Technology action plans are fundamental instruments in automating your business and improving efficiency. Other top benefits include knowing and forecasting your true costs associated with the technology you use. In times like these, having or creating a technology action plan could make the difference in emerging on top.
Companies perform better with technology action plans
As the construction industry navigates and adapts to the COVID-19 crisis there are a few anecdotal trends that we are seeing that should be a signal to contractors. The signal is: our customers that have a technology plan and have executed it are faring better than those that have put in place the base minimums needed to operate in a normal environment. In my view, those companies that have an IT strategy will also be in a much better position as we come out of this public health crisis.
The question becomes, is it too late to do something about it? Fortunately, the answer is no, you can act now and benefit while paving the way to a more productive future that will provide daily benefits and insulate you from some of the effects of a future event like COVID.
The fact is contractors do a fantastic job of putting together plans for supply chains and safety guidelines, not to mention solid job site analysis. However, a full assessment of all construction activities, including how back-of-house and tech affect efficiency and performance, should always be at the forefront of any COO or construction executive’s mind.
What to do now during the Coronavirus restrictions
There has never been a better time to stop, take a clarity break, and evaluate your business. Here is what we recommend when assessing your technology platforms:
- How can you keep your team working today? There are low-cost or free remote control software applications available that you can deploy in minutes. However, there are downsides to these and they should not be considered a permanent solution.
- For the long term, look at the scope of your systems and technology and categorize them by which departments use them and what they are for. Keep it simple and ask yourself questions. Is the solution critical? Is it the best option for what our company needs? Do your systems integrate seamlessly?
- Make cutthroat decisions on which ones are truly moving your company forward. The ones that are futureproofed and moving your company in the right direction stay in your keep bucket.
- Take the ones that are not moving your company forward and put them into two buckets: either kill or evaluate
- Take a look at your keep bucket and your evaluate bucket. Which ones are still running on physical (in your office) servers? Which ones are antiquated or out-of-touch? How many silos are you creating?
- Ask yourself the most important question: how much of what is in keep and what is in evaluate is or can be, integrated with one another?
- Make a commitment to adopting true cloud solutions or a cloud-hosted environment across the board. The cloud is a reliable and robust way to keep your business functioning, regardless of the situation you face.
The cloud technology you need to know about now
The real solution is moving to a modern, true cloud ERP platform like Acumatica or Sage Intacct for Construction. These platforms are native-cloud ERP systems that move your construction financial management into the modern era. With Acumatica especially, new opportunities begin to open with their open API and a broad selection of native applications that keep all your business-critical activities under one roof.
Contractors tend to think of their software in buckets and solve for the individual needs of a department creating siloed information. There are well-founded reasons for this, not the least of which is the fact that software vendors tend to be good at developing one thing, maybe two, but not good at everything a contractor needs. Another major reason is that each function in the company needs very specific features. Siloed data is no longer acceptable in today’s world.
Think of these new ERP systems as platforms that become the hub of all the critical data you need to operate, plan and strategize with. What if you can give all the departments exactly what they need and maintain full integration? It changes your outlook and reduces your overhead and the potential for lost opportunity –it super-powers your staff.
In the era of COVID-19, do we not all need that? Without getting into all the details, the two modern, cloud construction ERP systems I’ve listed are a big tent. They natively incorporate all functions, both large and small, to add up to a business advantage for you.
Time to make the leap? Maybe.
Normally I’d say yes, but given the uncertainties that the Coronavirus has brought, I would prefer that if you decide to proceed, do so when you have confidence. As much as I’d love to sell you a modern ERP system today, I would much rather have you as a happy, thriving customer a decade from now.
Become educated, after all, it is free. Take this time to investigate cloud ERP, understand it, and make a plan to change as we move past the COVID world we are in. Get in touch, we don’t charge for helping you evaluate your current systems and we’re happy to start the conversation.