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Business Management and Process Consulting Blog


Dismiss the doubt in your construction business

Posted by Keith Greeno on February 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Construction Estimating.jpg

Dismiss the doubt in your construction business

Not knowing where you are at is one of the most worrisome situations that anyone can find themselves in. This is particularly true in construction business where you begin to doubt yourself.

How much cash do you really have in the bank? How far along is that big project? Are all the project change orders billed?

There are construction accounting and project management solutions out there that can easily answer these questions. These systems can give you newfound confidence in your numbers and help you sleep at night. It is tough enough running a business in today’s business environment without compounding the problems from a lack of information.

Current technology allows business owners and managers to perform all project management and accounting tasks with ease; from deposits and disbursements to journal transactions and more efficiently and effectivity. One such system that can handle these tasks is the Sage 100 Contractor solution. It is easy to use and built for the construction industry.

Take a look and then ask yourself; do you really know where you are at with your construction business?  http://www.asyma.com/sage-100-contractor-master-builder

With the current technology you can rest assured that change orders are getting properly billed and your data is secure with user access controls. These systems will help you worry less about your business and dismiss the doubt about where you are at.

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Topics: Project Management, Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Service, Field Technicians

Manage your service technicians with ease

Posted by Keith Greeno on January 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM

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Manage your service technicians with ease

When your service technicians are in the right place at the right time and have access to correct information, customers are happy. There are solutions available for both small and large businesses that makes it easy to manage your service operations effectively, efficiently and profitably. These solutions work well for many areas; whether you’re taking a work order, managing a contract, tracking a warranty, or generating an invoice. These service solutions effectively use technology to provide complete mobile service management capabilities, integrate with inventory/accounting and help you turn service calls into predictable cash flow. You will always know where you stand on work orders and schedule changes out in the field.

So why are many businesses not using these systems? They have manual work orders with multiple data entry points. Often the multiple data entry results in errors, delayed billing and worst of all; lost or unbilled services. We must understand that change can be difficult, but not changing can be disastrous.

I was at a ski hill recently and rode up a chair lift with an electrical technician that works in the oil & gas service industry. He was younger (Mid-thirties) and had a crew working under him. He was expressing how backward the company he worked for was, just about everything was manually done with paper. He knew there are automated systems available, was frustrated on a daily basis and mentioned he would likely look for a different job as soon as the economy in Alberta improved.

If you think as an owner or management that you don’t have to change your service operations to utilize technology available and integrate the field and back end operations, I think you are sadly mistaken. You may find yourself without qualified technicians and spending more money on manual administration than on production. Take a look at some of the options available and ask yourself if there is a better way to handle service.



Technology, if used and setup correctly can be the difference between night and day for any business. 

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Topics: Project Management, Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Service, Field Technicians

Today's construction service problems are yesterdays solutions

Posted by Keith Greeno on December 14, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Today's construction service problems are yesterdays solutions

It has been said many times that today’s problems are yesterday’s solutions. We developed the manual service work order, field tickets, daily activity reports and related spreadsheets to solve a service data collection problem from the past. Today however, these legacy systems are a major problem that is slowing effective service production and very likely holding your company back.

We have new employees who are tech savvy and simply will not put up with old manual processes. Who doesn’t have a smart phone now a day? They look at these old systems and think we must be crazy. The technology exists today to effectively manage service operations and reduce the time to invoice.

These systems enable service technicians to complete their work in less time by providing the real-time information they need in the field on any tablet or mobile device. They also reduce administrative time by integrating with your back-office accounting solution. They improve communication between office staff and field technicians by capturing details like time, materials used, notes and work order status in real time. I think that we owe it to ourselves to quit putting up with old, slow, inaccurate legacy systems and seriously look to improve our service production. Your employees and your pocket book will be happier.

Remember, it doesn’t stop there. Organizations that are good about solving today’s challenges will often create new and bigger challenges in the future. Just because we move forward to todays technology doesn’t mean we are done. Yesterday’s solution will again be todays problems. We must continue to move forward and look for improvement.

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Topics: Project Management, Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Service, Field Technicians

Construction - Measure what matters

Posted by Keith Greeno on November 21, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Measure what really matters in your construction business

There are two major requirements for growth and success of a construction company; profitable customers and happy customers. We all measure profit at least to some degree, but do we measure customer happiness? The next question is, how the heck to you do that?

Not all profit is good profit. If you cut corners to save money, how would this hurt long term customer relations?  If you made money, but lost a customer would it be worth it? The basic rule of thumb is a happy customer tells 1 person a bad customer tells 10.

In the book the “The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld” he discusses how we need to “Stop measuring things that don’t matter to your customer”

He goes on to state:

  1. You have to design value propositions that focus on the right customers. That means developing an appropriate segmentation of your customer base, then creating a complete customer experience capable of delighting each targeted segment.
  2. You will have to deliver those propositions in the end. Every department and every employee in your company will have to pull in the same direction.
  3. You will have to develop your company's capability to do all this over and over again, renewing and reinventing the customer experience over time.

What he is saying, is that for each construction company, we need to focus on what we do well and how we can delight the customer. We need to ensure that all employees are focused on delivering what we promise the customer, every time.

Therefore, to determine how happy our customers are let’s Ask the ultimate question and very little else. “Would you recommend our company to your friends and associates? Rank from 0-10


Analysis shows that, on average, increasing the net promoter score by a dozen points versus the competitors can double the company's growth rate. We at Asyma Solutions live by this same measurement. If we as a company are really providing value to our customers with our products or services, then our customers would gladly recommend us. This applies to construction companies as well. Therefore, lets measure what really matters, what does the customer really think.

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Topics: Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score, Customer Service

How to solve poor project management communication

Posted by Keith Greeno on November 7, 2017 at 10:34 AM

Is poor project communication killing your business?

The single biggest problem in construction project management is communication with everyone involved in the project.  This is compounded by the fact as stated by George Bernard Shaw that “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”.

Therefore, anything that we can do to improve real communication will greatly enhance and improve our project management. So why in today’s fast-paced, construction environment, doesn’t everyone on a project have access to up-to-the-minute information from a convenient and easy-to-use online source? Why would project managers continue to struggle to communicate with everyone the old way when cloud-based information is easily available anytime, anywhere. This type of sharing saves time, reduces errors, improves collaboration among team members, reduces confusion for everyone involved, and keeps all parties well-informed. The new technology for accounting project software allows everyone to communicate better, get timely, convenient, access to all types of contract and project-related documents, photos, files, and more.  They allow everyone on a project—including the project managers, project team, architects, and subcontractors—to find, share and track all project documents and transactions from the office or worksite.

The technology is available to greatly improve communication on all projects and reduce the illusion as well. So why aren’t we all using it? Take a look at what these easy to use project management systems can do to assist with communications and help keep us competitive Click Here  

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Topics: Project Management, Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Communication, Construction Technology, Sage 100 Contractor

Stop Thinking and Just Do It!

Posted by Keith Greeno on July 13, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Change is difficult. We all understand this. The main problem is that change for everyone is inevitable. The problem is that some businesses think that they are immune to change. They think they can simply keep doing things the old way.

I have been involved in many business discussions with owners, managers and controllers; where I know they can greatly benefit by modernizing their management systems and processes. Based on the requirements and from listening to the business owners and management it is clear that they have a areas that can be improved; so clear that we guarantee the value and solution in many cases. However, they are not always convinced and want to continue to handle things the same way as before. “They want to think about it”. These businesses wanted their new system to perform and look like their existing system because “that’s what they know” and are completely unwilling to embrace any aspect of “changing” their system.  The question is why? What was the point of going through all the stress and inconvenience of an upgrade if you aren’t interested in making your business more streamlined and improving the procedures and processes? The current versions of Sage or any software for that matter have way more functionality and flexibility than their predecessors. It is an evolving tool that changes as requirements, technology and people change.

So, our advice for these businesses and organizations is to continue to use their existing systems until ready to make a change. Ultimately, it is like any type of change, you must be ready for it and want it otherwise you will resist transitioning and it will ultimately fail.

Our best advice sometimes is the stop thinking and just do it. Inaction is not a solution.

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Topics: Productivity, Employee Engagement, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses

Is QuickBooks or Sage 50 Limiting your Construction Business?

Posted by Rob Greeno on June 27, 2017 at 5:30 PM

When you were starting out in business you needed an easy to use and functional system to handle your basic accounting requirements. QuickBooks or Sage 50 was likely the solution to your problem. A well known and supported solution with many good reports to help you move your business forward. The good part was that you did move your construction business forward. The question now; is that same easy to use system still functional enough to handle your growing construction requirements now and into the future? Do you have work arounds and multiple different solutions that data is entered into more than once? Chances are these added processes are costing you and your business time and money.

Do you find that you handle the following outside of QuickBooks or Sage 50 because they can't or do not provide what your business requires?

Project production
  1. Scheduling jobs and tasks for projects
  2. Document control for change orders, subcontractors, etc.
  3. Field management for projects
  4. Project management controls
  5. Service management for small jobs
  6. Service dispatch controls for labour and equipment
  1. Estimate(s) for multiple levels
  2. Parts and assembly tracking with accurate pricing
  3. Automated creation of job budgets to compare to actual project costs
  1. Tracking of work in progress for management and banking
  2. Complete project documentation for bonding
  3. Control over subcontractor billings to jobs
Construction analysis
  1. Dashboard reporting for all project and service jobs
  2. Project reporting for under and over billed jobs
  3. Project reporting with % complete for tasks and cost codes
  4. Equipment tracking of revenue and expenses

If you sit back a moment and consider the costs that these missing functions are having on your business, you will be very surprised. We recently completed a review for a smaller 25 person construction company. The result was a significant $63,000/Year that was being wasted with manual work around processes. These small business accounting solutions are simply not built to handle the requirements of a construction business that has grown and requires more out of a system and solution.

The good part is that there are construction solutions on the market that can handle these requirements, that are easy to use and inexpensive. Sage 100 contractor is one of these such solutions and would be a good option when researching different solution. http://www.asyma.com/sage-100-contractor-master-builder

You owe it to yourself and your business to consider some of the options available.


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Topics: Construction, Contractors, Project profitability, Project Center

Is Continuous Budgeting the Answer?

Posted by Keith Greeno on June 13, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Budgeting is one of the most stressful times for all non-profit organizations and for-profit companies. This is usually annual process where management of each department must set their expenditures for the full year. Many times, the whole process of budgeting can take more than 3 months, waste a significant amount of management time and result in questionable budget amounts at best. Is Continuous budgeting the answer?

Continuous budgeting is the process of continually adding one more month to the end of a multi-period budget as each month goes by. This approach has the advantage of having management constantly reviewing the current month actuals amounts and then budgeting for the same month out one year. This incremental approach allows you to focus on only one month at a time instead of a whole year. The management is always looking forward instead of the rear-view mirror with historical financials. The downside of this approach is that it requires management to think about the future once a month, which may also be a good thing depending on how you look at things. If an organization uses participative budgeting to create its budgets on a continuous basis, then the total employee time used over the course of a year is substantial without the use of budgeting technology.

Continuous budgeting removes some of the rigidity and provides quicker reactions to changing conditions from the typical annual budgets. They may also reduce the amount of year end budget spending frenzy that is common with annual department budgeting (Spend it or loose it mentality). The new budgeting and planning solutions currently available can make the implementation of a continuous budgeting process much easier and reduce the annual stress of preparing the budget for the full year. By focusing on the organizations goals, one month at a time and using real-time current financial information, the accuracy should also greatly improve. Maybe its time for you and your organization to consider available solutions?

Check out our presentation on Thursday, January 15th on Budgeting and Planning.  Click Here for more information and to register for this complimentary event.  

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Topics: Non-Profit, Automation, Budgeting and Planning, Budgeting, Technology

Non-Profit Budgeting - Let's Get Real

Posted by Keith Greeno on May 29, 2017 at 11:32 AM

Spending less than you bring in is often cited as the most important non-profit finance goal. It helps you stay out of debt, save for emergencies and stash money away for future projects. It is the primary control that enables you to achieve some level of financial long-term stability. Many governments seem to forget this very basic fact. They don’t think that financial dead ends like what has happened in Greece can happen to them. Non-profits don’t have the luxury of continuous deficit spending; therefore, budgeting is essential to meet the objective of the organization. Budgets are simply the roadmaps to achieve strategic non-profit goals.

But, how do we make this whole process easier? How do we reduce the 5 major budgeting issues?

  1. Reducing the decentralized data and department silos of information
  2. Controlling the preparation process, multiple revisions and related backup information
  3. Reducing the time to prepare the budgets (complete process can take more than 3 months to complete and approve)
  4. Improving the accuracy of the information with consistent documentation
  5. Improving the timeliness of the budget (Produce the budgets frequently enough to help decision making to help focus on strategic goals)

The answer to these questions is through using technology effectively in our organizations. Spreadsheets are not automation. Let’s get real and understand that they are only a tool. There are solutions available that can take the prior history from your accounting system and send it to the appropriate department manager. The information is in a format that they can use to easily create a new budget. This budget has all the related documentation available and linked to details for the budget information. The budget can then be rolled up into other levels, like divisions and organizations. With this setup, changes are easy to make, all being tracked and the approved budget can be quickly linked with your accounting system to provide timely reporting and improved decision making. These budgeting and planning systems can solve all the major budgeting issues and are very inexpensive to implement within organizations.  (For more info Click Here)

So, let’s get real and understand that the current budget processes are a pain and result in significant amounts of wasted time and effort. Let’s use the existing technology, accounting and management processes to make our budgeting less stressful.

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Topics: Non-Profit, Automation, Budgeting and Planning, Budgeting, Technology, Controlling Non-Profit Spending

Improved collaboration drives effectiveness

Posted by Keith Greeno on March 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM

In the everchanging world of technology; if the software doesn’t fully integrate, then don’t use it.  When you take the time to carefully review your current non-integrated systems you will find that they are costing you thousands of dollars each year.  While many of these costs are hidden in additional administration wages, reduced productivity as well as supervisory staff, they are there none the less. One of our customers was running QuickBooks and had a custom program for project management as well as many excel spreadsheets. They felt that they had everything under control but on a detailed review we found that the additional reentry time into each one of these systems was costing them over $80,000 a year. In addition, a couple of the excel spreadsheets had major errors in them which likely cost them thousands more. Not very effective or efficient.

Now let’s think of a scenario where you allow everyone on a project, including the owner, project team, architects, engineers, and subcontractors to share information and collaborate. Think of the improved efficiency of being able to find and track documents as well as the project accounting transactions from the office or jobsite. In this scenario, you would experience seamless integration with job costs as well as having access to information like estimates, commitments, actual costs, and revenue. If you think this is not possible, or extremely expensive, think again. This technology and software solutions are available today in systems like Sage Project Center and at a reasonable cost that allows everyone with the required access to be informed while being more efficient. These systems will integrate seamlessly to the accounting department so everyone always has up to date information without the need to continuously re-enter the project data.

Project collaboration is a major management issue that all construction companies have.  While manually, this is a nightmare, we can use technology to help with this problem; using fully integrated solutions to give greater visibility into projects.  Yes, implementing one of the collaborative systems, can be disruptive, but with careful planning this can be minimized. Project management solutions simply help the project manager keep everyone informed easily and effectively.

Take a look at some of these solutions, they drive effectiveness and can help with your very survival.

To learn more contact Asyma Solutions. 

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Topics: Construction, Contractors, Project profitability, Project Center