The growth opportunities in the global construction industry are set to grow to $10.5 trillion by 2023, and opportunities for expansion are opening up. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater focus now on operational efficiency. Construction ERP systems are one of the best investments any construction operation can make. Even more so when paired with field service software.
Where the added value and efficiency play a factor is in the mounds of data that can be transferred from one system to the other. CMiC, a leading construction ERP software, is a powerful ERP and accounting system designed for the construction industry. Through their API, they can connect with field service software such as Fieldpoint to enrich both products with the best data, including customer information, time, labor, and materials.
More importantly for those in the construction industry, it’s connecting two software products that are made for the construction industry. Companies do not have to sacrifice their needs for a system that doesn’t speak their industry’s language.
“The reason a lot of people were dissatisfied with their ERP system [was because] the decision was not ‘Should I buy from one or two vendors’ – if you were an Oracle shop you bought from Oracle,” said Michael Guay, research director of ERP strategy for Gartner to CIO magazine. “Often, that meant you had a functional app that didn’t suit the needs of the business, so you had to customize a solution and that leads you down a very bad path.”
Using the system that bests suits your job role
While collecting and transmitting data between a construction ERP system and a field service management software is important, it’s not the only reason to integrate. Software is designed with a specific purpose in mind, and integrations enhance those connections. However, people still buy software for the specific use of using that software for the function they bought it for.
In the case of Fieldpoint and CMiC, it often means the construction company uses Fieldpoint’s field service software for its field work and CMiC as the back-office ERP. They work together, but they each serve a distinct function within the organization.
“What we do is synchronize key components between the two systems,” said Oliver Ritchie, Vice President of Technology and Innovation with CMiC. “It’s giving you the best of everything. The guys in the service management realm, they get to play in the space they like to play in, while the back office gets to play within the CMiC environment.”
The general idea is that where one system ends, the other begins. And the API integration lines make it so fluid that often you don’t even know it’s happening. Fieldpoint users will leverage customer information in Fieldpoint which is directly added or updated in CMiC. Contact information changes, new vendors are brought on, and customers come online, but for Fieldpoint users, it’s just another name in their customer list.
“Fieldpoint is designed to expand the CMiC functionality to provide a very rich level of service functionality to those that require it,” said Greg Garritsen, Director, Business Development with Fieldpoint, “We want to see up-to-date and powerful technology powering the business.
Data liquidity and integrity
For integrations to be successful they have to have what is called data liquidity. This is the idea that data is ready to be used as soon as it’s available in either system. In manual operations, such as with printed papers or even PDF documents, the data on those sheets needs to be consumed by an individual and then put into the system manually before it can be used. If that doesn’t occur, the data can’t be used by a software solution.
Meanwhile, data entered in Fieldpoint, such as timesheet information from a technician, can immediately be used in CMiC to invoice a customer or produce a pay stub for that technician. The second that data is entered someone in the other system has the ability to use that data to do their own job. That is what makes integrations between field service management (what is field service management software) and construction ERPs significant to growing construction operations.
“As soon as the data hits either system, whether that be CMiC or Fieldpoint, it is ready to be used,” said Ritchie. “We’re actually moving the data points back and forth between the two systems so that as soon as the data arrives in either system, it’s ready to be used, ready to be consumed.
What this also accomplishes is data integrity, which confirms that the data being used is the correct and true data. It removes as much of the human element as possible, reducing errors that could have widespread effects across the entire system.
For example, if a customer’s information is keyed in wrong each time service is provided, technicians may end up at the wrong address, invoices may not be billed to the right person, or multiple accounts could be opened for a single customer. Instead, information is keyed in once, in one system, and used through both systems without the need to constant re-key whenever that information needs to be used.
“The way you get data integrity is you remove any typo, you remove the human element of keying into two systems, which removes the duel entry process,” said Ritchie. “Even if you could minimize your types and rework, the big challenge here is the volume of the data that you will be entering into two systems would be astronomical. We recommend that as you use each of the software, the appropriate data just moves from one software to the other and you get that nice integrated experience.”
A complete construction system
Fieldpoint and CMiC is a centralized solution for the construction industry, offering the best of a field service management system with a construction ERP. The shared data points through the integration make it possible to reduce and eliminate errors in data transfer and streamline data usage.
More importantly, it allows each person to use the technology that is unique to their specific job. Technicians are not concerned with construction ERP systems when they are on-site using a mobile field service app to complete a work order. However, the information they are punching into their mobile device will be directly consumed in CMiC to help produce invoices, pay stubs, purchase orders, and make updates to general ledgers.
Read more about the Fieldpoint and CMiC integration and how these two software solutions are made for the growing construction industry. Download our report today to learn more. Or, if you’d like to speak to us for a tour of the Fieldpoint platform and mobile application, contact us.