6 Advantages of an ERP Over a Standalone Construction Software

Is it time to ditch your standalone project management software? Are you spending more time transferring data from one system to another? Can you get real-time data from your system?

If you’re looking for real-time data that’s easy to access, centralized, scalable, and that allows you to see the whole picture of your business, it may be time to move to an ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution, hint, hint Premier Construction Software.

1. Streamline processes through one system.


Instead of entering data in multiple systems (project management, estimating, accounting) why not enter it once? With an ERP the data is automatically transferred into the appropriate system for tracking and informational purposes. This saves time and money wasted on entering data multiple times so it will get where it needs to go.

For example, let’s follow an RFI through a standalone system: The RFI is written in the project management software, and a response is logged. Say the answer requires additional costs, so a potential change order is written and sent through the project management software. Once it is approved and has been returned as a change order, then the cost data has to be extrapolated and entered into the accounting and estimating software.

With an ERP solution, the entire process is handled in the project management software and automatically transferred to the accounting and estimating systems once the change order has been approved.

2. Reduce errors and mistakes made during data entry.

The more times data has to be entered by hand, the more chances there are that a mistake will be made. Typos and other errors can lead to incorrect information being used to make project decisions. A single typo can affect an entire project report as the data flows through the project records:

AP invoice – Payment – Commitment – Cost Report – Project Budget

And when these types of errors are found, teams can spend hours searching for the correct information, wasting valuable time.

With an ERP solution that is based on automation, like Premier, amounts are automatically transferred into the system directly from the source, eliminating the need for human data entry. This helps ensure accuracy and prevents mistakes.

3. Everyone works from the same data.

With a centralized data center that houses all project information and documents, there is increased opportunity for teamwork and collaboration. Everyone is working from the same data set and can see the same information at the same time. There’s no waiting for reports or gathering data from multiple systems. An ERP streamlines data collection and organization, making finding project information simple and easy.

When everyone in the company uses a common database to record transactions and communications, searching through them becomes easier. There’s only one place to look for a document or specific piece of data, saving hours of lost search time.

4. Easier to scale for future needs and growth.

Standalone project management software can only grow so much and only offers so many solutions. Because it isn’t integrated with other systems, its usefulness is limited to the field. An ERP, like Premier, has a wider variety of tools available, due to the integration of data across functions. You may not use all the features of an ERP at the time that you purchase it, but it provides the opportunity to add on the functionality later. This helps improve the depth of your reporting and your analysis of the data on your projects, which leads to more accurate estimates and reduced costs.

5. Real-time data is available when it’s needed.

In an ERP solution all project-related documents, reports, and data are available to anyone on the team, based on their permissions. This allows teams to collaborate and make proactive project decisions based on up-to-date, real-time data. There’s no waiting for a report to be generated, transferred into a spreadsheet, or missing documents to be found. Instead, project teams can act on information before there are problems, saving the owner and the company time and money.

6. See the whole picture.

An ERP dashboard allows project managers and management to see the whole picture of the company, not just one project at a time. They can review trends in the data regarding project profitability, overhead expenses, and productivity. This is information that isn’t available from a standalone project management solution.

The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning allows ERPs like Premier to actively predict problems ahead of time, so managers can act before issues occur. They can also track metrics and make assessments based on performance across departments or project managers.

Managers across departments can pull reports at any time to compare the information with other departments or gain new business insights. Data relationships may be discovered that hadn’t previously been noticed due to data silos.


We know change is hard,
which is why we make switching software easy.

Premier Construction Software works with contractors to streamline their systems and transition to an ERP solution. ERPs offer a streamlined process, reduction in errors, centralized data, scalable growth, real-time data, and the ability to see the whole picture. Connected strategies like ERPs integrate data from the field and the office, keeping everyone informed and allowing teams to be proactive in their decisions. Premier is more than just financial construction software, we’re built to help your business.


Why Go Digital? The Future of Construction Management

The construction industry has traditionally been slow to adopt the technology. Many of its work processes are legacy solutions from decades ago, like spreadsheets and yellow notepads. Today’s workers are stuck in the process of trying to digitize an industry that has been stuck in the analog world for many generations.

However, contractors are beginning to realize that they no longer have a choice when it comes to embracing technology. Now it’s a race to decide who will be the first adopters to bring the industry into the future.

We’ve put together five reasons why construction companies need to go digital today.

Why go digital?

Save time and money

Many contractors run several software systems simultaneously – one for estimating, one for project management, and one for accounting. These systems often don’t talk to each other, and each system becomes its own information silo, creating obstructions to the flow of information. Each software system provides information, but it’s difficult or impossible to share that information with the other systems.

Companies soon develop workarounds like entering data by hand from one system to another or using spreadsheets to provide the information everyone needs. Some software systems allow data sharing through import/export, but it still takes time to capture the data, download it, then upload it to another system.

When workers have to manually enter data, there’s an increasing chance that mistakes will be made. Inaccurate information can lead teams to make wrong decisions that can have a profound effect on the financial success of projects over time.

All-in-one software packages create workflows that allow project teams to share data between departments without resorting to workarounds that can cause errors and lost productivity.

Attract a younger workforce

In order to attract younger workers contractors need to upgrade their tools to the latest technology has to offer. You don’t have to be on the cutting edge, but there’s a lot of tried-and-true technology that construction has been hesitant to implement. Companies need to adopt tech more readily to match the skill sets, education, and training future workers are receiving.

Construction management students are learning project management and documentation using the software. These packages make tracking correspondence, submittals, and RFIs much easier than using Excel and other legacy software. If contractors don’t adopt these tools, they could be losing the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest in new talent.

Integration is key when it comes to estimating and material takeoffs. Too many companies rely on outdated software or manual methods to create estimates and perform takeoffs. That data then has to be entered into another software system once the project is approved. Younger workers don’t understand why these systems are separated when there are so many options for integrating them.

Harness the power of new technology

New tech, like AI, machine learning, and automation are changing the landscape. Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than robots and droids. It describes how machines are able to mimic human thinking, like problem-solving, pattern recognition, and learning.

AI is being used to create predictive models based on past project data. These models analyze projects for cost overages, schedule delays, and other potential issues. The software looks for similarities between past projects and current work, and from there it can predict potential problems and bring them to the contractor’s attention.

Machine learning is a subset of AI and uses statistical techniques and calculations to understand project data and gain insights. As more data is added to the machine learning model, the software is able to assimilate the information and refine its predictions in current situations. Contractors are using both machine learning and predictive analysis to assess projects before they start so they know the risks and can proactively manage them from the beginning of the project.

Automation, or the use of technology to perform tasks, is also gaining in popularity in construction. Construction management and accounting software systems use automation to speed up data entry tasks and help prevent errors. For example, automated invoice entry in accounts payable allows workers to pull amounts and codes from commitment records and get notified when budget line items are over their limits. This automation helps ensure data is accurate and cost overruns are detected and managed.

Streamline your operations

With business growth responsibilities and processes are often developed organically. Employees do the best they can, but without a big picture view, they often create processes without knowing why. These processes certainly get the work done, but it doesn’t mean they’re the best way to do something.

The software can provide the overall structure needed to streamline processes that have grown cumbersome over time. With software as your guide, roles and responsibilities can be reorganized based on the most efficient way to perform a process.

Using an all-in-one system also simplifies record-keeping and data retrieval processes. Project records can be stored in the cloud, so now there’s only one place to look for information. Teams don’t have to search in multiple folders and software applications to find the information they need. It’s at the tip of their fingers 24/7.

Manage/control risk

Construction management software can help teams mitigate many of the risks found on a project. Although it can’t address all potential risks, it can speed communication and document what’s being done to proactively address issues.

Project management software allows teams to see and address overdue tasks and documents that may delay the project. Teams can run reports that show outstanding items as well as who is responsible for those items. The software can also track health checks and other safety-related inspections that are required in today’s world. This daily reporting allows team members to see the status of various items and predict potential problems.

Having a central hub where documents are stored is a must, given the number that is created and distributed during a project. Document storage, version control, and distribution are easily managed by project management software, ensuring everyone is working from the latest documents and has access to them from wherever they are. The same is true for project correspondence. Team members have only one place to look when it comes to searching for an email or notice. All communication is tracked and documented within the system, and specific items can easily be recalled in minutes.

Having an integrated system where costs are instantly updated in the field allows teams to respond to potential budget issues quickly. Project managers can manage the project budget and costs from the site, without having to request information from the office.

Digital is changing the construction world

While the outside world and other industries transitioned from analog to digital several years ago, construction has always been behind the times. It’s only now that the industry has begun harnessing the power that has been available for decades. Tomorrow’s workers are better prepared for this change and are sure to lead the effort. See how smoothly Jonas Premier can assist you and your team in the process of going digital. Visit our website or schedule a call with our team of professionals at Jonas Premier today for a complimentary walk-through of our simple and easy-to-use software.

Author Biography:

Dawn Killough is a construction writer with over 20 years of experience with construction payments, from the perspectives of subcontractors and general contractors. Dawn has held roles such as a staff accountant, green building advisor, project assistant, and contract administrator.  Her work for general contractors, design firms, and subcontractors has even led to the publication of blogs on several construction tech websites and her book, Green Building Design 101.