The age of uncertainty:
The building and construction industry witnessed one of the worst recessions in this decade where construction projects failed to kick off following the global recession. That was during 2019. Come 2020 with loads of promises and hopes of economy revival. But very little we knew that the worst is yet to come. The outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 made matters worse with still no known vaccine or treatment available. Government in almost every country resorted to social distancing and lockdown as effective means to keep the highly contagious virus at bay. As a result of its spiralling effects, businesses tumbled down like never before. With demand touching a new low, production stalled leading to massive unemployment and job losses. What’s even more concerning to businesses worldwide is the uncertainty looming at large—the uncertainty of normalcy, and when actually business will come out of the shell. It has remained dormant for too long.
Construction and agriculture, two of the world’s oldest business sectors, unfortunately, seemed to have been completely out of sync with today’s management technology. Businesses failing to appreciate management technology have bitten the dust in recent times. Not to mention that businesses that have innovation at the core of their operation have clearly emerged winners, with the competition beaten hands down. Construction management technology is the fine line that distinguishes the winners from the also-ran’s in the building and construction space. Let’s discuss how the Construction ERP software can change the industry landscape for good.
Why ERP software for the Construction Industry?
The construction industry is fraught with uncertainties and as these mount, any construction company is bound to face construction and management paralysis. Now, the million dollar question confronting the building and construction firms is this: how will the building and construction firms be able to prove themselves in a highly challenging and competitive global market wherein the deployment of the right resources and a high degree of flexibility is still clearly missing?
Remember increasing local competition, need to comply with industry regulations and standards, pressure tactics of local laws, increasing administrative requirements, and availability of the right technological tools to attract contractors, project sponsors, manpower and other resources are challenges if unaddressed can go on to play havoc.
It is important for the building and construction firms to adopt an ERP construction software over the long haul in all aspects of construction business, right from planning to cost control, project control and revenue estimation for the project to sail smoothly homeward. Easier said than done. It is worthwhile an effort to discuss at large the various benefits of ERP construction software that comes fully integrated at all levels. Here are some of the advantages of a typical construction ERP software suite:
Advantages of construction ERP software:
# Optimizing planning:
The worst nightmare for a contractor could be losses due to labour costs, in addition to loss of clientele due to the project missing delivery deadline. Delay is the inevitable outcome of poor planning and gross estimation of resources. Planning for the required raw materials, architectural design, efficient use of labour and scheduling are the key to effective channelling of resources towards project completion. Construction ERP software is generally built for controlling project expenditure and allocating budget. The result: prevention of unnecessary downtime and contractual problems with clients throughout the project delivery, and enhanced relationship with various project stakeholders.
#Streamlining Project Management:
Creating project workflow, assigning tasks and monitoring project progress across multiple locations is crucial for the smooth continuance of the project. Construction ERP software helps you monitor the status of each project task, create project milestones, assign tasks to the right individuals or work groups and maintain staff timesheets with just the click of a button. Result: real-time reports generated enables contractors to track the time spent by each staff on assigned tasks, thereby simplifying the billing process.
# Estimating cost & revenue:
Construction companies generally work on the basis of contract agreement with their clients. They usually submit tender costs estimated on the basis of project completion. ERP software can help ascertain accurate estimation that is required for design, raw materials, labour and the duration for the overall project completion.
# Greater transparency:
Construction ERP software brings about greater transparency through proper exchange and dissipation of information with individuals or focussed workgroups. Also, it allows access controls, and grants privileges and rights to particular individuals or teams. By this, security in data handling is greatly enhanced at different levels of hierarchy within the organization.
# Increased collaboration:
ERP software for construction industry can increase collaboration between individuals or focus groups. Team building effort is also greatly enhanced as tracking individuals and team activities, and calculating percentage of task completion is easy. Individuals or teams can no longer shirk responsibility for the tasks delegated, and pass the buck on each other.
# Automation capabilities:
Automation capabilities of ERP software can simplify complex tasks at all levels—the biggest advantage being that there is no need for tedious, cumbersome manual processes including paperwork. Most ERP software that is cloud-based can easily integrate with legacy systems.
The automation of different modules of a typical construction ERP system including Human Resources (HR), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Inventory Management System and Financial Management can enhance the overall efficiency levels of the project environment.
# Informed Decision-making:
Construction ERP software suite can improve informed decision-making by a long way. For example, if a project manager has to file a request, he/she can do it easily by simply collating the available information through dashboards and reports. The required data can be extracted in different formats through various sources within the ERP system. The project manager can now study the available information thoroughly, interact with specific individuals or different teams involved before submitting a request to the management. Project communication channels are also streamlined leading to improved decision-making processes.
Construction Management Software for builders and contractors can not only increase the ROI but also reduce the overall IT costs in the long run. In an age of uncertainty, businesses should be looking to overcome the various barriers leading to project success.