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Posts covering best practices, trends, and insights.

Sage Canada Provides High-End Accounting Services for Joint Ventures

A lot of small businesses are quite comfortable with their accounting systems and have no need for higher-end financials.

If, however, you happen to be a part of the oil and gas industry that needs to monitor petroleum and natural gas royalties, then ‘Shut-the-front-door,’ because you require some heavy duty tracking, reporting, and just plain good accounting procedures.

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The Value Asyma Solutions Provides

Asyma Solutions has been helping customers, particularly those in the Field Service and Construction Industries across Canada grow since our founding in 2005. We provide our customers insight into their business faster, more accurately, and with a more integrated approach than ever before. In addition to our deep expertise in helping field service and construction contractors find and implement the right solution for their business, our departments of expertise and experience also reaches into Wholesale/DistributionNon-ProfitFirst NationsFaith BasedHealthcare and Manufacturing/Fabrication

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Weathering the Changes in Healthcare

Of all the industries Covid-19 has had an impact on, healthcare is perhaps the most groundbreaking. With a greater understanding of the need for healthcare services because of the pandemic, making sure the healthcare industry is running efficiently is paramount. Now more than ever there is a public understanding of the resources needed within the healthcare industry and how proper administration and management can mean all the difference between success and failure.

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Xyntax Vs Sage Intacct for First Nations

Many First Nation organizations start with software such as Xyxntax, Quickbooks & Sage 50 for there basic accounting needs. As a First Nation organization grows and expands, they are often forced to add new systems that are not integrated to their accounting software, this results in duplicate data entry and higher risk for human error.

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How to Plan in a Time of Unprecedented Change

Budgeting and planning have never been more important. Whenever crises arise, it’s important to be able to react swiftly. The coronavirus threat has put us in uncharted territory. The strong headwinds caused by this are trying for business. Many offices are closing, forcing employees to work remotely. Work stoppages, an unsteady supply chain, cash flow concerns, market declines, multiple and massive stimulus/rescue packages, daily and even hourly announcements on closures are all very real issues. The business environment has shifted to a new normal.

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Sage 100 Contractor - A Year In Review

Sage 100 Contractor – A Year in Review

Talking with a few of our current and prospective customers in Alberta, they all voiced the same sentiments that the job profitability margins were very tight due to the economic climate. Believe it or not, now is the best time to look at improving efficiency; from collecting time from field personnel, reducing job costs to improving bid process.

Sage has had a phenomenal year of strategic alliances and acquisitions. This has made Sage 100 Contractor even more appealing to the construction industry in terms of increasing efficiencies while watching the bottom line.

Strategic alliance.

Sage has partnered with:

Procore Project Management Integration

Procore now works with Sage 100 contractor to automatically share data between project personnel in the field and in the office staff. This means that you will reduce double entry, thus reducing human error that comes about from transcribing handwritten notes.

eTakeoff Dimension

This is a 2D takeoff tool that has two-way integration capability for pushing takeoffs and making changes to an estimate. This will reduce the time you take to do a quantity takeoff by using an electronic drawing. This eliminates the need of printing and measuring your plans.


Liberty reports

This is an Excel Add-in solution that is mainly used for analytics, reporting and workflow. Therefore, you can harness existing Excel skills which means a smaller learning curve. You can also create customized reports according to your reporting needs. This core functionality is extended to any SQL database.


Sage’s strategic alliances and acquisition shows that they are continually investing and enhancing their product offering.

If you are looking for real visibility for your business, Sage 100 contractor is a logical next step from Sage 50 and or QuickBooks. The core functionality will have General Ledger, Payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivables, Project Management, Purchase Orders and over 1,200 pre-built reports. Optional modules are Estimating, Document Control, Service Receivables and Inventory. Procore, eTakeoff and Liberty Reports are fully integrated with Sage 100 Contractor. These tools that will give you the extra edge to increase efficiencies and productivity at the same time.

For more information on the technology available Click Here

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Accounting For Contractors

Accounting for Contractors

Do you want to provide and know more details about your job costs? If you are like most people, the answer will be absolutely!

Construction Accounting

This is where Construction Accounting Software comes in. Construction accounting has the same accounting principles with regular accounting. However, it has several distinct features like Job/Contract Holdbacks, Fixed Price, Time & Material, Unitary, Progress Billing and Job Costing (direct & indirect).

Operational Costs - aka Job Costing

Since construction accounting is project based and each job is a profit center, we want to make sure we capture all transactions that are specific to each job.

We do this by using a process called Job Costing (or expense, cost coding). This is where you separate costs/activities into different categories like Concrete, Plumbing, Electrical etc. Once you have figured out your cost codes, you further group them in to cost types Labour, Equipment, Material, Subcontract, and other etc. Job costs will work in concert with the G/L.


When your tasks for each job is broken into activities called cost codes, it makes it easier for you to identify areas of concern by producing actionable reports. This means you can quickly identify areas that need improvement by comparing your actuals with budgeted costs. Therefore, you will be able to closely monitor your key performance indicators (KPI) like: Sales (Revenue) Growth, Income sources, Profitability over time and Working capital.


Your software should be setup to track each job, then show how it affects your company’s profitability. Construction accounting has a learning curve which can be easily achieved with Asyma Solutions help. Job costing helps any construction/service-related company to properly manage project-centered businesses.

Using KPI’s and being able to generate on the fly reports enables you to know which projects to pursue and which ones to let go.

Sage 100 Contractor is a logical next step from Sage 50 and/or QuickBooks. The core functionality will have General Ledger, Payroll, Accounts Payable and Receivables, Project Costing, Project Management, Purchase Orders and over 1,200 pre-built reports. Optional modules include Estimating, Document Control, Service Receivables/Management and Inventory. Procore, eTakeoff, Sage ToolOps and Liberty Reports are fully integrated with Sage 100 Contractor as added enhancements based off of your business requirements. These tools that will give you the extra edge to increase efficiencies and productivity at the same time.

For more information Click Here

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Is Construction Payroll a Nightmare? Nightmares are for Halloween!

Is Construction Payroll a Nightmare? Nightmares are for Halloween!

Are you doubling up on payroll processes/systems? Are you thinking of using Sage 100 Contractor payroll? If the answer is yes, then keep reading…


You have one system that collects time and the other system does accounting. The two systems can’t talk to each other. This results in duplicate data entry and added costs.


How much is it costing your organization to run two systems? How happy is your payroll person every pay period?

Watching costs is at the heart of every business. Remaining profitable with higher costs is a self-defeating endeavor. However, you can minimize your costs considerably in the long run when you streamline your business processes. This means acquiring or investing in a solution that captures costs against the job, which includes payroll.

Compatible system

In my experience, you should invest in a system that is able to address your key pain points and has a high Return on Investment (ROI). If current systems and procedures do not tick all your boxes, then the alternative is to look at other complementing systems (vendors).

For example, you can have a great system that does a great job in accounting and project management but doesn’t capture time in the field. True nirvana is one system that does it all. The reality is that no system will ever give you 100% of exactly what you need but you can sure as heck get very close to 100%.

An integrated solution that you plan to implement should:

  • help you eliminate double entries between systems
  • Implement an approval process
  • Reduce paperwork
  • Enhance communications
  • Enhance customer service
  • In many cases, complement or improve existing workflows


As listed above, there are several advantages of having ‘one’ integrated software solution. But, how do you off the two separate systems?

At Asyma Solutions we are well versed in moving/converting customers from other payroll systems to Sage 100 Contractor Payroll. You can use Sage Service/Field Operations and/or HH2 to capture time in the field and have it sync in real time to the back office Click Here.

If you are interested in learning more about the technology available for your business don’t hesitate to contact us at or 1-877-448-9895.

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How financial accounting solutions help Faith based organizations

Today's economic environment is certainly a major challenge for faith-based organization to navigate and survive. Which direction do you move? What do you adjust to maintain the delivery of critical services with reduced revenue and funding? How do we provide for increasing demand for transparency and accountability, while seeking ways to both produce and to demonstrate successful outcomes?

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First Nations - Moving from Good to Great

Many First Nations organizations we talk to are moving to a strategy based on outcome metrics that drive their organization toward greatness.  The traditional focus of service delivery is changing to include significant business operations.  Indigenous leaders must not only think about making a difference in their communities, but being competitive in business with the world.

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Leveraging Technology & The Cloud

Historically, it is easy to see how technology has been adopted and how it has fundamentally changed a lot of key business practices around us. From the first commercial use of technology in an 1890 United States census (Source) to the mass adoption of Steve Job’s iPhone, technology has always pushed the limits of what is considered possible and opened our eyes to further opportunities. Today, that same sentiment still exists.

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Battling the pandemic on the Cloud

Running a business is never easy. When dealing with a global health concern, this difficulty rapidly expands and forces many business owners to adapt in order to survive. We have seen many changes made by business owners and have helped many others transition towards a system which allows organizations to become more efficient – even in such trying times.

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Moving Forward


There is an old quote in business that says, “even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you are standing still”. In these challenging and uncertain times this is still very much true. If we stop moving forward as a business and all steps to improve, we will be faced with the huge force of inertia when trying to start up again. By standing still, will we lose talented employees and risk losing our share of the market to the competition who likely isn’t standing still? What can we do to keep moving forward? How do we keep our employees, customers and vendors safe during this pandemic? The logical answer to these questions, I believe, is through technology and using it effectively to your advantage.

At Asyma Solutions we have been championing the use of the web, remote access and effective automation in businesses for many years.

For construction companies this involves real time field and other data collection with project management access. The field staff are not required to manually prepare daily field reports, safety documents, employee or equipment time and then deliver them to the office administration.

For non-profit organizations and other types of businesses, technology allows for anytime access to management information from anywhere and provide field data collection for health care or other field staff. How does this help? You can continue to work with limited contact to others but maintain complete access to your information to effectively management your organization/business.

But what happens if you have a small business system like QuickBooks/Sage 50 or are not using a system currently that will allow for that type of access and functionality? The question then becomes, is your glass half empty or half full? We prefer to believe that the glass is half full. In business, we are all used to the continuous changing situations and issues both economic and social. This pandemic will eventually pass and go away. What can you do now?  The answer again is technology. Things have slowed down and you finally have some time to breath for a change. You have employees who are home, likely bored and looking for something productive to do. Why not keep moving forward and start looking at working on your business instead of in your business?

Our team at Asyma Solutions believes in using technology and have been promoting it to our customers for years. We utilize this technology ourselves through remote conferencing and hosted system access capabilities. We can provide hosting or full cloud accounting solutions like Sage Intacct to streamline operations.

The biggest issues and problems with implementing a new system and the related procedures involves the lack of time and focus of the customers internal staff. With the current situation the whole world is facing, contact and unnecessary face to face interactions can be greatly reduced through technology and therefore a perfect time to improve your organization for the future.  You have the time and the resources available and with the use of technology you can continue to move forward.

For more information about how technology and improved procedures can help your organization check out our web site

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Project Management - Guesswork or Certainty?

Imagine a world where all project information is available anytime, anywhere; where the collection of time, equipment, and material usage in the field is integrated daily into all projects for reporting. In this world, data flows seamlessly and instantly throughout the system, you can see the areas that are over and under budget, and you trust that progress billings include all the correct, up-to-date job costs. Your personalized user dashboard shows key reports and indicators that provide a snapshot of the operational health of your whole business at a glance: cash position, change orders, project profitability.

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There's Cloud and There's True Cloud

When a company chooses a cloud service, they have certain expectations. First off, most companies plan to enjoy the cost savings in IT—not having to maintain a powerful, scalable server with guaranteed up time. Rather than paying for room to grow, they anticipate that the service will be able to expand during times of peak demand—referred to as elasticity. Second, they expect fresh software that they don’t have to update. The provider updates the software at frequent intervals for all subscribers. Third, flexible costs allow them to pay for just the features, number of users, and server space they need, when they need it. And lastly, they expect to access the service from anywhere, even mobile devices. These are the expectations of cloud, but do these expectations always align with reality?

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Taking your Organization's Pulse - Measuring What Matters

Let’s face it -- accounting information is almost completely useless unless you have the reporting tools to help you measure what really matters to your non-profit organization. This applies to all non-profits; from educational institutions, faith-based and ministry organizations, to health and human services agencies. How can the executive directors or management possibly understand the complexity of their overall operations and make sound decisions without good reporting?

We are in an age of increasing demand for transparency/accountability and are looking for ways to generate and demonstrate successful outcomes. We must have simple, easy to understand metrics that can quickly take the pulse of an organization and assist with decision-making.  We must have metrics reporting that never loses focus on what is important and what truly matters to management and stakeholders.

A modern, non-profit accounting solution will consistently track your data by key components and give you instant insight, empowering you to proactively manage funding, programs, students, members, and more. These systems can provide access to both financial and statistical data that allow you to automatically calculate key metrics to measure what matters. These metrics can report on critical information such as financial (revenue), statistical (students), or any number of combinations (donations per attendee).  Sage Intacct is such a software solution that was designed to provide real-time visibility into all components of your organization. 

As management of a non-profit organization, consider the potential immediate and long-term value to your organization of real-time & accurate reporting. Think about the benefits of being able to easily generate and clearly demonstrate successful outcomes to all stakeholders including funders, board members, or donors. How could you improve the health of your organization by having real-time visibility into funding, programs, donations, expenses and more?

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Why Real-Time Reporting Could Make or Break Your Construction Business

When it comes to construction reporting, timing is everything -- the closer you are to real- time reporting, the better your opportunities to respond to emerging project issues.  Success in the construction industry is dependent on timely, accurate reporting that gives you a wide-angle view of your operations with zoom-in capabilities.  As a construction owner or manager, how can you consistently make good decisions without real-time reporting? If you are using QuickBooks or Sage 50 for your accounting, you are likely using Excel or some other stand-alone solution to track your projects, resulting in decisions based on outdated, inaccurate data. These decisions could result in significant project issues which could break your company.

Construction-specific software makes it easier than ever to make informed, timely business decisions. Getting the financial big picture is no longer a big hassle -- and no detail escapes you because all details are integrated in a central system with a single source of project data truth.

You can keep key project personnel in the loop by capturing and sharing valuable site-specific data; and that information is accessible even when you’re not in the office, keeping you more in touch, and more in control, than you’ve ever been before. How improved would your decision making be if you had accurate, timely information at your fingertips whenever you wanted it? How long can your business survive when project cost overruns occur due to your inability to respond to issues as they are happening?

Current construction-specific software solutions are able to provide real-time reporting that can make or break your construction business.  Sage 100 Contractor is one construction-specific solution that features user dashboards, custom alerts, and over 1,200 built-in reports. It gives you that complete wide-angle view of your operations with drill-down, zoom-in capabilities to the details.

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Smarter way for non-profit budgeting

A Smarter way for Non-Profit Organizations to Plan and Budget

Let’s face it -- spreadsheets are not automation. They can help with some calculation, but they can cause more headaches than they solve. To achieve organizational goals, you need financial budgeting and planning that’s effective, collaborative, and strategic, but many organizations don’t have the solution to work that way; instead, they’re trapped by time-consuming, error-prone, unsecured spreadsheets. The general rule is that if you have been using a spreadsheet for more than a year there is a 100% chance that there is an error in it somewhere.  So why do so many organizations continue to use them? Maybe it’s time to look at real budgeting and planning tools that are easy-to-use, powerful, and built for smaller businesses and organizations.

Imagine a budgeting world where you have control; where everyone works on the same current version; and where all changes are tracked. Think about the time savings that could be realized with collaboration and secure access to detailed information by all managers and department heads involved in the planning process. Imagine a dashboard that gives you all the critical information you need at a glance.

These systems are available.  They’re not that complicated, and they can easily pay for themselves within one budgeting cycle. Say goodbye to outdated and dangerous spreadsheet budgets and plans and move to a smarter way to budget. Freeing ourselves and our managers from the time-consuming tasks associated with spreadsheet budgets to focus on the more important strategic planning and management decisions may be the smartest decision we make.

Look at some of the options available and decide for yourself it they are a smarter way to budget:

Sage Non-Profit Financials/Budgets Click Here

Sage Intacct Budgeting and Planning Click Here

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Cloud Computing

Information Collision

Operational Visibility

Information discovery and analysis is arguably the bedrock of human endeavor. It provides us with the necessary firepower to embark on business ventures, protect our assets, and build our spheres of influence. Good leaders will do well to seek out good information.

Thereafter, a book entitled Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by a gentleman named Donald T. Phillips outlines the habit Abraham Lincoln had of “running into” new information. Lincoln strode around the White House listening, as well as taking time to interview several townsfolk in the White House while he was in office. The result was he would often collide with new ideas, leading to thought generation and often influencing his interactions as a leader.

The same is true of our business. A dominant reason for meeting with clientele is due to the process of idea generation. New intel leads to fresh thought – And potential innovation thereafter, all resulting from the literal collision of individuals with data. This underscores the importance of regular face-time with our clients: It provides the basis for providing superior service thru understanding and recognizing the needs and challenges of those we serve. Thus, take the time to be present and collide with new information – Both for the sake of good business and good service.

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Construction Animation Guy

Throw out your QuickBooks software

Many companies are continuing to use generic accounting software such as QuickBooks and Sage 50 (Simply Accounting) for their construction and Oil & Gas services operations. These systems are a good starting point for many start-ups, but they can only handle very basic project costing and don’t offer any project management functionality. Even with the many third party add-on project solutions you are missing critical integration and project management components. With these generic systems you are running your projects like driving using only the rear-view mirror. You are always looking back at revenue and costs that can be months old. Service/Project management is the backbone of every contractor’s business. You must have a single accounting/project management system that’s capable of meeting all your crucial specific needs to be effective.

Is there too much back-and-forth miscommunication between your project team members? Is project and services reporting always available with timely information about your projects? Generic software simply can’t handle these issues without developing spreadsheets; or using third party applications which require manual double entry to handle the weaknesses. 

Sage 100 Contractor is an easy to use construction-specific accounting solution that can perform all of your advanced construction accounting requirements as well as manage your operations.  Sage 100 Contractor can give you the confidence you need to run your business, and your projects effectively and accurately. Why continue to use generic systems when there are specific construction and service solutions available? Your best option, which will likely improve profitability, might be to throw out your current generic software and move to something built specifically for your industry.

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Strategic Leadership Association – What I learn every retreat

I have been attending the SLA (Strategic Leadership Association) retreats for years now.  Each one has given me some new tools and techniques to better my business. The topics are always something useful to the business world but not why I attend.  I attend because of the wealth of knowledge in the room at each retreat.  The room is filled with business owners and managers that have a combined knowledge far greater than anything I could have imagined.  Being able to hear how they have improved their businesses, what has worked, what hasn’t worked and where they plan to get to in the future and how they will get there has been immeasurable in terms of value.

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Eliminate the Paper Chase

How many hours do we all spend looking for documents that we desperately need? How many countless dollars have we wasted on administration maintaining paper-based document systems? Document Management technology can solve many of these problems and save significant administration costs. Paperless office might seem difficult and a time-consuming task to move over to electronic format; the reality is that the value paperless provides in terms of time and cost savings far outweighs the initial costs and implementation time associated with changing procedures.

For construction businesses, you would gain control over your project documents with an easy way to store, retrieve, and route documents electronically throughout your business. You can automate your project routing and approval workflow processes to the correct individuals to improve communications on all jobs. Think of a document system where you can access all your project documents anytime, anywhere; including contracts, certificates of insurance, drawings, invoices and more. Think of the time and energy that you will be saving.

All businesses have documents, the way they store and retrieve these documents can be the difference between dominating their industry or falling short on customer service and ultimately letting work walk out the door. These same document management systems can link to your all your accounting transactions, such as purchasing and sales. You can manage invoices and other critical documents with efficiency and confidence.

We may not be able to completely get away from paper, but it is in our best interest to reduce the paper as much as possible. Both economically and environmentally.

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Automated Purchasing Workflow Can Save Your Sanity

Technology is changing many things in the world. For instance - the convergence of the web with transitional accounting systems is changing for the better with automated purchasing/payable workflow systems. These systems can save your sanity and business/organization. Think of a system that provides a sophisticated workflow engine with configurable rules, routing and approval functions.  You can control who gets to see the right information at the right time and ensure approvals are documented and timely.  Further, these new systems have an easy-to-use requisition or purchasing interface where documents are controlled through the workflow process.

I have seen many non-profit organization that think they are controlling spending by sending piles of supporting documents around to multiple approvers and cheque signatories. What is really happening is lost documents and approvers/signatories signing without understanding completely what they are signing off on. It is simply too much paper. Sometimes it is even worse in construction companies, where project managers are also involved, documents end up on the job site or are delayed because the managers are not back in the office for weeks at a time.

With an automated purchasing/payable workflow you can regain control, replace your manual invoice approval with a more paperless process. You will reduce your administration cost and ensure prompt payments with quicker approval of invoices. Further, you can find supporting documentation when you need it instead of searching through piles of documents and file cabinets.

We need to use technology when it makes sense. Automated purchasing/payable systems make sense. These systems enable organizations to tightly control & manage their spending. For all companies and especially for non-profits this is critical. The time has come to help save our sanity and seriously look at automating our purchasing/payable processes.

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Operational Visibility

Operational Visibility

One of the main tasks of running any business is knowing where you are at operationally. By having a dashboard where you can quickly see a total of new service orders created, current invoices, past invoices and completed calls; not only helps in resource planning but keeps your mind at ease in focusing on what matters.

A case in point, we recently had our stove fixed at home. At the end of the job, the technician pulled out the paper service receipt and rubbed the face of the credit card for payment. Prior to this technological payment taking process, the technician had come previously and informed us that he didn’t have the part and left saying he might have to reschedule the work for another day. This left the kids and more importantly, left me with no more chocolate chip cookies for a week! Before I Hulk out on how inconvenient this was, as an owner of this business, I would have wanted to know;

  • Did the technician make it to site?
  • How many visits were made?
  • Did the technician have the right part for the job?
  • Often overlooked – how was the customer service?

Here and now, there are tools that enable you to have this kind of visibility. With a real time, streamlined process, your sequence of activities would be;

  • technician picks a part from the warehouse before going to site
  • calls the customer with the estimated time of arrival
  • Punch actions for start – stop (travel and Work)
  • If work is satisfactory, take electronic payment from customer
  • Technician moves on to the next job assignment

With this kind of setup, you are receiving real time information from the field, where the technicians use their mobile devices to provide this info. The real time info ties in to your backend accounting.

Some of the benefits are;

  • Improved communication between the office and the field technicians
  • Enhanced customer service
  • Reduced paperwork
  • Reduced time to invoice, by tracking time, materials etc…
  • Potential new business by creating quotes while on site

Back to our recent encounter with the third kind, the technician came back the same day and the invoice/receipt charge made it to my credit card eventually.

We are at an age where we can cohesively work with technology to make us more efficient provided our internal processes are clearly defined.

Click Here to see the technology available – Sage Service Operations video

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Commitment goes a long way

Real commitment to a project goes a long way to ensuring that a project is completed on time, on budget and to be considered a success. As stated by Zig Ziglar “Most people are about as committed as a, Kamikaze pilot on his 29th mission”.  So why is commitment such a problem. The short answer is that we all tend to sometimes be a little lazy. We don’t want to put in the effort that is required to successfully complete the tasks on time.

We were working with a non-profit customer recently that truly wanted to improve their business practices and related procedures and processes. They had carefully selected a Human resource/payroll software to handle the defined requirements. They started on the project conversion with the drive to finally solve this major organizational issue. Then things started to get difficult. The regular day to day problems started get in the way. The started to lose focus on what they were trying to achieve. The result was that, a year later and they are still working on a planned 3-month project.

Change is easy, but transitioning is difficult. If we are not committed to a project’s success it will likely never be completed. We will be transitioning for a long time, which can create even more chaos in are organizations. When the going gets tough we all sometimes take the path of least resistance and not complete the difficult tasks that need to be completed and the task/project at hand will ultimately fail.

Therefore, if you are not committed, don’t bother to start a project, it will end up badly.

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Project Managers - Master of your Domain

Project Managers - Master of your Domain

Take charge of your projects, don’t let the projects take charge of you. Project management software can put you in command of your projects so that you can intercept problems before they become issues. View hot lists of critical outstanding project tasks. Stay in constant communication with team members with automatic schedule notices sent at set intervals. Monitor the status of all subcontracts including changes, invoices, and balances remaining. Check material status reports to ensure crews have what they need to keep jobs moving forward. Imagine a world where you can have a dashboard to see everything that is happening on not just one, but all your projects.

You may have certain portions of your project management somewhat automated with scheduling or estimating software solutions. If they are not integrated they are costing you valuable time, money and projects are more likely to fail. We had a recent customer that had automated some of their project management with a scheduling software. It looked nice and you could drop and drag jobs and view the related work required. However, the solution required that they reenter information into 3 separate systems. The net result was that their great, good looking, separate systems were costing this company over $75,000 a year in additional manpower, wasted time and the project managers felt completely out of control.  They couldn’t go to one location to see everything that was going on, they had wrong information at times because someone had forgot to reenter or had entered the wrong numbers.

The good news is that there are cost effective solutions out there that can put you in control and help you master your domain. The Sage 100 contractor is one of those types of integrated solutions.

Take a look, I think it will greatly help you master your project domain.

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Reduce Bid Time and Increase Bid Quality

Better Estimates in half the time.

As a small construction company, you will likely start out using a spreadsheet to create Quotes and Estimates for your jobs. Spreadsheets work OK for those small, simple jobs but become difficult to work with as the detail and complexity of the job increase.

If the jobs you bid on are complex to begin with, a spreadsheet might actually be slowing you down or causing un-necessary loss of potential revenue because of error and inaccuracy.

A spreadsheet is a great way of displaying data in columns and rows and even doing some pretty amazing calculations but is it the best tool for the job. Think of it like using the handle of a screw driver to pound in a nail. You can do the job, but you’ll go through a lot of screw drivers and it will take you a lot longer to get the job done. You might even risk injury. When you want to pound nails, you use a hammer. It gets the job done quickly and efficiently compared to the screw driver or you can take it to the next level and use a nail gun.

The point is, a screw driver isn’t an effective hammer and a spreadsheet isn’t an effective estimating tool.

What is a good estimating tool?

A good estimating tool will

  1. allow you create a list of all items you use in your jobs, along with their costs and allows you to add these items quickly to your worksheet
  2. allow you to group your job into phases
  3. allow you to group items together as an assembly and add the assembly to the worksheet
  4. allow you to create stored calculations to simplify the process of determining the amount of material used
  5. allow multiple views of your estimate
  6. allow you to create templates for common tasks and job components that can be reused as needed
  7. breakdown costs into a work breakdown structure (WBS) to import into your job cost application
  8. break out cost by labor, material, equipment, subcontract and other categories
  9. allow you to create purchase orders, subcontract orders, and budgets etc. from you estimate
  10. will integrate with your accounting and job costing to reduce duplication of effort when entering information
  11. will allow you to quickly recalculate the entire estimate as prices and quantities change

Sage Estimating is a great example of a top notch estimating application which will reduce the time it takes to create an estimate by 50% or more over using a spreadsheet. The application has many industry databases which simplify setup and get you started building better estimates quickly. It is also flexible enough for you to design your own customized system to meet your companies’ specific needs.

Sage Estimating integrates with Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate. These systems share information so that you enter it once and use it in all applications.

Your estimate becomes part of the permanent record for your job and can be used in your accounting and job costing to create budgets and work schedules and compare actuals to estimates. The work breakdown structure of your estimate becomes the cost codes of your job and are further broken down by categories like labor, equipment and material. With the cost codes in place you can use this same information to schedule when material will arrive on site and schedule work for both employees and subs.

Once the job is done you can compare your actual's with the estimate to determine what changes need to be made to improve your estimating for the next job. This way your estimates get better over time and you win more and better work and can insure it is profitable.

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Dismiss the doubt in your construction business

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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?

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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Manage your service technicians with ease

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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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Today's construction service problems are yesterdays solutions

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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Construction - Measure what matters

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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How to solve poor project management communication

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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Stop Thinking and Just Do It!

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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Is QuickBooks or Sage 50 Limiting your Construction Business?

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.

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


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Is Continuous Budgeting the Answer?

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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Non-Profit Budgeting - Let's Get Real

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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Improved collaboration drives effectiveness

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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Greatly increase construction project efficiency by reducing paper

While on a recent visit with a construction customer, they were showing me their new 500 sq ft filing room which contained nothing except the documentation on newer project files (the older ones were filed else where). Currently they photocopy each vendor invoice and then file them in the regular payable files as well as specific project files. All I could think about was what a waste of paper, space, time and energy. How much time was wasted filing and then trying to retrieve the required information? How timely was the project management decision making? How difficult was it to manage the project with all the information stored in the office?

Project management systems can not only eliminate this wasted time but also improve project management efficiency.  Think of a world where your project files are available anywhere, anytime, with the click of a button. A world where you can also control who gets access to which documents and all documents are tracked as to who has viewed them and when. Think of a world where all change orders and related plan changes are delivered to everyone who needs them. Think of a world where project closing documents are easily complied and delivered. This world is not in the distant future but available now; an example is at technology called Sage Project Center which not only controls projects but is integrated with the office accounting systems as well.

You might be thinking; “I don’t really trust web based or electronic project management systems, I have manual systems that handle this now.” The problem is, what if your competition uses them? Or during slow economic times you need to reduce costs wherever possible.  These systems simplify processes for projects from start to finish. Documents such as contracts, estimates, plans, blueprints and more can be stored much more efficiently and shared as required. It not only ensures that the correct people can review the documents but also it creates a trail so you can keep track of one another’s edits while preserving the document in its original form.  This whole process reduces admin time, manager/supervisor time and reduces costs.

The Project managers can greatly reduce the time to monitor a project, control change orders and subcontractors. The accounting department can better track revenue and expenses by being able to match invoices directly to the related projects. Reducing administration time of filing, trying to find/retrieve project files and specific documents.

With the use of systems like Sage Project Center you can significantly reduce paper while greatly improving the efficiency of your project management processes. Consider one of these systems and it will give you a jump on the competition and the importance of how going green is an environmental bonus for your business as well.

Chances are you now want information on this technology.  Contact Asyma today and we can help point you in the right direct.  Our team will also be at BUILDEX Edmonton, Booth 716 if you are attending this year and want to chat.  

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True project profitability by streamlining data entry in the field

You are a successful contractor.  You have built your Electrical, HVAC/Mechanical, Residential, General Construction or Heavy Duty Construction business into a reputable and successful business which customers have grown to trust.  However, like many contractors using QuickBooks or Sage 50, you have no clue or somewhat of a clue as to which projects are profitable and which are not.  You also struggle with administrative costs and reliability on project information coming from the field/job site.

You are not alone and technology can help.  We live in a world that offers technology and innovation in almost every aspect of our life.  If you have ever thought, “there has to be a better way” chances are there is.

We see customers struggle with data entry, errors, missed invoicing and not knowing project profitability on a daily basis, because we are also in the construction industry and know what that “better way” is.

Instead of having your technicians/supervisors/project managers manually fill out field tickets and/or timesheets why not have them enter the project information like time, equipment, materials directly into your accounting/project management system from the field?  Do you know or could you estimate the time savings, reduced errors and increased revenue streamlining this process could realize?  Chances are its tens of thousands of dollars every year. 

Are you asking yourself now “it seems there is a better way, I should consider this?”

Then you should consider the solutions and services available. 

My team is holding a complimentary online presentation (webinar) on this topic on Wednesday, January 18thClick Here for more information.

I hope this information helps you uncover ways to utilize technology in your business.

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3 Benefits of Implementing Sage 100 Contractor for Construction Project Management

With Sage 100 Contractor, project commands are close at hand so you can intercept problems before they become issues. This includes:

  • Viewing lists of outstanding project tasks
  • Keeping in constant communication with team members
  • Sending automatic schedule notices at prescribed intervals
  • Monitoring the statuses of subcontracts, including changes, invoices, and balances remaining
  • Checking material status reports

The details shouldn’t control you, you should control the details – and with Sage 100 Contractor, you will.

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The Value-Added Benefits of Implementing Sage 300

Business growth and increased market share are important to strive for, but if your growth isn't organized, you'll end up investing unnecessary time, money, and manpower to go, essentially, nowhere.

You can prevent this, however, by implementing Sage 300 management and business accounting software.

These are the value-added benefits of implementing Sage 300:

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10 More Signs You've Outgrown Your Small Business Accounting Software

As your business grows, it will outgrow its software – your new needs will no longer be met with small business accounting software – and it will be time for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. An ERP system is integrated business management software that manages data across multiple business activities, including accounting, project/service management, inventory control, human resource management, timekeeping, customer relation management, ad-hoc/dashboard reporting and much more.

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How Sage 300 Improves Your Return on Investment

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

It’s the kind of business story we love: a startup service company with a niche market in the oil and gas industry expands its operations as it gains more experience, employs the right people, builds positive networks, and utilizes today’s technology.

Often, though, as bids are made and new projects started, a certain amount of disparity can occur between the company objective and the mission to keep the current workflow moving smoothly. What’s needed is an intervention of sorts, where a software platform can take on the duties of maintaining transparency, the accurate transfer of documents, and change order management for service business.

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10 Signs You've Outgrown Your Small Business Accounting Software

An investment in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system may be one of the best investments a small business can make. ERP solutions are no longer just for large companies; as the costs have come down, it’s easier than ever for small and medium-sized businesses to operate similarly to – and compete with – larger enterprises.

Here are ten reasons to move away from your small business accounting software:

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How to Avoid Project Management Failure

If the size and scope of a project are relatively small, project management is often quite straightforward. When it comes to managing multiple projects, however, or a single project with many moving parts, a useful resource planning tool can be a project manager’s best friend.

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How Do You Know You Have Outgrown QuickBooks?

While QuickBooks software by Intuit is a necessity for many startup companies that can't afford an expensive accountant, there comes a time when something that handles more complex tasks is necessary. A business that outgrows QuickBooks and doesn't update its software will find itself losing ground to the competition until it shifts gears and gets a more robust platform.

Your company may be in danger of slowing itself down by staying with the software, but how do you know you have outgrown QuickBooks?

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Changing Economic Conditions Demand Better Accounting Software

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

In today’s economic conditions, it’s imperative for small to medium-sized businesses to manage their people, payrolls, and projects at a higher level of efficiency than ever before.

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How Leaders Should Support Employees

One of the most integral aspects of proper business functioning is good leadership. For an effective working environment, you should develop leadership skills and encourage company leaders to "get behind" their people. It's important to know how leaders should support employees.

If you can accomplish this, accomplishing organizational change and stimulating creativity and engagement in your workforce will be far easier.

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How to Implement Change in an Organization

How do you implement change in an organization? Even if you don't envision change today, you will at some point need to prepare for changes within your business, from modification of workplace practices and processes to a general expansion of the business.

Only the proper implementation of change, however, will allow you to remain competitive in your marketplace and transform processes to the desired state. Whether it's people, technology, or software that requires changing, it's important that you approach this in an orderly manner.

Let's focus on some effective techniques that can eliminate the hassle associated with making changes in business.

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How to Become an HVAC Industry Leader

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Becoming an HVAC industry leader goes far beyond simply being good at your job. To be a true leader in the business world, you have to prove that your skills, your employees, and your business as a whole are phenomenal and clearly the best choice for the job.

But that alone isn't how to become an HVAC industry leader – so what is?

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The Importance of Project Scope and Risk Planning

Are you preparing to launch a new project? If so, there are several things you should be checking off the to-do list, from carefully defining the necessary work to documenting goals, deadlines, and deliverables. Unless you fully understand the importance of project scope and having a risk plan, staying on track with the deadline and successfully completing the project will be tricky.

Before undertaking a project, understanding project objectives and identifying certain aspects is critical.

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How to Make Effective Changes within Your Business

As a business leader – regardless of your industry, how long you've been in business, or your target audience – change management is always a consideration. Aligning your workforce for a positive change experience is the key to success in trying new business ventures. To ensure a smooth and stable transition, start with a strategic plan that includes best practices for change implementation and long-term success.

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Good Project Management Requires Good Project Managers

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Owning a business means that you need to pay attention to every aspect of that business. You don’t have time to spearhead one major project, as it will pull attention away from the numerous other projects that will need your final approval.

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15 Steps for Continuous Business Improvement

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – and probably again and again and again: the only constant in life is change. The problem with change, however, is that it can be negative; we must take care to ensure that we change in the right “direction” – that is, change should propel us forward rather than backward.

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Hire the Best

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

The Business Development Bank of Canada’s article – "The Five Do’s and Five Don’ts of Successful Businesses” – says “The most successful firms felt their biggest competitive edge came from offering a stimulating work environment and positive company culture.”

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Keep Your KPIs Simple

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Have you heard the phrase “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”?

It’s true, to an extent, but we must be careful not to get carried away and measure too much. If we keep track of too many metrics, we lose focus on what is really important. Because, what really drives your business?

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Use a Business Process Review to Improve Your Competitive Edge

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Are your business processes efficient? Inefficient processes negatively impact your position in the market, so fixing the flaws is vital to your success. The flaws, however, can be subtle and difficult to pinpoint.

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Sometimes We Are Our Own Biggest Roadblocks

In Gary Harpst’s book, Six Disciplines Execution Revolution, he writes “Everyone needs to understand that there is no one on earth who wants to do what he or she should be doing all of the time.” You may see yourself in this statement – I know I do. Like me, you might very clearly understand that you must work continuously to improve your processes, your relationships with customers, and the quality of your work. But, like me, you may sometimes grow weary of change.

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Don't Let Non-integrated Programs Doom Project Management

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Now that you have a project scheduled, you need to get your resources lined up, plan the personnel you’ll assign to the project, and start fleshing out timelines.

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Thinking Inside the Box

Today, with the internet and so many social media access points, we are bombarded with information about what is going on in the outside world. It's a bit like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant — we only want a little bit of information, but we become overwhelmed with the outpouring of information available. Focus, therefore, is important, and deciding where and when to focus can be difficult.

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Business Management Solutions for Oil and Gas Providers

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

While talking to your client about their project, you were only paying half attention because you were trying to track his most recent order in your head – and realizing there was huge problem that would surely impede his operations: your vendor was holding up the order due to an unpaid bill.

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The Importance of Tracking Rental Equipment

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

A big part of the latest project you signed on to do for an oil and gas company is providing geophysical consulting at several of your client’s new sites. To challenge your bottom line even more, you also agreed to have several crews working at multiple sites for an extended period.

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Diagnosing Business Problems: Treat the Illness, Not Just the Symptoms

When we look at diagnosing business problems, we must be wary of not just treating the symptoms – that's like treating a broken leg with nothing but Ibuprofen! If we don't know that the leg is broken, our thought process is that the leg hurts, so pain is the problem to fix. If you dig deeper, though, you soon find that there are other – worse – symptoms, such as the inability to walk.

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Don't Overlook Good Accounting Software

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Poor money management can spell the end for any business. Good money management includes saving records, managing payroll, protecting your information, and budgeting for your expenses as well as a “rainy day.” The best way to practice good money management is with a good software accounting system. Accounting software is a safe, reliable way to manage your business's finances and achieve financial stability.

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5 Signs It's Time to Change Your Business Processes

Whether it is company growth or the annoying accumulation of system inefficiencies that serves as a catalyst, you're at the point where you realize it's time for a change. And there's great news: with the tools and resources currently available, upgrading your system is less intimidating and less expensive than you think.

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5 Things Contractors Should Consider with Heavy Construction Software

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Construction deals with buildings like houses and offices, whereas heavy construction deals with roads, infrastructure, tunnels, utility sites, etc. With such diverse, frequently city-wide projects, it’s easy to see why the demands for heavy construction management exceed those of lower-key construction projects.

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Can You Know What You Don't Know?

Congressman Donald Rumsfeld said, “There are also unknown unknowns … the ones we don’t know we don’t know … it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.”

Rumsfeld is right. You don’t know what you don’t know, and it's impossible to know everything. Being mindful and prepared for potential unknowns, however, will help you avoid making poor business decisions down the road. This strategy is about being aware of and managing unknown factors as well as implementing plans to reduce potential risks – versus fearing the unknown.

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Why You Should Pay for the Business Process Review

You might be asking, “Why should I pay for a business process review? Aren’t they just trying to sell me something?”

Unfortunately, the answer is “maybe.” If the business consultant doesn’t share everything they learn and offer advice based on the business process review then yes, they were just selling it to you. If, however, the consultant uses the business process review as a springboard to learning about your business and go through the learning process with you, you should expect to pay for the knowledge and results gained.

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3 Reasons ERP Implementations Fail

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in October 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

If your business is growing and you’ve been looking into a new business management software system, you’ve run across enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Now that they’re widely available for businesses of all sizes, they’re something you should strongly consider.

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The Top 5 Issues Facing Today’s Businesses and How to Uncover Them

How would you define your organization's processes and procedures? Do they allow you to do your job efficiently and effectively? Or do you find yourself creating “workarounds” to complete daily tasks?

Often, an issue is a symptom of a larger underlying problem. Taking the time to understand business processes and requirements will allow you to create and implement the appropriate solution, saving you time and money in the long run. At Asyma Solutions, we work with customers and complete a rigorous process review that involves examining current system processes and procedures to create positive change, rectifying issues facing today's businesses. 

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How Employee Engagement Drives New Business Leads

Studies have repeatedly shown that businesses that create an engaged workforce are more profitable, resilient, and able to cultivate growth. It is, therefore, surprising that so many organizations fail to provide the conditions necessary to promote growth through employee engagement. If your company is not exceeding your expectations, here's how employee engagement drives new business leads.

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Can RFI Tracking Be Easier for HVAC Companies?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

HVAC companies face the unique challenge of managing construction projects while also juggling a service organization. While overwhelming at times, especially in an industry where the margin of error is slim to none, there are several things that HVAC companies can do to prepare to organize and deal with requests for information (RFIs).

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11 Ways to Create an Engaged Workforce

Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their work and take the initiative in their job responsibilities; they’re also more likely to take positive action to further their employer’s reputation. 

Unfortunately, the global level of employee engagement is dismally low – according to Gallup’s 2012 State of the Global Workplace study, 84% of Canadian employees are NOT engaged in their work.

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3 Ways to Avoid the Problem of Data Re-entry

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Data re-entry is a major problem. While the term is self-explanatory - data that was previously entered being entered again – the issue itself is far more complex. In addition to being inefficient and time-consuming, data re-entry is very error-prone, which puts you in the dangerous position of making poor decisions due to inaccurate or incomplete data.

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Get Over the Speed Bumps with a Consultant

Have you ever envisioned a process and examined it from every angle and ran it through a million mental simulations and declared it as close to perfect as it could be – and then it was a total failure upon implementation? Have you had this happen and never figured out exactly what went wrong? While both of these things are totally normal in business, they're not exactly desirable.

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2 Benefits of Using Rental Equipment to Meet Your Productivity Goals

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Even if your company’s time and energy are divided between numerous operational needs in numerous locations, the maintenance of your rental equipment is crucial for overall efficiency and productivity. It can be a daunting task, yes, but a necessary one, because rental equipment is such an important money-making venture for your business.

There is a myriad of reasons you might choose to use rental equipment:

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Asyma Solutions Expands with a New Location in Victoria, BC, Canada

(Lethbridge, Alberta and Victoria, British Columbia -- December 15, 2015) – Asyma Solutions, a leading provider of business process improvement consulting and software services, announced today the opening of their new location in Victoria and the addition of Gerry Durant as the regional manager.

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What is the Value of a Consultant?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

What do you think of when you hear the word consultant? The value of a consultant is not the first thing that pops in heads of many. They think, instead, of promises made but never kept, money spent but never utilized, and plans created but never implemented. Clearly, consultants are doing something wrong.

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Do I Need Spreadsheets?

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

You shouldn’t use Excel for accounting.

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How the Correct Software and Procedures Can Solve Your Billing Issues

In industries where the difference between billable and non-billable hours is important, it is essential to track each one correctly to keep your project and bottom line on task. Choosing the right software and using the right procedures can make tracking them easy and stress-free.

How Are They Different?

The difference between billable and non-billable hours doesn't seem important on the surface, but not properly tracking the two can be a big mistake. These numbers are how you gauge your revenue on each project and, to be successful, even the five minutes you spent assuring the client that you have everything under control counts. So how are billable and non-billable hours different?

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Freeing Yourself from Conventional Business Processes

Many people see the world in a very black and white way. There is a right way to do something, and a wrong way, and for some, it's very difficult to deviate from those standards into a more gray area. This attitude is true even in the business world. Despite the fact that technology is constantly changing and staying ahead of the competition requires new and inventive strategies, some business owners have a hard time moving away from traditional business practices.

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Have a Solid Plan

Business Development Bank of Canada wrote an article entitled "The Five Do’s and Five Don’ts of Successful Businesses.” This article says, “Compared with their counterparts, the most successful businesses were far more likely to report that they had thought carefully about where they want to go, devised a plan, and actively monitored their progress.”

Combine this with other statements in the article, including:

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Reach Customers on Their Level by Automating Other Processes

The newest generation of consumers knows very little about a world without cutting edge technology, and such technology makes them savvier. They have more knowledge than ever about your products, your competitors' products, prices, and customer service. The best way to reach out to this generation is to speak directly to them in a way they understand. To do so requires time and money, so automating other aspects of your business will increase your ability to satisfy your current customers and bring in new customers.

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Consultants Make a Difference

As we've said, you can't be an expert in everything, and that's where consultants come in. They can streamline and improve the work you do in all facets of your business, not just the ones you aren't expert in.

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Don’t Wait to Ask for Advice

What do Canada’s most successful businesses do differently than the less successful businesses? Why do even successful businesses run into financial difficulties that, if unresolved, can lead to failure?

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A Proven Way toIncrease Your Performance

In today's business world, technology is necessary to move your business to the next level. Without it, your company will inevitably lose to the competition that is embracing technology.

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Should You Automate Your Employee Management Processes?

Your employees are the backbone of your business, and you need good ones who work hard and have your business's best interests at heart. As a busy business owner, however, it can be hard to find the time to handle employee matters, especially when everything seems to be going well.

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Innovate or Die

“The most successful businesses were far more likely to offer the latest products and services, using the newest technology.”

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More Ways to Improve Your Efficiency with Software

Businesses strive to show their customers that they’re different – better – than the competition. Without good business processes, however, you can’t be better than your competition, and you will lose customers.

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If Your Software Doesn’t Offer Integration, You Need New Software

In addition to securing and organizing contracts, the success of heavy construction businesses relies on a continuous flow of meaningful data to monitor the financial and operational efficiency of multiple projects. Ideally, the right software tracks expenses and determines the profitability of projects.

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Use Software to Close the Gaps in Your Business Processes

Companies need to do whatever it takes to stand out in today’s noisy marketplace. If your operations aren’t functioning at a high level, it’s all too easy for a potential client to move on to the company whose operations are functioning at a high level.

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Looking for a Better Way to Manage Your HVAC Business?

As a growing HVAC contractor, you juggle many programs and applications to handle a wide variety of business functions – accounting, hiring, tracking inventory, and the like. You also try to control costs, but with the increase in business it’s getting more difficult to monitor multiple projects. Updates on financials come to you without the benefit of real-time data. Consequently, some projects are on hold until inventory arrives, change orders are updated, etc.

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Use HVAC Software to Improve Profit Margins

The HVAC mechanical work will be extensive on the bid you just won at the build-out on an existing plant near Ft. McMurray. It will also require a new field manager to oversee the workflow.

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Managing Transitions

Transitions are a fact of life – the only thing constant is change. This is true in business as well as in our personal lives, but so many of us struggle with letting go of the past and embracing new beginnings. Perhaps we fear losing what we have, or perhaps we fear making a wrong decision when facing the unknown.  

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Do You Find Reporting Cumbersome? ERP Software Can Help

As noted on the Natural Resources Canada website, there are “...over 825,000 kilometers of transmission, gathering, and distribution lines in Canada, [and with] most provinces having significant pipeline infrastructure, a huge portion are federally regulated.”

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Results Oriented Work Environments

A results oriented work environment (ROWE) is a human resource management strategy co-created by Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler. This strategy entails paying employees for the results of their work rather than the number of hours worked.   

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A Single System Provides Multiple Benefits

You just recently landed several HVAC jobs – all in different regions of the province. To add to any possible confusion, you’ll be working on projects that are out of the planning-and-design phase and in the ready-to-start phase.

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3 Things to Help Non-profit Management

Non-profit organizations help us address many of the world’s greatest challenges, tackling issues like poverty, disease, the environment, and human rights. With such important issues being dealt with, why is it that the leadership and management of these non-profit organizations don’t seem to focus on effective stewardship, productivity, and operational excellence? Why is it that they don’t focus on creating a culture of performance excellence and using technology to improve their operations?

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Need to Track Something? Use Electrical Contracting Software

As an electrical contractor, you’ve hired several well-qualified camp electricians in the Ft. McMurray, Alberta oil area. They were all eager to become full-time employees with your company when they learned about your reputation throughout the oil and gas industry.

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4 Ways that Service Industry Software Can Help You

The efficient control of business processes is essential in the service industry. Such control lowers costs, increases quality, and increases revenue. To get this kind of efficient control, and the benefits it brings, you need a good software system that:

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First, Lead Thyself

We have all seen how a lack of accountability in business or in your personal life results in less than desirable outcomes. One of our greatest challenges is being able to stand back and evaluate ourselves.

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Heavy Construction Software Eases Your Burdens

Over the past few years, your heavy construction business has been concentrating on road building, installing generator sites, and completing local government projects.                        

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electrical contractor software

Tips for Choosing Electrical Contractor Software

If you’re an electrical contractor, you might be inclined to overlook what might appear at first glance to be complicated software – but you shouldn’t. The latest technology, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that offer a single database with real-time information updating, cloud-based connectivity, and mobile access, allow you to integrate your business processes. Integrating your business processes makes it easy to manage multiple work sites, sub-contractors, vendors, and customers.

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Why HVAC Business Software is Invaluable

Clients will talk about you, and if you want them to say the good things that will bring in new business, you’ll need to complete your projects on time and on budget. HVAC business software is invaluable to professionals in the HVAC, plumbing, or mechanical contractor construction fields. It's so invaluable because it provides you with the tools you need to manage your risk, time, cost, and scope – and keep your customers happy.

Some of the issues that often arise during a project include:

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Why Implementations Fail

All projects, let alone management accounting projects, fail when they do not achieve the following keys to success:

  • On time delivery
  • On or under budget
  • Include all aspects as promised

Project management surveys show that only a handful of projects ever accomplish all three. Most projects are implemented and fail one or more of these criteria, and shockingly a large number are completely canceled due to failures.  

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“This is the foundation of success nine times out of ten – having confidence in yourself and applying yourself with all your might to your work.”

This and thousands more quotes are found in Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook, which I was awarded while taking the Dale Carnegie Sales Advantage Course.

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How Well Does Your Accounting Software Know You?

With the tremendous competition in the service industry, managers and business owners are constantly faced with the challenge of cutting costs without jeopardizing the quality of their work. To do so, it is necessary to have an accurate picture of a project’s financial standing, which requires accurate allocation of costs to the correct job.

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Beef Up Your Cash Flow with a Business Management Software System

Working in the service industry in Canada presents a number of challenges. 

Handling money, for example, can be challenging, because each province – and then each county within the provinces – may handle taxes and other fees differently. Invoicing and payroll are suddenly daunting tasks.

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Stay Afloat in the Recession with HVAC Project Management Software

These are challenging times for businesses that provide contracting or other services to the Alberta oil industry. Overall, that sector is now – or will be – showing signs of a recession. Whether it’s a long-term recession or a short-lived one remains to be seen, however.

Fortunately, a number of contractors still have work in select specialties assigned to ongoing, long-term projects. The firms lucky enough to continue their services are doubtless drilling down into their internal operations to monitor expenses. The focus will, of course, be on the profitability of each project.

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Implementing Changes to Order Management for Service Businesses

Service businesses face unique challenges when it comes to managing orders. Making some changes to the order management process could contribute to boosting productivity and providing clients with a better experience. However, implementing changes to the order management process requires careful planning.

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More Bang for Your Buck: Value Added Processes

Are you doing things because that’s the way you’ve always done them? Are you doing things because you don’t want to or don’t know how to change the process – even if you know you’d be more efficient if you did change?

It’s understanding the forest for the trees, so to speak. As you’re plugging along, running your business, don’t forget to look up from your tree cutting to make sure you’re following the right path. Maybe there’s a smoother path with smaller trees. Maybe there’s a straighter path. Maybe there’s a path with fewer trees to cut down!

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A Business Management Software System Road Map (Part 5)

Deal or No Deal - It's Down to Financials

The last stop on our business road map is purchasing your new business management software system for your business operations.

(Want to read the first four parts in this series? You’ll find the links at the bottom of the post.)

All four of the main drivers of your scope for change management – organizational culture, processes, people, and technology – can be encompassed into your financial budget. That is, financials are the final decision maker for a “go” or “no-go” sign off to purchasing a business management software system.

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A Business Management Software System Road Map (Part 4)

Choosing Your Tool of the Trade

You should never choose your business management software sytem vendor based on the brand. To get the software that will offer you the best return on investment while simultaneously creating a better work environment, you need to meticulously investigate what each provider has to offer.

A three-point checklist should drive your selection:

  • culture
  • processes
  • people
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A Business Management Software System Road Map (Part 3)

Preparing the People for Change

We have tackled two of the five stops in our business roadmap of implementing a business management software system. (You can read part one here and part two here.) Organizational culture sets the pace on how you can smoothly insert technological and system changes to your business structure. There are also the operational processes that need to be accounted for so that when it comes time for migration, you will be assured that you’ve covered all bases.

The most critical unit that participates in the implementation of change in your business, however, is your people.

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A Business Management Software System Road Map (Part 2)

Reinventing Processes Made Easy

When setting up the requirements for the new and enhanced way of doing your businesses processes, it is important to ensure that all activities are accounted for and that all alignments will be addressed with corresponding action plans.

Once you’ve decided which functional areas of your business you will integrate into an enterprise resource planning system, you should proceed to detail your current operational procedures. Put it into writing so that you will capture the full scope of the technological changes you’re planning for the business.

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A Business Management Software System Business Road Map (Part 1)

Keeping What We Do Now – Just Bigger and Better

Whether you’re simply installing improvements to your business structure or going all out and reinventing the wheel, a variety of tools will be necessary. In addition, before launching a full-scale change management, you should consider two things: your business’s culture and your current operational processes.

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Visual Process Flows

A visual process flow is the visual representation of a complex task or process – with a series of illustrations, one can see how the task/process is broken down step by step. Visual process flows make it easier for people to describe to others or to visualize for themselves how the task/process is done.

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Sage's ERP Products are the Ultimate in Streamlining

Your company offers a niche service to the oil and gas industry, and as you grow, you’re noticing more and more delays – on your end – when it comes to booking business.

You’ve added more staff to make service calls in the field, but the work is reaching to locales farther and farther from your home office. Consequently, you find that you personally are handling most of their calls, since you need to see a copy of the client’s contract, or because you know where to find that last change order.

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Sage 300 is a Contractor’s Dream

Contractors operating in multiple counties and/or jurisdictions in Alberta encounter more requirements for doing business than their counterparts working in only one county/jurisdiction. This is especially true when it comes to figuring payroll taxes.

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Make Heavy Construction Project Management Lighter with Sage 300 ERP

Heavy construction occurring in the Alberta oil and gas fields can be characterized as challenging, given the sometimes harsh conditions and demands on both equipment and workers. Consequently, the trials of heavy construction project management are many.

As we’ve said, companies relying on spreadsheets, documents, or email threads to track things like equipment rentals, purchase orders, inventory shipments, and invoices are dealing with inaccurate, incomplete, and/or duplicated information. This is the cause of many problems, including loss of profits as a project gets stuck in downtime waiting for a part they didn’t know was out of stock.

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RFI Tracking for HVAC Companies

It’s a common problem for engineers and project managers: the search for the right equipment to match a customer’s needs. Almost no problem is as challenging for energy professionals as engineering the right indoor climate system to provide maximum efficiency and energy savings. To make it even more challenging, the engineers/project managers must ensure that the HVAC specifications received match the proposed system size and output, among other things that must be matched.

As such, RFI tracking for HVAC companies is a crucial part of keeping vendors and manufacturers competitive. Without RFI tracking, most businesses would fall back on legacy methods like written data or spreadsheets, which can mean perpetuating a system of inaccurate and isolated information.

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Maintaining Rental Equipment with Sage’s Service Manager

Many factors can be attributed to the rise of the oil equipment rental market, including the rising expense of unconventional practices like shale and simply not throwing capital to buy equipment, maintain it, and keep a parts inventory up and running.

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Sage 300 Versus the Filing Cabinets

Do you remember when filing cabinets were a staple in the office? And then, even when technology started taking off, maybe you weren’t quite adverse to the idea of using technology, but still – certain types of critical information, like client contracts, lead developments, and all that project documentation just seemed safer physically within arm’s reach.

Now that you’ve expanded your business, however, there are several issues you might be having. One being that with so much new business, you and your staff are spending all of your time thumbing through what seems like a million client folders to find the right document. Another being that maybe you’ve expanded so much that you have more than one location and/or the need to work both on location and out of the office. In that situation, you don’t even have access to client or contract information because your filing cabinet isn’t anywhere near you.

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Use Avalara's AvaTax to Navigate Tax Compliance Issues

When your business grows, it grows everywhere – including in sales tax requirements. When this happens, you appear to have only two choices: to sink time and energy into sales tax management, which doesn’t make you money, or carry the risk of being non-compliant, which could cost you money.

Or is there a better way?

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Sage 300 ERP Keeps You On Track

The success of heavy construction project management is in the details.

And the best way to manage details is with good software. Many business owners are still relying on old methods for managing their projects, their paperwork, and their people. Consequently, the profitability of a project can be put at risk simply because of a lack of the right technology tool: Sage 300 ERP.

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Sage 300 ERP: Accounting Software for Contractors

As the owner of a construction company, you’re used to wearing many hats in the office and out in the field. What’s crucial to the profitability of your projects is knowing where budgets stand and making sure payment is on time for employees, vendors, and other third-party suppliers.

With the growth of your business, you find yourself away from your home office more and more. Consequently, you can’t initiate the payment process in a timely manner like you could before your expansion took place.

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Technisoft Integrates with Sage 300

Every business must make decisions that impact efficiency and, ultimately, their bottom line. These decisions must be made while also attempting to grow – opening a new branch office, hiring more employees, etc.

Old methods of handling workloads and scheduling via emails, phone calls, and playing phone tag with voice mail remove your business from the competitive arena. To stay on top in the current economy means that you must be able to communicate with your employees at all times. Simply having an office with a secretary to take messages no longer cuts it.

Read more about Sage here: Read Now

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Tracking the Productivity of Rental Equipment

A common approach in the construction business for measuring productivity is to calculate the firm’s output in dollars and divide it by the total number of hours assigned to the labor behind it.

Often, although it’s crucial to include rental hours to gauge an accurate productivity outcomes, the operational costs of machinery and equipment are overlooked, making the productivity measurement inaccurate.

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Project Management for Heavy Construction is Easier with Sage 300 ERP

Project management for heavy construction is only as efficient as the software you’re using, so while it’s definitely easiest to grab an online template or throw together an Excel spreadsheet, those types of cheap fixes won’t help you in the long run.

Tracking project costs

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Change Order Management

It seems like every time all the work orders and contracts have been agreed upon and signed, back comes a request for changes.

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Suspense Over the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project

The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, at a cost of 7.9 billion Canadian dollars, was the backup plan for the stalled Keystone XL pipeline, which was to be used to move oil from Alberta’s oil sands to tankers on Canada’s Pacific Coast. Recently, the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline received an environmental go ahead thanks to a Canadian review panel’s blessing. According to an article in the New York Times, the government decided that “Canada and Canadians would be better off with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project than without.”

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If You Build It, They Will Come

If you build it, they will come?

Work camps with two-story gymnasiums, virtual golf courses, and movie theaters are the kind of amenities energy giants like Chevron are contemplating in hopes of attracting the skilled workforce they need to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipelines across Canada to Pacific Coast export terminals.

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Alberta Mines ... A Lot

The Alberta oil sands are not only doing important work with their in situ mining, open pit mining, and research into finding an alternative to natural gas, they also provide more oil to the United States than Saudi Arabia does – to the tune of 1.5 million barrels per day. By 2019, that number is expected to reach 3.3 million barrels per day.

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Oil Oil Everywhere

Why will Alberta oil sands companies need more pipelines to transport diluted crude oil to North America?

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Growth in Fort McMurray

As a small business owner servicing a niche market in the oil and gas industry, you’re planning on a major expansion into the Edmonton region.

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Is Calgary the "Silicon Valley" of Canada?

It was midnight when you had a great idea, so you reached for a pen and a pad, but wait, where'd it go? That was when you realized you’d gone digital, so you powered up the bedside tablet and let the ideas flow.

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Use Sage 300 to Prepare for Steady Growth in the Energy Sector

As a new service provider to the Canadian oil and gas industry, you’ve learned quickly just how complicated it is to grow your business. Your goal is to gain entry into northern Alberta where the Athabasca reserves exist – your patented process for in situ extraction of bitumen has attracted a number of investors and you’re ready to work with clients servicing the Cold Lake Deposits.

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Open Invoice Tracking

You’d just arrived at a remote location up in the Alberta sands region to check on your install of your new product when a call came in from your bookkeeper back in Calgary. It was then you realized just how problematic the Open Invoice could be, when your “best practices” amounted to coffee-stained stacks of orders and invoices on the bookkeeper's desk.

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