If you are in the construction business, you might have already known about the role construction ERP software solutions can play for your business. Such software solutions have already become integrated part of many construction business ventures and almost a majority of big names in construction business simply cannot think of their operation without construction ERP software. But with so many options in the market, choosing the right software package for your construction business can be a challenging task that involves several key considerations.
What ERP software do for construction firms is huge involving an array of aspects pertaining to the entire construction project. They address a variety of crucial responsibilities like prospecting, bidding, estimating, project management, communications management managing billings with the progress of the work, etc. But every construction software comes with their own UI, features and look and feel. Question is which solution fit your business? Here below we are going to provide some helpful insights.
The Key Aspects You Cannot Miss
Before going into the depth with too many considerations, let us explore the key and most obvious elements that you need to look for in construction ERP software solutions.
- A user optimised UI
- Features and functionalities that you need everyday or may require in the near future
- A future ready and scalable solution that is ready to adapt to your growth.
- Customisable and flexible solution allowing room to tweak it as per your requirement.
- A cost effective solution that ultimately helps your business deploy it without creating a big hole in your operational budget.
- Finally, it needs to be a solution which is easy to learn and deploy. Lower learning curve is a crucial requirement for easy and error free deployment.
What Business Professionals Anticipate From An ERP System?
The business leaders always are in search of increasing efficiency. Let’s explore what they expect from an ERP system –
- CIO / IT Professional
A Construction ERP software should completely diminish the security threat profile.
An ERP solution that helps to boost the corporate growth.
Access to all the important data any time and any place for all stakeholders.
- Project Manager
An ERP Solutions that enables to collaborate all stakeholders like engineers, subcontractors, and architects to be part of one conversation.
Key Features And Functionalities To Look For In An ERP Solution
Most construction businesses are in need of certain features and functionalities that cannot be compromised. Apart from these key features your business may also need additional features and functionalities for an effective output fit to the nature of your firm. But how would you make out the important features you want in your system?
The process of evaluating and identifying the priority software requirements is simple. How? The first step is to find out the challenges you can resolve by technology. Done? Great! Now classify the complete list into two categories – Must Have and Good To Have. The clear the information about the challenges, the better the idea about software requirements.
Umm….wait. In the process, don’t lend the task to software vendors as you have better understanding about the software requirements and challenges faced.
When asked to a construction firm about the software requirements required, they briefed us about some of these critical ERP features required by construction businesses.
- Total project lifecycle management
- Prospecting / CRM
- Estimation and quotations
- Project cost calculation
- Work in progress cost calculation
- Direct cost management
- Managing contract and purchase order (PO)
- Progress billing management
- Real-time exchange of information
- Mobile and cloud based accessibility
- On-field service management relating to POs, project updates, daily logs, etc.
- Supplier management
- Embedded business analytics and intelligence
- Robust data security features
Hope you noted the important features. Now the next step is to suspiciously evaluate the priority options decided, before proceeding for an ERP system. The task is to ask the consult management team and key stakeholders to give their valuable feedback in the evaluation phase. As their feedback will help you to know a picture of how the upcoming ERP system will affect the existing office system. Later you can start finding software vendors, consider the software demos precisely, and compare prices for the best one. Amazing! You have almost done. Hire the best one and collect all the system information from the software vendor, decide the given ERP system by the vendor is the perfect key for your organization lock or not. Once you are satisfied with ERP system, make sure that the agreements and other essential requirements are noted in document.
No matter how easy you find the process but you should not forget a truth that business of building construction is a complex one and combines various facets like industrial, domestic and residential. Whether it is about general residential construction of real estate sector or heavy engineering construction or public construction of large infrastructures, your construction business invariably needs an ERP solution. The best thing about such solution is that it can reduce cost while enhancing efficiency and boosting project completion time. Construction ERP solutions can really prove to be effective to automate business process while always allowing distinct cost advantage on all fronts.