maintenance and data capture are a growing liability. The pressures will only escalate, as jobs get more complex, margins get tighter and competitors continue to arm themselves with advanced software that drives improved productivity, efficiency and asset utilization.

Employees are changing too. Younger workers, raised with computers and mobile devices, expect to use those technologies at work. Even most older employees use software in their daily lives and get the benefits. All tend to appreciate being equipped with the best tools available to achieve the highest levels of quality, safety and efficiency. Increasingly, on any heavy construction site, software is one of those tools.

Most importantly, software is changing. The best of today’s tools are intuitive and easy to use.

Tino Rodriguez, a foreman at Barriere Construction in Louisiana uses software and teaches his crews as well. He says ease of use with B2W is five out of five stars.

Comments like that reflect experiences with software that works the way contractors work, incorporating proven construction process logic, rather than imposing IT or accounting logic. Learning curves are minimal, and in-depth computer skills are not required. Even newcomers to technology can catch on quickly, and that early recognition and realization of advantages over the old ways of doing things heads off resistance before it gets momentum.

“There are people that use this software who have never used a computer in their life, or a tablet, who love it now, and that’s the truth,” according to Jessica French at W.L. French Excavating in Massachusetts.

Check out this two-minute video, as Tino, Jessica and other B2W Software clients comment on experiences implementing software, optimizing it and getting buy in from their teams in the field.

Greg Norris