The construction industry is a highly lucrative sector if you can work effectively, with companies having plenty of opportunities for improved margins. However, a lack of transparency with data and procurement can cause your decision-making to be hit or miss.
Learn more about how ERP can benefit the construction industry and some steps to take to improve your use of ERP platforms in a construction-oriented business.
What is ERP software?
ERP refers to Enterprise Resource Planning Software, and is a category of software package that helps companies to access as much data as possible, improving organisational decision-making and increasing efficiency. These packages come in a range of forms, with some created for specific industries in addition to more general software. Many ERP software packages are highly modular, giving companies the opportunity to scale and adjust their tools depending on needs.
How can ERP benefit the construction industry?
There is a wide variety of ways that ERP platforms can help companies across the construction industry to work more effectively, plan their operations in advance and access a greater degree of flexibility. Some of the main ways that ERP software can benefit the construction industry include:
ERP platforms host a lot of accounting data for their users, tracking the invoices that businesses receive, the amount that they pay out to all of their suppliers and the salary expenses that a company incurs.
All this information gives decision-makers a lot more insight, including the ability to see where the business is spending inefficiently. By understanding inefficiencies, management staff can target cost-saving opportunities and increase the profits made on a project without having to compromise on their standards.
This combines a company’s natural drive for maximising profits with a workman’s pride for the quality of their craft, letting both happen at the same time. You can learn more about how ERP can reduce costs in our article How ERP Software Can Save Your Business Time and Money.
Real-time Decision Making
A lot of ERP platforms offer customers real-time access to information. For retail companies, this includes the level of stock they have available, with the construction industry benefiting more from the live tracking of deliveries and staff on site. When you know who is available to work and the resources you have available on each day of a project, you can plan in advance and have the knowledge necessary to make adjustments on the fly.
The days of trying to adapt to completely unknown circumstances are behind you, leaving a much more functional worksite.
Variety of Locations
People can access an Enterprise Resource Planning platform from a wide variety of locations. Thanks to the high levels of compatibility that these platforms have on devices such as phones, tablets and laptops, management staff can take ERP with them wherever they go.
When using ERP “on the ground”, you can use it more effectively, inputting live information from the construction site itself rather than having to relay information from team to team. If you have the opportunity, try to use ERP platforms in a live working environment and experience better productivity for yourself.
Data is a fundamental part of how businesses work, with lots of different programs being created to provide companies with potential insight. However, combining all of these programs can be a challenge that leaves your organisation less efficient than you might want it to be.
Most ERP platforms offer integrations with external third-party tools, helping you to automatically pull data from several disparate applications into one simple and functional location. This saves you a lot of time that might otherwise be spent on administrative tasks such as data entry or migration, letting your team get down to the important work at hand.
Data is at the heart of the way companies in a range of industries work, with the sales industry using it for marketing, banking using it for adjusting policies and construction using it to establish cost estimates of projects.
Where previously you would need an analyst on your team to visualise and understand all of the data, ERP platforms simplify this process. You receive simple readouts and graphs with any relevant or important information, limiting your costs as there is no need to spend time and money on a data expert.
Although implementing ERP in the construction industry is an ideal step to take for a lot of companies, there are a few considerations to account for in order to access all of these benefits. By addressing each of the concerns below you enable much better construction work supported properly by ERP with all the necessary infrastructure. These include:
Whilst ERP software has a high level of flexibility and accessibility across a range of different hardware types and formats, there are still likely to be some limiting factors. For example, whilst a browser-based ERP is likely to work as expected on a Chromebook, an excessively slow device is likely to struggle with some of the more advanced functionality such as data visualisation. Ensure that every member of staff has the tools necessary for their ERP needs, especially when they are working away from an office.
Enterprise Resource Planning can be a complex area of software and business planning, with dozens of different modules and statistical tools available. Having them available is great, but you need members of staff present that know how to use them properly in order to reap the benefits.
Put people through comprehensive training to make sure that they understand what is expected of them, showing them all of the intricacies and complexities of the platform to guarantee that you get the best possible return on your investment in workplace software.
Having an ERP that offers live updates on data and order tracking is all well and good, but you need to be connected to the internet to receive these updates. If you are working somewhere rural or remote, or simply don’t have a roaming connection, this can be something that your team doesn’t have access to.
Take active steps towards giving people with ERP software access tools such as a dongle with 5G access or other forms of adapters to stop them from falling behind the most recent information.
It’s obvious that ERP software can be of great benefit to the construction industry. It’s important however to choose the right system that is tailored specifically towards the construction industry. Sage 200 Construction is one such solution, and you learn more about it in our informative article Why choose Sage 200 for construction companies?
Why choose Eventura as your construction software partner?
Eventura has 20 years of experience successfully delivering Sage 200 solutions to businesses, with construction companies amongst our clients. From conception to deployment and beyond, we can help you transform your business with Sage 200. If you would like to speak with one of our Sage 200 experts, you can request a free call back here.