The landscape for construction businesses has drastically changed over the past couple years. It has become increasingly competitive with rising costs, labor shortages, stricter regulations, and the need for innovative ideas. Construction firms can no longer stay competitive by relying on paper-based processes, manual workflows, and an endless barrage of emails.
Smart, forward-thinking firms are moving their businesses to the cloud. With cloud-based solutions, they’re finding the powerful communication tools and automated workflows they need to maximize the profitability of every project. No matter your size or space in the industry, you need a system to help you win projects, control costs, and increase your profit margins.
Many firms are choosing a new ERP system in the cloud. These systems easily handle GAAP-based accounting, field service and asset management, job costing, and project management. Most importantly, cloud ERP solutions, like the Acumatica, Construction Edition, give you modern tools like mobile access to give you a competitive advantage at a price point you’ll love.
5 Cloud ERP Benefits for Your Construction Business
Learn more about what features you need in an ERP solution. Download our free eBook “5 Undeniable Benefits of Cloud Construction Management Software“
- Real-time project tracking
Acumatica gives you an all-in-one system to handle everything from accounting, to payroll, to inventory and project management. Connecting accounting and project management teams in the cloud gives you huge benefits.
- Eliminate delays, head off issues
Immediately accessible data helps eliminate costly delays. All team members, whether in the office or in the field, can access the same information and provide updates, so that issues can be addressed immediately before causing costly delays. Imagine what your business can do with a “single-source of truth”.
- Automation to increase efficiency and collaboration
With the use of workflows, you can replace multiple steps and duplicate data entry ensuring action items will be addressed quickly and that your project data remains current. With everyone using the same system, there’s no room for errors.
- Better & easier communication
Reduce emails and wasted time answering the same questions over and over. With a smart, cloud ERP solution like Acumatica, you gain project control and eliminate downtime. Learn how you can have a system that acts as your communication vehicle, with everything for everyone in one, central location. Even create a Wiki for “FAQs from the field”!
- Anywhere, anytime, from any device accessibility
Get the same, current, accurate information whether you are in the office, at home, or in the field. SPend less time chasing down information and more time keeping your projects moving forward.
“I am really glad we made the decision to go to Acumatica’s cloud-based construction and accounting software because our teams are doing purchase orders, change orders, and everything remotely. Project Managers can get into the system to see what is going on with their projects. Cloud software is the way to go because it is so easy. You just log in and it’s nothing different than if you were just sitting in your office.”
John Dawne Meijer, Controller, Pin Oak Corpus Christi
Why Choose Acumatica Construction Edition
Acumatica cloud construction and accounting software empowers contractors to keep projects running smoothly and profitably by helping them connect their teams, manage cash more carefully, and keep their customers and employees happy.
It is a complete, native, and cloud-based construction and accounting software solution, including powerful financials, job cost accounting, project management, payroll, inventory, order management, service management, CRM, and mobile tools for your business.
Built on the world’s best cloud and mobile technology with a unique all-inclusive user licensing model, it enables a complete, real-time view of your business anytime, anywhere. You’ll increase collaboration, streamline time- intensive processes, and increase project visibility and profitability.
Don’t get left behind! For construction businesses that use the latest technology, communication has never been easier. Just as your field teams need the right tools to complete their construction projects, you need the right software for managing your projects effectively.
Download our free eBook “5 Undeniable Benefits of Cloud Construction Management Software“
Our team at Galeforce Consulting Partners will help you create the perfect process for your people and support it with modern tech and toolsets. Contact us today at 1-833-432-7278 and let’s talk construction.
Service-driven organizations with disconnected software pieces struggle to stay alive in today’s market, let alone drive growth. How do service industry SMBs thrive? Modern technology is one way that the smaller guys are staying competitive with big businesses. ERP solutions have advanced to give you the tools you need to grow your services business. Whether you are in Field Services, Professional Services, Managed Services, Construction, or Personal Services modern ERP solutions give you the specific features you need for your business.
Service-Based Industry ERP Needs:
||Accounting, professional services automation
(PSA), project accounting, time and expense, CRM.
|Accounting, MSP software, remote monitoring and management (RMM), time and expense, CRM Cases.
||Accounting, field service and dispatch, equipment management, contracts, time and expense, CRM Cases.
||Construction accounting with job costing, projects, estimating, contracts, payroll, and field service.
||Medical and hospital management, practice management, case management, electronic medical records, classroom and learning management.
||Project milestones, resource assignments, support cases.
||Support cases, technician appointments, system upgrades, and backups.
||Technician appointments, support cases, preventative maintenance.
||Job scheduling by project phase with labor assignments and field service appointments.
||Patient and staff scheduling, curriculum scheduling, resource scheduling, preventative maintenance.
||Employee time and travel expenses.
||Employee time, equipment and repair parts, travel expenses.
||Employee time, travel expenses, replacement parts, and supplies.
||Direct and subcontract labor, materials, permits, and supplies.
fixed assets, legal and insurance, employee wages, administration, transportation.
||In-house (desk) or customer location (remote consulting).
||In-house (call center or service desk) or customer location (field service).
||In-house (depot repair) or customer location (field service).
||Field-based construction and on-site field services.
||Primarily in-facility services. Specialty services for in-home medical, tutoring, and other personal services.
||Primarily one- time projects for ongoing customer contracts.
||Recurring contracted services and one-time break/fix services.
||Recurring contract appointments or one-time break/fix services.
||One-time projects for new construction with some recurring service activities.
||Varied frequency. Educational services are recurring. Medical and legal services tend to be short to mid-term.
||Minimal equipment requirements.
||Primarily IT hardware and software.
||Often extensive equipment needs.
||Heavy construction equipment.
||Facilities, furniture, medical and office equipment, computer hardware and software.
Common Struggles of Service Businesses
Regardless of the type of service business, there are some common problems across the board. First, many service industries reported issues such as lack of communication between marketing and sales, which limits the ability to see and follow up on new business opportunities. Incomplete inventory management and procurement features is another issue causing stock-outs and rush orders, wreaking havoc on service schedules dependent on replacement parts and equipment.
Delayed expense capture methods and other manual processes make it challenging for service-based industries to consolidate labor, materials, overhead, and other costs to accurately see profitability by appointment or project. One of the largest complaints of businesses using older software is the lack of integration with data for remote field technicians and in-house users. Even though many applications have add-on field service modules, there is a growing number of synchronization issues limiting the accessibility of data in the field.
Acumatica, a modern, cloud-based ERP solution designed with a service-centric platform helps SMBs with these problems. The ERP system provides fully connected financials, project accounting, order management, and inventory management. Field service can be added for distributors, manufactures, and construction. All include powerful inquiries, flexible reporting, user designed dashboards, and easy but robust analytics.
“My dispatchers are thrilled to pieces to have the calendar board, the flexibility to move appointments around as they see fit, the flexibility to assign different technicians to those appointments. Also, it affords us the ability to see who’s out there, who’s working, and how long they’re expected to be on that appointment so we can be more efficient with our estimates to our clients about when we expect to have a technician on site.”
– JENNIFER HARLER, COO, DP AIR CORP
Another problem service-based businesses face are service call delays. Not being on top of service calls can destroy customer relationships. Many times, this is due to inefficient scheduling and out of stock situations for replacement parts. How are your technicians able to provide superior service if they do not have the resources they need to do the job right the first time? With the right tools, your business should not worry about service delays, poor communication, substandard service, and poor customer support. Keep your customers happy so they don’t go somewhere else.
Acumatica provides in-house and remote workers with access to information anytime, anywhere, on any device. Be able to quickly identify each service call’s best resource while ensuring route optimization to get jobs done fast and correct. With the ability to see all the data at your fingertips, you can adjust schedules on-the-fly for emergency calls as well.
With Acumatica built-in case management system you can track and manage support requests effectively. Automate notifications to customers when you receive equipment, or the parts needed for their order. Additionally, technicians can access all information on the road – equipment orders, customer information, service history, photos, documentation and more.
Track and manage support requests effectively with the case management system. Create business events to notify customers when you receive equipment or parts needed for their service orders or when the service order status or dates change.
“We can get contact information to our guys a lot better, and we can put directions on how to get there. We’re more likely to be on time. We get the inventory right — right away — because it’s built into the system. We don’t have to track it down, so billing is a lot more accurate. We don’t have to go back and change anything because the inventory was wrong. Customers are more satisfied because of everything being more accurate and more timely.”
– CODY SHARP, MANAGER OF INSPECT & TEST DEPARTMENT SECURITY SOLUTIONS NW
Contact us and let us show you why Acumatica is the clear choice for growing service organizations like yours. Learn why our service-based clients rave about this modern ERP solution that has revolutionized their business.
Microsoft is pushing clients to switch from GP to D365 Business Central. Is it right for you? Both are ERP solutions designed for SMBs. They include an accounting suite and other financial tools that you won’t find in smaller products like QuickBooks. Additionally, these systems can support manufacturing, payroll, multi-company setups, and other advanced functions.
How do you decide? Here’s a little background, some of the key differences and features you will want to consider:
The Cloud Factor
The biggest factor to consider is if you are using GP on-premise, switching to Business Central is a cloud based solution or referred to as SaaS (Software as a Service), so users access the system online. You pay a monthly subscription fee, and overall, save a lot of money, especially up-front.
First, if you have your Dynamics GP on-premise system set up for remote access, you won’t need that anymore. Because Business Central is built for remote use, there’s no more VPN or Citrix servers needed, saving you thousands every year.
Second, let’s compare a typical upgrade. Business Central has free upgrades, whereas, Dynamics GP averages around $3,200 for the upgrade, and don’t forget the end-user time to verify and check features, balances, and reports. And sometimes the third-party products need to be upgraded too.
Another benefit of cloud-based software is that users can access the information securely from anywhere, anytime, making remote work a breeze. Hopefully we don’t see another pandemic, but if people need to work remotely there’s no problem. There might be a slight learning curve for some people, but the cost savings of no more maintenance, upgrades, patches, servers, hardware, etc. outweighs the bit of transition support you’ll need.
Why Choose Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC)
Additionally, there are lots of new features and functionalities that come with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central that make it superior to Dynamics GP:
- More out of the box functionality – less add-ons or third-party products are needed.
- Faster and easier interface without having to navigate to multiple screens
- Apply incoming payments directly to the related customer and mark invoices as paid to automatically reconcile accounts
- AP Automation is built-in with Microsoft Outlook. Inbound AP bills can be processed directly from Outlook into Business Central without copying data into the entry form or without having to purchase a 3rd party application.
- Get recommendations on when to pay vendors to take advantage of vendor discounts or avoid overdue penalties
- Add tags to entries for quicker categorization and analysis
- Improve your organization’s ability to develop, modify, and control budgets
- Out-of-the box library of reports with better functionality. Business Central uses a dimensional chart of accounts, giving you unlimited flexibility without an add-on
- Make fast, informed decisions with seamless Microsoft Excel integration
- Easily track your KPIs by creating your own analyses on general ledger data
- Chart your business’ performance in real time on your dashboard using built-in Power BI integration
- Create purchase invoices and orders to record the cost of purchase and track accounts payable
- Stay in control of expenses by implementing advanced workflow and approval structures
- Automate tasks for vendors to record your agreements concerning discounts, prices, and payment methods
- Intercompany accounting and arms-length transactions are included
- Align your content, data, and processes to deliver engaging customer experiences across all touchpoints, make smarter decisions, and drive business results
- Post sales right from Outlook, then send your invoices as PDF attachments that include a PayPal link to expedite payments
- Get a complete overview of interactions and track current customer status all the way from email to order to invoice
- Negotiate and keep track of special agreements with individual customers, including discount structures
- Prioritize leads based upon revenue potential and opportunities throughout the sales cycle
For growing service or project-based firms, time is money—literally. Every additional service, service code, employee, customer, and supplier adds new layers of complexity that you need to track, control, and manage. Galeforce Consulting Partners has been trusted by project-based companies, for decades, to deliver an objective-driven approach to software, only recommending products after taking steps to understand your needs and how we fit in.
From architecture and engineering to financial services to nonprofits and more, companies like yours have turned to us for unique solutions tailored to their needs. We work with a wide range of vendors and solutions, with one of these being Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.
Talk to a Galeforce specialist and learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
“Time is money:” an old saying but speaks to the truth especially for professional services industries. Professional services firms need a system that does more than just “track time;” they need an ERP solution to keep up with their complicated project accounting processes. Project-based businesses like architects, engineering firms, attorneys, accountants, and consultants need to satisfy a slew of accounting requirements while also meeting the needs of project managers and their customers. Make sure you have the tools to manage all kinds of projects, but that also have a full accounting perspective to provide real-time data and insights into your projects.
Let’s look at six of the amazing benefits you can expect for your professional service business with a modern ERP solution.
ERP cloud-based software gives you the best in security. Sure, you might hear about data attacks and vulnerabilities, but usually those threats are obsolete with cloud subscriptions. Cloud-based backups allow you to restore your data to the instance from moments before any attack. Think of it this way: rather than having your own in-house IT security expert, you are getting the security expertise from Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. Rest assured, your data is safe from external security threats and hackers and is always available to your employees and departments 24×7. Not only are you getting an ERP solution, but you are also getting state-of-the-art security for your data.
Accurate billing is one of the most common issues for all professional service firms. Due to the project-based nature of business, it’s crucial to record actual time spent on billable work. If you don’t, you’re missing out on hard-earned cash. With the right ERP solution, your business can track billable activities easily and accurately, knowing exactly how much time you spent on each client. This is crucial for accurate billing and ensures you are not missing any billable hours. With an ERP system in place, improved billing processes can help increase profits without extra work.
Stronger Internal Communication
Create a clearer decision-making process by having all departments share the same information in real-time. Now, everyone will have up-to-the-minute data which helps to facilitate better communication between departments. Misunderstandings and communication gaps between employees can be costly for any organization. Now, all departments can access the same reliable information and work in sync with each other without any barriers – a true single source of truth.
Simplify the Complex
Each client and every client project is highly unique, but they have things in common. Whether it’s a legal firm or engineering engagements, all require a high level of detail, tracking progress accurately, timely expense reporting, and proper invoicing. With the right ERP solution, you can give all these unique projects and clients a single profile. Assign and track expenses with ease. Add in project notes to be shared with the team, manage change orders, resource levels, and get an overall picture of your project and business with a single dashboard. You need a system that can give you visibility into your business for more effective and efficient decision-making.
Project Management Toolset
Employees are most important asset for any professional service business. Being able to choose the right people for the right projects are crucial, but so is tracking progress, performance and time. Learn how a modern ERP solution, with built-in project accounting and project management tools can help give you greater visibility into the health of your business. Easily monitor workloads and your resources, ensuring customer satisfaction is number one.
Automate Manual Tasks
One of the most advantageous benefits of an ERP solution is its ability to automate many time-consuming tasks that used to be done manually. Automating activities like invoicing, payroll, expense calculations, and timesheets not only saves time in the office, but also reduces the potential for human errors to occur.
We recommend Acumatica for your professional service business. This modern ERP solution offers everything you need to help run a smooth, successful, and growing business. Read how Acumatica has helped other Professional Services firms.
Learn why IntraCostal Environmental (ICE) chose Acumatica for their ERP platform. Or how choosing Acumatica for their ERP solution has helped Lifeway Mobility grow to be one of the top providers of accessible solutions and home modifications.
Choosing the right ERP solution for your business is a crucial business decision. Most ERP solutions cover the basic needs of financials but if you’re in the manufacturing, distribution, or construction industry, we find that for a lot of people, it comes down to choosing between Acumatica or Sage. Besides a full list of functionalities, our clients are primarily concerned about the “real” total implementation cost (TCO), vendor reliability, and user reviews. Let’s take a closer look at how Acumatica and Sage compare.
Over the past decade, Acumatica has become a major player in the ERP space for all types of small and mid-sized businesses. Built on a true cloud architecture, Acumatica ERP provides the best business management solution for transforming your company to thrive in today’s economy. Whether manufacturing, construction, or distribution, everything integrates on one, single platform with open architecture for rapid integrations, scalability, and ease of use.
- Unlimited user license model – pricing is on the level of transactions you process.
- True mobile-ready platform – resizes automatically depending on mobile device.
- Easy and powerful built-in reporting tools – KPIs, dashboards.
- Scales as you grow, can easily be the last ERP you need. Acumatica calls this “future-proof”, and we agree.
- Award-winning, intuitive interface, with familiar ribbons and buttons that your team is able to use from day one.
- Low code/no code customizations, for users at every technical level from newbie to expert.
Sage products have been around for a long time. They are traditional (legacy) ERP solutions for small- to mid-sized companies. Sage 100, Sage 300, and Sage 500 each have its own feature set, and each is targeted for a specific market segment. Sage products have a long history and can offer adequate functionality for small- to mid-sized businesses. However, when comparing to a modern-day ERP solution like Acumatica, there are a few significant drawbacks:
- Sage licenses are priced per user, which becomes expensive for growing businesses.
- Sage solutions were built using an older system architecture. This becomes a problem in scenarios designed for the latest technologies, including cloud deployment options, customizations using current development tools, and integrations with CRM and other external software applications.
- All of the Sage products were developed independently on different platforms, meaning there is no direct or easy way to migrate from one product to another.
Total Cost of Ownership
The real cost of ownership (TCO) of any ERP solution looks at the cost involved from software licenses, subscription fees, software training, data migration, customizations, hardware if needed, maintenance, support, and other related services. When calculating the TCO it is important to make sure you discover any “hidden costs” as well. Depending on your needs these numbers can vary greatly.
A few areas that are notorious for incurring additional costs:
- Internal resource costs – how much time your team (and you) will need to devote to making this implementation a success. This is easily the area clients neglect to calculate most often.
- Testing – another huge area that clients often downplay, just because it often isn’t fully explained and planned. Testing is imperative to getting the most of your ERP investment – don’t skimp here.
- Process analysis and improvement – if you are investing in a new system, don’t clog it up with old, manual work-arounds. Just because you’ve always done it “this way” doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way! Take the time to optimize your operations.
- Integrations – really good ERP implementers have learned by experience that the better your integrations, the better your insight into your business. Do yourself a favor and list every single service, software and solution you use, from A to Z and ask if you’d be well-served if this system talked to your ERP. It will save you tons of time and headaches down the line.
These are just a few areas where hidden costs can lurk. Make sure you are working with a team that can ferret out all the items that can come back to bite you.
Let’s take a closer look at Acumatica and Sage features and functions for a true comparison.
Acumatica vs. Sage Functionality
|True cloud (built for cloud)
“True cloud” means all functionality is accessible through the internet using a standard browser without the need for any software installation on the user’s device and no additional software licensing required. The bulk of the Sage product line uses older software development practices and platform architecture. These products were built for on-premises deployments and retrofitted for the cloud. Moreover, these products suffer from being unable to match the level of speed, functionality, and ease of use offered by a true-cloud platform. Acumatica was designed to leverage the capabilities of cloud computing and can run equally on-premises or in the cloud. You can even switch between the deployment models as well.
|True mobility (supports all devices with no special apps)
Out-of-the-box, Acumatica can be accessed on the device of your choice. Acumatica is built to resize every page and every screen to whatever device you are using. Every screen has the same information and flow, whether it is on a PC, tablet, or phone. Sage online products support browser access on multiple devices, but the web pages do not automatically resize to accommodate mobile devices.
|Flexible licensing options
Both products are available through subscription licensing. Sage allows licensing based on user count, using either concurrent or named user licenses depending on the specific product. Acumatica offers a choice of licensing options and charges based on the resources needed – not by user – so your business is not penalized for growth.
|Multiple deployment options
Sage and Acumatica can support deployments on-premises, cloud, or hosted. Most Sage products cannot be deployed as true cloud because of their legacy architecture. This affects their accessibility, support costs, scalability, and functionality. Cloud-native Sage products (e.g., Intacct and X3) cannot be deployed in a private/hosted nor on-premises model.
|Scale as you grow
Download the Comparison
Download this free report from Info-Tech. Use it to figure out which vendor is a better fit for your business. The report directly compares Acumatica to Sage based on the most important criteria for SMBs.
Find out how Acumatica and Sage compare in categories such as:
- Satisfaction of cost relative to value
- Quality of features
- Continual improvements
- Net Emotional Footprint
- The respect these vendors show to customers
Next, give us a call at 1-833-432-7278 to answer all your ERP questions. Our team of certified specialists are here to help you.
Take the guessing game out of your business. If you have multiple, disparate systems of data, or don’t have real-time data at your fingertips, read on. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, like Acumatica, is providing the tool every small to mid-sized business needs to base their business decisions on insight, not instinct. This can make or break your business especially in today’s competitive landscape.
Critical Reporting with One Click
Long gone are the days of compiling data from multiple systems and departments, then trying to piece them together to analyze to get a current picture of the health of your business. With Acumatica, you have a single point of truth and reporting is at the click of a mouse. All your critical information is in one system, which gives you access to current dashboards and reports so you can easily identify your strong points and weaknesses.
Acumatica’s built-in reporting features are flexible for any business needs. Reports are multi-dimensional by sub-accounts with segmented keys, have built-in security by roles, and are easily customizable. They go far beyond balance sheets and cash flow statements, and you can break down the information into smaller pieces to even view items by color, price, size, location, etc. This gives you instant ability to quickly spot problem areas and trends so you can act immediately. Check out this quick video overview on reporting and dashboards in Acumatica.
Additionally, with reporting in Acumatica, you can:
- Schedule reports to run as needed.
- Generate signed PDF documents.
- Customize reports with your own branding and images.
- Create reports in real time and apply filters as needed to get only the information you need now.
- Use Generic Inquiries to access data for your reports and then share that data with other applications for more analysis.
- Tailor report information by role.
Better than Reports: At-a-Glance Dashboards
What could be better than reports? Dashboards! Dashboards color code your business based on charts, graphs, a KPIs. Red to draw attention to an area to look closer at. Green means doing great. Acumatica dashboards are for everyone in your business. For example, the information needed by shipping and receiving is different than the information needed for sales or the executive leadership team.
Any way you can imagine visualizing your data, you can see it with dashboards:
- Charts (line, column, bar, etc.)
- Data tables
- Data from external sources
- Power BI tiles
- Shortcuts to Acumatica forms, reports, and dashboards
- And more
The best part, all this real-time, clickable data with drill-down features is available on any mobile devices. Acumatica was built on a true cloud platform. It was built in the cloud, for the cloud. So, it just works as we need it to. No longer do you have to have add-ons or fight with apps to get them to work on a mobile device.
Better Decisions = Better Business
Do you have the tools to make better decisions on insight? Do you know what data you need to track? Is it pulled together in real-time reports and dashboards? How do you make sound business decisions? The answer to these questions will tell you if you need a new tool for your business. If you’re unsure, try these things:
View your data in different ways
Gather the data you need and try to find patterns and trends. Once you do, try other visualizations, missing and matching to provide a variety of views and find the most comprehensible overview you can. Some trends can only be revealed through a line graph, while others are more visible in a pie chart. The more places you look, the more you’ll find.
Let the data guide you
Don’t manipulate the data to fit your preconceptions. Keep an open mind and evaluate all the information before jumping to conclusions. Allowing your assumptions to influence your decision making without the backing of solid and sound data patterns will put your business on the track to failure. Analyze your ERP data with an open mind and evaluate all the information.
If you can’t get the insights into your business’s data, it is time for a new ERP solution. Download Acumatica Datasheet on Reporting and Analytics.
And, learn more about Acumatica and how it’s helped other businesses like yours. Download the story of how Acumatica helped American Meadows achieve success.