By: Mark Brousseau | March 14, 2021
In times like these, managing cash and spending can be hard for builders.
This is especially true for builders that don’t have a dedicated accounting and planning system.
That’s why more residential, commercial and industrial builders are deploying automated construction management solutions that are native with their NetSuite cloud ERP platform.
Replacing manual processes, lots of spreadsheets, and poorly integrated systems with a single integrated solution for job costing, timeline management, retainage and change orders provides the efficiencies, visibility and control that can significantly improve cash flow and customer satisfaction.
But choosing the right construction management software can overwhelm even tech-savvy builders.
What to look for in a Construction Management Solution
Here are eight things to look for in an automated construction management solution for NetSuite:
- Native in NetSuite. NetSuite is the financial nerve center of your enterprise. Extend the value of your NetSuite investment by finding a construction management solution that is native in NetSuite. This will eliminate any data latency, ensure a single source of truth, prevent any need for keying data, and provide a seamless and familiar experience for users.
- Precise job costing. Vendor prices can change quickly. But the way that many builders estimate jobs – pen and paper, spreadsheets and dedicated estimating solutions – frequently are not integrated with databases of vendor prices. No amount of back-and-forth comparison of prices can eliminate the possibility that old prices will be used for job costing. Automated construction management software updates supplier pricing in real-time, resulting in better estimating and purchasing. The technology provides a single platform for estimating costs, preparing client proposals, scheduling values, and managing inevitable client change orders.
- Tools to eliminate margin erosion. It’s easy for things to get overlooked when builders rely on manual processes to manage change orders. In many cases, oversights are not discovered until it’s too late, resulting in cost overruns. Automated construction management software makes it easy to manage change orders. The technology prepares cost estimates for change orders, manages customer approvals, and updates project budgets and contracts in real-time.
- 360-degree enterprise visibility. Manual processes and poorly integrated systems make it nearly impossible for builders to get a detailed progress status report of projects or to know where things stand with accounting and planning across the business. Getting a single on-demand view of information is even harder for multi-company enterprises. Construction management software natively integrates with a builder’s NetSuite ERP to provide real-time visibility across the enterprise with a seamless experience that makes users feel like they never left NetSuite. Divisions can more closely monitor their responsibilities and track efficiencies. And the Gantt chart, project and resource management tools, and timeline and baseline reporting in leading construction management solutions keep projects on track.
- Cash forecasting. Big purchases and expenditures over the course of a long construction project can play havoc with a builder’s cash flow. Builders can find themselves in a tight spot financially with no way to pay anyone. Spreadsheets don’t give builders the big picture visibility they need to make informed decisions. Construction management software eliminates “seat of your pants” financial planning by enabling builders to monitor cash flow to make better management decisions and adjust their scheduling to align with cash flow.
- Retainage tools. When it comes to tasks like retainage, staff can waste lots of valuable time manually entering the same data in multiple systems and then clearing up costly errors. Automated construction management software provides the retainage tools builders need. The technology manages contract retainage rates, administers retainage information on customer invoices, reports on retainage withheld, and facilitates retainage claims.
- Scalability to support unlimited projects. Builders need systems that will grow with their business, without the need to vet, hire and train lots of back-office staff. Construction management software eliminates tedious manual tasks such as paper shuffling, keying data and chasing down information. This frees staff to focus more time and growth-generating tasks, eliminate the need for additional staff as the business grows, and provides assurance that the company can support more projects without impacting customer satisfaction.
- Future-proof technology. Builders can’t afford to waste money on technology that they will have to replace in a few years. Look for an automated construction management solution that uses modern technologies that will support your accounting and planning needs long term.
Choosing a solution with these features will help builders reduce costs, eliminate manual tasks, manage cash flow more tightly, keep projects on track, and create a foundation to support growth.
If your company is looking for a single solution to automate its accounting and planning, FullClarity wants to speak with you. Contact us to arrange a no-obligation consultation with one our experts.