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How to Connect Construction Operations with an ERP System

How to Connect Construction Operations with an ERP System

Published 6 Sep 2022
ERP in construction company

As a construction company owner, you probably know that managing your company can be challenging. Manage the people working for you, keep track of finances, and ensure that the work gets done on time and within budget. 
Thankfully, there's ERP to the rescue. The ERP system combines all the departments and bridges the gap between operations and accounting, ensuring constant information sharing between everyone involved in the project. This helps to use resources efficiently to complete projects on time and within budget. 
But how? Let’s dig deeper!

How Do ERP Solutions Help the Construction Industry?

Having an ERP system in a construction company is an easy solution. It gives you complete visibility of your project and helps keep everyone in the loop. And when your operations and ERP software are connected, information fed to the system will be reflected in real-time.
For starters, ERP software provides insights into every minute detail from contractual agreements, purchase orders, inventory levels, change orders, estimates, and other financial information. 
This ensures you update everyone with the latest information on what’s happening in the project. With the fully integrated, up-to-date data, stakeholders can make better, data-driven decisions to complete projects faster and cost-effectively.  

  In a nutshell, with a construction ERP, you can:
  • Streamline and automate tasks you would otherwise do manually 
  • Simplify decision-making by providing data in real-time on performance, costs, and resource allocation
  • Avoid costly mistakes because of human error in data entry (and duplicate entry)
  • Keep  everyone in the loop with what’s happening with the project so they can make quick decisions

So, whether you want to stay compliant with UAE’s laws and regulations, track multiple projects, suppliers, and contractors, or better allocate your resources, ERP software can help! 
How to Get the Most Out of the ERP System?
When choosing ERP software in the construction business, you need to look for features that offer the maximum benefits. 
To make things easier for you, we’ve curated a list of things to look out for in a construction project management tool. 

Connecting Construction Operations with ERP

The Most Useful ERP Features

1 - Configurability

One of the greatest benefits of an enterprise-level project management solution is its configurability. You can tailor your software, including customized workflows and reporting tools, to fit your business needs.
For instance, you’d want to customize the payment logic. It refers to the rules governing how you process transactions, such as whether invoices can be paid before they're due or need approval from multiple parties before they can be processed. 
While ERP providers offer some level of configurability, how much you get will depend on which product you choose. Some products are highly configurable, while others are not. Make sure yours does!

2 - Extensibility 

Extensibility refers to the ability to enhance the functionalities of an application without modifying the code via plugins or APIs. It gives you the agility and flexibility to adapt to changes quickly and stay competitive as your business grows. 
Extensibility is all about integrating third-party applications without compromising security or performance. Therefore, checking if your ERP supports the systems you currently use or plan on investing in is essential. 

3 - Seamless Data Integration

Data integration is integral to any business system but can be imperative in construction. That’s because when working with multiple subcontractors and suppliers, you need access to all the relevant information to make better decisions.
You should be able to automate data flow in real time based on your business processes. This way, even when someone from the accounting team enters the data or the warehouse, it would be available for everyone involved in the project.  

4 - Expertise in Both Construction and Accounting

Your ERP software vendor should be a true expert in construction and accounting. Because unless they understand both the construction and finances, it’d be challenging to offer features that improve the bottom-line results. 
Here are some questions that can help you understand if they’re the right choice:
  • Are other construction companies using their software, including those from your city? For example, if you’re in Dubai, ask which companies use their software in Dubai.
  • How do they ensure accounting data security? 
  • What features meet the needs of construction companies?

5 - Automated, Dynamic Integration

You wouldn’t want to choose a solution that takes a lot of time to learn or even get started. Therefore, ask questions like:
  • How to integrate ERP systems with your existing tools (including out-of-the-box solutions)?
  • How can you bring all the teams together using the ERP?
  • Are there ways to strengthen data security?
  • How long does it take to train employees?

If they don’t have an easy or automated process for these, it’d be tricky, expensive, and time-consuming to use the system.  

6 - Cost-Effective Pricing Structures

One of the vital factors in choosing construction ERP software is cost-effectiveness. Therefore, you need to ensure that it’s priced at a level that will be affordable for your company and profitable for your bottom line.
To do that, ask yourself questions like:
  • What is the cost per user? Does it include additional costs based on usage or API access?
  • What kind of support do you offer? Is it available to all tier plans?
  • What are the costs associated with implementation and training?
  • How much training does the team need to use the program?
  • What are the fees for customizing or upgrading the software? Is there an additional charge for customization? 
How to Connect Construction Operations with an ERP System

 The Future of United Construction Processes

Construction is an industry that has seen the most changes over the last few decades. From introducing new materials and techniques to a shifting focus on sustainability, construction companies have had to adapt quickly.
For companies to keep up with these changes, they need to manage their data effectively. This means tracking and managing information like work orders, project schedules, and inventory.
ERP software allows construction companies to do this by providing them with a single source of truth. It also makes it easier for teams across different departments to collaborate and share information more easily.
The industry will continue to grow because of its ability to help businesses streamline their operations while providing valuable insights into how they can improve their processes. 

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out the FirstBit ERP software designed especially for the construction industry! 

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