Have you ever heard of ERP? No. It is not the sound people make after consuming a cheeseburger and fries too quickly while on a major construction site.
It stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and it means all the operational and financial components that go into managing a job (or series of jobs) and your business better.
Many companies have their own dedicated servers for managing their information. This can be costly and not always secure.
But many other ERP solutions live in the cloud. So, all the data and schedules you need to manage a project are accessible from one place, so you can access, review, and act on them more quickly.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we delve into the five reasons why construction companies are moving ERP to the cloud, take a look at these facts.
So, if your team is still using manual and disconnected systems to keep on top of expenses, you are hardly alone.
Your current technology (if it exists at all) may be obsolete. Making the migration to the cloud these days is not only safe and easy these days, it is secure, fast, and cost-effective.
Keep in mind that many of the people who are responsible for getting your team’s work done are not even in an office, so giving them the tools and systems they need to manage projects and finances can not only help you, but make their lives easier as well.
The cloud is basically a way for all your information to exist in one place, 24/7/365.
When you want to see the financials for a project of your business, the cloud enables you to access that information from anywhere, any time. So, even if you wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about fuel expenses for your construction fleet, you can pull up that data. We’re not saying you should do that, but it’s possible.
Plus, cloud-based data can be found from a desktop computer or a smart phone or tablet. You don’t need a “fleet” of computers on premises to oversee projects.
When systems are separate and don’t “talk” to each other, mistakes can happen more easily.
For example, you need to copy information from multiple spreadsheets to report costs to a client. One slip of a finger on a keyboard could result in incorrect data being used and reported.
When your scheduling system is integrated with your financial systems, you will know exactly what’s being spent at each stage of a job.
Although mistakes can still happen in the cloud, the ability of systems to automatically transfer information from one source to another makes the chances of major errors much lower.
Automating the systems you use may seem daunting, but once you’ve invested a few days in migrating to a cloud-based system, the heavy lifting is done.
Let’s use a simple example:
Someone on a job site buys lunch for his entire team. Rather than remembering to get a receipt, filing an expense report, and turning it into a bookkeeper at the end of the week, that manager can simply use a purchasing card or other form of automated payment and the data will automatically get entered into your job costs.
Plus, if costs are running higher or lower than forecasted or someone is spending on unnecessary items, you’ll spot that immediately rather than waiting until a month-end close.
So, that speed can not only save you money, but it can make the lives of your team members much easier. That leads to the next reason…
When cloud-based financial systems are linked to spending and management systems, the people who are actually doing the work are given the tools they need to get their jobs completed more easily.
Less time is spent reporting and more time is spent constructing.
And you, as a manager or company owner actually have MORE control because you’re able to spot inconsistencies, overruns, or other issues as they happen.
Reconciliations at the end of the month or at the end of a project can be done with just a few keystrokes. No more late nights and back-and-forth communication.
The need for humans managing accounting, financial, and operational systems will never go away completely. But perhaps you’ll need fewer people on your team over time because your automated system is doing much of the tedious work.
As noted above, when you are using a cloud-based system, you can get answers to complex questions almost immediately and course-correct before small problems become big ones.
As long as you have the right protocols in place, cloud-based systems are no riskier than manual ways of managing expenses and schedules.
The team at Vendrix came from the construction industry, so we know the challenges you face. We built our cloud-based systems from the perspectives of people who once had to rummage around for the right spreadsheet and scratch our heads when we couldn’t reconcile at the end of the month.
We knew we had to come up with a better way.
So, if you’re considering a move to the cloud for your ERP, we are the first people you should talk to, because getting to the cloud still requires human navigators who know your industry.
Schedule a demo today and join that 17 percent of smart construction companies.