When taking the leap to get on board with Construction Software, you need to ensure you are choosing the right package, from the right provider, and that you are going to see a return on your investment. The question of whether to implement the software has largely become moot as the technological advances and efficiencies it offers have become a differentiator in winning business and completing projects profitably.
Some of the elements of ROI are relatively obvious and will have been discussed at length in many articles and promotional literature but here are 3 more reasons you may not yet have considered.
Impact on IT Budgets
The allocation of IT budgets can be broadly separated into 2 elements, hardware and software. A fully integrated Construction ERP System is a software application that spans your entire business and provides a centralised data base function linking all of them. The data pertaining to your entire business will be handled by this system. The impact of this will be broad reaching:
Redundant and duplicated data will be all but eradicated, freeing server and storage space.
Licensing costs could be slashed as you won’t need to run multiple autonomous software packages for individual departments.
You are also likely to reduce downtime due to software upgrades across multiple platform as the system is set up to cover all departments with upgrades and enhancements being planned for and built in to the software architecture.
Knowledge is Key
Construction ERP Software is loaded with business intelligence and reporting functions that will now be able to pull data from all your departments across every business function. This will identify areas that are succeeding above and beyond expectations whilst highlighting any areas that are falling short. In simple terms, which processes and procedures are profitable and where you are bleeding costs.
A typical example is in resource management. Whether you are renting plant equipment or it is owned by you (or a combination of both), making sure it is utilised across sites and to its maximum effectiveness and efficiency will have a direct impact on your costs. Planning tools built into your software will allow easy scheduling to remove duplication of resources (one resource currently idle at one site whilst renting another to complete work on a different site). This example can be applied to all resources including manpower for example and will begin delivering financial benefits across the board as soon as you are up and running.
Time is Money (and Money is Money)
How many times have you wished you’d identified an issue much earlier as it would have saved significant time and or money to have done so. In the construction industry, you will all have experienced, or at least know someone who has seen their entire margin all but wiped out by a simple error in estimating or cost assessment.
One function of a truly comprehensive Construction software package is estimating software that removes calculation errors and reduces human error from the process. Construction ERP software integrates information from every element of your business and provides up to the minute real time data and reporting. This can predict or catch things such as cost over runs and enable you to do something about it before it cripples your margins. Cash flow is king and having milestone payments (valuations) flagged, documented and submitted immediately could mean the difference between being in the red or in the black.
On a somewhat lighter note, many real-time examples can be shared by companies who have adopted the platforms where the integrated data identified significant duplication in cost and, in some cases, completely unnecessary expenditure. In one instance, it became apparent that one company (who shall remain nameless) was ordering enough tape measures against a particular project to set up their own commercial DIY business. The individual item costs were not significant to have been flagged but the integrated system flagged it immediately. Such errors (or at times deliberate practices) can be eradicated by fully integrated systems.
Understanding how Construction ERP and Construction Management software can positively impact your business is broader and deeper than it might at first appear. Speak to professionals who specialise in software designed and built exclusively for the construction industry and find out what you are missing out on.