benefits of ERP for Construction Industry:
One of the biggest challenges for any construction company is in estimating cost of construction, which in turn helps it in containing overheads and expenses. Since the projects are usually spread over many years, aligning the projected cost with the actual cost becomes difficult. The challenge becomes manifold given that most companies deal with large project and huge volumes.
For example, one of the major construction companies in India was also facing the same challenge. For this company, at any given time there would be at least 50-60 construction projects running concurrently. The departments were maintaining the data in different files using different Excel charts. The accounts department was maintaining a separate software package but materials and purchase was not linked to these. Moreover, much of this data was lying in site offices, which was not connected to the head office.
Whenever there was an enquiry, each department would have to pull out the information and consolidate it for the report. The entire process of collecting and collating information from various departments was being done manually. This not only slowed down the decision-making process but also create power centers within the company. This made it very difficult to do real-time cost estimation of different projects.
eresource implemented an effective ERP system within a short period after the company approached with the demand for a suitable ERP for construction which would connect all functions and projects to a centrally maintained database system.
In the first phase eresource ERP implementation several modules such as financial, material management, marketing, project planning and control and so on. The solution was customized to meet the needs of a large construction company. For instance there is a module on the bill of quality that helps in project cost estimation, by breaking down each project into activities. Each activity is then broken down into till of materials of material, labour and equipment. Another module helps in material requirement planning on the basis of the work projection of a particular month/week.
The marketing module enables the company to send information to all its customers from its database whenever they launched a new project. The module also helped the company track all the pre-sale and sale activity, right from the time a customer posts a query to the closure of the sale. The module helps to take care of the company’s all marketing. It has made the planning and forecasting of demand extremely easy. It also creates ripple effects in the company where all departments like purchase, materials and stores now get aligned with the forecasts.