By Matt Quon and Jeff Brocklebank.
Construction management systems are powerful business tools, providing real-time information to companies on a platform that’s accessible anywhere. Many of the available systems integrate accounting, financial reporting, payroll, human resources, project management and estimation functions.
When implemented successfully, robust construction management systems can mitigate the risk of project cost overruns and other problems by letting companies be more proactive in managing project estimations, job costing, and timely budget-to-actual comparisons.
However, the variety of software options and their features can be overwhelming, making it difficult to choose the right one for your business.
When selecting and implementing a new construction management system, it’s important to:
- Identify the core functions of each staff member who will be using the system and evaluate whether its features will increase their productivity and performance. You don’t want to invest significant time and capital to implement a system, only to realize later that it isn’t being used to its full potential.
- Identify the key performance measures and reports that you would like the system to produce. Ideally, the program selected can produce job-costing, work-in-progress, profitability and other reports on demand.
- Involve key users across functions in the selection and implementation of the new system. Too often, only the IT or finance teams have a say. Buy-in from project managers, coordinators and estimators is crucial for a successful launch.
- Anticipate the unexpected. A system implementation is an expensive, time-consuming exercise. Plan accordingly, keeping in mind that unanticipated difficulties, hiccups and frustrations are the rule, not the exception.
- Identify an appropriate time in the year to implement the new system. A lull in the business cycle would be ideal.
HOW WALSH KING CAN HELP
We have assisted construction clients with major system conversions. If you’re considering new system software or an upgrade to your existing program, please contact us so we can offer advice on and help with the implementation.
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