Archive for Uncategorized

The Problem with Construction Software

Legacy construction software can be costly and inefficient. The ongoing reluctance in the construction industry to adopting new technologies and eliminating data silos has led to serious and systemic issues such as poor productivity and cost overruns to be viewed as “normal” within the construction industry.

Overcoming Problems with Construction Software

In early 2014, as majority owner of Strategies Group, I made the decision to review other products available in the construction marketplace to see if we could better serve our clients by offering a modern construction software option. Simply put, I knew there were technological advances that were taking place that Sage and other legacy software vendors were either unwilling or unable to take advantage of in the construction software space. I spent 18 months researching the different options in the market and some potential players.

In January of 2018, the construction software market was changed dramatically with the announcement that one of the most technologically advanced, platformed based software companies in the world had developed a construction industry-specific product. Acumatica, a company that we have represented on the more traditional ERP (Manufacturing/Distribution/eCommerce) side of our business had changed the game. They are truly a technology company with some 73% of their employees dedicated to product research and development. The construction product was spearheaded by a group of industry experts who came from the Timberline heritage. They KNOW CONSTRUCTION and Acumatica KNOWS SOFTWARE.

Learn more about how the combination of the two resulted in an initial offering that anyone looking to change their Construction Software systems needs to consider.

New Call-to-action

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Dollars vs. Deployment: A Look at SAAS vs. On-Premise Solutions

For many small-to-medium sized businesses, SAAS (cloud) deployments have leveled the playing field with larger organizations that have access to greater resources. Think about it. Your project teams can execute complicated projects on-time, within budget. But managing an internal network, updating software and hardware, and troubleshooting issues just is just not in your wheelhouse – nor should it. Furthermore, researching and buying all those computers and other technical devices is a massive non-revenue generating responsibility. This blog will focus on the benefits of SAAS vs. on-premise solutions.

Here are some considerations when evaluating a SAAS vs. on-premise solutions:

Adaptability

Deploying to the cloud means shorter deployment time and lower operating costs. Modern technology should be built on mobile framework, enabling deployment of technology across an entire organization – all while reducing the learning curve for users.

A modern-built ERP solution offers end-users access to more integrations and more tools for users to leverage without deep product specialization.

Continual Improvement

We believe that the commitment to understanding changing industry and technology standards is critical for an ERP. Many software developers are comfortable maintaining the status quo and collecting yearly maintenance and service fees without adding any additional features or functionality.

Our mission is to collaborate with all of our customers and partners in delivering innovative technology that supports your business growth. Add to that acceleration – making it happen in a timely fashion. Stagnation for a company is paramount to closing its doors. Your ERP solution should eliminate stagnation from your vocabulary and your business.

Preparing for Natural Disasters

According to a study from EMC, data loss and downtime cost companies worldwide a massive $1.7 trillion (£1 trillion) in 2014.

Take a minute to think through these questions: Can you continue to do business if there is a hardware failure or if a place you’re hosting your solution goes up in flames? If you do experience a fire, what just happened to all of your data? How quickly can you recover from that? If your system is down for 2-3 days, what kind of business are you losing?  Are you going to be able to give your customers the same level of customer service that you would be able to give them under normal circumstances?

When you subscribe to a SaaS offering, your data is replicated into multiple geo zones. There are regular processes that take place to ensure you can get back up and running immediately, even in the event of a disaster. The data backups that are performed are tested regularly to ensure that the data is recoverable.

Avoiding Ransomware

While small-to-midsized businesses aren’t specifically targeted in ransomware campaigns, they may be more likely to suffer an attack. Frequently, small business IT teams are stretched thin and, in some cases, rely on outdated technology due to budgetary constraints. This is the perfect storm for ransomware vulnerability.

Fundamentally more secure business solutions have evolved over the past decade with an ongoing commitment to stopping ransomware breaches. Yet organizations continue to trust their critical business information to outdated twenty-year-old technology that fails to stand up when measured against the latest security requirements and innovations.

Focus on Security

Data security is critical to the overall health of your organization. Does your IT team currently perform penetration testing or compliance monitoring?

Cloud deployments take advantage of the benefits of Amazon Web Services (AWS). Security at AWS is the highest priority and end-users enjoy the benefit of a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.

Learn More about the Benefits of SAAS vs. On-Premise Solutions

Please feel free to reach out to us if you would like to further discuss how technology has changed for the construction industry. Let’s make sure your company is getting the functionality and ongoing commitment to improvement that you are paying for.

New Call-to-action

Posted in: CRM, ERP, Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

How Construction Business Intelligence Tools Improve Profit Margins

Advanced construction business intelligence tools are changing the game. See how!Construction Business Intelligence tools are more than just a fancy buzzword — 2018 appears to be the year that these tools take center stage. Business Intelligence (BI) comprises the strategies and technologies used by enterprises for the data analysis of business information. BI technologies provide historical, current and predictive views of business operations. Unfortunately, contractors of all sizes are losing a lot of money because they are not tapping into the critical business analytics available to them. Experts put the potential loss of revenue from failing to leverage this asset in the billions of dollars.

What’s the Disconnect? Why More Firms aren’t Leveraging Construction Business Intelligence Tools..

Better business intelligence, or BI, could improve profits and productivity, but only half of all construction firms are tracking information at all, according to a McGraw-Hill study. This study found that:

  • Only 37% of workers can access information outside the trailer
  • Only 37% use cloud services to share information

Some companies mistakenly think they are leveraging BI because they’re using apps or other stand-alone software. But that technology often serves only to silo data, making it difficult, if not impossible, to access and analyze for actionable insights. Even more firms are stuck in the outdated use of manual data entry, spreadsheets and CSV files, which are more limiting when it comes to sharing and optimizing data. The report found:

  • 49.2% manually enter data
  • 44.7% use spreadsheets
  •  31.9% use CSV files

The bottom line, experts say, is that failure to capture BI with an integrated solution is costing construction firms untold millions in lost productivity. Capturing, sharing and reporting all that data can help contractors better manage cost, risk and collaboration — not to mention increase profits

Five Ways Construction Business Intelligence Tools Improve Profit Margins

Reduce job site error, waste and inefficiencies – all while improving profit margins – with these five benefits of BI:

  1. Achieve a global view of projects past and present:

  • See how accurate past bids have been as well as where the market is headed to make more accurate bids
  • See trends across projects to make strategic business decisions based on actionable insights
  1. Improve efficiency and margins with real-time data:

  • See where problems or bottlenecks are happening and address them immediately, rather than getting information about them weeks later when the problem has eaten into margins
  • Have instant access to metrics, such as payroll, to see whether work is being done on budget and where spend can be reduced
  1. Bring together office and field data with standard reporting:

  • Ensure standardized reporting that is easily viewed on customizable dashboards and reports
  • Get access to data that otherwise might be siloed or unusable
  1. Manage resource (people and equipment) more effectively:

  • Better predict when equipment needs maintenance to avoid breakdowns and job stops
  • Track workers’ licenses, insurance and certifications to know when they expire and better schedule accordingly to ensure enough labor for upcoming projects
  1. Monitor risk more effectively:

  • Keep daily tabs on contract requirements, legal restrictions and safety issues by project and locality
  • Analyze safety incidents with real-time data to see where weak spots are occurring and be more proactive in preventing them rather than reacting to them

See How Your Peers are Utilizing Construction Business Intelligence Tools in Their Day-to-Day Business Life

Southeastern Site Development, a Southeastern regional construction firm, is incorporating advanced reporting and Business Intelligence tools to set the nearly 12-year-old company above its old-school competition. Click below to learn more.

New Call-to-action

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Find Your Trusted Cloud Computing Consultant / Advisor

Do you have a trusted cloud computing consultant?Do you keep delaying your transition to the cloud? You keep paying maintenance and other costs for an outdated system – it is time to put a stop to the madness! But where do you begin your journey to the cloud? Join millions of other businesses that have partnered with a cloud computing consultant to help you implement the right technology for your organization.

Plan for Success with a Cloud Computing Consultant

You know you need to move your critical business systems off of ancient on-premise technology – you just don’t know where to get started.  No problem! The Strategies Group Team can help assist you to select the optimal solution for your growing firm. Our team members are experts in the technology and understand the requirements. Don’t get locked into a solution until you understand the long-term impact on your firm.

Strategies Group has a proven methodology to help guide you through your Cloud ERP migration:

  • Discover – The Strategies Group team works with key stakeholders to form an ERP implementation team. A kickoff meeting is scheduled to review the project plan and communicate the company objectives for the project. In this phase, Strategies Group consultants review the current process, design/configure/setup new processes, and work with key stakeholders to define the scope, migration strategy and desired schedule.
  • Design– Strategies Group consultants assist the implementation team in designing, configuring and setting up the new system and business processes. Consultants work with key stakeholders to determine the data quality in the existing system to increase the success of the data conversion to the new system.
  • Deploy– In this phase, the Strategies Group team delivers the new system to the customer implementation team and continues to educate the implementation team on the new system and the capabilities of the system. Strategies Group and the implementation team work together to identify issues and process adjustments as needed.
  • Deliver–The Strategies Group team supports the client in the use of their new system. The Strategies Group team is available for ongoing support and training, and are scheduled on-site to support the go-live process for the new system.

Go Beyond a Cloud Computing Consultant and Build the Perfect ERP Project Team

Download this free guide as a building block as you start to build your cloud ERP project team. Like any project, your ERP implementation is going to take a group effort. If you don’t plan appropriately you will find yourself herding cats.



Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Warning Signs: Time to Replace Your ERP System

Are you aware of the warning signs indicating when it’s time to replace your ERP system? From product planning, to purchasing, to supply chain strategy, if your ERP isn’t performing the way it should, you will feel the impact in every aspect of your business. So, are you aware of the ERP replacement warning signs? Know when it is time to start your investigation of modern solutions.

When is it Time to Replace Your ERP System?

See the warning signs to know if it is time to replace your ERP system

Get Started and Replace Your ERP System with Confidence

Are you experiencing any of the above warning signs? Luckily, we have a free guide to help you get started on your ERP evaluation journey. Download the Ultimate ERP Starter Guide for a series of considerations that we feel helps determine the success of technology adoption.

New Call-to-action

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

What is the Cloud? A Guide for Growing Firms

What is the cloud and how does it benefit your firm? Find out!Do you ever find yourself asking, 'What is the Cloud?' Don’t get caught up with buzzwords and the web of confusion surrounding the cloud. In order to achieve success in shifting your processes and programs to the cloud, it is critical to understand how the technology will allow for the best results. This blog will help you demystify the benefits of a cloud solution for your business.

The ‘Cloud’ Simplified

What is the Cloud: The ‘cloud’ is a network of computers used to store and process information, rather than a single machine. Leading cloud providers are able to provide better infrastructure and security than on-premise systems. This combination of cost savings and efficiency help make the cloud popular from SMB to Enterprise level IT managers focused on managing stable systems across the organization.

Benefits of the cloud include:

Reduced Costs – Dynamic deployment of the cloud allows IT Managers to deploy the proper resources to employees based on the organization’s needs
Disaster Protection – Your business data is the lifeblood of your organization. Avoid disaster with disaster recovery in the cloud – a strategy that involves storing and maintaining copies of electronic records in the cloud.
Secure Data – Keeping up with the latest security protocols and technologies is a lot of work for an IT department. Cloud providers take a proactive approach to system security. Security is supreme in cloud computing – it is a top-tier consideration at every level.
Mobile Access – Get access to your data anywhere, anytime from any device with the power of the cloud. This virtual collaboration will help connect your teams across the world.

Download the Guide: Benefits of the Cloud for Your Company.

There are many variables and hurdles that you will encounter on your journey to the cloud. See how our team of cloud expert’s affinity with industry-specific solutions can help you meet your technology needs.



Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

5 Reasons to Attend the Acumatica Summit 2018

This year’s Acumatica Summit will be held in Nashville on January 28 – February 2, in Nashville, TN. 2018 marks the 10-year anniversary for Acumatica and we can’t wait to celebrate. If you are still on the fence about registering for the conference here are five reasons we think you should come and share in the excitement of this event!

5 Can’t Miss Reasons to Attend the Acumatica Summit 2018

  1. Direct Access to Acumatica experts. Connect with Acumatica’s leadership, product and engineering teams to gain valuable insight into future product roadmaps. Dig into products with live demonstrations and Q&A sessions.
  2. Network with your peers. Acumatica Summit 2018 is the perfect opportunity for you to meet with your peers and discuss the latest industry trends. Relax and unwind at the Welcome Reception and get to know other users of the premier cloud ERP solution!
  3. Mix it up with sessions focused on your interests and needs. Take advantage of more learning opportunities than ever before! The Acumatica Summit 2018 will divide the Customer Track into two ways to participate — Education and Roundtables. This year, multiple session will run concurrently, allowing you to move between educational and discussion sessions depending on your interests and needs.The Education sessions will have eight different classes (50 minutes each) covering a variety of customer-specific topics from “Acumatica Productivity Tips and Tricks for New Users” to “Generating More Leads for Your Business Through Websites and Email Campaigns”. The Roundtables will offer four different small group discussions (90 minutes each) where you can network with others in your industry, learn about available resources to help tackle your issues, contribute by suggesting product improvements and share lessons learned.
  4. Connect with the Strategies Group Team! This year Strategies Group is excited to announce that our entire team will be attending Deltek Insight. Drop us a line if you plan on attending and a member of our team would love to meet with you on-site for a cup of coffee and a face-to-face chat!
  5. Enjoy the Acumatica Summit Celebration Party with a Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHF) performance! Enjoy ‘Music City’ the right way with three performances from some of Nashville’s top artists.
    • Richie McDonald is an award-winning country singer and songwriter and the face and voice of the band Lonestar. Writing music is his passion but singing and performing on stage are not far behind. McDonald is known for being both a great storyteller about his music and for wanting to create music that touches his audience.
    • The party continues in the main hall of the CMHF with food, drinks, and more music! Bob Fortner and Southern Jam is sure to get the party started. CMHF is one of Fortner’s favorite places to perform; he’s also performed on various TV shows (such as Nashville Now and Crook and Chase) as well as at the Grand Ole Opry. His ability to sing country favorites and connect with the audience makes him a favorite.
    • Steve Willets is a highly sought-after artist who plays piano for country music star Crystal Gayle. He will be performing in the stunning Rotunda and is known for playing a variety of musical styles such as gospel, rock, jazz, and country that wow the crowd.

Acumatica users from around the world will be attending the Acumatica Summit 2018 – we hope you are one of them! Haven’t registered yet? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to sign up today!

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

3 Top Online Construction Resources for 2018

Check Out Our Top Online Construction Resources for 2018!The New Year brings new changes for many people. Between New Year’s resolutions and continual self-improvement, 2018 offers a chance for us all to improve professionally and personally. But, as the saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” This blog is going to focus on some of the top online construction resources for 2018. These are tried and true resources that are certain to help you stay abreast of the latest construction news, connect with more industry professionals and centers of influence, and learn more about the continual developments facing the construction industry.

My Top Online Construction Resources for 2018

  1. Construction Financial Management Association (cfma.org)

    The Construction Financial Management Association website is a no-brainer for my selection of the top online construction resources for 2018. From industry news and advocacy to education and professional development resources, they have it all! Are you looking to get plugged in to your local construction community? Check out their calendar of events for a list of conferences and events near you. I had the pleasure of attending two separate CFMA events last year and I can honestly say that I have never met a group of more welcoming individuals!
  2. LinkedIn (linkedin.com)


    LinkedIn is hands down the worldwide leader social media network for professionals. During the most recently reported quarter, LinkedIn had 467 million members, up from 450 million members in the preceding quarter. The network has experienced consistent growth quarter over quarter, proving that LinkedIn is here to stay! LinkedIn currently has over 15 million users listed within the construction industry. LinkedIn is a great place to connect with industry peers, start or participate in a conversation about industry hot topics, post a job opening or share information about your company.Bonus: Check out LinkedIn Groups. With over 10,000 groups dedicated to the construction industry, groups are a fantastic place to get involved in the construction community.

  3. Construction Dive (constructiondive.com)


Construction Dive is my go-to resources for the latest construction news and trends. With a mission focused on providing construction professionals with a birds-eye-view on the industry, Construction Dive provides original analysis of the top news stories throughout the day. They are also a great resource for industry events, jobs, data and more.

Bonus: Follow Construction Dive on Twitter @constructdive

Strategies Group’s Online Construction Resources

At Strategies Group we strive to provide our readers with updated resources on a month-to-month basis. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the following resources:

  • Spectrum User Group | Want to get plugged in and become more involved with the Spectrum community? Join our Spectrum User Group set to kick-off in May 2018. This virtual user group will cover topics to help you learn more about Spectrum Construction Software.
  • Social Media | Don’t forget to follow us on social media! Subscribe to our LinkedIn page to get notices when we post blogs, articles and other industry-specific content.
  • On-Demand Webinars | We understand that your business never stops! To help, we constantly strive to provide thought leadership on the latest topics and trends facing the construction industry. Join our quarterly webcasts delivered by subject matter experts who deliver knowledge and information critical to your business. Can’t attend? No problem! All of our virtual events are recorded and available on-demand. Check out some of our past presentations!

Enjoy These Online Construction Resources

We hope you enjoy all of these online resources. Do you have any additional resources to share? Post in the comments section below!

 

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

2017 Construction Spending Trends Upwards

2017 construction spending trends upwards!Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released their 2017 Construction Spending Monthly Report for September. This report is helpful for budgeting for 2018 and establishing underlying trends that may impact the construction industry both short-term and long-term. Below are key takeaways that you should consider.

What You Need to Know: September 2017 Construction Spending

  • During the first 9 months of 2017, construction spending amounted to a $38 billion increase compared to the same period in 2016 (a 4.3% increase from $879.6 billion to $917.0 billion.)
  • The private construction industry experienced a $28.5 million increase for the month of September compared to the same period in 2016 (a 3.1% increase from $914,271 million to $942,729 million.)
  • The public construction industry experienced a $4.5 million decrease for the month of September compared to the same period in 2016 (a 1.6% decrease from $281,370 million to $276,815 million.)
  • Residential construction experienced an impressive increase of $45 million for the month of September compared to the same period in 2016 (a 9.5% increase from $476,373 million to $521,445 million)

What Does this Mean for 2018?

We expect to see a continued increase in overall construction spending leading well into 2018 as the southeastern and southwestern United States continue rebuilding efforts after devastation caused from one of the most catastrophic Hurricane seasons on record.

Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics October Report confirmed many of the themes you have heard throughout 2017 regarding the war for talent within the construction industry. This is evident by a 1.2% decrease in construction unemployment rates from October 2016 to October 2017. Expect to see construction firms continue to invest in HR, talent management and recruiting solutions as they seek to find qualified workers.

Throughout the major construction verticals, job growth during the month of October breaks down as follows:

  • The construction industry as a whole added approximately 11,000 net new jobs
    • Non-Residential / Residential Building Construction added 3,900 net new jobs
    • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction experienced a 3,000 job decline
    • Specialty Trade Contractors added an impressive 10,400 net new jobs

Are You Prepared to Compete in 2018?

As you can see, all signs point to a positive business climate in 2018. You should be excited about your firm’s prospects for continuing positive growth. However, you may have cause for concern if your firm has not adopted an agile recruiting and employee management process. Click on the link below to learn more.

New Call-to-action

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →

Say Thanks with these 3 Employee Engagement Ideas this Holiday Season

Finding and hiring the right talent is an expensive, burdensome, process. Yet, many firms fail to put in the effort and investment to retain their own top talent. Employee engagement continues to emerge as a critical driver of business success in today’s competitive business landscape. High levels of employee engagement promote retention of talent, foster long-term loyalty, and improve organizational performance and stakeholder value. But shockingly, according to Gallup, the percentage of “engaged” employees among the U.S. working population has remained at around one-third (33%) since Gallup began measuring employee engagement in 2000. Follow the below employee engagement ideas this holiday season and make your employees feel energized, motivated and strengthen the bond of your organization.

3 Employee Engagement Ideas

Volunteer as a Team

I’ve often heard the saying ‘people aren’t looking for a job, they are looking for a purpose.’ Volunteering for a great cause during the holiday season is the perfect way to give your staff a purpose and create a team atmosphere. Company-wide volunteer programs are one of the most effective ways to enrich your corporate culture and build a legacy of giving back that your entire team will find rewarding.

Pro-tip: If this is your first year coordinating a company-wide volunteer program, begin by sending out a survey to your entire team that gauges what causes and organizations employees are most passionate about as well as what skills they’re most interested in contributing.

Break Bread

Host a company-wide holiday meal! Provide turkey and ham and encourage employees to pitch in by bringing their favorite side dishes. Depending on the date and time of the event, consider streaming a sporting event for all to watch while eating.

Kick your company-wide holiday meal up a notch by participating in some fun team building activities. Ideas include:

  • Recipe swap: Ask each team member to bring recipe cards for their favorite holiday dish
  • Holiday-themed scavenger hunt: Break out into mini-teams and see what team can complete the scavenger hunt first
  • Decorate a “thankfulness” wall: Set-up a decorative wall and encourage employees to write down what they’re thankful for

Say “Thank You”

We are all human beings and genuine, yet simple, acts of recognition and appreciation are critical employee motivators. Improve your employee engagement this year by trying some of these tried but true ways of saying thank you:

  • Send short hand-written notes thanking direct reports for work-related and personal achievements
  • Distribute gift certificates for turkeys or hams. Nothing says ‘thank you’ like a great meal
  • Drop into an employee’s office for a handshake and a verbal acknowledgment of their continued hard work

Go Beyond the Holidays and Get Your Employee Engagement Strategy on Track

Remember, these employee engagement ideas are just a start. What you should really strive for this holiday season is to go beyond employee engagement to create meaningful relationships that last a lifetime. Doing so will reward you with not only with a strong employee retention rate but also with a culture that attracts the top-talent on the job market. Want to learn more about how to focus your employee engagement strategy? Download the white paper below!

New Call-to-action

Posted in: Uncategorized

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 4 1234