In today’s fast-paced world of business, finding solutions — be it people, processes or tools — is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Robust systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have played a vital role in helping organizations keep pace, with improved productivity and efficiency acting as leading indicators.
Of course, that is not to say that implementing ERPs doesn’t come with its own set of challenges — specifically, they usually have long deployment timelines and, equally as challenging, can be costly. To provide context, here are some key stats:
In general, decision makers take about 17 weeks to select an ERP System1
85% of leaders request an implementation timeline of about one year, with 30% requesting a 6-month timeline2
Approximately 49% of ERPs are implemented on-time3
45% of ERP implementations go over budget4
These challenges are no different in the construction industry, where companies are often faced with challenges when going through their journey when implementing ERPs or construction management systems.
Recommendations and Insights to Ensure a Successful and Seamless Construction Management Software Implementation
The key to success for a smooth implementation for your construction management system or Construction management app is finding a software provider that understands your business pain points, your technology infrastructure, your long-term goals and your timelines.
To ensure a seamless software implementation, the process can be greatly streamlined with a few key considerations: a partner approach, adaptability and an eye on the future. Here are some recommendation
1. Develop a Concrete Plan and Engage the Best Long-Term Partner
The success of every construction ERP implementation requires a comprehensive plan for both the application development process and the coordination across various groups, each with different objectives. Your solution provider should be a partner in the process, helping ask the right questions, and develop and implement the best construction management software that best fits your construction business model, for both the short and long term.
Before deciding on a construction project management software provider, check with existing customers about the continued relationship. Is the ERP partner quick to respond to questions even after implementation is complete? Do they have user groups to share and learn? It’s important to remember that construction firms are in the business of building, not technology — and a partner that recognizes that distinction is critical to the success of your construction management system.
2. Invest in a Construction Management System with Robust Analytics Capabilities
Data is essentially like any other key asset your business owns — when used correctly, it can be leveraged to reduce costs, optimize operations, and unlock business insights to deliver business value. Investing in a construction management technology that is designed to capture, and process data is comparable to making an investment in equipment or hardware. While the investment in technology costs money upfront, a solid partner with expertise and experience in your industry can make the process easier.
3. Look for a Construction ERP Provider with Experience in Seamless Data and Information Migration
One of the key advantages of a construction project management ERP software is that it can provide a single, accurate source of data for the whole organization. That kind of single source database naturally requires data migration often from legacy and/or non-integrated solutions.
It’s a necessary task that is fraught with challenges because data is often buried in spreadsheets, documents, team-specific applications and even, at times, paper. A well-planned migration is essential — and your ERP partner should be able to offer some expertise on potential hurdles, ways to minimize the disruption and help communicate the benefits of the new processes.
4. Source a Construction Project Management Software with a Proven Ability to Scale
Implementing the Best ERP for Construction is not a one-off effort that ends when the new system goes live — scalability and flexibility are essential to long-term viability. Finding a construction project management ERP software with a vast array of project management capabilities and features can be advantageous if your firm needs to expand their current feature set in the future.
Cloud-based construction management software is a proven and highly effective way to leverage large amounts of data for actionable insights — when it’s deployed correctly. For smooth sailing in your deployment, make sure you’ve considered three critical pieces — a true technical partner, a solution’s flexibility and its ability to scale as needed in the office and the field.
The CMiC Advantage
At CMiC, we are an industry-leading software provider, delivering a next generation construction ERP built on a Single Database PlatformTM. We are the construction project management software of choice for 25% of ENR’s top 400 contractors, providing robust financial and project management solutions to small, mid-sized and enterprise construction firms. By design, our construction software’s robust capabilities can help you optimize productivity, minimize risk and drive growth.
CMiC Financials are designed to help constructions firms manage accounting, human capital/payroll, inventory and equipment — effortlessly. Within this category, key solutions include Accounting, HR & Payroll, Opportunity Management (CRM) and Resource Planning and Inventory & Equipment Management.
CMiC Project Management Software enables teams to collaborate with project stakeholders, control project changes, manage subcontractor tasks, stay on top of material suppliers and simplify the bid process. Under this suite of solutions, key applications include: Bidding & Procurement, Project Management, Drawing Management and Project Controls.
With an almost 50-year history as a construction management tool, it’s no wonder that 1 in 5 general contractors on the ENR Top 400 list have made CMiC their construction management system of choice.
Successful ERP Implementation Journeys of Key CMiC Customers: Key Insights
Here are some key results and learnings that CMiC customers took away from their respective implementation journeys.
This fully integrated real estate development, construction, property management and guaranty capital company evaluated vendors that offered collaboration tools for their field teams prioritizing the automation of time-consuming tasks such as generating contracts, RFIs and submittals.
When moving to a more automated workflow, the firm initially focused on the field processes, with no intention of bringing in financials. By working closely with CMiC during the planning stage, Wasatch was able to rethink their plan and take advantage of the unified capabilities of the solution to manage all aspects of its project delivery and accounting operations.
Thanks to that highly coordinated partnership with our construction management ERP, the company’s bids are now produced 20-30% faster, RFIs are processed in half the time and the company saves close to $50,000 annually in the preparation of subcontracts and submittals.
Andrew Gautreau, Vice President at AGI General Contracting once said it best: “If you think implementing a new software is as easy as ‘plugging and playing,’ it’s going to be very challenging.” The solution must continue to evolve to support new business demands and technological advancements. An ERP serves as the backbone of an operation, and, as a result, should also provide solid integration strategies and an open API for greater functionality, which is critical to long-term success. In addition, your IT and application development team must be able to adjust the system to support new requirements. For Gautreau, “CMiC is an investment, and to understand it as such has allowed us to realize that any challenges are part of the process towards becoming better.”