This article was contributed by Yevhen Kulinichenko who works as Chief Technology Officer at Intellectsoft.
ERP systems for construction companies are developing in unison with the trends in the construction business. It is important for an ERP system to be truly functional, meet the real needs of construction companies, and be adapted to the desired market.
But most importantly, such a system should be easy to learn and use, since construction is a very complex industry, with a lot of documents. Accordingly, in order not to complicate the difficult work of employees of construction companies, the ERP system should be as easy to understand and use as Excel or a calculator.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of construction software implementation and consider the functionality the modern ERP system should include.
What are ERP systems?
ERP systems are a comprehensive solution that integrates all data about the company’s work on one platform. Based on the information contained in ERP systems, management can make informed decisions using the full amount of information.
There could be a reasonable question – why do we need an ERP system, if most enterprises already use various software products to account for raw materials, work with personnel, or track deliveries? The basic purpose of the ERP system is a comprehensive reflection of all processes included in the work of the company. They link disparate information into one common array. At the same time, the main purpose of ERP systems is automation. These software products help:
- improve the quality of planning the work of different departments of the company;
- ensure transparency of all processes;
- work according to uniform standards that are established by the program;
- establish effective control over the work of employees;
- set up automatic reports according to the criteria of interest;
- quickly assess the quality of work;
- comply with the terms of production stages.
All information about the work is automatically collected by ERP systems, and subsequent data analysis helps to identify problem areas and respond promptly to changes in indicators. An important advantage of the ERP system is that you do not need to have programming skills to set up the program – such products can be easily adapted to the specifics of the company’s work.
How to understand that your business needs an ERP system?
If you have a small business and the team can keep track of information about the processes and the execution of tasks, the implementation of an ERP system is unlikely to be required. But businesses should think about implementation if they are faced with some of the following situations:
- The interaction of departments is broken, which is why the transition of a task between departments takes a long time.
- Employees spend a lot of time doing routine tasks.
- The accounting department is slow to complete the paperwork.
- It is not possible to quickly get information about the work of any department.
- It is difficult to control the effectiveness of staff.
- Stock balance data is not updated in real-time.
- Interaction with customers is complicated.
- The working environment is fragmented, files cannot be transferred from one program to another.
Even if 2-3 of the listed problems are relevant, it makes sense to choose an ERP system for implementation.
Modern ERP system: what it should include
It should be understood when working in ERP systems that this is a universal tool that provides a consolidated amount of data on the company’s work at all levels. That is why the positive side of the implementation of ERP systems is to obtain comprehensive information about the resources that are spent on the implementation of the tasks.
Any ERP system is divided into two levels:
- nucleus: a software environment that contains a set of directories and provides basic functionality;
- plug-ins: the choice of blocks depends on the features of using the software.
The structure of an ERP system is always the same, but the set of modules may change depending on the tasks you are pursuing. Of course, ERP systems must provide all the necessary array of reports – without them, as well as without analytics, it will not be possible to fully plan the work of the company.
The software automatically collects data, generating reports in various areas, from the timing of the supply of raw materials to financial data. It is important that this module can be customized to suit the specifics of the organization and the industry in which it operates.
But the modules of the ERP system are not limited to reports alone. Any ERP system for managing production or sales in the construction field is a tool that should help workers in other areas:
- Personnel management. This segment involves displaying the structure of the company, accounting for wages, and drawing up employment contracts. It would be nice if the program can store data about applicants who have already been interviewed before – this will help to quickly fill vacant positions.
- Work with documents. This implies not only the rapid passage of files between departments when multi-stage approval is required. It is important when the software makes it possible to send a document to a client or contractor without resorting to third-party services.
- Single space for work. One of the most powerful benefits that ERP information systems provide is the provision of data without gaps. Thus, in one program you can see information about both deliveries and sales.
- Collecting information about customers. It will be an advantage if the program can record all the data about the customer, from the history of applications to a brief summary of each conversation. This is important not only to increase sales but also to control receivables. Therefore, the customer card should be understandable and informative.
- Work with providers. The use of ERP systems simplifies this segment of the work – the programs show the path of each delivery and help calculate the cost, taking into account the charge. Moreover, using the software you can compare similar offers from different suppliers.
- User access. The functions of ERP systems differ for employees from different departments. There should also be differences in access levels. This helps prevent information leakage and generally does not complicate the work with the program – each employee will see exactly the modules that he needs.
ERP systems are being implemented in various sectors of the economy, including construction, where planning and resource management are important components of a successful business.
If you are thinking about ERP system development contact Intellectsoft to get comprehensive assistance with this idea. This company provides top-notch industry-tailored services to drive operational efficiency and streamline business processes.
About the author
Yevhen Kulinichenko is the Chief Technology Officer at Intellectsoft. Yevhen is a multifunctional specialist – any task will be solved on time and with high quality. He is constantly learning and growing as an architect.