Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a major undertaking. When companies upgrade their ERP systems, key decision-makers need to know exactly what to look for. This is just as true in the construction industry as in any other sector.
Finding the right ERP solutions for Construction enterprises requires more than just finding an out-of-the-box software program that works well enough. Construction companies face unique challenges, and ERP solutions should be specifically designed to make managing them easier.
What is ERP Software?
ERP software integrates a variety of modules into one comprehensive system. In the context of the construction industry, a good ERP system will make it easier to effectively manage full project life cycles, streamline a company’s operations, and improve efficiency across the board. The software solution should be able to collect data from across the company and analyze it to produce actionable insights for key enterprise decision-makers.
Essential ERP Modules
Part of the reason there are so many disparate ERP systems available is that every company’s needs are different. There are, however, some modules that should be considered essential for construction enterprises. They include:
- Customer relations management
Cost estimation and bid management
- Contract and purchase order management
- Project scheduling
- Inventory management
- Equipment management
- Data reporting
- Workflow and document management
- Productivity monitoring
- Human resources
- Payroll processing
Some of these functions are required by all types of businesses. Others are more particular to the construction industry. That’s why it’s a good idea for construction enterprises to have specialized ERP software that meets the unique requirements imposed by the industry.
Why Use ERP Software?
There are still many construction companies out there, even at the enterprise level, that rely on multiple software solutions across each department. This creates a difficult situation for employees who need to learn how to use multiple programs. It also opens the door to unnecessary problems, as even the best-integrated software solutions won’t communicate as well with each other as one, comprehensive ERP system.
Managing each of these disparate activities separately creates a host of headaches and opportunities for inefficiencies to arise. Improper accounting, scheduling issues, and poor document management all get in the way of a project’s progress and a company’s growth. Even if each of these aspects of a project is handled well, without integration, there’s no way to handle unexpected situations as they arise.
A Few of the Benefits
ERP software is well worth the investment. Companies that are hesitant to invest in new software infrastructure should be sure that they are considering the many benefits of effective enterprise resource planning. They include:
- Simplified project management across multiple worksites.
Easy tracking of employee time and activities.
Accurate cost estimation for raw materials, labor, and design.
Enhanced decision-making for key personnel.
Health and safety management that prioritizes employee well-being.
Real-time reporting makes it possible to make well-informed, data-driven decisions.
Enterprise-level construction companies aren’t the only ones that can benefit from ERP software. Mid-sized businesses that are looking for ways to facilitate growth will also appreciate all of these benefits and more.
Make an Informed Decision
ERP software solutions aren’t cheap, so it’s important for a company’s key decision-makers to take the time to investigate options before deciding where to put their money for the best ROI. Compare products, read reviews, define essential features, and consider speaking with a consultant before making the final call.