2020 is upon us. Not only does this mean a new year, it also means a new decade. However, while there are many articles looking forward at the big trends in the coming year, we’d like to take a moment to look back.
Two years may not seem like a lot of time for a construction company. However, for the software industry, that represents eons of changes, improvements, and updates.
So when we noticed that Acumatica Construction Edition is celebrating its second ‘birthday’, we decided to look at the history of this product and discuss how it has evolved to satisfy an ever-expanding list of companies in the construction sector.
Two Years of Acumatica Construction Edition
As one of the select Acumatica Partners trusted to implement Acumatica Construction Edition, we’ve watched this product evolve from ‘innovative product’ to well-trusted solution for construction companies, and we’re ecstatic that we were trusted to go along for the ride. Today, we’re looking at how this product has grown and improved in the past two years, from announcement to its most recent update.
It’s rarely easy to introduce a product into the construction industry, much less a brand. A sector that’s built on brand awareness and long buying cycles, construction leaders are rarely on the lookout for something they’ve never heard of. But during the early stages of development, Acumatica knew they had the know-how and the partnerships to not only deliver, but become a leader.
On January 8, 2018, Acumatica, announced its Construction Edition, set to be released in March. Built to integrate with some of the most well-known solutions in the construction industry including Procore, ProEst, and Criterion, Construction Edition was ready to go.
However, this wasn’t a hasty launch, Acumatica spent a lot of time working with companies to refine the product before launch so that on the release date, they were ready to deliver. From the press release:
“Working closely with industry experts and leading partners in the Construction industry, Acumatica Construction Edition was designed to address the needs and demands of modern construction companies. It utilizes the Acumatica Cloud xRP platform and core application suites to also offer Project Accounting, Compliance Management, Retainage, Change Orders, Job Costing, and Document Management. Acumatica Construction Edition is a true cloud solution that includes Open API 2.0 standards for creating and maintaining multi-cloud interfaces such as field operations with Procore and Hyphen Solutions, payroll with Criterion, visual scheduling with SmartSheet, productivity tools with Microsoft Office 365, electronic signatures with DocuSign and Adobe, and further integrations with other business applications.
In fact, we covered this announcement here, discussing how this was one of the first true cloud solutions for construction companies and exploring how Acumatica planned to improve.
The Evolution of Construction Edition
From here, the company was off and running. 2018 R2 gave the product its first update, the company started closing more deals with construction firms in need of a true end-to-end cloud business management system, and never looked back.
2018 R2: The First Update
Relying on easy, robust biannual updates, Acumatica’s first update to Construction Edition didn’t disappoint. In their first release, they refined the product based on user requests and industry trends.
Among the improvements were enhancements to the Procore integration, upgrades to construction project management, and the following, as discussed in their release notes:
- Requests for Information (RFIs) improvements include a lifecycle management capability for requests, notifications, tracking, automatic email linking, and conversions from RFIs to change requests.
- New project issue management equips all team members to document, communicate, and manage issues on phones, tablets, and computers.
- Compliance improvements include automatic processing—for example, when a check is issued, Acumatica links it to the Lien Waiver on the bill and pre-fills the amount.
- Usability enhancements include adding stored materials to pro forma invoices, as well as import and export scenarios to update cost to complete, percentage of completion, and cost of completion for Work in Process (WIP) reporting.
2019 R1: Continued Improvements
As the company continued to find a spot in the construction industry, 2019 R1 included even more for the construction industry. Among the dozens of enhancements included this update, much of the update was built on refining the project management:
“Construction Edition has enhanced features that are designed to better meet the needs of project teams, with updates to Project Issues and RFIs including the ability to add RFIs and Project Issues from within Microsoft Outlook, and the newly added Drawing Logs and Project Budget Forecast. The integration to Procore has been enriched, making it easier for users to work seamlessly across Procore and Acumatica. Additional enhancements include a new Commitment Inquiry filter, Project Budget Control Warnings, and a new Pay When Paid report.”
Acumatica 2019 R2, released in September 2019, continues our commitment to enhance Acumatica ERP by twice a year upgrades. With more than 100 improvements and new features to the entire software, Acumatica 2019 R2 featured a variety of improvements for the construction industry.
Most upgrades came as suggestions from customers, partners, and developers that were then vetted and selected through Focus Groups. Among the improvements in 2019 R2:
- Daily Field Reporting features make sure everyone is looking at the same information in a timely manner
- Detailed Retainage Tracking allows users to track retainage at the line level on AR Invoices
- Change Requests feature reduces profit fade by proactively managing owner change requests
- Enhanced Lien Waiver Capabilities assist in avoiding accidentally paying a vendor
- Project Budget Forecast Report shows at-a-glance forecasted revenue and costs by month
- Project Cost Transaction History Report confirms billings vs. costs
- Customer and Vendor Transaction History Reports better manage cash flow
Two Years Later: A Leader in Construction ERP
Two years after the announcement of Construction Edition, Acumatica has done great work to deliver on the promises they made. Whether you’re looking to organize your business, manage financials, handle document management, oversee project cost tracking, direct projects, make investments, or grow your business, Acumatica can handle the challenge.
Give your entire construction workforce the tools they need, whenever and wherever they need it. Acumatica’s pricing is designed for growing companies–you add users as you choose and as you go. Get more information about Acumatica Construction Edition, and contact us today to get started.