Before anything else, it’s important to answer this question: what are enterprise software? Also, referred to as enterprise application software or EAS, these are software designed to address the needs of an organization or an enterprise instead of focusing on the needs of individuals. In other words, these are software concerned with bigger scales of data and more complex processes. Examples of which are accounting and billing, customer relationship management, database, enterprise resource planning, workflow management, and business intelligence software.
Small construction companies are expected to be using enterprise software right from the start or by the time they already progress into bigger operations. There are many reasons why they should. The most compelling of these reasons are discussed below:
1. Better Data Collection and Organization –
Whether or not a small or startup business owner likes it, business data are inevitable. There’s a need to collect, compile, and manage information pertaining to business operations. Doing all of these the traditional way can be very difficult and unproductive. Records can become voluminous and difficult to trace. There’s a need to digitize everything for faster and more convenient storage, processing, and reporting. Additionally, the use of enterprise software creates a greater sense of transparency, especially for software that come with cloud features for anywhere and anytime access. This is something business owners, investors, and stakeholders would surely appreciate.
2. Significantly Improved Efficiency –
In relation to better data organization, a business can become more efficient with the use of enterprise software. Since all of the necessary information are already conveniently stored and easy to access and present, decision making can be made way better. Access to real-time data can also enable dynamic responses to changes in operations. This can make businesses easily adapt to changes as they can quickly come up with solutions using the information available to them with the help of enterprise software. Moreover, the use of enterprise software provide businesses a good framework on how things are to be done with the least time and resources used. Well-developed enterprise software are the result of inputs from experts who know how things are to be efficiently done
3. Better Planning and Optimized Project Time –
The use of enterprise software, construction management software in particular, can facilitate the better formulation of plans. This works for old and new companies alike. For new companies, the templates and frameworks that are already integrated in the software can serve as a guide as they usually infuse best practices. For older companies, they can serve as reminders to make sure that nothing is missed. Contingencies can also be integrated in the plan to make sure that nothing untoward will ruin the operations. Ultimately, with good planning comes the advantage of efficiency so project times are bound to be optimized.
4. Reduced Costs –
As mentioned, the use of enterprise software generally results in efficiency. With efficiency naturally comes the benefit of cost savings. The software may cost some amount but this can be considered as an investment to help reduce the overall cost of operations.
5. Collaboration –
Many enterprise software, including project management and marketing management applications, include communication and collaboration tools. These make it easy to work with different teams or facilitate brainstorming during the project conceptualization stage. Construction companies can greatly benefit from these features as they bring together the collaborative minds and efforts of architects, electricians, engineers, surveyors, staff, as well as subcontractors and clients.
6. Analytics –
Even construction companies can benefit from the analytics features of enterprise software. There are many aspects of the construction process that can be tweaked or optimized to achieve better operational results. Financial figures can also be more easily subjected to analysis and evaluation with the help of enterprise software.
7. Expansion Mindset –
The use of enterprise software alone creates a mindset of growth. There’s a prevailing perception that enterprise software is mainly intended for large or already successful companies. Construction company owners or managers should realize that by using such software, a sense of being forward-looking is established. After all, why will a company spend for software if it does not intend to grow and expand. The good thing about most enterprise software is that they are scalable and flexible. They support larger scales of operations and the expansion into other endeavors.
Unfortunately, there are still reasons why some small construction companies are not using enterprise software yet. Some may even “hate” them for a number of reasons including the perceived high cost of ownership, difficulty in getting upgrades, cross-functional process difficulties, and inflexibility. Nevertheless, as discussed above, the advantages are palpable so it’s not unwise considering the use of enterprise software. It’s just important to find the right quality software that matches the needs of a business.