What users are saying about

Aconex

6 Ratings

iSqFt

1 Ratings

Aconex

6 Ratings
Score 8.5 out of 101

iSqFt

1 Ratings
Score 9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Aconex

[It is] well suited to large scale complex construction projects with many participants. Aconex requires patience and training and, although it's good, it could be better. Short duration, small projects probably aren't a good fit.
Mark Potter profile photo

iSqFt

iSqFt is great for communication project requirements, bid intents, projects and documentation changes, and follow up transmittals. Since a basic membership is free, it is a good way to distribute documents to bidders and sub bidders and not have to worry about manually sending out addenda and dealing with email file size limitations.
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Feature Rating Comparison

Construction Productivity

Aconex
iSqFt
9.4
Plan distribution & viewing
Aconex
iSqFt
9.0
Issue tracking & punchlists
Aconex
iSqFt
10.0
Photo documentation
Aconex
iSqFt
10.0
Jobsite reports
Aconex
iSqFt
10.0
Document sharing
Aconex
iSqFt
10.0
RFI tools
Aconex
iSqFt
7.0
As-built drawings
Aconex
iSqFt
10.0

Pros

  • File Sharing - unlimited storage, version control and access control on a neutral host - Aconex is significantly superior to ftp, SharePoint or a contractor hosted platform in that once onboarded, each user organization has equal privileges and can in turn onboard any number of members within the respective organizations.
  • Process and Workflow Management - while imperfect, Aconex offers the opportunity to customize process control and enforcement. Our team used these processes for RFI preparation and response, submittal tracking and other custom requirements.
  • Neutrality - while mentioned, the neutral host places all project participants on a equal basis. Typically, non-neutral platforms favor in-house participants to the detriment of the project. Until shared, files are 100% private to the respective organizations.
  • Mobile interface - good (not perfect) access to unlimited project file information from a mobile device.
  • Audit trail - no more "I didn't get that document". File sharing and file opening is tracked by user. Transmittals are a matter of record and there's no 'delete' function.
Mark Potter profile photo
  • Even with a "Limited Access" free account, you are able to see all the necessary files. When using it to just look at a job and download documents, this is all you should need. With more access you can see more projects that are out to bid but as a sales engineer for a manufacturer, I receive the bid requests from my contractors who are bidding there is no need to upgrade my access level.
  • Documents are very easy to download into a .zip file and you can pick and choose which documents you want to download for specific trades. Plus there is a specific tab for Addenda so you don't have to search through the Documents tab. The tabs also show the amount of files in each tab so you can easily stay up to date on current documents.
  • The Dashboard of each job shows the project general contractor and for subcontractors, responding to a bid request is as easy as clicking a button to indicate if you will bud or will not bid. This dashboard also shows location and the project description which are particularly helpful for a manufacturers rep/sales engineer that may not see the project description otherwise.
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Cons

  • Interface needs work; graphically inelegant, somewhat non-intuitive.
  • Process controls could be better 'templated' for industry standards.
  • Dashboard/to do for project managers - it's still too hard to see who is slowing the project down.
Mark Potter profile photo
  • The formatting and sizing of the font can be a little clunky at times. The main tabs at the top (Home, Projects, Prequalification, Administration) are rather large while the tabs within the project (Dashboard, Details, Bidder/Packages, etc..) are a little small. For those engineers who spend all day looking at computers and have failing eyesight, this can get to be a pain since the format is also spread out while being small font. If you zoom in to read, it cuts out a lot of the other sections you'd like to see.
  • Things are only updated on the project details if they are manually entered. If the company that enters the project into the system only fills out the minimum amount of detail, some of the function of the detail tab is rendered useless. Some of these inputs include value range, number of building, number of stories, total area, etc. which is used by some subcontractors for budget purposes and internal statistics on jobs that are bidding. So what you get out of this section is all that the owner of the projects wants to put in.
  • There is a button to submit an RFQ or general question but you must be a subscriber to the software to enter a question. Otherwise it's a long process of going up the chain of command to submit. This makes it confusing for the team fielding the questions since they are coming from different chains of communication. I've had jobs where my questions were completely missed because of this.
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Alternatives Considered

I am currently using file sharing such as Egnyte and ShareFile which are useful but don't have much of a transmittal or inmail functionality so I can't really speak to other products in the same league as Aconex. I don't typically like proprietary contractor solutions due to their non-neutrality and embedded agendas, which often are not consistent with the owner's interests.
Mark Potter profile photo
I have been invited to view projects on other platforms such as Procore and have been required to enter a login for certain jobs. However, I can't find any where to register for the site. This may be something I've overlooked but the fact that I can't find it right away made me prefer iSqFt.
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Return on Investment

  • Reductions in print costs alone (subcontractor bid process) paid completely for the use of the product. Further benefits to all project participants included process streamlining and 100% access to all project documentation (Drawings, Specifications, Contracts, Notices of Change, Change Orders etc.) from any online source including mobile devices. Benefits probably accounted for 150% of product cost.
  • Intangible benefits included reduced exposure to claims as a result of good (and agreed process tracking).
Mark Potter profile photo
  • Compared to searching folders in FTP sites for addenda, this is a much easier way to view if there are new addenda right on the home page of the project. This can save a lot of time, especially if the FTP site I am viewing has not been updated to reflect addenda, which is often the case. Then it becomes too late in the bid to submit any questions if required, and sometimes if we miss something regarding our scope in the addenda, we end up eating the cost for it.
  • The fact that this avoid having to send files via email is a great advantage. Different company servers have different limits for max file size so this avoids bounce-backs.
  • Being able to see the full project description in my position as a sales engineer for a manufacturer is a bid benefit. Sometimes the description describes bid alternates that are not described in the spec and that we wouldn't hear about until after we send out our proposal. It is also helpful to gauge if the job is a renovation, expansion, or new construction.
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Pricing Details

Aconex

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

iSqFt

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details