Introduction

Imagine running your construction projects with the precision of a well-oiled machine, where every task, invoice, and contract is perfectly organised and effortlessly accessible. This is the promise of Construction ERP Software, designed to elevate how small main contractors manage their operations. From streamlining financial management to automating contract workflows, ERP solutions offer the tools you need to enhance efficiency and drive profitability.

For small main contractors, juggling multiple projects, managing subcontractors, and keeping track of budgets can be overwhelming. Traditional methods, like spreadsheets and manual tracking, often fall short, leading to errors and inefficiencies. Construction ERP software addresses these challenges by centralising all your project information in one place, providing real-time insights and facilitating seamless communication among team members.

In this article, we will explore the best construction ERP software options tailored to small, main contractors. Whether you’re looking to improve your budgeting process, streamline invoice approvals, or manage contracts more effectively, these top picks will help you stay on top of your game. Let’s dive into the solutions that can transform your construction business and set you on the path to success.

What is Construction ERP Software?

Construction ERP software refers to comprehensive systems designed to manage various aspects of a construction business. These systems integrate functions like financial accounting, contracts, purchase orders, and contact management into a single, unified platform. By centralising these core processes, ERP software helps construction firms streamline operations, improve communication, and ensure that all project data is easily accessible and up-to-date.

The primary advantage of using ERP software is the ability to manage the entire lifecycle of a construction project from one platform. ERP systems eliminate the need for disparate tools and manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and increasing efficiency. Additionally, real-time data integration allows for better decision-making, as project managers can quickly identify issues and make adjustments as needed.

Key Components of Construction ERP Software

Financial Management: Handles budgeting, invoicing, and financial reporting, simplifying the financial oversight of projects.

Contract Management: Manages subcontracts, client contracts, and change orders, automating many manual tasks.

Purchase Order Management: Simplifies the creation and tracking of purchase orders, ensuring accurate record-keeping.

Contact Management: Manages subcontractors and vendors, optimizing communication and coordination.

Document Management: Stores and organizes important documents, making them easily accessible and reducing the risk of errors.

Using ERP software significantly enhances efficiency and productivity by providing real-time insights, reducing manual errors, and improving decision-making processes.

Key Features to Look for in Construction ERP Software

When selecting Construction ERP software, it’s crucial to choose one that caters specifically to the needs of small main contractors. Here are the key features to consider:

Financial Management and Accounting

Budget Tracking: Monitors project budgets and expenses, helping to prevent cost overruns.

Invoicing: Simplifies the process of generating and sending invoices, reducing administrative workload.

Financial Reporting: Provides detailed financial reports and analytics, supporting informed decision-making.

Contracts and Subcontracts Management

Automated Workflows: Streamlines the creation and approval of contracts, reducing manual tasks.

Change Order Management: Efficiently tracks and manages change orders, ensuring project details are up-to-date.

Integration with Budget: Links contracts to project budgets for accurate financial tracking.

Real-Time Data Integration and Reporting

Real-Time Updates: Ensures all data is current and accessible, improving responsiveness.

Custom Reports: Allows for the creation of tailored reports based on specific needs, providing deeper insights.

Analytics: Offers insights into project performance and financial health, aiding strategic planning.

Invoice and Purchase Order Management

Automated Invoicing: Simplifies the invoicing process, reducing errors and saving time.

Purchase Order Tracking: Manages purchase orders efficiently, ensuring accurate record-keeping.

Approval Workflows: Streamlines the approval process, enhancing efficiency and reducing delays.

Contact Management

Centralised Database: Maintains a comprehensive database of subcontractors and vendors.

Communication Tools: Facilitates easy communication and coordination with all stakeholders.

Relationship Management: Helps manage and nurture relationships with key contacts.

Top Construction ERP Software for Small Main Contractors

When it comes to selecting the best Construction ERP software, it’s essential to choose solutions that offer the right mix of features, usability, and support. Here are some top picks for small main contractors:

Planyard

Planyard is a powerful Construction ERP software highly suitable for small main contractors. It offers a wide range of features that streamline various aspects of construction management, making it easier to manage projects efficiently and effectively.

The software is developed together with industry professionals, ensuring logical workflows that tend to the needs of contractors. Planyard supplies key workflows accompanied by smart features to make day-to-day financial management a breeze. Planyard enables teams to eliminate the need for spreadsheets as well as eliminate processes requiring double data entry. Ultimately, saving time that can be better spent on more strategic tasks. 

With automated workflows and smart integrations, Planyard will also reduce the number of manual errors, providing small contractors with an accurate financial overview of the entire project portfolio. 

Key Features

Invoice Processing:

Planyard automates the invoice collection and approval process, significantly reducing manual effort and minimising errors. This feature ensures that all invoices are processed promptly, helping maintain healthy cash flow and improving financial oversight.

Contacts Database:

Planyard allows for storing all contacts in a database of all stakeholders, including subcontractors, vendors, and clients. This centralisation improves communication and coordination across the project, ensuring that all relevant parties are easily accessible and updated.

Purchase Order Management:

The software simplifies the creation, issuing and tracking of purchase orders. It ensures accurate record-keeping and reduces the risk of errors by automating the purchase order process. This feature also integrates seamlessly with budget management, providing real-time updates on expenditures.

Subcontract Management:

Planyard automatically links subcontracts to project budgets, providing real-time financial oversight and ensuring that all subcontractor activities are accounted for. This feature helps manage prepayments, retention, change orders, progress reports, and payment claims effectively, ensuring that all subcontractor-related transactions are transparent and traceable.

Client Contract Management:

The software efficiently manages client contracts, ensuring compliance and reducing the risk of disputes. It streamlines the contract creation, approval, and monitoring processes, keeping all contractual details organised and accessible.

RFQ Management:

The Request for Quotation (RFQ) feature streamlines interactions with suppliers. It makes it easier to obtain and compare quotes, facilitating better decision-making and ensuring competitive pricing for project resources.

Budget Management and Forecasting:

Planyard offers real-time budget tracking and forecasting, supporting financial planning and helping to prevent cost overruns. The software provides a clear overview of project finances, allowing project managers to make informed decisions and adjustments as needed.

Cash Flow Management:

The software monitors cash flow to ensure financial stability. It provides insights into current and projected cash positions, helping contractors manage their finances more effectively and avoid potential cash flow issues.

Integration with Accounting Systems:

Planyard seamlessly integrates with popular accounting tools like Xero, Sage, QuickBooks Online, and MYOB. This integration simplifies financial management and reporting, ensuring that all financial data is accurately recorded and easily accessible.

Visualized Budget and CVR Numbers:

Planyard provides a visual representation of budget and Cost Value Reconciliation (CVR) numbers. This feature makes it easier to understand project finances at a glance and quickly identify any discrepancies or issues.

With these robust features, Planyard not only streamlines construction management processes but also helps small main contractors stay organised, reduce administrative overhead, and improve profitability. By centralising all essential project data and automating key processes, Planyard enables contractors to focus on delivering successful projects.

Key Benefits of Utilising Planyard

Increased Efficiency: Automating processes such as invoice approval, purchase order management, and subcontractor progress reporting significantly reduces manual tasks and minimises errors.

Enhanced Financial Oversight: Real-time budget tracking and integration with accounting systems provide a comprehensive view of project finances, supporting better financial management and decision-making.

Streamlined Communication: Utilising the contacts database enables automatic communication with subcontractors, vendors, and clients, ensuring that all stakeholders receive critical information.

Time Savings: Eliminating the need for spreadsheets and reducing double data entry frees up time for more strategic tasks, allowing teams to focus on project delivery and business growth.

Improved Compliance and Risk Management: Efficient management of contracts and subcontracts helps maintain compliance and reduces the risk of disputes, protecting the business from potential legal and financial issues.

Better Procurement Decisions: The RFQ management feature streamlines supplier interactions and ensures competitive pricing, optimizing procurement processes.

Financial Stability: Cash flow management tools provide insights into current and projected cash positions, helping contractors maintain financial health and avoid cash flow problems.

User-Friendly Interface: Developed with input from industry professionals, Planyard’s logical workflows and intuitive interface make it easy to use, ensuring quick onboarding and adoption by teams.

CoConstruct

CoConstruct is a Construction ERP software designed specifically for home builders and remodelers. It provides a comprehensive suite of features that streamline various aspects of construction management, making it a popular choice among small main contractors.

Bills and Purchase Order Management: CoConstruct simplifies the management of bills and purchase orders with easy-to-use functionality. Contractors can have their subcontractors sign off on the scope of work and payment terms online, track approvals, and monitor the status of purchase orders and invoices. This feature ensures organised payments and reduces the risk of lost payments with electronic bills and POs.

Subcontractor Management: The software is designed for both contractors and subcontractors, allowing trades to access CoConstruct for free. Subcontractors can view project-specific documents and job schedules, improving communication and reducing mistakes on job sites.

Jobsite Activity and Progress Tracking: CoConstruct enables contractors to document and share important information with their teams, subcontractors, and clients. It supports notifications, voice-to-text note-taking, and automatic weather updates, which help manage projects more efficiently and keep all parties informed.

Bidding Management: The bidding feature allows users to create, compare, send, and store bid requests in one location. Contractors can notify subcontractors via email, text, and push notifications, set deadlines, and easily roll accepted bids into contracts. This streamlined process saves money and ensures timely responses.

Proposals and Change Orders: CoConstruct facilitates the creation of customised proposals, leading to more closed deals. It also helps manage change orders from the office or on the go with its mobile app, allowing for electronic signatures and online payments, which makes the process convenient and reduces the risk of lost payments.

Client Communication: The software improves client communication by managing emails, leaving job-specific comments, and controlling which content is viewable to subcontractors and clients. CoConstruct integrates with existing email accounts and keeps all communication in one place, ensuring quick response times and efficient job sites.

Budgeting and Forecasting: CoConstruct tracks finances in real-time, compares estimated versus actual costs, and integrates with several financial software tools. This feature helps contractors stay on budget, make informed decisions, and maintain accurate financial records.

Sage 100 Contractor

Sage 100 Contractor is a comprehensive ERP solution suitable for small to medium-sized construction businesses. It provides robust features to manage all aspects of construction projects.

Project Management: Sage 100 Contractor includes project scheduling, job costing, and contract management tools. These features help contractors keep projects on schedule and within budget.

Financial Management: The software offers comprehensive financial management tools, including accounting, payroll, and financial reporting. These features ensure accurate financial tracking and compliance.

Estimating and Bidding: Sage 100 Contractor provides tools for creating detailed estimates and managing bids. This helps contractors secure projects and manage costs effectively.

Document Management: The software includes document control features that allow contractors to store and manage project documents securely.

Integration: Sage 100 Contractor integrates with other Sage products and third-party applications, enhancing its functionality and flexibility.

User-Friendly Interface: The software is designed to be intuitive, with a focus on ease of use for small business owners and contractors.

JobNimbus

JobNimbus is an all-in-one Construction ERP software designed specifically for contractors. It offers a wide range of features that help manage various aspects of construction projects, making it an ideal choice for small contractors looking to streamline their operations.

Marketing: JobNimbus provides tools to enhance your online presence and generate more leads. Features include search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your visibility, paid ads to reach potential customers, and Google Business Profile management to attract local clients. Additionally, it offers website services to create professional, high-quality websites for your business.

Sales: The software includes sales management features such as scheduling, lead tracking, and custom sales workflows. Users can create detailed estimates using integrated measurements from EagleView and HOVER, build professional proposals, and obtain digital signatures for approvals. JobNimbus also provides insights reporting to track team performance and lead sources.

Production: JobNimbus simplifies production management with tools like production boards, custom job workflows, and production automation. Contractors can create and assign work orders, manage material orders, and integrate with suppliers for real-time pricing and order updates. The software also offers efficiency reports to help identify areas for improvement.

Communication: The platform enhances communication through engaging texting, automated texting, and email integration. It includes features like caller ID, review requests, @mentions for team collaboration, and job-sharing links for clients and partners. The notification centre keeps users informed about important updates.

Cash Flow: JobNimbus helps manage cash flow with billing boards, invoicing, and payment processing. The software allows contractors to accept credit/debit cards and ACH/eCheck payments, send text-to-pay links, and apply for customer financing. It also integrates with QuickBooks for seamless financial management and offers tools like a payment calculator and credit memos.

Additional Features: JobNimbus includes task management, photo and file sharing, and timesheet management. Users can track job site activity and progress, create and manage to-do lists, and streamline timesheet management with clock-in/out features and payroll reports.

User-Friendly Interface: JobNimbus is known for its intuitive interface and ease of use. The software is designed to be accessible for contractors of all sizes, ensuring quick onboarding and adoption by teams.

Buildertrend

Buildertrend is a cloud-based construction management software designed specifically for small to mid-sized contractors. It offers a range of features that help streamline project management, improve communication, and enhance financial control.

Project Management: Buildertrend provides tools for scheduling, to-do lists, and daily logs. It helps keep projects organised and ensures that all tasks are tracked and completed on time.

Financial Management: The software includes features for budgeting, cost tracking, and invoicing. It integrates with popular accounting software like QuickBooks, making it easier to manage finances and ensure accuracy.

Client Communication: Buildertrend offers client portals where contractors can share project updates, photos, and documents with clients. This feature improves transparency and helps build stronger client relationships.

Document Management: Users can store and share project documents within Buildertrend, ensuring that all necessary information is accessible and organised.

Mobile App: Buildertrend’s mobile app allows users to manage projects from anywhere, providing flexibility and improving on-site productivity.

Ease of Use: Buildertrend is designed to be user-friendly and easy to implement, with minimal training required.

By offering these features, Buildertrend provides small contractors with the tools they need to manage projects effectively, improve communication, and maintain financial control without the complexity and cost associated with larger software solutions.

Conclusion

Choosing the right Construction ERP software is crucial for small main contractors looking to improve efficiency, manage projects effectively, and achieve better financial control. Each of the software options discussed—Planyard, CoConstruct, JobNimbus, Buildertrend and Sage 100 Contractor Business Central—offers unique features and benefits that cater to various needs and budgets.

When selecting the best ERP software for your business, consider the following key factors:

  1. Assess Your Company’s Needs: Identify the core requirements of your business. Determine which features are most crucial, such as financial management, project tracking, or communication tools.
  2. Compare Key Features: Evaluate the functionalities offered by different ERP solutions. Look for features that align with your business processes and can help improve efficiency.
  3. Evaluate Ease of Use and Support: Choose software that is user-friendly and offers excellent customer support. This ensures that your team can quickly adopt the new system and receive assistance when needed.
  4. Consider Integration Capabilities: Ensure the ERP software can integrate with your existing tools and systems, such as accounting software, to streamline operations and avoid data silos.
  5. Analyze Cost and ROI: Compare the cost of the software with the potential return on investment. 

Look for solutions that offer good value and can help you achieve your business goals.

By carefully considering these factors, you can select the ERP software that best fits your business needs and helps you achieve greater project success.

Take the Next Step with Planyard

Ready to take your construction business to the next level? Schedule a demo with Planyard today to see how our comprehensive Construction ERP software can transform your operations. Experience firsthand the benefits of streamlined financial management, improved project oversight, and enhanced communication. Don’t wait—book your demo now and start building better with Planyard!