Five construction ERP systems to consider
Use any search engine and look up construction ERP software. You will find more choices than can ever be considered.
The first filter is to know where your business fits within “construction”. A developer needs to control costs at a high level. Likely, that business will hire contractors to perform most or even all the actual construction. The developer still wants to earn a profit. General contractors will perform much work with their own staff and will hire subcontractors for other components of the work. That general contractor wants timely payments from the owner or developer and needs to manage payments and costs that belong to the subcontractors. Plumbers, electricians, crane operators, and those specialty trades depend on everyone involved to keep the project moving as planned while controlling their costs, receiving payments from the general, and keeping the paychecks flowing to their working staffs.
No single ERP handles all these diverse needs perfectly but let's look at a few and you can make up your own mind.
Timberline is one of the oldest construction ERP systems. I first saw this system around 1980 and today it is part of the Sage family. Timberline is now Sage 300. Sage 300’s target is real estate and construction businesses. This ERP includes cost estimating, project management, finance and accounting, document management, and service management.
Sage 100 is another ERP from the same provider. This one is targeted more at contractors. Estimate the job, submit your bid, receive the contract, and manage the project including costs and cash flow to completion.
Epicor is an ERP set of products with optional modules that will fit construction companies and many other types of business. Epicor works as an on-premises system and in the cloud as a SaaS ERP. Epicor can include ERP along with project management, customer relationship management, quality management, and estimating. Epicor is quite flexible and is easily set up for your unique business.
Microsoft Dynamics SL is part of the extensive Dynamics family of ERP systems from Microsoft. SL is aimed at project-based businesses. Dynamics SL is used worldwide and estimating and project costing are recognized as strengths. Optional modules allow a business to tailor the system to its needs. As a plus, this ERP uses the power of the entire office suite to extend its value.
Penta is construction ERP software that has been around 35 years. While Penta’s reputation is considered a system for subcontractors, Penta can be used by many businesses in the construction industry. Penta includes construction accounting and payroll. Project management and engineering management are included. Penta will help a business manage equipment and inspections too.
Maestro is a construction ERP system out of Canada. General contractors, home builders, concrete producers, trade contractors, and drilling and mining are target customer businesses. Maestro starts with accounting and project management. A business then selects from a list of core modules such as billing, payroll, procurement, and estimating. Next there more than twenty modules to choose from that you can use to tailor the product to the specific needs of any construction business.
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