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July 3, 2012

Whilst the current business climate remains a challenging one, we’re increasingly seeing firms turn to software as they recognise the strategic and operational benefits it can bring and have seen almost 30% rise in some software enquiries this year as a result. Technology is a differentiator that can support business growth, helping firms remain ahead of competitors by enhancing the delivery and flexibility of their services, improving efficiencies and operational effectiveness, so it’s no surprise we’ve seen demand for our services soar.

Wes Simmons, General Manager at Sage Construction, considers how IT can act as a strategic enabler by making it easier for construction companies to manage their business processes.

1. Monitoring KPIs is part of every construction firm’s business strategy and unified software solutions can enable managers to accurately monitor these KPIs, obtain rapid KPI updates and make any necessary changes in order to keep with a strategic business plan. By using software to ensure an accurate picture of past performance, present needs and future requirements, businesses are best placed to solve problems and plan more accurately for the future.
2. Monitor labour productivity – It is staggering how many construction firms’ profit margins are eroded as a result of productivity problems. Use software to separate jobs within a project to help identify discrepancies between labour estimates and actual labour costs, Separating jobs whilst still observing the full picture allows site managers to better forecast cost-to-completion figures, address current problems and improve future estimating and bidding accuracy, which is central to maintaining profitability.
3. Automate your processes – By bringing all your data into a core ERP system, you will reduce manual input, and be able to access and accurately report on reliable information.
4. Ensure your business has an integrated approach ? Every construction company should have a central hub or information repository that allows managers to share, reuse and analyse project data and costs. This information can in turn be used to inform future estimates and improve the accuracy and speed of tender submissions.
5. Bring together your data information – Save your business time, and allow instant access to relevant, up to date information, ensuring your data is amalgamated in a SharePoint based intranet solution. This will empower your workforce by giving them the knowledge required to improve business profitability and reduce risk. With late payment of invoices recently identified as a common problem for construction firms, putting their businesses in jeopardy, a collaborative approach to data management can also ensure contractors have a full view of the health of their supply chain and can better identify troublesome suppliers in order to improve cash flow.

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