Four features to help futureproof your construction ERP

In the market for new software? It is time today to rub the Genie’s lamp and think about your wishes for a new construction ERP.

1. A digital punch list

The owner and general contractor make up a punch list of items not yet complete, missing, or perhaps not up to the specification desired. Making the punch list digital is easy. Producing the list in a format that can be easily integrated into each subcontractor’s ERP is the next step. ERP can then schedule a person from the right trade to complete or correct work ERP can signal a purchase order to replace materials that are not satisfactory. Your construction ERP can then signal completion of the punch list items and trigger a funds transfer once the owner agrees the item on the punch list is complete.

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2. Internet of things and artificial intelligence integration

Connect your welder to the internet and capture each weld in the process piping for a permanent record. Apply real-time artificial intelligence  to identify any potential defects in the welds while a needed correction is easy to fix. After the site is laser-leveled, attach sensors to the foundation and structural steel and concrete to capture any movement as the ground settles. Movement isn’t expected, but it wasn’t expected at Pisa either.

3. The power to harness Big Data

There are millions of buildings and construction projects around the world.  Some are complete and some are yet in a conceptual stage. Data goes beyond just the design and construction to include the use and maintenance of the project. If we can capture and analyze all that data, could we build a better highway in Hungary using lessons learned from constructing an airport in Argentina? Would a project owner pay 10% more for work if it promised a 10% reduction in maintenance cost over the life of the project?

4. Social networking

This could be a Facebook-style site just for the project. Each subcontractor, material provider and everyone else involved in the project  would have access. The site could be warnings that something seemed wrong to someone. Even a painter could suspect a problem regarding ground drainage.  The city could post noise and pollution levels measured regularly. The sheet metal contractor could give an attaboy to the plumber for finishing work in a certain area ahead of schedule. The site could also be a formal place to report on completion status of the project for all to see a common report. While such a site can have both formal and informal postings, the purpose of the site is to help ensure a satisfactory completion.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at

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Tom Miller

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