Are you taking full advantage of all the capabilities your ERP (enterprise-resource planning) software has to offer? With trends like mobile, collaboration, and the cloud all big talking points in the construction industry, ERP applications continue to advance, allowing contractors to do more with the technology than ever before.

Take the recent partnership between Computer Guidance Corp., www.computerguidance.com, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Trimble Navigation, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., as an example. Last week, the companies announced integration between software, connecting data from Trimble’s positioning solutions in the field with Computer Guidance’s ERP software in the backoffice.

Trimble’s VisionLink collects data such as hours of use, idle time, fuel usage, and location of heavy construction equipment. Now, with eCMS Connect for VisionLink, contractors can collect equipment data and share with Computer Guidance’s eCMS software for processing and reporting in the office.

eCMS Connect is an extension application for eCMS, providing connectivity to third-party application data. By integrating equipment information with ERP software, construction companies can meet tight budgets and increase productivity.

Roger Kirk, CEO, Computer Guidance Corp., says the production integration with Trimble sets a new precedent for the industry as it looks to offer end-to-end technologies with greater business intelligence.

For the construction industry, being able to take advantage of many of the features and functions within ERP software can provide significant process improvements. Now might be a good time to look at an existing software investment and determine the best method by which to get the most of the ERP software.

A recent study by IFS, www.ifsworld.com, Itasca, Ill., says companies in complex industrial settings, including engineering, procurement, and construction, including those serving the oil and gas industry, are typically not gaining the full benefit from ERP and other enterprise software. Selecting and implementing the right enterprise software application and taking advantage of many of the advanced capabilities can make all the difference in the construction industry.

Throughout 2012, Constructech magazine featured a special section dedicated to helping contractors make the right decision around ERP technology, identifying the need for the software, highlighting the proper steps for software selection for different types of contractors, and the proven tactics around deployment methods.

To learn more about the future of ERP in the construction industry, check out the recent article Enterprise Ahead in the Nov/Dec issue of Constructech magazine where the editors sit down with Kirk to discuss what’s on the horizon for technology use at the enterprise.