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Benefits of ERP systems

for the con­struc­tion industry in 2018

by Rosario De Francisci, Managing Director of proALPHA Schweiz AG

Digitization is also increasingly changing the construction industry. Not only through smart buildings and their requirements, but also in one’s own company. The ERP manufacturer proALPHA has examined numerous client projects and studies with a view to the latest developments in mid-sized businesses. Cloud, Mobility, Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) are finding ever more fields of application, which also pertain to the construction industry. For proALPHA, these eight trends can be identified for 2018:

  1. even more than before, the customer takes center stage
  2. mid-sized businesses rely on industry solutions
  3. digital documentation management is gaining ground
  4. automated administration increases productivity
  5. sustainable growth: cloud asserts itself
  6. focus year for compliance
  7. nothing works without mobility
  8. the internet of things goes mainstream

ERP trends in practice

in der Praxis

Artificial intelligence must wait a while longer at the Gruner Group. As a leading planning and engineering company, we are working on making existing systems more intelligent in 2018. Priority is given to projects that result in efficiency and quality gains or that reduce complexity and thus facilitate control processes.

Automation, for example in the area of vehicle and fleet management, last year already allowed us to reduce administrative expenses and increase cost transparency. We will take further steps in this direction during 2018, primarily in accounts payable management.

The linking of customer and project data is another focal point. In the future, we will also map our broad customer network in a database and integrate this data into our existing data model.

For several years now, we have been relying on Qlik as a central data analysis and reporting tool. This has proven very successful in terms of data quality and speed of the available information. Ad-hoc queries on various issues can be generated quickly and efficiently. In 2017, we supplemented our BI and reporting environment with JEDOX as a planning tool and are using it to perform monthly project assessments. Management benefits from the clear governance of resources and projects. In all this, it is important to find the right balance between adapting processes to systems and adapting systems to processes. 

We unfortunately discovered that there are hardly any common industry solutions in the planning and engineering solution. The trend here is toward harmonization and standardization of our systems. We would welcome it if a standard were developed in the near future for our industry as well.

Michael Städtler is head of the Gruner Group’s Digital Business Solution department  michael[punkt]staedtler [ät] gruner[punkt]ch