Proper organisation results in increased profitability
Everyone who works in the construction industry knows how many plates you need to be able to spin at the same time. Being able to manage your projects and work orders in a simple, quick and efficient manner is of crucial importance when it comes to achieving profitability in construction companies. Here are some other reasons why you should choose Next.
Tailored for the industry, down to the smallest of details
The first version of the current Next Project was developed for the NCC Group back in 1994. Over the years, we have accumulated 200 years of combined industry experience, but we have also realised the importance of simplicity. The majority of our users are tradespeople or former tradespeople, which is something that we have very much taken into account in the development.
Mobile solutions increase efficiency
Tailored mobile application for reporting timesheets, work orders and diary entries. Reach all employees, regardless of technical ability. Data recorded on mobile devices forms the basis for project follow-up, payroll and invoicing, without necessitating the use of a single sheet of paper.
Improved input data quality and faster invoicing
Daily mobile reporting increases the quality of the reported data enormously. Daily reporting means correct reporting and it is also much easier to ascertain whether or not the work is additional.
Complete cloud-based ERP system
You will always have access to the information relating to your projects and orders from your smartphone, tablet or computer - the only thing you need is a web browser and an internet connection. The fact that the application is web-based also means that you do not have to worry about data loss.
Next - implementation philosophy
Changing your business or ERP system does not have to be a process that takes months
Traditionally, changing a business or ERP system will start with a feasibility study, often including one or more workshops to document the company’s information flow. The feasibility study results in a feasibility report that defines the objectives of the system change but also describes the company’s information flow and business activities from incoming order to finished invoice, often using graphical illustrations. There is a dual purpose to the feasibility study:
- To use the feasibility study as the basis for incorporating the information flow into the new ERP system
- To eliminate fear and anchor the proposed system change throughout the organisation
Don’t neglect the feasibility study Neglecting the feasibility study can become a very expensive mistake, as you risk ending up with a business-critical IT system that does not properly support the company’s business processes. Here, it is almost never the standardised financial procedures that put a spanner in the works, but rather the operational flows required for production to work efficiently. Column inches have been dedicated to the necessity to carry out detailed feasibility studies in both the press and in training materials.
Definition of the term business flow – experiences from 100+ feasibility studies At Next One Technology we have carried out more than 100+ similar feasibility studies in the construction industry and this provides the opportunity to reflect upon just how much the feasibility studies actually differ from one another. In such a comparison, we find that the construction industry is extremely homogeneous when it comes to each company’s business flow and the requirements placed on ERP systems. The feasibility studies clearly indicate that all flows in a construction, maintenance or contracting company (including installers) can be split into six different main groups, or as we prefer to say, business flows:
- Current account flow
- Maintenance order flow
- Installation/item flow
- Construction flow
- Quantity-related business flow
- Diary flow
Breakdown at operational level Under each of these headers there are also a number of documented checkpoints that increase the level of detail so that we can get down to an operational level together with users and ask questions such as:
- Do you submit daily reports to customers for approval of specifications before issuing invoices?
- If yes, does the report need to be signed by the customer before you can issue the invoice?
- Does the customer require you to enclose supplier invoices in connection with invoicing?
Unique implementation process As a consequence of the above, Next One Technology has developed a unique and pragmatic implementation process in which, based on the defined business flows above, we are able to drastically reduce the time required for the implementation of the necessary feasibility study and thereby also the total time required for implementation. The process is as follows:
- Identify which business flow(s) are relevant to the company in question.
- Conduct one or more workshops/reviews where the respective business flows are broken down to a detailed level and both management and users are involved in the process.
- Configure parameters and basic data based on the outcomes of the workshop.
The customer knows their business process Since we start with a very clear and well known business process that the company is familiar with, the feasibility study and implementation take hours, days and weeks rather than months, saving huge amounts of time and money. In somewhat simplistic terms, we could say that we never ask “How do you do business?” but rather that we start with the question “We know that you do your business like this, how should we configure Next Project to best support this business process at a detailed level?”.
Practical experiences of the implementation philosophy For smaller companies, the feasibility study, i.e. the identification of the relevant business flows, is often performed as early as during the sales phase – The building maintenance company X has simply the exact same requirements for its business tools as building maintenance company Y. However, larger companies require initial project meetings and possibly workshops, but it is not necessary to conduct a complete feasibility study in a traditional sense – we can use the more than 100 studies we have previously conducted with industry colleagues as the starting point. At Next Project, we are approaching 400 customers for which this methodology has been implemented and so far it has yet to fail. Using this approach, we have a hit percentage of 95-100% and anything that falls outside is never a critical factor such as “Generate invoice” – the critical flows associated with such factors are always covered by the basic business flows defined above. Avoid unnecessary and expensive consultancy services Another consequence of this implementation methodology is that you do not need to invest unnecessary time in accurately documenting: How do you currently? All experience indicates that when there a major changes made to a business or ERP system, it is not until users have the opportunity to use the system live that they actually realise the full possibilities of the new tool and this is the case regardless of how much time is invested in feasibility studies and workshops. The common comment: “Ah – you can do it like this as well!” is clear proof that new and efficient paths are found in connection with a system change. The methodology is therefore based on the thesis that we must strive for live operations as soon as possible, albeit on the condition that fundamental business-critical flows have been secured.