Construction is one of the most challenging businesses. From staffing and scheduling to ensuring safety and maintaining appropriate supplies, there are various aspects that a construction company needs to focus on.
So, how do you streamline your operations? With construction ERP software!
ERP for construction
helps businesses manage all the aspects of construction, including project management, supply chain management, payroll, business intelligence, and more.
But how do you choose the right ERP software? What ERP system modules should you look for? Let’s look at some of the most useful ERP modules to enhance operational efficiency!
The Main Modules of an ERP for Construction Businesses
While there are various ERP system functionalities, the key modules and features to keep in mind before ERP implementation
1 - Project and Production Management
The project management module in the construction ERP system facilitates better management of each project in the organization. It helps manage every relevant project detail, including materials, manpower, machinery and equipment management, subcontractors, and tracking project progress.
Production management focuses on improving the organization’s efficiency in using raw materials and other company resources.
Here are some ways project and production management modules can benefit your business:
- Better plan and schedule: Scheduling and planning projects are vital parts of every successful project. The project management module helps systematically delegate tasks to the right people and track their progress.
Optimize project budgets: ERP helps avoid cost overruns by helping you better manage your time and resources (as they’re both directly related to costs). For example, you can track the time spent on each project, progress, and delays and make the right decisions on time to avoid cost overruns.
Make work more efficient: You can even conduct briefings or direct your subcontractors (or project managers) on what tasks they should prioritize. You can do this from anywhere using any device. For instance, the FirstBit Cloud ERP software has web access and a mobile app that lets you manage your projects from your smartphone.
Track progress: Every construction project requires regular monitoring to ensure everything is going as planned. With the project management module, you can review the work efficiently and take corrective actions before it’s too late.
2 - Supply chain management
Construction ERP supply chain management software is one of the essential modules. It provides a complete end-to-end solution to control your subcontractors, vendors, and supply chain, including procurement and material receiving in real-time. In addition, you can track all materials on the go using mobile devices and tablets.
With such an efficient system in place, your business will be able to:
- Plan purchases efficiently
Compare material requests with BOQ
Control costs better
Improve the decision-making process
This means you’ll spend less time on supply chain management and more time on delivering projects, generating better outcomes, and improving customer satisfaction.
Supply chain management also helps you plan for future projects by calculating material costs and requirements based on past projects data.
3 - Inventory Management
Inventory management is monitoring and controlling the levels of materials available in the store and site warehouse. Any construction company needs to manage its inventory effectively as it helps them plan for future projects and meet deadlines.
Inventory management in ERP software gives you insights into resources and how much each resource costs. This enables you to improve materials requirement planning (MRP), understand your finances better, reduce costs, and make strategic decisions.
You can manage your vendors, their contact information, previous prices, and payment terms in one place. This helps your procurement team to place orders quickly and enables your finance to process the bills quickly and prevent work disruption.
4 - Customer Relationship Management
One of the key benefits of using ERP software is that it helps you provide better customer service and increase retention via CRM.
The customer relationship management module lets you track new inquiries, estimation, quotation status, and client interactions in one place. This helps you effectively manage your customers, subcontractors, and suppliers and build long-lasting relationships with them.
This module also allows users to update information about each customer in real-time so that the team can use the data during calls and meetings when they meet face-to-face.
You can also automate recurring tasks like sending invoice reminders or statements of accounts to reduce manual errors and save time.
Just to give you an idea, the FirstBit ERP software’s CRM module offers:
- Customer and contact database management
Contact history (emails, calls, commitments, etc.)
Contact scheduling and calendar integration
Automated lead collection via emails, website forms
Sales pipeline management
Forecasting and insights
Customer base analysis
These features ensure you provide personalized services to each customer. The CRM module also helps you identify your most valuable customers and profitable projects.
5 - Accounting and Finance
Finances are the backbone of any business. And with millions and billions of dirhams invested in a single project, having an effective financial management tool becomes more important than ever.
Whether you want to analyze your profit, manage payables & receivables, or forecast your cash assets, the FirstBit construction ERP software helps you do that. It also enables you to optimize your project delivery process for better profitability.
It can segregate different transactions (making them easier to manage), correctly calculate taxes, and retention, and generate budget reports.
The key features of the accounting and finance module of the FirstBit ERP include:
- IFRS-compliant accounting for all business transactions
- Cheque, bank, and cash entries
- Bank reconciliation
- Profit and loss statement
- Statement of financial position
- AP/AR project-wise structure and aging
- General ledger
- Payment schedule and approvals
6 - Business intelligence
The majority of Construction companies store tons of unstructured data in excel sheets, which, when structured, can give key insights into the business’s financial performance, resource optimization, and how they can improve their overall performance.
That’s where business intelligence comes in. For example, BI in the ERP system module can significantly improve your decision-making process.
Business Intelligence (BI) is the capability to analyze data and information in a business context. BI tools enable you to interpret and gain insight from your data through various types of reporting, dashboards, and visualizations. In addition, it helps you connect the dots between multiple pieces of information available within your organization.
- Data analysis
Dashboards and reports
With a BI module in ERP software, you can make more intelligent and data-backed decisions to improve your business performance and boost profits.
7 - Workforce management
According to Market Research UAE
, most major projects in Dubai get delayed because of the absence of skilled laborers even after the pandemic.
So, how do you ensure your projects run on time? With the workforce management module in the ERP software.
The workforce management module offers your HR team a range of features that can help you better manage your employees, including:
- Employee scheduling
Time tracking and billing
Hiring and onboarding
Besides managing employees' schedules, the workforce management module helps track employee attendance, ensuring accurate payroll calculations, labor cost allocations, and preventing work disruptions.
How to Select Modules?
When choosing the ERP system modules for your business, there are many factors to consider. To begin with, focus on your needs, budget, and the tech requirements of your company.
Here are some questions to help you narrow down your choices:
- What projects do you work on?
How many projects do you have going on at the same time?
What aspects of your business do you want to automate?
Do you work with subcontractors?
Will the software support your tech requirements?
Even if you miss any module when purchasing the ERP software, don’t worry. You can always add or remove modules from your ERP software per your business requirements (however, it is best to discuss with the vendor before finalizing the contract).
Final Remarks: Get Started with FirstBit ERP Software
Contractors and the construction industry are constantly developing and adopting new technologies and processes. Reliable construction ERP software can help your company keep up with these changes by providing the tools to manage projects effectively, labor, materials, procurement, accounts, and finances.
By choosing the FirstBit ERP for contractors and construction, you will enjoy greater efficiency and productivity from planning to completion. Plus, the software designed for businesses in the UAE makes and complies with UAE’s laws and regulations.
If you’re still wondering what value the FirstBit ERP can bring to your business, reach out to our experts today to book a free demo.