The pandemic has left no business process untouched. Leaders had one goal in mind as plans shifted: keep the company up and running. Behind the fixes that aided disruption, for some, was automation technology spun up specifically to respond to the changes that lie ahead.
The property management/construction industry was no exception in needing to adjust quickly, and tech innovation played a vital role in making that happen. That resiliency will remain key in life after the pandemic.
In short, property owners, operators, developers and contractors – more than ever before – require integrated, automated, and innovative software that connects office staff with field teams. Using a modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that was born in the cloud allows for seamless integration of front-office, back-office and field processes, along with specialty applications.
With such a solution in place, the entire organization has a single source of truth in real time. This means teams can access job costing, project management, property management, contracts, budgets, commitments, subcontracts, workflows, compliance, billing, payroll and construction mobile apps from one control panel.
- Collaboration – Team Integration and Streamlined Workflows
In today’s fast-paced environment, it is crucial that field managers be able to collaborate and share information with the back office.
- A project manager can submit expense reports from onsite, via a mobile device. The report can be immediately reviewed, approved and turned into an accounts payable invoice, with anyone who should see the expense tagged to receive a notification. There is no need to re-enter data into other software, and because job costs are instantly visible, everyone has access to the same information at the same time.
- Daily Field Reporting (DFR) helps ensure that all team members are looking at the same information – and that the information has been transferred accurately from the field to the office. Time collection, subcontractor updates, job site visitors, issue and change request tracking, and job site weather updates are among the included components.
- With collaborative and connected software, companies can stay on top of change orders and avoid profit fade. Modern platforms offer tightened control and timely approvals on change orders – notifying all parties involved and identifying the impact of the change on project costs, revenue and schedule.
- The software can also deliver notifications. Users can create notifications based on certain metrics, and then be notified automatically of a cost overrun or an expired compliance date.
- Connection–Real-time Business Insights
Modern property management and construction accounting technology provides total visibility into a business.
- When systems are disconnected, business processes become more complex. Many older software systems require users to pull reports from multiple applications in order to collate them into one report. Connected solutions make accurate data available consistently across an organization, with intuitive drilldown dashboards providing visibility that keeps businesses and teams running smoothly.
- Today’s dashboards help projects stay on track and on budget from anywhere at any time. Defined project metrics can be made visible to an entire team and measured as each project progresses. This reduces risk, increases productivity and improves customer satisfaction.
- Project managers can use a personalized project cost budget status dashboard to compare actual and committed costs on task or sub-job dashboards. They can track billing and revenue recognition by cost code, contract line items, and other details. And they can see a detailed view of contract amounts, estimated costs, commitments and estimated gross profit by project.
- Communication–Tighter Project Controls
Perhaps the cloud’s greatest benefit is its ability to deliver real-time data to users across multiple locations. When employees have access to relevant information, their productivity increases, their communication improves, and entire projects run more smoothly.
- Modern cloud property management and construction solutions provide intuitive interfaces that help office and field staff get up to speed more quickly. Users have the tools to communicate effectively and keep business moving along.
- Firms with multiple offices, remote workers and employees in the field can communicate using real-time data, staying connected to the most up-to-date insights.
- Industry-specific software should include project management capabilities, with one central system capturing and tracking:
- Tasks and responsibilities.
- Outstanding issues, with automated notifications for items such as an approaching budget threshold or overdue tasks.
- Project cost summaries, cost and revenue by project and actual vs. budgeted costs.
- Dashboard job site camera – to monitor weather conditions.
The takeaway? The commercial real estate industry is getting back to work. Technology innovation, which can eliminate information silos and improve collaboration, will be the key to agility, productivity and profitability. The time is right for leadership to ensure their organizations’ software delivers integrated accounting, project management, property management, inventory, payroll, service management, CRM and mobile capabilities. In doing so they will be positioning themselves to thrive in a new reality.
At IBS, we specialize in platforms that help firms in the property management and construction arenas gain the agility needed for success. And we would love to show you what Imperium Powered by Acumatica or Acumatica Construction Edition can do for your company today and moving forward.