Mangement For Design

Autumn Release

7 Warning Signs That Your Business System Isn’t Delivering

Your business system should be saving you time and money but many architects, engineers and designers have business systems that don’t achieve this at all. It isn’t uncommon to set a system in place and let it run without regularly updating and assessing whether it still is — or ever was — optimised for success. Look out for these seven issues that will indicate that your business system isn’t delivering.


1. Input takes longer than output

It is absolutely essential to your business intelligence that you can simply and quickly capture data that highlights errors and duplication. It is equally crucial for this to be comprehensive by collecting all the data you need for your business metrics.

When your system is too difficult or requires too much manual labour, it will lead to your people cutting corners or completely avoiding the system altogether. This inevitably results in the introduction of bad data, which in turn will devalue any insights generated.


2. You do all the reporting

If your current business system only allows the finance team to undertake reporting functions, this is holding the business back. A project-based ERP solution will provide detailed tools to enable both the financial department — and even end users — the capability to create their own planning and improvement reports.


3. Compiling reports takes too long

Many businesses do not have one system that is used by the whole business. Instead, many businesses have each department using a different system, meaning that it becomes difficult when it is time to make a company wide report. The ideal system will replace multiple systems with a single common data store and interface. Reports can then be made in real time with the most up to date information. Planning and decision-making ultimately becomes faster and is based on accurate data — helping the business to become more responsive and agile.


4. Forecasting is difficult and/or inaccurate

Being unable to obtain accurate information quickly and effectively means that you will be unlikely to create the forecasts you need to draw up realistic budgets or forecasts. The ideal business system will validate data upon entry and will give you access to data in real time, therefore removing the introduction of manual errors and providing more accurate forecasting.


5. Finance is separated from project management

ERP is more than the management of finance and production invoicing. It’s also an integrated resource and project management tool. Each project should have a budget and therefore should share a system with finance. If the two systems are separate, budgeting and forecasting information becomes less accurate. In addition, accounts and project data are more likely to contain errors, causing it to become impossible to accurately manage profit and loss across multiple projects.



Your ideal business system will unite finance with project management to give a more accurate and clear understanding of business processes and the true costs.


6. Your business system is too manually intensive

When using separate systems, there is a greater risk of errors because you need human intervention to copy data between screens, or to export and import data into the different applications. Not only is there an increased risk of error but this is a poor use of resource utilisation as staff time and resources are wasted copying data and checking for errors.

Your ideal system will make use of automation and advanced error checking. This will help to reduce wasting time on manual labour and in turn will mean direct cash savings for your business.


7. Your system does not match your sector

Many business management solutions are still geared towards the manufacturing sector and although you can heavily customise these systems, they still present some problems. The add-ons don’t often translate well to the architecture and engineering service sector and the expensive enhancements and customisations do not interface smoothly with the core platform.



To avoid these problems, it is important to select a solution and a platform that is designed specifically for your sector — this will help to reduce cost and reduce the time to ROI realisation.

To summarise, your ideal Business Management solution should:

  • Make data input quick and easy
  • Reduce errors
  • Allow other business units to report on project and resource information
  • Speed up the reporting process
  • Increase accuracy, timeliness and access to financial modelling and forecasting
  • Integrate project management with other information for greater business operating transparency
  • Use automation and error checking to reduce costly mistakes
  • Be specifically designed for the AEC industry sector.

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