How construction companies can overcome the pain points of an ERP implementation

May 22, 2024

How construction companies can overcome the pain points of an ERP implementation

May 22, 2024

Implementing an ERP system in the construction industry offers plenty of benefits — but it’s not without its challenges. Uncover these hurdles and learn how to overcome them, setting your construction business up for a smooth transition and operational efficiency.


Dean Leesui is a partner and member of MNP’s Digital Services team. He helps clients prosper by aligning their business transformation and strategic digital enablement with their key organizational objectives. A seasoned advisor, he has experience working in a number of industries, most notably the real estate and construction sector.

As a growing business in the construction sector you wouldn’t break ground on your next project without a well-informed course of action. So, why wouldn’t you do the same for your company’s technology?

Navigating the implementation of tech solutions like enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a lot like building a high rise. It requires meticulous planning, precision, and the right tools.

As the industry continues to expand, your construction business has a lot to gain by implementing ERP solutions — like process optimization and real-time data sharing. But, as with any new technology, there can be challenges.

Paul is senior business advisor and leader with over 15 years of experience in technology and consulting. With a background in building applications from the ground up, he’s spent the past eight years guiding clients with their ERP solutions. He excels at understanding business requirements and the needs of his clients.

Does my construction business need an ERP platform?

The volume of industry demands, projects, and costs continue to soar in this era of high inflation. As a result, many construction companies are turning to technology for help. These IT solutions aim to support the delivery of high-quality projects that exceed your customer’s expectations and come in under budget.

In today’s rapidly evolving construction industry, your business has to be agile and forward-thinking. Enterprise resource planning platforms, like Sage Intacct Construction, help your business streamline its operations, project management, and equipment management.

But the implementation of ERP isn’t without its challenges.

The good news is there are solutions.

Top 5 pitfalls of ERP implementation — and how to solve them

As with any new technology, there can be transformation or implementation challenges along the way. And as your construction business grows and becomes more complex, so do the challenges. Here are some common pitfalls of ERP implementation, and how they can be overcome:

Pitfall 1: Poor project planning and testing

Just like your construction projects, implementing ERP needs a project plan. If your business doesn’t outline the timelines, budgets, and project management prior to implementing an ERP solution, it will make the process more challenging.

Additionally, because of the nature of ERP, it’s not uncommon for your finance team to lead the implementation project. But with a lack of input from operations, the platform might not be properly tested or configured for use across the company.  

Solution: Strategy development

Build a comprehensive implementation strategy that defines your company’s needs, outlines key milestones, and tests the platform across the business. Understanding what’s to come in the process is key to proactively addressing any issues and bolsters success. An end-to-end test of the platform, across all your teams, can help achieve a smooth implementation.

Pitfall 2: Inaccurate and/or missing data

In the construction business, project managers are a lifeline. But problems can arise when they each do their job a little bit differently. It may not seem like much, but spread across a team of 20 project managers, it can lead to a wide variance in how processes are practiced. This leads to missed cost-causing write-offs, financial data that lacks visibility, and more costly audits.

Perhaps more importantly, this variance in process results in inconsistent and inaccurate data. To put it bluntly, your data will be pretty much useless.

Solution: Audit data and standardize processes

For a successful ERP implementation, audit your current data to see what’s usable. Then, break down project work processes so they can be standardized and rationalized. Developing a culture of accountability for entering timely and accurate data will boost your chance of a seamless implementation and allow for accurate real-time insights.

Pitfall 3: Lack of integration with other IT infrastructure

As a construction business, you need tools to get the job done. And these tech tools — estimates, design, scheduling, equipment management, BIM — can be costly. The integration of all these tools, along with the implementation of ERP, can be difficult to manage.

Solution: Audit and optimize your tech

Take a close look at your current systems: How do they all work together? Do you need all of them? A thorough audit of your tech systems can help you narrow down what’s needed and plan for integration. It’s helpful to find solutions — like an ERP platform — that satisfy a wide range of your company’s needs in a single tool. This tool consolidation often will provide a more holistic view of your finances, processes, and data.

Pitfall 4: Resistant to change

Your employees are in the construction business, not the technology business. It may take some members of your team extra time to transition to a new platform or way of doing things. Perhaps they are generally resistant to the change, or they aren’t tech savvy. In either case, this can cause delays that interrupt the implementation process.

Solution: Patience and proper onboarding

Not everyone is a tech whiz. By investing in the right training from the get-go, you can help your employees quickly get up to speed. But don’t stop there — plan to provide ongoing support to retrain (and retrain again) and reward your team. A little patience makes for a smooth ERP implementation.

Pitfall 5: You have all this data. Now what?

You’ve integrated your ERP platform and collected new, accurate data. But there aren’t any key performance indicators (KPIs) in place to measure the impact of this new platform (in office or on-site). As a result, there’s no way to understand the usage of the platform, the tools that aren’t being used to the fullest, or to know if the data insights are accurate.

Solution: Define KPIs and hold employees accountable

Before implementing your ERP platform, understand what data you’d like to measure and define clear KPIs. If you’d like to take it one step further, consider creating a dashboard so you can easily monitor progress. Break down project processes, like cost codes, and standardize and rationalize across the business to ensure all employees are inputting timely and accurate information. And if they’re not, hold them accountable.

We’re with you every step of the way

While ERP implementation in the construction industry can have its challenges, there are clear solutions. By proactively considering these obstacles and implementing the right strategies, your business can smoothly transition to an ERP platform.

You don’t have to go it alone. Having the right partner can make all the difference. Our expert advisors can support you by building a tailored strategy, managing your implementation, and ensuring a successful transition that aligns with the long-term vision of your company. And after that, our Customer Support Program ensures you receive ongoing assistance to remedy any lingering coaching needs or questions.  

To avoid pitfalls in your digital transformation, reach out to our team today.

Connect with us to get started

Our team of dedicated professionals can help you determine which options are best for you and how adopting these kinds of solutions could transform the way your organization works. For more information, and for extra support along the way, contact our team.