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ERP for Builders | Complete Guide

What is builders ERP software?

Construction ERP software is a specialized enterprise resource planning system built for the unique needs of construction companies. These systems should include management of general contractors, subcontractors, financial management, construction accounting, payroll, and service operations in one central database.

Why do builders need an ERP system?

There are thousands of building construction companies that work using decades-old technologies, and they have limited to no knowledge of the outsourced services like manufacturing, accounting, and ancillary services which suck away the profit.

A construction ERP system is a real-time information system that makes informed decisions possible. Since all critical work information is stored in one system, each project sub-team has real-time access to the information that they need. In addition to making decisions, construction companies can use the data required to evaluate the success of the company’s effort and track the company’s progress in a timely manner.

It is not that ERP is the most obvious solution for every business, but in construction, you can no longer ignore the fact that your business is a process and not just an assembly line. Manufacturers have been using ERP for decades to track the production process, and now it is time for construction companies to use an ERP system to manage their projects.

So what exactly is an ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as the name suggests, helps an organization to execute its business on a fully integrated and real-time platform. Initially ERP started as a financial or manufacturing solution before the term Enterprise Resource Planning even existed. ERP helped automate and keep in sync all operations and departments in one place so that computers could be used as a selectable and less costly way to do the work that was previously done manually.

How are businesses using ERP systems?

It is used mainly to automate workflows, manage inventory and procure items in real time. Best ERP software for construction companies is one that can keep the actual supply and demand very closely matched. This prevents costs and accidents caused by actual supply falling short of requirement.

The best ERP software systems are also capable of bringing order to the mountains of data produced by construction processes, to make the most of the information and make better decisions. All this brings down risks and increases productivity, allowing manufacturers to concentrate their efforts on growth.

The best way to find the best ERP system for your construction business is to try it out and see if it achieves what you want. It is often the case that the systems come with a 30-day free trial and an opportunity to use it on a small scale. More than a million ERP systems are in use worldwide, and you can try them out and find the one that is best suited to your needs.

Although you should take the time to evaluate and compare.

How to pick an ERP for builders and constructors?

So which is the best ERP for builders?

A brief review of a few systems worth considering:

1. Salesforce Analytics Cloud: Salesforce Analytics Cloud has a reputation for offering everything that analytics teams need from enterprise-ready software and the latest in data management technology. This makes it easy for any organization to unlock their data and accelerate decision making and customer relationships.

2. Oracle Construction and Real Estate Projects: Oracle Construction and Real Estate Projects is a comprehensive set of solutions for both commercial residential projects. This means that it offers everything from estimating to construction management and lifecycle costing. It also offers project accounting and contract administration. The solution offers easy access to the vital information on projects, including risks associated with it.

ERP in construction – the best practices and benefits of ERP in construction

Focus on the business – and not the paperwork

Builders you no longer have to focus on gathering and then organizing the different parts of your business. You can focus on managing and running your business, rather than managing it. This saves you time, and with fewer people involved in data entry, less time is spent in reconciling invoices and payments. The aim is to put the right information in the right hands at the right time.

Automate activities and information sharing

Builders can design and build things in an integrated manner. For example, a structural engineer can incorporate data via the ERP software into drawings stored in the cloud. Smaller contractors can access a central pool of data projects, where digital construction drawings can be stored for easy access. The building constructions industry is changing and delivering more efficiently than ever before.

Every construction company is different, but there is one thing that applies to all in the industry – capabilities need to be joined together to read, extract, verify, integrate, and select the right data in real time. This is when ERP technology can play its part to ensure construction decisions are based on more information than guesswork.

Makes project management easy

ERP solutions for construction companies also help with resource planning, scheduling, invoicing, materials management, etc. This helps lessen the workload and allows all team members to focus on the important issues. Many companies are forced to use manual solutions to try to manage their projects. But manually written spreadsheets and documents are not an option with ERP and lean construction principles.

Reduces the likelihood of errors

ERP technology helps reduce errors by providing a streamlined review process, when all the necessary information is available to every team member. It also helps in tracking the time spent on a project more accurately and helps to raise the bar of project management.

Make important business decisions faster

ERP technology is used by some of the biggest companies in the world. In a construction project, a company may find the information relating to the project is stored in dozens of different locations across a variety of computers, printers, scanners and other devices. With an ERP solution, the relevant information is much more easily identified and accessed. The data is then reconciled and used to make decisions much more quickly.

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