The global construction industry is set to grow at a compound annual rate of 4.2 percent for the 2018-to-2023 period, Research and Markets found. By 2023, the sector will be valued at $10.5 trillion. Opportunities for business expansion are apparent, but the sector isn’t exactly bursting at the seams. The businesses with an operational edge could put themselves on the fast lane to a market advantage, but that raises the question: Are you one of those businesses?
The answer is complicated, but we can assure you of one thing: You won’t keep up with the industry’s changing demands if your enterprise resource planning system can’t scale with your needs. You can’t afford to run into project delays, fiscal headaches and procedural nightmares because your legacy ERP isn’t fit to adjust to your changing business demands.
Does Your ERP Have What You Need?
With the wakeup behind us, an introduction is in order. We believe construction firms need ERP solutions built for their specific workflows. The days of getting by with QuickBooks or trying to fit a traditional enterprise ERP into your operational model are fading. But we know that an ERP migration can be a long and complex process. Given this situation, we’re here to offer some advice on when it’s time to migrate.
In this five-part series, we’ll explore how you can identify the need for an ERP migration. To start, we’ll look at the problem of limited scalability and—if you’re experiencing it—you’re not alone.
Traditional ERP Systems Falling Behind
The ERP sector has gone through a transition in recent years with more solution providers embracing the cloud. The rise of cloud computing isn’t news, but it’s a big deal for ERP platforms, as organizations have long considered their data to be too precious to trust to such a technology setup. Now, organizations are realizing that stagnant legacy ERP systems are holding their businesses back, while cloud computing keeps maturing. The balance has shifted to the cloud in the ERP sector.
Michael Guay, research director of ERP strategy for Gartner, told CIO magazine that businesses need to rethink how they handle ERP decisions. In the past, organizations had to balance getting solid base functionality with adding best-of-breed components. In essence, companies had to sacrifice what they wanted because significant customization wasn’t feasible. That’s changed in the cloud.
“The reason a lot of people were dissatisfied with their ERP system [was because] the decision was not ‘Should I buy from one or two vendors’ – if you were an Oracle shop you bought from Oracle,” Guay told CIO. “Often, that meant you had a functional app that didn’t suit the needs of the business, so you had to customize a solution and that leads you down a very bad path.”
In construction, you may have resigned yourself to adapting your workflows to ‘generic’ account software or ‘traditional’ ERP configurations. With cloud solutions, such as CMiC Enterprise and CMiC Field, you don’t have to make those kinds of sacrifices.
How a Scalable Cloud ERP Platform Changes the Sector
When your ERP model isn’t able to scale or adjust to your business, you often have to modify processes and practices, adding workarounds and operating with exceptions to what would otherwise be an optimal set of workflows. Across multiple complex, interdependent processes, this adds up to chaos.
You can’t have one project manager updating a bill by emailing accounting while another logs into Quicken at the end of each day and a third hands your accountant a paper form. Sustaining business growth in fast-moving industries requires standardization, and digital technologies are empowering construction firms to connect data and users across teams. Now you’re stuck trying to manually track all of this information in an ERP interface that isn’t well-configured for construction workflows and lacks the management tools you need to keep up with all of the projects you have running. This situation isn’t tenable.
If your ERP system can’t scale, you will inevitably run into problems trying to grow your business. Want to learn how an ERP purpose-built for construction can change this dynamic? Contact us today. If you still aren’t sure whether you need a new ERP, be on the lookout for part 2 of this series, where we’ll discuss how unnecessarily complex document management procedures can quickly undermine projects, and what an ERP & Field platform can do about it.