I was invited to attend Acumatica’s Construction Edition Partner Meeting in sunny Miami Beach. It was a great opportunity to meet many of the innovative executives, developers, and programmers behind the new Construction Edition of this ERP software. Their pride and enthusiasm was contagious. They showed software demonstrations and shared stories of their journey into creating their first vertical solution. Acumatica’s CEO, Jon Roskill, kicked off the presentation expressing gratitude for the many partners, like Crestwood Associates, who are committed to making this new vertical module a success.
Throughout the day, I also had the opportunity to meet some of Acumatica’s new construction ISV partners. Here’s a little bit more about a few of them.
Procore Technologies is a construction project management software that allows large teams of construction companies, property owners, project managers, contractors and partners to share access to documents, planning systems and data. Now Acumatica users can sync and map their customers, vendors, commitments and insurance documents. This is done directly from Procore into the Construction Edition module.
ProEst is a construction estimating software designed to help its users respond to customer bid requests and accurately calculate the cost of any size project. The browser-based solution provides contractors with a centralized, configurable platform that allows you to work in multiple screens. Therefore, you create an order in one window as you design the project in another. Multiple users can work at the same time. Then users can creat customer proposals within ProEst. Once the proposal is awarded, it continues the process to completion within Acumatica. You can see its Estimate Center at a glance along with standard reports. Finally, users can customize their own reports.
Acumatiscan is an AP (Accounts Payable) automation solution that offers AP routing and approval. The technology allows you to scan the invoices to help eliminate paper use. Furthermore, it allows the user to set up workflows and filter reports. This is convenient when billing for time and materials. Coming soon will be features like optical character recognition (OCR) and the ability to attach related documents to assist in the approval process.
Criterion’s construction payroll connects human capital management aspects to Acumatica’s project accounting, compliance management, retainage, change orders, job costing, and document management. Its labor distribution feature allows you to post hours by multiple job levels, including job type, job class, departments, and groups.
“As one example of how our partnership has made life easier for Construction Payroll administrators, it is a simple and logical task to configure a new employee for taxes, and track their activities across multiple jurisdictions with differing taxes and reporting requirements,” said Criterion VP of Sales, Steven Kuhn. “Following the needs of the industry, we can accommodate any style of time capture layouts with nearly unlimited granularity, permitting smaller operations to better track actual costs and global construction firms to always have Key Performance Indicators at their fingertips.”
Special Features in Acumatica Construction Edition
I was very impressed with the Field Service module demonstration, presented by Thomas Costa of Acumatica. He showed the room how easily a field service technician could view his schedule on his smartphone, click on the address to get GPS instructions, request to see his inventory supplies, or add notes to the system by simply dictating it into his phone. After the technician completes the repair or delivery, he can take a picture of the work, and get a signature from his customer all on his cell phone or tablet. In the field, the client can receive the invoice immediately. Meanwhile, the office can see of all of this information in real time.
Beware of Other Software Claiming “Cloud-Based”
More companies have begun to introduce construction-specific cloud and mobile functionality. The roadmap ahead looks very promising for Acumatica’s Construction Edition. However, it will be up to the partners to make sure that business owners understand that when it comes to the benefits of new cloud and mobile technologies, not all software is true cloud.
According to Acumatica’s Ray Rebello, some of it is simply a hosted version of the 20-year-old software. Therefore, it does not provide the real value of a true cloud. “With this modern technology and purchase options there is ample justification for continuing to update the system to streamline processes and provide internal operational insight regardless of the ups and downs of the industry,” said Rebello about Acumatica. With the Construction Edition, general contractors, land developers, home builders, and subcontractors now have the tools they need digitally to help their business grow, stay in compliance, and reduce the cost and time of projects.
Acumatica Construction Edition is still quite new to the ERP landscape (it first became available in early 2018). Not only was I impressed with what I saw and learned, but so are many investors worldwide. Acumatica announced it has received $25 million to challenge SAP, Oracle, and other cloud business rivals. The Cloud ERP’s footprints are all over the globe, with distributors and engineers improving on their code every day. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, and stay tuned for more updates about this software as it becomes available.