Here, Martin Woolger of Integrity Software looks at 6 factors construction business professionals have come to demand from a management system and expect from the software company chosen to support their business on a daily basis.
1. Easy and accurate management reporting
The power of reporting can never be underestimated, using a system which captures the required information is essential, however equally important is the ability to extract the information out again to support those important business decisions. Many businesses require monthly management packs, with modern report writers these can be produced without the time consuming reliance on a number of standard reports which require manual collating. Further benefits allow the exact of information to be reported on and interrogated further in a familiar environment such as Excel.
2. Ultimate efficiency of management systems
‘We are trying to streamline business processes and increase our efficiency’. A term you will hear used in many construction businesses assessing their need for new management software systems. Construction specific systems are designed to help manage those processes found only in the construction industry for example when working with and paying subcontractors or completing cost value reconciliations (CVR) to identify the true profitability of a contract. These processes are completed in far less time using a construction specific system for example when collating information from a number of CVR’s for analysis, thus allowing staff time to be put to better use.
3. Control and visibility of real time contract information
It is crucial to be able to see the exact financial position of a contract at any point in time. The ability to drill down into individual transactions is critical to help ensure hidden costs are accounted for at every stage. This may seem obvious for larger contracts which are monitored closely, however many businesses find it is the smaller jobs where they can easily lose track of costs if their management software does not provide the right level of information at every level.
4. Expenditure control including flexible authorisation procedures
Keeping a level of control over expenditure is another key requirement for management teams. A system must be flexible enough to mirror the manual sign off processes within a business whilst ensuring authorisation procedures do not slow down individuals within the business. A system which alerts the relevant person their authorisation is required and makes it simple to accept or reject a request helps to keep the disruption on workflow to a minimum while creating an audit trail for future reference.
5. Support from industry professionals who understand your key challenges
Software is software and even with the best training in the world you will inevitably need to call upon the support team for advice at some point during your relationship. While support response times must be fast to get you moving again, it is the added value a software vendor can bring to your business which is crucial to your business becoming as efficient as possible. Working with industry professionals who understand your key challenges is a must, as your business evolves the software will too and your chosen vendor should guide you through these changes every step of the way.
6. A long term investment which supports the growth of the organisation
Investing in a new management system for a construction business is no small decision, a lot of research goes into finding the right level of functionality from a vendor you can trust and rely on to support the business going forward. It is important to think long term and ask the question, will the new system not only match our current requirements but also be flexible enough to support the future aspirations of the business?
Is your management system working for you?
If you are not confident your current management software is supporting your business in any of the areas listed above, now could be the time to review your current system. Substantial time and cost savings could be made by reviewing the software market as the world turns ever further to technology to provide leaner, more efficient and securer business workflows.
Mardak™ from Integrity Software is an accounting and contract management system designed exclusively for use within the construction industry and related sectors supporting house builders, contractors and civil engineers throughout the UK and Ireland. Join the growing community, contact one of our construction industry professionals today to discuss your system requirements in more detail or browse our construction software solutions.