As you know, there are constantly situations in the workplace where a problem isn’t discovered until it starts costing money. Digging through reports and journals, trying to diagnose problems after the fact, is often too late to recover lost profit or productivity.
In the management of a construction business, the key to a successful project is managing the multitude of tasks that occur during a project’s life cycle, while proactively heading off problems BEFORE they become a major drain on profit, efficiency, and your company’s reputation.
The effective use of the automated business alerts, available as part your Sage 100 Contractor or Sage 300 Construction software, can result in a significant improvement in your bottom line.
Here’s how to leverage alerts technology using MyAssistant for Sage 300 Construction or the Alerts Manager for Sage 100 Contractor.
What is an Automated Alert?
In short, automated alert technology constantly monitors your Sage 100 or Sage 300 software, scanning for events that would trigger an alert. The alert is then fired off as a notification for someone to take action on something that requires immediate attention.
Alerts can take on many forms and serve many purposes. However, based on how our construction software clients typically implement alerts, they seem to take on three main categories:
- Real-time exception reporting
- Periodic exception monitoring
- Delivery of regular reports on a predefined schedule
In the course of a typical day of a construction company, hundreds of transactions are processed through the accounting system. Companies build policies and procedures to make sure that these get done properly, but those policies are sometimes difficult to enact and enforce.
A good example is to check the expiration dates on certificates of insurance for subcontractors when processing an accounts payable invoice. The Sage accounting system can warn you that a certificate is expired during entry, but those warnings are sometimes ignored in a busy accounting department.
Using MyAssistant in Sage 300 or the Alerts Manager in Sage 100, you can have a senior executive receive an email within minutes informing him or her of the exception.
Other examples of real time exceptions that we have seen are as follows:
- Cash balances go below a threshold upon the writing of a check
- A client’s open receivable balance exceeds their credit limit upon posting a new invoice
- The on-hand quantity of critical service parts goes below a minimum quantity when a service work order is posted
Real-time exception reporting should be reserved for only the most critical events that require immediate attention. Creating too many real-time alerts may dilute their effectiveness as the volume of daily notifications increases.
Period Exception Monitoring
Effective construction managers will regularly review job cost and other reports and search for areas of concern that need to be addressed. A good example of this is a standard budget verses actual report by cost code.
Typically, these reports are provided to managers on a weekly or monthly basis for all jobs they are responsible for and with all cost codes. The challenge is often pouring through those reports to highlight the areas of concern.
With the use of the Sage alerting tools, weekly or monthly reports can be generated listing only those jobs and cost codes that are at or close to over budget, allowing the manager to quickly focus on the areas of biggest concern.
Some examples include:
- Accounts receivable invoices over 90 days
- Unbilled service work orders more than 14 days old
- Change requests, RFI’s or Submittals more than 7 days past due.
By creating a regular schedule to deliver and review these types of exceptions, a consistent and thorough review system and be created.
Delivery of Regular Reports
Many of our clients have weekly project review meetings or monthly financial statement reviews that require a number of reports. The staff is often been burdened with printing and photocopying the reports in anticipation of those meetings.
Your Sage accounting software can be set up to automatically print just about any report on a specific day of the week or month and deliver it to the appropriate team member electronically via email. Not only does this make the staff more efficient, it saves paper and makes the process “Green.”
Here are some other reports that would be great candidates for automated delivery:
- Customer statements delivered to all customers on the last day of the month
- Open punch list items sent to subcontractors on a weekly basis
- Quarterly hours by employee to monitor overtime and staffing requirements
Putting Alerts to Work for Your Business
Begin by taking inventory of your daily tasks. Think of everything you have to stay on top of in a regular workday including contracts, change orders, project documents, job costs, billings, cash, work orders, vendor insurance, employee issues and so on.
Now think of all the “we need to address this now” situations where current tasks must be set aside in order to address more time-sensitive or pressing concerns.
When you use business alerts to address these situations proactively, they not only take less time, it also results in less stress and disruption to your regular workflow.
MyAssistant for Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate (CRE) is the best way to keep an eye on your business and take action when needed. It proactively monitors key performance indicators, providing instant alerts about issues needing attention and delivers the information needed to take action.
MyAssistant automatically generates reports, spreadsheets, documents, and email alerts—and distributes this critical information into the hands of those who need it, helping monitor and manage all phases of a project or property.
MyAssistant Demo – watch this short demo to see MyAssistant in action.
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