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Business Management and Process Consulting Blog

Sage 100 Contractor - A Year In Review

Posted by Richard Kinyua on November 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM


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.

Acquisition

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.

Summary

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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Topics: Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Year in Review, Sage100



Accounting For Contractors

Posted by Richard Kinyua on October 20, 2020 at 1:30 AM


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.

Reporting

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.

Conclusion

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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Topics: Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Accounting, Sage 100



Is Construction Payroll a Nightmare? Nightmares are for Halloween!

Posted by Richard Kinyua on October 7, 2020 at 2:22 PM


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…

Scenario

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.

Cost

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

Conclusion

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 info@asyma.com or 1-877-448-9895.

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Topics: Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Payroll, Time Entry, Daily Field Reports



How Small Is Too Small For Construction Software

Posted by Keith Greeno on June 24, 2020 at 7:00 PM


How small is too small for construction software?

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Topics: Project Management, Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Technology, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Mobility, Construction Software, Project Costing, Construction Reporting, technology best practices, small business



Leveraging Technology & The Cloud

Posted by Rob Greeno on June 10, 2020 at 7:00 AM


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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Topics: Productivity, Construction, Consulting, Employee Engagement, Business Process, Non-Profit, Automation, Technology, Guiding Great Businesses, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service



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

Posted by Keith Greeno on March 25, 2019 at 7:30 PM


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.

https://www.asyma.com/sage-100-contractor

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Topics: Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Project profitability, Guiding Great Businesses, Sage 100 Contractor, Mobility, Construction Software, Project Costing, Estimating, Construction Reporting, Budget Vs Actual



Operational Visibility

Posted by Richard Kinyua on June 7, 2018 at 10:15 AM


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



Project Managers - Master of your Domain

Posted by Keith Greeno on April 26, 2018 at 4:00 PM


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. http://www.asyma.com/sage-100-contractor-master-builder

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

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



Reduce Bid Time and Increase Bid Quality

Posted by Stephan Garland on April 16, 2018 at 2:43 PM


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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Topics: Project Management, Productivity, Construction, Business Process, Project profitability, Guiding Great Businesses, Construction Technology, Field Technicians, Sage Estimating, Bid



Dismiss the doubt in your construction business

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


Construction Estimating.jpg

Dismiss the doubt in your construction business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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