Five questions to ask when selecting construction ERP software
The selection of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in the US is a major undertaking. Avoid the common pitfalls and select the best system for your construction business by asking these questions.
How integrated is integrated?
When people talk about ‘integrated’, what do they really mean? Is it a bunch of systems stitched together that will be high maintenance, fragile and ultimately rely on a few knowledgeable individuals to maintain it? Or is it seamlessly and effortlessly integrated, one which will be easy to upgrade and support?
Speak to others in the market who are using the proposed solution to determine if the integration truly is seamless. A platform that integrates finance, procurement and commercial systems is one of the key things you should consider when looking for a good construction ERP system
This means that you don't need to worry about trying to knit different solutions together, and you end up with one single version of the truth.
Chris Westbury, Chief Operating Officer, COINS
All too easily, a company can be driven to simply replace an aging finance system with just a ‘newer finance system’ or replace a hotch-potch of systems with a new series of systems driven by the same design ethos.
What are the benefits of the construction ERP software?
Do the provider and the software offer real and proven solutions to the challenges that you face as an American construction company? Will it help you to improve the quality of build or quality of business information, or support growth, while benefitting from the economies of scale? How can it support your growth ambitions while helping to manage and control operating costs?
Speak to others in the market who are using the proposed solution. Ensure that you and the provider can identify quick wins in terms of better cost control, validation, reporting and analysis, as well as longer-term benefits.
What are the true economies of the construction ERP software?
Can the ERP solution offer true economies in terms of eCommerce, workflows, standardization of processes and visibility of what’s happening on sites, both right now and in the future?
Can the software provider demonstrate this using one of your construction projects or sites as an example? This will help to remove the need for imagination in the evaluation process and demonstrate how this can be achieved in your specific business. Make sure that that the ERP solution will enable you to easily access the right data, at the right time, supporting informed and agile business decisions and helping you to use your resources effectively.
Who will benefit?
Will the benefits be felt by not just your construction business, but also your customers, contractors and supply chain partners?
Review how the construction ERP will help you to make improvements in quality, improvements in timeliness, improvements in accuracy and, for homebuilders, ultimately improvements in the buying experience.
It’s a huge benefit if the platform covers end-to-end processes. For example, homebuilders should look for a system such as COINS ERP+ which covers everything from land appraisal, all elements of the construction process and finance, through to sales and customer aftercare.
Does the construction ERP software provider understand the market you are in?
Does the software vendor really understand what you do? Can they demonstrate this through the answers they provide and the solutions they offer during the software evaluation process? Is there evidence of true understanding of the American construction industry?
Speak to others in the market who are using the solution. References are essential to demonstrate a proven track record of providing solutions to companies of your size and type within your very specific industry.
People talk about construction as though it's one homogenous mass of construction. But in reality, there are mechanical contractors, electrical contractors, homebuilders, infrastructure contractors and civil engineering companies as well as general contractors.
Robert Brown, CEO, COINS
Meet the solution provider’s team to ensure they truly understand the specific challenges that you face and can offer solutions and draw upon their experience in problem-solving.
Ask probing questions to understand how they have implemented solutions in the past. Benefit from their previous industry experience by finding out what challenges were faced and what lessons were learned.
Selecting a construction-specific ERP partner, such as COINS, will help to ensure that your company benefits from industry best practices, experience and knowledge, helping you to achieve both short and long-term value from your investment.
Contact us to find out how COINS construction solutions can help your business.
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