By Richard Boston, Integrity Software
“We are looking for something fully integrated which is better suited to the construction industry”, “We want to manage CIS submissions through the system”, “We need to track and analyse more information about our contracts and their related costs.” These are just a selection of aspirations we regularly hear from construction companies.
So here’s some advice from us about what to look out for when selecting new business management software based on our experience of working with organisations from all sectors, of all sizes, of the construction industry in the exact same situation.
1. Financial AND operational management software
You may feel like the majority of construction software systems offer similar accounting and contract management modules, but it is often the integrated operational management modules which set a system apart from the rest. Bringing the management of other business functions into one system allows you to monitor the impact of otherwise hidden costs and processes.
Operational modules might include a dedicated job scheduling system for managing maintenance works, or a plant management module to analyse chargeability of plant items. They might provide a fully integrated CVR (cost value reconciliation) process for example, to help improve the accuracy and visibility of a contracts work in progress.
2. You can’t beat experience
No two construction companies operate in exactly the same way and therefore their systems won’t either. The differences we believe you will find when evaluating construction accounting software is not necessarily down to the functionality provided but the ‘know how’ of the construction software providers in matching a solution to your requirements.
From the outset, look for providers who have worked with similar businesses in your sector and across the industry. Check they understand the challenges you are facing now and are likely to face in the future. Ask to talk to other users about their experiences of the implementation process.
3. Support you can rely on
Don’t forget to check the methods of support you are likely to receive, do they provide a full time support centre for example? From time to time you are bound to need to call on the support team and it will never be at a convenient time. Put them to the test and ask about how they plan to support your users to get them back up and running.
4. Future proof your investment
Evaluate your requirements now and look ahead to the future. Is there a natural upgrade path or will you hit the ceiling after a couple of years? Changing systems is not something you’ll want to do too often so ask your consultant to explain how they plan to support your business for many years to come.
What we do
At Integrity Software we have been developing construction accounting software, implementing systems and supporting construction organisations of all shapes and sizes for over 25 years. Browse our construction business management software to see what we do, or contact a member of our team for an informal discussion about your requirements.