Contractor Management Software; The beauty of simplicity

Choosing the best Contractor Management Software is never easy; from selecting the modules and functionality your business requires to calculating the number of users, locations, processes and so on the system will manage, how it will interface with other systems, where it will be hosted, who will maintain the software, and so on – the complexity of it can be rather overwhelming! We found this was equally true when we recently reviewed a range of online project management tools. The smorgasbord of options and terminology confused us; and we’re IT professionals working with software systems every day!

We tried to think of the best specific advice we could give prospective purchasers when reviewing software options for managing contractors and tasks, and came to the conclusion that it’s not as simple as it might sound! So we started drafting up a blog post, and then it turned into a short essay, and then a thesis, and it still didn’t cover everything.

So we went back to the basics, and took some inspiration from Henry Ford. Ford said “the simple things are the best, whether it is automobiles, or diets, or philosophy”. It was a philosophy that allowed him to revolutionise car manufacturing, and it’s one that can equally be applied to effective contractor management systems.

Put simply (because, well, that’s the idea) – the simpler a process is, the easier it is to understand. The easier it is to understand, the easier it is for people to learn and follow it. The easier it is for staff and contractors to learn and follow a process, the more likely they are to adopt it, and the more compliant they are likely to be.

Not everything can be boiled back to one simple, standardized process. We understand this, but our point is simply that you want to get as close to a simple and standardised process as you can, then start to add exceptions. Don’t choose a Contractor Management software system based on exceptions: Your systems and process should be driven by the rules, not the exceptions to the rules.

We’ll finish with another Henry Ford quote; “The best way is always the simplest: The attics of the world are cluttered with complicated failures”. Don’t let your contractor management software end up in the attic – make it simple, and make it beautiful!