What Is An ERP Software & How Can It Help Your Business Grow?
Home building is a complex business with multiple parts and processes that need to be communicated and tightly coordinated at all times. In the early years of technology, builders tried adopting stand-alone software to support single functions such as scheduling, accounting, project management, etc. Unfortunately, it often seemed this type of software made processes more, rather than less, complicated. Different stakeholders and departments were using separate systems that weren’t accessible to, or even understood by, other team members. Today, there is a more effective solution.
What Is ERP Software?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP ecosystems are a type of software designed to create a common platform, or home-base, to integrate with other systems. Its goal is to provide a full range of functions and access to all stakeholders through a single interface.
An ERP can integrate all your operational processes and connect your salespeople, office accounting staff, construction manager, trades, vendors and customers with you and each other...in real-time.
The Importance of ERPs In Residential Construction
One of the unique characteristics of residential construction is the need for virtually faultless collaboration. Communication problems often result in losses of time and/or money. For example, if the plumbing crew misses a change order or is working off an old set of plans, it can result in work needing to be redone. If the scheduler doesn’t realize that the drywall contractor has been delayed, painters may show up at a site that isn’t ready for them.
Using an ERP enables everyone involved in a project to tap into a single database for accurate, up-to-the-minute information. It’s as effective as gathering everyone together in a room, but automatic and less time-consuming. Accurate information is what it takes to prevent small problems from turning into expensive delays.
Features [of ERP Systems]
A feature-rich ERP system designed specifically for the residential construction industry should have tools to effectively manage the full lifecycle of a project, including:
- Planning and scheduling
- Job costing capabilities
- Purchasing automation and transparency
- Automatic information exchange — notifications and real-time reporting
It should integrate seamlessly with popular accounting solutions or include:
- General ledger and accounts payable
- Payroll capabilities
- Automated tax preparation
- Detailed accounting reports
Your ERP should also offer integration with other functions that can benefit your business and help it grow, such as:
- Customer resource management
- Bid management
- Inspection management
- Warranty management
- Lien release
- Homeowner portal
- Supply chain solutions
- Advanced data analysis and reporting capabilities
Primary Benefits [of ERP Systems]
ERPs offer benefits to home builders of all sizes.
- Better collaboration — Real-time communication helps you coordinate multiple clients, projects and subcontractors.
- Increased transparency — All team members are easily kept well-informed and up-to-date throughout a project.
- Increased productivity — Manual data entry is reduced; repetitive processes are automated and streamlined.
- Better allocation of resources — Less time is spent on day-to-day repetitive tasks and more on problem-solving and initiatives to boost profitability.
- Data reliability — Reducing manual data entry reduces potential human error.
- Cost savings — Better productivity, and less disruption and delay, equal decreased costs.
How To Decide If/When Your Business Needs An ERP
Every business is unique, but there are common issues that can signal when your business could benefit from an ERP.
- A lot of staff time is spent on repetitive tasks.
- Departments within your company have adopted their own software tools independently, and it’s not easy to transfer information between departments or to external team members.
- Stakeholders sometimes miss essential information, leading to problems on projects.
- It’s difficult or time-consuming to locate the data you need to address problems.
- You can’t access essential project or business information from off-site.
- You’re having problems maintaining good relations with high-quality subcontractors.
- You don’t have detailed business data that could help you develop effective strategies for growth and better profitability.
Find The Right ERP Solution with Hyphen
Hyphen Solutions offers residential construction management software for every size of home builder, including two ERP platforms to provide your business with exactly what it needs to thrive.
BRIX is an all-in-one cloud-based residential construction ERP with accounting that can handle as many projects as you do each year. BRIX lets you control job costing, purchasing, accounting, production and more.
Hyphen HomeFront is a fully integrated on-premise residential construction ERP for companies that build 50 to 1,000 homes per year. It offers integration with popular accounting software and helps you efficiently manage a full range of operational processes.