How to Select the Right ERP System for your Construction Company

This is the age of big data. Unsurprisingly that fact has spurred more companies to implement ERP systems so that they can track and organize the data they collect, improve their business processes, and make more informed decisions. In short, ERP Systems can help companies spotlight the information that will enable them to reach their goals.

But how do you select the ERP System that’s right for your company? There are many ERP systems available on the market. Here’s a guide to choosing an ERP System that’s right for you.

First, What is an ERP System?

ERP is an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning, a type of software used by businesses to manage everyday business processes and activities. ERP Systems collect your data in a centralised system and gives your employees the ability to manage processes and retrieve information in a way that makes sense for their role and your business. A good ERP will have true integration and that will reduce the amount of 3rd party or bolt on systems that you will need.

Finding the Right ERP System is a Multi-Step Process

  1. Form a selection team.

Include members from across your company. A broad-based selection team can identify your company’s challenges from multiple points of view. Who is most impacted by a change of system software?

  1. Make a list of must-have features.

Once your team is in place, they will be able to create a comprehensive list of operations that must be managed by an ERP system. What are the roadblocks they face?

  1. Kick the tyres.

Once you have a short list of potential candidates, ask for a demonstration. What are the problems you would like them to solve? How will they work with your existing processes to provide efficiencies?

  1. Plan for the future.

In your evaluation process, you should make decisions that are based on the business you want to be in the future, rather than the business you are at present. How will certain features and attributes scale as you increase in size or scope your operation?

  1. Flexibility and customization aren’t optional, they’re essential.

Don’t settle for a system that’s limited by the inability to optimize certain features that are essential for your business. Ask your shortlisted companies to provide details of past customizations. Find out how flexible their systems are.

  1. Compare and contrast different ERP systems.

How do the companies meet your business needs? How closely does the software align with the business practices of your company? What are the costs compared with the various feature sets offered by your candidates?

  1. Support

Consider the post implementation support. Do you want to be dealing with real people in New Zealand or are you happy with online automated support.

The goal is to find an ERP System that can work alongside your business to improve the way you do business.

ERP Systems with Construction Expertise

The construction and contracting industries have specific ERP requirements because of industry practices in accounting and labour force management. You’ll want to start by seeking a system that offers integrated accounting and up to date job costing, but any complete system should have built in functionality to handle every segment of a construction project.

Here are some fundamental questions to ask the ERP software makers on your list in order to narrow down the serious contenders from the pretenders.

1. Do you have budgeting and financial data management tools that will help us stay on track with our current project budgets and also plan for the future?

2. How comprehensive is your ERP software. Can your system help us be more efficient in the following areas?

– Customer relationship management and marketing

– Quoting

– Job costing

– Project management

– Invoicing and POs

– Progress billing

3. Does your system update our materials order and the job cost simultaneously and seamlessly, or does it merely handle batch processes at the end of the business day?

4. How can we work remotely? Mobile construction software should make it easier to fulfill projects no matter where you are working. What tools do you make for our remote workers?

5. How do you ensure documentation and data are transparent and secure?

6. Does your software allow you to customize reports and create dashboards for my KPIs?

7. Can we ensure that our workshop manager won’t be permitted to see the files for finance?

Nimbus makes ERP software for construction and contracting companies. Our ERP system empowers everyone on your team to work from the same data. With visibility and accountability into every department of your business you can grow without limits.​

Release date: 11th November 2021