In recent months, Ultra has had the opportunity to work with a particularly unique client who has given us a new perspective on how to find the best ERP for construction companies. At first glance, the client seems to be a standard, service-oriented, construction company dedicated to repaving the roads of their territories in the West and Southwestern regions of the U.S. However, when one takes a closer look, it is obvious the company is far too varied and dynamic of an organization to be boxed into one typical category.
Identifying the Unique Needs of ERP for Construction Companies
First of all, not only does the company offer pavement restructuring, but they also offer pavement renewal, milling services, pavement coatings, soil stabilization, and equipment rental. In addition, they keep reclaimed aggregate facilities to recycle materials. Because the company has so many service offerings, they are often categorized as both a general contractor and subcontractor. Furthermore, they face traditional issues in their search for ERP, such as keeping track of union regulations including certified payroll, and the plethora of permits and licensing that must be kept for their employees, machines, and geographic locations.
Most construction companies focus on one or two services and are either primarily a general contractor or subcontractor, but this is not the case for this client. The diversity and complication of the company has been a welcome challenge for Ultra to assess their unique needs and work on finding the best ERP for construction companies.
Although we have not yet reached the ERP selection stage of the project, Ultra has made note of some of the important factors to be aware of when looking at ERP for construction companies:
As stated above, construction companies almost always have to deal with unions, and as such, they must provide certified payroll to comply with union standards. ERP for construction companies must include this capability within their accounting functionality to even be worth evaluating.
ERP for construction companies must have robust project management functionalities no matter what kind of work is at stake. Every single organization will have multiple projects that must be planned and tracked according to budgets, timelines, employees, equipment and multiple other variables. It is important to find the ERP for construction companies that can best cater to the types of projects performed by the client.
Most ERP for construction companies includes a robust workflow capability, but it is an important note for construction in particular, because information about estimates, customers, budgets, and everything project-related is exchanged regularly, and workflow can help streamline those communications. Information must be able to flow in multiple directions constantly, and there must be one source of truth that is easily traceable to virtually eliminate errors on projects.
The Next Stages of Finding ERP for Construction Companies
Of course, there are many other important components to ERP for construction companies, but after working on our client’s current state, it is apparent the three items listed above – payroll, project management, and workflow – are critical elements that must be considered when actually assessing each ERP vendor and choosing the best fit for a construction client. We at Ultra look forward to assisting our client in the selection process and will detail their ERP selection journey in a later post.
To learn more about how Ultra can help your company find the right ERP system, Contact Us today.