Mr. Vijay Gupta, Founder and CEO, SoftTech Engineers Ltd
New Delhi (India), August 1: The AEC industry is one of the top growing industries. Sprucing up the development of the sector is the introduction of the cloud-based construction ERP system. The traditional methods of construction, and documentation hampered the project’s progress. The advent of cloud technology helped in streamlining the work and in implementing a unified business module. Research has found that ERP programs have helped construction firms to double their profit margins. Are you a builder looking for technology that would handle the projects? Then consider opting for cloud-based ERP software for managing the work schedule. Wondering what cloud computing ERP software? Here’s a guide to everything that you need to know about ERP software.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of different services such as data, storage, networking, software, and servers through the internet. Cloud computing is a model that offers convenient on-demand network access to a variety of configurable computing resources. The services offered by the cloud platform can be accessed by anyone from anywhere. Cloud computing eliminates the requirement of end-users to install any software on the computers. Cloud computing services help the business to process faster. Cloud servers offer greater scalability, accessibility, and flexibility. Opting for cloud computing enables business owners to enhance productivity, increase security enable cost-saving, and also streamline operations.
What is a cloud-based construction ERP?
A cloud-based construction ERP system is software that is designed to automate the construction process. An ERP refers to enterprise resource planning. In simpler terms, ERP is software that is used by firms to manage the information and data force of the organization. The ERP is utilized by on-site construction managers and contractors to manage the day to day activities throughout the process.
The ERP programs are designed in a manner that helps with accounting, manufacturing, customer relationship management, supply chain management, project management, recruitments and payroll management. ERP software allows easy tracking of client, contractor and stakeholder information. ERP software such as Opticon offers a group of integrated modules that are brought together to provide wholesome ERP solutions.
How Cloud-based ERP works?
Cloud-based ERP system works due to a combination of technologies that are connected with high-speed internet networks. The security and system updates of the software are handled by the ERP provider. The user and teams have to log in to the software with the login credentials to use the data. Cloud-based ERP also can be accessed on mobile phones and desktop computers. The ERP is laced with several applications including a schedule manager, payroll generator that help the business t run efficiently. The applications emphasize delivering a positive customer experience and doubling the profit ventures. Cloud-based ERPs offer infinite scalability options and enable the remote working of the teams.
The key features of Cloud-based ERP include
- Customer information generation and storage
• Financial data management
• HR management
• Live operating metrics
• Supply chain status generation
• Sales history record management
• Communication facilitator
• Data storage
Based on the business module the user can select from the varying deployment models with modules and settings optimized as per the need of the company. The optimization aids the team to focus on the right metrics and workflow to meet the company’s goals.
Although all cloud-based ERP software like opticon offer the core financial and accounting functionability but they are laced with other modules which help with other business functions. Some of these available cloud-based ERP modules include:
- Human capital management (HCM)
Human resource management software (HRMS)
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Supply chain management
- Project management
- Material requirements planning (MRP)
The ERP software can be deployed on-premises or on –private hosted servers. The software can be purchased as a service model. The functionality of the cloud ERP although is delivered quickly in both cases but the organization need to set time for planning, data migration, customization, configuration and team training. The ERPs hosted offsite on the vendor’s servers and offered as a service can be accessed through a web browser. While ERPs installed locally on the company’s computers and servers are managed by the trained IT staff. The supporting infrastructure is managed and stored in the house. Hosted ERP models are deployed when a company or business outsource their IT operations. The hosted ERP setup offer only selected cloud benefits. To offer the ERP service to vendors and their customers a secure and encrypted connection takes place. For the usage of ERP software, a company has to pay a fixed subscription fee at set time intervals. The fee covers the charges of software maintenance, upgrades and charges levied as per the organization.
How to achieve cost control through the ERP?
ERP software not just streamlines the work process but also saves time and money. ERP system helps to cut the operational costs and improve efficiencies. It helps to integrate the functions in a single system. ERP system offers low maintenance thus reducing the cost of hiring a workforce. The system also handles the work of accountants, manages HR processes including recruiting and work schedules. The system additionally also monitors admin and logistics expenses and prevents over expenditures.
How to achieve visibility & control through ERP?
The ERP helps to achieve complete visibility and control over all construction projects and workforce. Wondering what is visibility in construction? In the AEC industry, visibility refers to the stakeholder’s ability to get insight into everyday operations of the construction work cycle. The software offers an overview of critical data of projects and the company. Be it optimizing the supply chain or allocating budget and project time frame the software offers visibility of all of it.
ERP yields clarity of the operations workflow. It offers access to information at every step of the supply chain from raw material ordering to its shipment. The software helps enable better decision making and also improves operational efficiency. The ERP system plays a key role in the manufacturing business wherein it integrates data and also processes all the functions of the organization. Here’s how ERP manages various functions from procurement, product delivery to extending visibility into the supply chain.
Enables procurement as a profitable venture
The procurement activities need to be mapped as per the demand to ensure cost-cutting and offer better construction. ERP offers integrated solutions that enable complete visibility, control and improve efficiency in stages like vendor managed inventory, quotation information, payments and manifolds profitability.
ERP offers control and management of inventory, helps with manufacturing business, handles gauge demand and monitors supplies. The software helps to avoid incurred losses caused due to excessive purchase of inventor. The system helps with maintaining optimum inventory levels by allowing visibility to market demand, supplies information and also produces product data.
Handles demand planning and forecasting
ERP handles the visibility of information for production, manufacturing and supply units. It ensures delivery of efficient customer service. The system helps users to get complete visibility into demand through a unified view of the demand chains.
Streamlines production phases
ERP helps to streamline the visibility of the production processes. The software helps to manage resources efficiently, automates processes and also increases production. ERP offers on-time delivery and yields customer satisfaction. ERP optimization helps to speed up the production of products while maintaining their quality.
Additionally, ERP also offers round the clock visibility in real-time through which regional heads, project managers and quantity surveyors can track the project progress. Here are ways in which ERP offers visibility of projects.
- It offers an overview of regions projects, logistics and inventory supply
• ERP monitors and tracks change requests, views revision notes from clients and also handles approval status
• It helps track plan vs actual status of projects
• Helps plan material, workforce, stocks, inventory and subcontracting requirements of projects
• Handles invoices, payments, unbilled activities
• Tracks project queries and complaints
• Monitors post-dated cheques utilization, bank guarantees limit and insurance cover.
ERP software offers contractors to control manage and integrate the construction operations. The software helps schedule work for the teams. It offers real-time control over construction projects and also maximizes efficiency by reducing the time lag between issue identification and solution generation. The software helps to control the budget as per financial conditions, offers corrective maintenance of equipment and machinery. ERP controls the workforce progress, executes tasks, handles cost control methods and also maintains the overhead costs. ERP also helps to standardise the construction operations across the firm to achieve maximum ROI.
What are the benefits of ERP software?
The advent of ERP software has helped to improve the functionality of the AEC industry. The cloud-based construction ERP offers digital solutions to the challenges faced by the AEC industry. Here’s a list of the key benefits yielded by ERP software.
- It boosts project success with the management of construction operations on a single platform
• ERP digitizes the process of building projects for enhances work efficiency and transparency
• ERP offers effective cost control and easy budgeting
• Manages stocks, procurement processes
• It integrates and automates document management system for better storage and data safety
• Handles bids and tender filing
• Tracks and manages workforce and task scheduling
• Handles construction project analytics
• Automates project and financial reports
• Offers on-time resource reconciliation
• Handles equipment maintenance and tracks supply and demand chain
• Supports hybrid work module
• Offers effective vendor management
The utilization of cloud-based construction ERP has helped the AEC industry to progress a lot. The construction companies who have opted for ERP software have reaped benefits from improved ROI, increased efficiency and achieved greater scalability. The ability to stay in line with the advancement of the industry through cloud-based ERP has empowered construction firm decision-makers to select the best solutions that manifold the profit margins. Whether it be automating construction processes or improving audit level the cloud-based ERP has revolutionized the construction game completely. Embracing the ERP technology helps boost the productivity of construction firms dramatically. Adopting the new cloud-based technology helps to save construction time and expenditures. The technically advanced ERP has freed the contractors, builders, stakeholders from the overwhelming and cumbersome construction process monitoring and management task. Although adopting the ERP technology in place of traditional norms might seem difficult initially, however, a good strategy can help reap several benefits in the longer run. So to boost the project progress, enhance productivity and earn profit margins the construction industry needs to join hands for the adaptation to cloud-based construction ERP.
SoftTech Engineers Ltd. is a leading IT company facilitating business and technology transformation across the AEC industry through innovative software products and solutions. Equipped with 25+ years of deep domain expertise and industry knowledge, SoftTech has helped more than 4500 clients and government organizations, with more than 25000 users in India and around the world to gain a competitive edge and lead from the front in the industry.
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