Finance Technology for Your Construction Company: A Strategic Guide to Success

Finance Technology for Your Construction Company: A Strategic Guide to Success

by Ryan Prindiville, Scott Stafford
July 23, 2021

Today’s construction companies need an effective finance technology stack to gain better insight into performance and enable strategic decisions. Just like a carpenter wouldn’t go to a worksite without a hammer, your leadership and back-office teams can’t do their jobs effectively without the right tools in place to tackle challenges like job cost estimates, budgeting, forecasting and procurement. Our strategic checklist can help you get started designing a construction tech stack strategy.

Assign a person or team to drive your tech strategy.

  • They should have visibility over technology for the entire business, so you know what solutions are going in where and can leverage them across the company to address pain points.
  • Meet with the individual or team on a regular cadence to review, adjust and plan.
  • Any strategic initiative should have a project manager, but there should also be an executive or board member championing it.

Get your team on board.

  • Your selected team should also include power users who interact with the system regularly. Having a staff member who vouches for the benefits of a new solution can improve user adoption.
  • Up-front involvement will help your team adapt to the new technology and adopt the new processes.
  • Some employees may equate automation with job loss, so make sure staff knows the goal is to empower them to be more valuable by eliminating low-value, manual tasks.

Identify key goals for your construction company today, transitional requirements and plans for future growth.

  • Document all your company requirements and identify potential solutions that will best address your current and future needs. You want to build a technology system for the organization you are today and for the organization you want to be in 5-10 years.
  • Your ideal solution should have a purpose behind it and a tangible outcome you can use as a gauge to determine your projects’ success.
  • Understand the KPIs required for leadership across the organization.
  • Establish a needs pecking order. Address what will yield the highest return for your company first, what you’ll tackle in the future and what should be on hold for later discussions.

Research solutions and providers that have construction industry experience.

  • Identify the best person(s) to evaluate each solution.
  • Make sure the solution meets today’s and tomorrow’s plans.
  • Prioritize your solution needs. What is the ROI potential?
  • Determine if the solution will be supported internally and/or externally.
  • Identify what partners are needed and research how they are ranked.

Create a data governance and change management strategy.

  • Form the team and processes to ensure data in your new system is accurate and will stay that way on an ongoing basis.
  • Implementation and change management teams should champion your system’s benefits, but also ensure they’re being used correctly.
  • Construction projects vary greatly in type, but your new software should allow you to recognize similar attributes from past projects that can serve as a reference point for forecasting future projects.
  • Analyze your cybersecurity, data privacy and user access needs.
  • Establish a data hierarchy, create or understand the architecture needed for how your jobs will be recorded and determine how deep information needs to go to give you an understanding of the value of a given project you’re tracking.
  • Determine whether your system will be on-premises, cloud-based or a hybridized solution.
  • List what integrations will be required.
  • Ensure no data silos will be created across your existing tech stack.
  • Consider access needs for a remote workforce:
  • Number of employees that need remote access from a job site or other locations
  • User access to documentation
  • Roles and permissions for different user types
  • Evaluate your system-wide security requirements.

Build a finance technology roadmap.

  • Outline the solutions you’ve chosen and how they cover your core processes — work-in-progress (WIP) scheduling, Job cost estimating and reporting, budgeting and forecasting and procurement.
  • These solutions should provide a single source of truth
  • You want to mobilize your workforce more efficiently by aligning estimates, budgets and procurement quickly to overcome labor shortages and rising material costs.
  • Identify an implementation timeline.
  • Installing multiple solutions at once can disrupt job productivity, hinder user adoption and overwhelm resources.
  • Consider the order in which you plan to implement these systems so they make sense for the data they provide. Or determine whether you have to re-implement technologies later.
  • Note the partners you’ve identified for service and support — ensure they have the technology and construction industry expertise to help your tech stack address your specific needs.
  • Determine which internal teams/departments will be involved.
  • Understand the interrelatedness of the various teams who will own the data and who can contribute to the database.
  • Identify the specific integrations needed — out of the box, custom or manual imports.
  • Set goals for implementations and go-lives.
  • Recognize sources for user adoption support for ongoing management.

About Armanino’s Construction Practice

When you partner with Armanino, you gain our team’s decades of experience working in the construction industry. We provide an integrated set of audit, tax, business management, consulting and technology solutions. We take the time to understand your motivations and goals — for your construction contracting business as well as for yourself and your family. Then we recommend strategies that get you where you want to go.

Need some help or clarification? Contact one of our construction experts.

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Ryan Prindiville - Consulting | Armanino
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