The Top Technology Concern For Construction Contractors This Year (And How To Solve It)
According to the 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey, many contractors indicated that their top concern is automated integrations between software tools, like estimating, bid log, scheduling, accounting, service and more.
Contractors are constantly juggling multiple software solutions just to get through daily processes. When it comes to building reports or checking in on essential information, it can take entirely too much time if you’re going to multiple software packages to pull data.
Because of contractors’ diverse needs, there is no perfect, all-inclusive software solution out there. But business owners don’t have to sacrifice productivity just because they’re juggling multiple software systems to get by.
Sacrificing productivity is not an option in a construction company. Luckily, there is one solution that helps tie together information from accounting software and other systems into one consolidated view, and it’s called business intelligence.
There’s A Smarter Way To Use Multiple Software Solutions At Once
Business intelligence, or BI, is a software that pulls information from multiple sources, such as construction accounting software, scheduling software, document management tools and more, into a dashboard for easy viewing.
Contractors, in particular, have warmed to BI software because it integrates with existing software pieces to put real-time business insights at the forefront. Business intelligence software prioritizes meaningful information into an easy-to-view customized dashboard. Using this information, employees can work smarter within a construction company.
Getting Big Picture Insights Boosts Business
When contractors work with several different software solutions for daily processes, they can get hyper-focused on specific aspects of their business rather than seeing the big picture.
We’ve seen instances where contractors are pulling data from multiple places, like Excel, QuickBooks and TSheets, to manage daily processes. Pulling and consolidating data from these sources takes a lot of time and effort, and sometimes you need data fast.
Contractors are begging to know the secret to consolidating data into meaningful reports that help them drive their bid log and nurture relationships. These consolidated reports have to be fast, secure, mobile-friendly, customizable to an employee’s role, and accurate. It’s a lot to ask for, but with business intelligence software, it’s easy-as-pie.
The Game-Changing Dashboard
It’s not often that you open the hood of your car, pull off the oil cap and measure how much oil is left in your car. Because of your car’s dashboard, you’ll likely get an alert when your oil is low or when you’ve reached the recommended 5,000 miles. Dashboards for integrated construction software work the same way.
Dashboards can be set up to pull information from multiple construction software systems into a customized view, laid out just for you based on what you want to see. Some employees need to see job progress, while others need to see materials inventory and purchasing information. Each position in the organization can have a different dashboard view that can be changed at any time depending on that staff member’s needs.
Certain aspects of winning a bid for a major project can be way easier with dashboards. With real-time information updates and a mobile interface, personnel can make accurate estimates regarding project completion dates, staff availability, and more straight from the dashboard.
Taking Meaningful Data On The Go
Construction contractors are constantly switching between a job site and the office. For some, making a trip to the office is a “once in a blue moon” kind of occasion. That’s why it’s essential to make data from integrated software available on mobile devices. (If you’re not already using mobile technology, check out the benefits of using mobile technology in your construction business.)
Business intelligence creates the customizable dashboard experience in a downloadable app, through iOS, Android and other major operating systems. By accessing reports in the app, it’s easy to pull up even if there’s no Wi-Fi available.
BI software, such as Power BI, can be downloaded on most mobile operating systems through the app store. Then, even when Wi-Fi is not available, you can enter time, check materials availability, and more using data from the mobile device.
Share Data Between Integrated Software Securely
When you’re sharing data between integrated software, it’s essential to consider security. Using business intelligence software is no exception.
Look for reputable software solutions that have a successful track record. Make sure the software you’re considering has a secure backing that will not put your data in jeopardy.
It’s also important to use a trustworthy technology provider. A business intelligence software implementation is usually much easier than a full ERP system implementation. However, it’s still essential to work with someone who’s known to deliver quality BI solutions and not put your data at risk with a sloppy implementation.
Once your business intelligence software is set up, it can be customized so that users only have access to the information they need. A CEO and an executive assistant do not have the same access level, which adds an extra layer of security to confidential employee and client information.
So, Why BI?
Business intelligence software makes sense for construction contractors. We know that contractors have a long wish list of things they need out of their technology solutions, so there doesn’t seem to be an all-inclusive solution. Business intelligence allows organizations to tie together information from existing accounting software and integrated solutions into one consolidated and customizable view.
Construction contractors may be forced to juggle multiple software solutions, but they shouldn’t have to sacrifice productivity for it. Contact our team here or call us at 410.685.5512 to discuss how we can zip together your software fragments to build one cohesive and efficient dashboard with business intelligence.
About Michael Marinaro
With years of experience consulting with clients on ERP software, including Microsoft Dynamics GP, Sage 300 (formerly Sage Accpac), and Sage 100 (formerly Sage MAS90/MAS200), Michael enjoys helping businesses save time and increase efficiencies by integrating systems together. Anyone who has ever worked with Michael knows that he is passionate about getting the most out of any software package. Michael admits that he cannot escape his “inner geek” – ever. He loves exploring new features in products and learning new technologies so he can apply them to real-life problems, or just play with them for the fun of it.