As technology evolves, construction companies have an opportunity to take advantage of new software capabilities. And, these days, technology providers in the construction industry are making some significant enhancements to applications to meet the market’s changing needs.
For example, Bancker Construction Corp., www.banckerconstruction.com, Islandia, N.Y., delivers construction services to utilities and specializes in high-voltage line construction and electrical. While the company has been using technology from Computer Guidance Corp., www.computerguidance.com, Scottsdale, Ariz., since 1998, it recently decided to upgrade to eCMS v.4.0.
The construction company’s vice president, Philip Beyer, says in order to remain competitive, it decided to take advantage of the new features in the upgraded software. In particular, he adds the organization is interested in the financial reporting and business-management features, as well as the mobile capabilities. For Bancker Construction Corp., the additional functionality for mobility will allow the company to gain new efficiencies from the software.
In eCMS v.4.0, Computer Guidance introduced Mobile eCMS, which is a remote data collection and reporting technology that integrates with remote time entry technology.
As an example, on a jobsite, a superintendent or project manager may clock crew members in and out and identify a piece of equipment that goes next to their name. Previously, this was done using paper. But now, time-entry technology allows contractors to collect this data remotely. By integrating with ERP (enterprise-resource planning) solutions such as eCMS, contractors can save a significant amount of expenses related to transporting paper timecards and rekeying the data into the computer.
“The timecards, the employees, the equipment—all the job costs along the way (are) brought back for a corporate view and it saves payroll and data entry people days and days at a time,” says Michael Reiser, business development manager, Computer Guidance Corp.
For construction companies, the efficiencies gained from integrating mobile applications such as time entry with software in the office such as ERP can be significant.
As another example, this week, Viewpoint Construction Software, www.viewpointcs.com, Portland, Ore., announced the release of Viewpoint Mobile Field Manager, which will allow users to capture time, equipment usage, and production data on mobile devices and share with the office.
For construction companies currently using technology such as an ERP or accounting system, now might be a good time to consider upgrading to the newest release or adding additional modules—especially as many have functions for mobility and more that can lead to greater efficiencies in the office and the field.