2020 began as any other year. Yet on the brink of entering 2021, Canadian businesses and industry influencers have experienced the most impactful year in their business history.
In just a short time, we have witnessed a remarkable increase in technology development and utilization, as companies from every sector have altered processes and procedures to remain competitive. Managing complex client contracts and employee schedules are two areas that have seen the most significant impact, specifically within the construction and real estate sectors.
Early in 2020, the construction industry was forced to take a brief step back. Once the government established the sector as an essential business, companies choosing to remain in operation began considering the various ways they could better manage operations. Even more impactful has been integrating cloud-based platforms in the industry’s ability to adapt and grow, as can be seen in providing for remote time entry from the field, reviewing and managing job costs from various locations, and gaining and sharing information to individuals all without entering the office.
With an average of five percent lost from the bottom line due to inaccurate data collection and management, cloud-based platforms and leading technologies that offer greater flexibility, accuracy and accountability are allowing individuals to assess and refine business processes to prepare for what is to come as opposed to managing their business from the rearview mirror.
By bringing together information in a platform that offers greater accuracy in measuring and monitoring data, assessing budgets, payroll, debt, and income is no longer done after the fact. Instead, you can regain control of these areas of business and use your available time and resources to profit from these findings.
Fulfilling quotes and maintaining operations may be the overall focus, but increasing employee satisfaction and shareholder value can easily be viewed as the other side of the same coin. In an industry where office managers and project crews have typically communicated as separate entities (a system that brings its own challenges to the table), 2020 has only enhanced the complications of such a divide.
Multiple systems have historically been required for a construction company to calculate estimates, determine project costs, and monitor field progress, etc. However, accessing this information, providing updated statistics and reports, and utilizing data to effectively make decisions is complex and best completed through a streamlined process. As crews experience hands-on delays, setbacks and challenges, project managers must be able to determine how this will impact timing, cost, resources, materials and so forth. Creating an open line of communication between those working in the field and those working from home or the office allows data to be shared and analyzed as it is identified. Therefore, business decisions can be made with accurate information rather than by making predictions based on unverified and outdated data.
Now that we run our business in the cloud, we can easily share data between the office and field. This means every decision made in the field can incorporate accounting data, and every back-office decision can consider what’s happening in the field. The result is smart, strategic decisions that drive our business towards profitable growth.
– Jackie Patterson, Controller, Focus Design Builders
Cloud-based Construction ERP solutions, such as Acumatica, provide both on site crews and project managers the ability to deliver, access, and analyze data in real-time, no matter where they are located. From the moment a delay occurs, that information can be reported and tracked, and an opportunity for reducing project costs and profit leaks can be identified. Furthermore, teams can communicate and share information amongst themselves, allowing everyone to remain up to date and reducing the risk of miscommunication potentially leading to negative employee and customer experiences.
This year has taught companies, particularly in the construction and real estate sectors, that preparing for the unexpected can only be done by utilizing tools that allow for a company to be both flexible and agile at the same time.
While antiquated platforms offer appropriate solutions for the time in which they were created, a company looking to serve and grow within today’s market should consider a suite of solutions a cloud-based Construction ERP can provide. “Flex-agility” is a term that will only grow in popularity as companies continue to alter processes and procedures to meet the ever-changing demands of this sector. Is your company ready to embrace it? Let us help.
Request a free consultation to explore the ROI of an ERP solution for your organization.
Dan Caringi and Kerry Mann are Consulting Partners with MNP and leaders within the firm’s national Digital Enterprise practice.