Enterprise level software is essential to a successful company
A good enterprise software solution will provide your company with strong reliable data. This data can be used in forecasting and planning for strategic management on upcoming jobs. The management software isn’t the usual CAD or BIM tool, it is used to make strategic business decisions based on operational data history. Knowing exactly what the materials cost to do the job and determining the profit margin is important to decide what jobs are worth bidding for and what jobs are not profitable to invest in.
Having multiple programs like Google calendar to run dispatching, Quickbooks to manage accounting, and endless stacks of papers to manage job progress or work orders will never lead to educated business decisions. You as the owner need to be able to know which employee is selling more bids, which one has a pattern of undercharging or which employee is not working efficiently on the job site.
Have you ever wondered which departments are making you money and had a feeling that money is being lost in your commercial segment while the residential department seems to be flourishing? Instead of making a decision based on your intuition, use the software to give hard raw numbers about which department your profit margin is greater in. Most of the time contractors are surprised what they find. Now you have the data to assure your decisions and guide investments in the more profitable department or look for better processes within the less successful segment.
The future of business
Enterprise systems provide a user-friendly programming language module for developing custom or specialized applications, such as a mobile application for dispatching, scheduling and invoicing. Mobile management is the future of business. The more mobile we are, the more productive and efficient we are. Your employees will know exactly what to charge at each job
instead of undercharging and costing the company money. Inventory can be tracked so that you know when to order stainless steel fasteners or gauge metal before it is too late. Inventory can be tracked down to the vehicle, so employees do not show up unprepared and waste time running to the local Home Depot for materials.
Mobile software will streamline the entire construction process. Whether it is fixing vent pipe damage or attaching fiber cement siding to steel studs; the entire business flow can be made easier for you and your employees. From taking the call, to invoicing the client can be done paperless. An estimate can be designed, a signature captured, payment received, and work history can be kept in detail in one database all using the mobile technologies most people have already. The office and the field staff are on the same page instantly, which again will improve customer relationship management and service. Dispatchers will know which employees are busy and which employees are closest to the job. The client can have the quote or sales receipt in their hand emailed immediately after meeting.
Having mobile software in today’s business is more important than you may know whether you are removing load-bearing walls, working on a sill beam replacement or framing a new house. Every project requires scheduling and invoicing, and doing these correctly will make for better customer relationship management. Customers have become more and more powerful in today’s economy, and catering to their needs is not cheap. That’s why eliminating duplicate entry and paperwork is essential to business success.
The right mobile program with the right enterprise solution can ensure happier customers, more efficient processes and better strategic decisions. Enterprise management and mobile software will make the difference between staying a small business and growing into metal construction powerhouse. Make life easier on yourself and invest in tools that were designed for your business model.
Nicholas Fuchs is the director of marketing at Aptora Corp., Lenexa, Kan., a provider of service industry accounting and management software. The software includes scheduling, payroll, CRM, mobile management and much more in one interface.
To learn more, call (877) 232-7978 or visit www.aptora.com.