The complexity and multi-faceted nature of construction projects breed fragmentation — with processes disjointed across the value chain and coordination lacking between the systems. Often, functionalities like estimating, scheduling, and monitoring are siloed and find themselves operating in isolation or, even worse, counter to each other.
This leads to a significant amount of time spent on data exchange and reconciliation. As a result, inaccurate forecasting and poor financial performance are inevitable.
It’s no surprise then that analysts at McKinsey outline such fragmentation, federation, transience, and lack of replication as the key challenges for successful digital transformation in the EPC sector to help overcome.
Although construction ERP looks like a viable way towards greater organization, you don’t want to hastily jump into implementation and end up with a system that fails to meet your needs.
Rather, you want an ERP solution that drastically simplifies and improves the way you work. A solution that offers you a comprehensive, integrated construction project management suite that prevents errors and helps you deliver more efficient projects.
Microsoft Dynamics 365, a leader in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP, is one such solution. It’s flexible and customizable, allowing users to develop a custom fit for their company, industry, and project types.
This article highlights the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for construction companies and explains how it can help you get a better grip on your projects.
Promptness in Addressing Financial Requirements
Customarily, poor planning and lack of foresight cause project delays and escalating expenses. The most obvious of these cost overruns are related to equipment and labor. However, delays resulting from poor project sequencing, planning, and identifying the right suppliers can also be just as costly.
The key to achieving a swift, accurate start is to establish an accurate scope of work. Microsoft Dynamics 365 helps proactively address this alongside financial and resource planning by expediting a unified view across the value chain.
The idea of implementing Dynamics 365 as the ERP is to assess the financial controls in place and calculate the value of each individual component of a project. More importantly, it’s to automate the financial aspects of business processes so that the financial update on a project is immediate and adaption pertaining to the local and global finance requirements is seamless.
All in all, a company implementing Dynamics 365 construction ERP enjoys the following benefits:
- Spending across multiple projects is streamlined.
- Financial management is speedy and accurate.
- Reporting is versatile, timely, and project-specific.
- Visualizations, such as Power BI, are ideal for benchmarking performance against competitors.
- Timelines are managed with ease and foresight.
Top-Notch Field Service
Gartner named Microsoft as a leader in its 2021 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management — all thanks to the field service prowess exhibited by Dynamics 365 ERP.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 empowers organizations with its field service capabilities that feature a combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Mixed Reality (MR), and the Internet of Things (IoT).
These capabilities offer an efficient framework that can automate the process of resource allocation and, further, help field personnel to more accurately forecast and effectively manage field service.
For instance, smart scheduling allows for automated allocation of field service engineers based on their skill sets and past project performance. This, in turn, helps ensure a better team for each project and greater customer satisfaction.
From a more holistic standpoint, companies can make use of intuitive field service dashboards that help facilitate coordination between field service engineers and resources. They can even use the same platform to manage their onsite services, workflows, and usage.
Unified Project Operations
Fragmentation is a major drain on the efficiency of construction projects. Dynamics 365 construction ERP wards off this ailment by connecting all the business functionalities and integrating their data into one application.
This, in turn, facilitates better coordination between project stakeholders, allowing them to exchange real-time data and leverage information in a single system. Such a reduction in friction allows for better monitoring and maintenance of a project’s overall timeline.
Dynamics 365’s project operations capabilities span engineering and planning, material management, and real-time coordination between the field, site office, and management. Hence, top-notch project operations ensure that communication across the value chain is seamless, accurate, and efficient.
Additionally, advanced time management, resource optimization, and scheduling functionalities help create a project plan that is conducive to success.
Best-in-Class Human Resource Management
The broadness of a construction project invariably necessitates a massive and diverse workforce. Therefore, the project management suite must be equipped to handle the organization’s human resource needs.
Dynamics 365’s HR capabilities help make this happen by consolidating all the organization’s data in a single platform. This allows for seamless HR management, more accurate resource allocation, and consolidated reporting.
Furthermore, Dynamics 365 works at four different fronts within the human resource realm. First, it helps transform employee experiences via self-service facilities, centralized employee profiles, employee training and development programs, etc. Second, it advances the optimization of HR programs, where benefits packages, compensation plans, and performance-based programs are conceptualized.
Third, it fuels organizational agility by simplifying administrative and HR operations. Finally, it helps discover and promote the overall working of an organization via embedded analytics and the associated visualizations.
Data security is a major headache for the EPC sector. In fact, a 2021 study by Kroll revealed that construction companies faced 800% more data breaches in 2020 as compared to 2019, second only to the food and beverage industry, which recorded an increase of 1300%.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 curbs the threat posed by cyberattacks by facilitating robust security of the ERP cloud platform backed by Azure VPN and Azure AD. With the help of validated security tokens, a stable authentication and authorization framework, and full audit trail features, the ERP platform is secured from all possible attacks.
The Bottom Line
Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a history of being an innovative, customer-focused ERP solution. The advantages of this construction ERP solution are manifold. Besides, it’s highly compatible and can be customized to fit a company’s unique standards.
At CEM, we leverage Dynamics 365 to enable better integration among business units and project stakeholders. This, in turn, facilitates efficient communication across the value chain, thereby delivering better-quality projects.
If you are in search of a construction ERP solution that can streamline your business processes while ensuring utmost security — book a free demo now.