7 Questions You Should Ask Your Construction ERP Vendor

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You are in the construction business. Your company is growing; you have added many employees; you think you are ready to bid on bigger and more profitable work now. You need a control system and think construction ERP might be a good tool to own and use. How do you focus your thoughts and select the right one? Here are a few starter questions to get you going.

1. Does the construction ERP system fit your unique business? 

The construction industry is broad. You could build roads or dams or buildings. You could be a general contractor or a specialty contractor. There are many specialties and often there are unique requirements for particular businesses.

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2.Will the ERP provide the controls you need?

You bid on and won a contract for a scope of work. You estimated costs and time for each piece of that work. How well are you performing? There will be additional work during the project. Can you keep that added work identified and bill for the add-ons as the project moves to completion? Will the system help provide progress billings that meet the requirements of the owner and the bank?

3.Can it coordinate work with other contractors on the job?

 You need to schedule work along with other players; will construction ERP help plan that work? You might want drawings and other documents attached to the ERP for a single source of all your data. Those drawings can be yours as well as those of other specialties. Can your shortlisted ERP vendors provide this?

4.Will the ERP help with union requirements? 

Many contractors use union workers, often members of several unions on a particular job. Each union has its own requirements for reporting and your construction ERP should be able to help.

5.Will the ERP help with government requirements? 

Are you working with government contracts? Every government unit connected will want some degree of control over the project. Can the construction ERP system help with environmental reporting or local tax reporting? You need that kind of help.

6.How well can the system work wirelessly?

 Your servers are back at the office. Your workers and all the transactions are on a job site. Management at home needs information. Management at the job site needs information. This could be a critical requirement unless you want to stay in the past.

7.How will the ERP help win more bids?

 You need the next job. If you can document assumptions you made along with feedback regarding your bid and others, you can use that knowledge to help with your next bid.

Tom Miller

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