Today’s CRE Tech Solutions Respond to Hypercompetitive Digital Economy
Even before the coronavirus pandemic changed the face of the workplace – likely forever – a hypercompetitive digital economy was already sparking dramatic transformations in the commercial real estate and construction industries. So as companies continue to prioritize keeping their people safe and healthy with 100% remote operations and virtual teams, they also are looking ahead to a future where working faster and more efficiently will be vital to success.
We in the technology sector will argue that these two “worlds” are not mutually exclusive. Yes, the shutdown has changed working conditions drastically. But regardless of time and place, employees, contractors and partners working from home, or anywhere else, must have access not only to the business software they use every day, but also to each other.
Today’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning solutions – software that helps companies manage core operations such as accounting and other industry-specific needs – are making that possible. Their anytime, anywhere platforms enable property operators, developers and construction firms to easily communicate and collaborate to keep driving work forward. Partners within and outside of an organization can share a “single point of truth,” which enables them to make proactive business decisions and maintain consistency.
Further, these products’ mobile apps allow remote workers to handle expense reporting, time and attendance. Field technicians can access service routes and customer account information through their handheld devices. While onsite, technicians can access troubleshooting guides, upload images of the work area, enter change orders and print invoices.
With everyone staying connected, working remotely does not mean working in isolation. ERP platforms accommodate unlimited users who can connect from anywhere and be productive. Integration with popular products like Microsoft Office’s Outlook and Teams facilitate collaboration, face-to-face meetings and instantaneous information sharing.
The most robust Cloud-based ERP solutions automate workflows – including business processes, approvals and notifications – which increases productivity and supports remote working. These systems also allow everyone to securely share information and company documents among any combination of teams, departments and external users. Built-in portals let companies extend these connections and collaborations to suppliers, partners and customers.
This wide-ranging access need not carry greater security risk. Cloud data transmissions can be protected using robust data encryption techniques that safeguard proprietary information. Built-in roles and privileges guarantee that users can only view or edit those areas for which they have responsibility. Further, SaaS deployments facilitate business continuity for a wide range of situations.
Digital Advantage and Resilience
These advantages are making it possible for property operators, developers and construction firms to keep their companies functioning at a time when their offices have been forced to close. But they all translate perfectly to a future time when things have not just returned to the prior “normal” but when companies are looking forward to leveraging increased agility and deeper insight.
Cloud ERP enables everyone to see up-to-the-minute data, at all times. Every piece of property and project data – both activity and reporting – are available on dashboards and displayed in real time. No one is ever out of the loop. Additionally, integrated business intelligence and analytics capabilities help decision-makers understand financial and customer data more easily so they can make informed, actionable decisions.
Further, platforms built with open application program interface (API) standards support integrations with a library of third-party software to extend the ERP system’s core accounting and other functionality in ways that meet a company’s distinctive business needs. This includes software for property and project management, estimating, budgeting and valuation, leasing, building management, marketing, document and contract management, and more.
In short, modern, cloud-based ERP systems can help commercial real estate and construction organizations power their businesses more effectively – regardless of whether having staff work from home is a temporary decision or a long-term organizational directive. These business management solutions create digital resiliency by facilitating mobile and telework scenarios, and offering flexibility through the easy integration of best-in-class collaboration tools.