Construction companies constantly juggle complicated moving parts, including labor, materials, tools, reports, estimates, budgets and regulations — all while adapting to unforeseen challenges. This makes enterprise resource planning (ERP) software particularly valuable. Built specifically for the industry, construction ERP software pulls these moving parts together, streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, and transforming the way companies manage projects and finances.
The construction industry, historically resistant to technological innovations, faces challenges with outdated construction management software that hinders real-time financial visibility and advanced reporting amidst escalating equipment and material costs, slow project cycles, project delays, and cash flow issues. Many construction companies are now reassessing their technology choices to find more effective solutions. Selecting the best ERP software is a daunting task due to the diverse features, scalability, and integration capabilities of available options. Drawing on extensive experience in both business solutions and the construction sector, BPM offers valuable insights in this post, outlining key considerations for choosing the most fitting ERP software for construction needs.
Three main features your construction ERP software should have
A sound ERP system enables a construction business to take corrective action promptly, assess the profitability of projects, plan for future projects and make informed investment decisions. To make this possible, it’s important to choose construction ERP software that excels in three key areas:
1. Project management capabilities
Every construction project comes with its own set of variables, from the weather to local regulations to shifting teams of architects, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and clients. This makes it vital to select the best construction ERP software with robust project management capabilities. Tools for real-time data and analytics, work-in-progress (WIP) reports, resource allocation, inventory management, progress tracking and task scheduling help ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget and to the required standards.
2. Accounting and financial management tools
Given the number of variables involved, construction accounting can get complicated quickly:
- Project timelines and staggered payment schedules can disrupt cash flow.
- Contracts and financial performance may differ from project to project.
- Delays and compliance issues can impact budgets.
- There are often multiple funding sources, budgets and expenses for each project.
A good construction ERP system should allow users to monitor project accounting in real-time to stay on top of the budget, and identify and manage risks associated with cost overruns, delays and compliance issues. It should also allow full visibility, not just in the main construction firm but across any entities it owns, so that users can manage each entity independently or share data with some or all as needed.
3. Mobile accessibility
Being able to track progress, coordinate teams, adhere to regulations, adapt quickly in the face of change and access data — such as blueprints, safety guidelines and specifications — are all vital to keeping a project on time and within budget. With workers in the field or on the move, however, this can be a challenge. Construction ERP software should allow workers to access project data and collaborate with team members from anywhere, at any time.
Other considerations when choosing a construction ERP software
Scalability and customization
Most companies start small and grow gradually. The construction ERP software they choose should be able to grow with them, allowing them to add users, projects and entities while avoiding the time, effort and financial costs of switching to a different software down the road.
Customization is key. Customizable ERP software can be tailored to address each project’s unique workflow and business process, improving efficiency while ensuring that the ERP evolves with the company, accommodating changes in business practices, multiple project types and industry developments.
A user-friendly interface, including intuitive navigation, responsive design, consistency and accessibility, reduces the learning curve and enables employees to quickly become proficient in using the system. This not only ensures more accurate and efficient management of project data but also encourages user engagement and satisfaction, which is essential for long-term adoption and realizing the ERP software’s full potential.
Integration with existing systems
Most construction companies have multiple systems already in place for project management, billing, human resources and more. Selecting a construction ERP solution that seamlessly integrates with existing accounting software reduces the risk of data silos, ensures that all departments are working with the same up-to-date information, and provides a more comprehensive and accurate view of the company’s overall performance — all without the need to replace other systems.
Collaboration and communication
Good construction ERP software makes it easy for all project stakeholders, including the onsite team, general contractor and project manager, to share information and coordinate activities. This collaborative environment speeds up decision-making processes and reduces delays by ensuring that everyone involved is aligned with the project’s goals.
How Sage Intacct checks all the boxes
Among the construction ERP software solutions on the market, Sage Intacct for Construction stands out. With over twenty years of experience in the construction industry and the largest market share of construction ERP systems, Sage Intacct provides the following:
Having been built for the cloud, Sage Intacct is available to users anytime, anywhere and on any device. Users always have access to the latest version of the software without the need for complicated upgrades.
Sage Intacct for Construction integrates seamlessly with applications commonly used in the construction industry, including Procore, Autodesk Navisworks and Expensify, as well as over 200 other applications. The integration allows companies to manage projects throughout their lifecycle, share information between all stakeholders and avoid double data entry.
As construction companies grow by adding regional offices, new divisions and multiple entities, they need construction ERP software that grows with them. Sage Intacct offers a centralized platform that allows companies to track each entity, see how it’s performing and make improvements as needed, and establish common vendor and customer files to eliminate duplicate accounts and conflicting information.
Robust project management and compliance
When projects involve multiple stakeholders and frequent changes, the following capabilities are essential:
- Construction project management tools for seamless collaboration
- Document management
- Change order tracking
- Effective communication among project teams
Sage Intacct provides strong project management features while helping construction firms stay compliant with various regulatory and industry-specific requirements.
Automated project billing and financial management
Billing is often a significant challenge in the construction industry, given the need for multiple billing methods, such as progress billing and time and materials billing. Sage Intacct Construction’s automation capabilities improve cash flow and reduce billing disputes by creating accurate invoices based on project milestones or specific billing terms. The software also offers powerful tools for analyzing project profitability in real-time, enabling construction managers and management teams to make informed decisions and improve profitability.
Implement effective ERP systems with BPM
With 20 years of experience working with contractors, subcontractors, developers, builders, investors, banks and bonding companies, BPM’s Construction team has a deep understanding of the industry and its complexities. This allows us to deliver customized solutions focused on the unique requirements of each client’s business.
Our professionals are prepared to take every client’s business to the next level with solutions tailored specifically to that company, and we are committed to assisting them with all advisory, tax, accounting and assurance needs. With a proven track record of successful ERP implementations for companies across a range of industries, we can leverage our comprehensive knowledge from across the Firm. This enables us to deliver a seamless ERP experience that integrates smoothly with current operations while positioning our clients for scalable growth.