Now more than ever, technology advancements in the construction management software area have given us lots of choices for systems. But that makes it even more difficult to choose which one is best for your business. If you’re in the market for a new construction ERP solution, you need to be strategic and pick a solution that provides you the greatest return on investment (ROI).
Here are 5 key features to look for when evaluating different systems.
1. Productivity. You want the new system to be easy to learn and use, with the ability to work from anywhere and anytime. Make sure your construction ERP solution has an easy to use, intuitive interface. Solutions requiring extensive training to learn how to use them cause frustration, even for high-end users. Your teams will be relying on this software, often on the go, so accessing important information must be simple and fast. Look for software that makes it easy for data entry, updates, and exchange of project-critical information.
Modern construction solutions should also provide a platform for collaboration regardless of physical proximity, which is why most are now cloud-based systems with centralized data. Firms that have adopted cloud-based construction software reap the benefits of streamlined workflows, greater productivity, and higher visibility into their projects.
Why do construction businesses choose cloud-based solutions? Cloud-based software works from anywhere, reflecting the way people work today. Teams can work collaboratively in real time, or even offline when in remote locations. Using cloud services isn’t only about data storage; it’s about embracing a new way of working—one where accessibility, automation, and collaboration come first.
Additionally, automation has become more advanced, freeing up resources, reducing errors, and making sure your processes are not being forgotten.
Success relies on not only getting the right data into the system, but the ability to report and interpret the data you gathered. Reporting and other visual tools like dashboards give you a competitive advantage in your business. Because construction is primarily project based, make sure solutions offer enhanced financial reporting including the following elements:
- Maximized resource utilization analysis
- Profit & Loss management by unit, location, product mix or project manager
- Granular asset tracking
- Liability and equity management by project/corporate entity
- Balance sheet management by project/corporate entity
2. Specialized Functionality. There are numerous things to evaluate in terms of software functionality. Compliance management, multi-entity, integrated business intelligence, field service, CRM, sales order, and purchase order management, to name a few. The biggest area to evaluate is the financial management features. Aside from typical GL, AR, AP, and Inventory functions, construction ERP also requires more sophisticated tools to include the following:
- Contracts management
- Contractor indexing
- Materials management
- Equipment management
- Time and billing
- Taxes and state/federal policy management
- Vendor indexing
- Purchase and change order management
- Operational inventory management
3. Future-proof Technology. The technology platform of your ERP solution should embrace your growth needs and give you full access to everything you need. Besides remote access, there are numerous other benefits of a true cloud solution, like Acumatica. Acumatica offers flexible licensing and hosting options, upgrades on your schedule, and a full relational database with access and export options for reporting, backups, and transferring of data. Additionally, being built on a true cloud platform, Acumatica has a highly responsive design, meaning you can view and interact with every page of the application on any device with a minimum of resizing, panning, or scrolling.
Acumatica has also been ranked as one of the most user-friendly ERP solutions on the market. Its user interface is modern and intuitive, allowing users to access tasks with minimal clicks.
4. Value. This is a no-brainer. We all want to get the highest value from our investment possible. Make sure the solutions you are considering maximize features and functions for your business and weigh those against the cost for the usable lifetime of the product. Look at your total cost of ownership (TCO) for the new system. It the TCO reduced over the lifespan of the product? Most people look 3-5 years ahead and factor in things such as hosting, licensing, support, upgrades, hardware, and other add-ons if needed.
5. Risk. Security is at the forefront in every business. It’s a big factor to consider when choosing a new system to house all your critical data. Your first question should be, how does the ERP system minimize risk for your business while facilitating network and financial security. Ask for customer references, is there a solid backup and disaster recovery plan, how often are updates and upgrades…it’s these and more that will make you feel confident the solution you choose is securing your business.
A Solid Partnership is Key
You need more than ‘just a software solution’ to stay competitive and get the most value out of your data. You need to partner with a team who is invested in your long-term success. GFC has the experts for you. We are here as a guide and educator, to get you where you need to be, quickly and competently. Not sure where to start? Download our free ERP Construction Checklist and then contact us to discuss your business needs.
Free Download: ERP Construction Checklist
Acumatica, the cloud ERP solution helps to keep projects on track and drive business growth. Not only is Acumatica a powerful business platform but they are committed to consistent user enhancements and improvements with each version. The two releases in 2022 did not disappoint. We’ve gathered our favorites all in one place below.
“Acumatica Construction Edition had everything we were looking for. We are different from a regular construction contractor and liked that we could add our own specialty fields and customize it to the way we do business.”
Sean Barnett, Chief Financial Officer, Spohn Associates
Acumatica 2022 R1
Support of Multiple Base Currencies in Projects – Acumatica’s powerful multiple base currencies feature is now compatible with projects. Businesses with different base currencies can be configured withing the same tenant and the system verifies that the base currency specified in the project documents corresponds to the base currency of the branch.
Enhancements in Tracking Changes to Commitments – now users can track changes to project commitments that have been created based on purchase orders for the project drop-ship orders.
Project Quote Improvements – enhancements have been made to the quoting process making it faster and easier for users to create project quotes for multiple customers related to the same opportunity. You can now change the business account, location, and contact in any project quote in draft status.
Additionally, you can link the project quotes to the same opportunity as shown here.
Progress Billing Based on Quantity – Acumatica added in some needed billing flexibility for projects. In Acumatica 2022 R1, invoices can now be prepared based on pending quantities from budget lines rather than only the billed amount.
Project-Specific Taxes – calculating taxes for project sites just became a lot easier. Many times, the tax zone of the vendor or customer differs from the project site location. Now, Acumatica can be configured to use project-specific tax zones for calculating taxes and defining the ship-to addresses for projects.
Acumatica 2022 R2
Tracking Project Progress by Unit – Acumatica 2022 R2 now includes a new form, Progress Worksheet, for employees on a site to capture project activities by units and track the installation or project progress. Additionally, if specified, users can add cost budget lines. This information satisfies needed quantity billing and carries over into recalculations of the project budgets and shows on the daily field reports.
Enhancements in Change Management – Acumatica has simplified the workflow when change requests are rejected or need to be revised and resubmitted by adding the ability to cancel a change order but keeping the full history. For example, if we did not get paid for something, we can go in and cancel the change order and any change requests tide to it will get updated and removed from that change order when we release it. We keep the history of the change request but can now revise and resubmit the change order and can always go back and look at the full audit trail of a change order.
Mobile App Improvements – much needed project features are now accessible via the mobile app giving project managers and field workers the information and flexibility they need. Now included, users can view, create, and update drawing logs and submittals on their mobile device. Additionally, in a managed release version, you can also annotate blueprints.
Integrations for Construction Financial Management Association – Acumatica 2022 R2 now includes automation for submitting information to the CFMA bench marker. Not only can you easily submit data, but Acumatica has a pre-built dashboard with the results of the annual surveys so you can compare how you are doing to your peers.
If you’re a construction or project-related business and need a full-feature ERP solution, or you’re thinking about upgrading your Acumatica ERP solution, now is the time. Talk to our experts about your options. Let’s grow your business!
Project accounting can be complicated. Project-based organizations, such as engineering and construction firms, marketing companies, consultants, and law firms have distinct requirements, and they need to view their business in three dimensions: accounts, organizations (departments or business units), and projects. It’s the project piece that can make it complicated because you have to manually tie projects and project data into all your other systems.
“Acumatica works perfectly. It handles project accounting, cash flow, project monitoring; but Acumatica is not just confined to project-based operations. Other departments like sales and marketing love it as well.” Elizabeth Barratt, Manager: Project Excellence, Ask Afrika
If you are struggling with processes related to your project-based business, it’s time to look at a truly integrated project accounting ERP solution. Project-based ERP is a form of enterprise resource planning that is specifically designed to meet the needs of a project-based business like yours. It helps you manage everything from budgets, project tasks, billing, to reporting so you can easily identify, win, and deliver successful projects time and time again.
What is a Project-based ERP Solution?
Project-based ERP solutions leverage project management practices and features, providing a holistic view into processes, KPIs and other important metrics, project by project. It also streamlines the flow of project information from an opportunity to a quote, to a sales order, and on to a customer invoice, from a purchase order, to an accounts payable bill, resulting in expenses and inventory transactions that culminate in entries in the general ledger and project modules. The result, for decision makers throughout the organization, is timely, accurate insights at their fingertips.
In addition, project-based ERP systems, like Acumatica Project Accounting, allow for managing budgeting, inventory, change orders, time sheets, billing, and reporting all based on project data which can involve multiple employees, tasks, and materials. It then seamlessly integrates your project information with the General Ledger, Accounts Payable (AP), Accounts Receivable (AR), Sales Order Management, Purchase Order Management, Inventory Management, and more. All of this is also available on any browser, and any web-enabled device, giving your remote employees access to keep projects up-to-date in the field or at client sites.
Look what Acumatica Project Accounting can do for you. Download this free guide, Project Accounting Guide for Professional Services and learn more.
Features of Acumatica Project Accounting
TRACK PROJECTS AND COSTS
- Gain a complete view of projects, including costs for materials, labor, services, and inventory features.
INVOICE WITH CONFIDENCE
- Vary billing rates by type of work, employee, customer, or specific project.
- Recognize revenue based on completion percentage or task progress.
GET CONTROL OF BUDGETS
- Enable remote employees, installers, contractors, and others to submit work orders and timesheets from any browser-enabled device.
- Enter project transactions in different currencies and maintain projects in both the base currency and the project currency.
- Review actual revenues and costs, committed costs in the project currency, and present customer costs in the customer’s currency.
- Companies within the same tenant can have different fiscal year-end dates. This is crucial for companies that share vendors, stock items, and employees.
- Company-specific financial periods are defined for each branch location.
- Manage tasks and resources with less error.
- Automate processes to assign bill rates, project managers, machines, and more.
- Define workflows and approvals for the client and change requests with full audit control.
Companies need tools that offer a high level of control from an accounting perspective plus the flexibility required to manage projects of all kinds. By managing projects and functions in a single platform, project-based ERP systems are able to gather and analyze data for projects with regards to the accounting system to give you and stakeholders the critical business information needed to operate and manage their business.
Clearly, it is a daunting task to select a Project Accounting solution that meets the needs of both accountants and project managers while also serving the business’ current and evolving needs. Contact us today and let us show you how a true project accounting ERP solution can help your business.
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.
Construction businesses everywhere struggle with cost control, disconnected billing systems, inefficient workflows, poor compliance management, reporting visibility, and more. A connected, easy-to-use ERP solution can help you manage your resources, tools, and equipment seamlessly, all in one place. Learn more about the common issues our clients come to us with, and how we help solve them.
Common Construction Industry Problems
Managing a construction business is one of the most complex businesses and requires a lot of coordination. Between teams, vendors, and customers, time sensitive tasks and delays can wreak havoc in your project plan.
A well-designed construction and project-based ERP solution can help you to optimize plans for raw materials, efficient use of labor, architectural designs, project schedules and more. Our customers love the way we help them:
- Eliminate disruptions and cost escalations.
- Manage projects end-to-end in one system, including:
- Purchase orders
- Change orders
- Service management
- Field workers
Reporting is something we hear about from all our construction industry customers. Inaccurate reporting and lack of real-time data have been the major reasons for delays in construction projects. Without this critical information, construction businesses are unable to determine pre-calculated estimates for accurate use of raw materials, minimize or eliminate production issues, shorten inventory, and more. Accurate reporting improves profitability and productivity across the board.
Communication between office and field teams can make or break your business. Many construction firms report having organizational silos, meaning information doesn’t flow easily between departments. Without this real-time communication, controlling costs, change orders, expenses, etc. can easily get out of control.
Additionally, construction firms typically use six to 10 software applications in tandem with their main accounting system. If these applications are legacy systems, they probably aren’t very well integrated—if they’re integrated at all. As a result, the entire staff will have to jump between screens just to perform routine tasks.
Construction Focused Solutions
Download the Acumatica Construction Brochure and learn how to connect field, office, and remote workers in real-time.
Take a look at how easy it can be to bring your business real-time, mobile functionality. The ability to share information easily across departments is crucial for your business. With a Construction-focused ERP, you can connect your accounting system to all of your back-end processes. Easily gather information in the field and share it live with everyone who needs the data. You can even take pictures in the field, update inventories on the spot, approve change orders and submit expenses all while out on a job site. This allows the back office teams to generate accurate and real-time reports, calculate materials and labor costs and generate bill of materials, track project metrics from start to finish while maintaining document control for change orders.
An all-in-one ERP platform connects every part of your business—from budgeting to project management, purchasing to inventory, and field service to customer management. Automate change order and project issues and communicate with field staff, subcontractors, and vendors in real-time. Gain company-wide visibility of costs, budgets, projects, commitments, schedules, and contracts— allowing for tighter project controls and saving time and money. Modernize construction workflows with real-time task views, CFMA benchmarking, AIA reporting and billing, compliance management, daily field reports, and certified payroll.
Now is the time to discover what a connected cloud ERP solution can do for you and how streamlining the exchange of information in your business can help you to succeed.
GaleForce Consulting Partners
Ready to learn how GaleForce Partners can help take your construction company to the next level? We have partnered with construction firms of all sizes and can provide the critical solutions to drive growth and future-proof your operations.
Find out more on our construction services webpage and then give us a call at 833-432-7278.
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.