In the past, small and medium-size specialty contractors have had to make do with cumbersome and sometimes inadequate technology. Full-featured ERP and CRM solutions are financially out of reach, and many companies do not have the technology know-how required to make the best of the software they already own. Cloud solutions and Software as a Service solutions (SaaS) have dramatically changed this landscape, and specialty contractors of all sizes can now compete on this newly leveled playing field.
Here are 5 ways in which a Microsoft cloud solution can transform business for specialty contractors.
1. Reduce Contractor Capital Expenses
Consider what you are currently spending on hardware management. Even the smallest specialty contractors need software, a server, support (either hired or outsourced), maintenance, and security. Eliminating or decreasing the size of your on-site data center will reduce capital expenses and improve the quality of your IT performance. Work with a solution provider who will conduct a full assessment to determine whether a full or hybrid cloud solution would provide the best technology for your business needs.
2. Optimize Operations with ERP and CRM System Integration
Eliminate disparate applications and outdated worksheets to run your business more efficiently. Streamlined processes will save money and provide a better level of service to your customers. Are you using an ERP and a CRM that work in silos? Or, you may not even have such technology in place. An industry expert will help with proper software selection and system integration to provide employees with a comprehensive representation of a project in a single view. Expect improved project management and better resource management across business functions, including order management, inventory tracking, time & material billing, and customer information.
3. Improve Collaboration with Contractor Team Integration
When planning system integration, take into account who, how, and where employees will be accessing project data. A standardized system is required for information sharing between various functional teams. Today, there are a number of configurations to consider, and multiple locations and numerous services will increase access levels exponentially. An expertly customized solution will unify teams for improved collaboration. Make sure that various devices are taken into account – pcs, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones must all function correctly in order for the field, back office, and remote offices to work together.
4. Use Holistic Data to Make Improved Business Decisions
A true benefit of cloud integration is the data it provides. Business optimization and collaboration are moot if this data is not accurate, secure, and always (24/7) available. A smart contractor will understand this, and they will help their service provider set up workflows that make the most of ERP product functionality and improve CRM customer engagement. Do not overlook incorporating a BI tool into your system. With custom-designed reports for every functional group, you’ll improve the value of your data as employees use it for important decisions.
5. Rely on Microsoft
Specialty contractors can be confident with a Microsoft cloud solution. Microsoft SaaS provides a secure system and continual updates, without the need for technical expertise within your business. Microsoft tools have real profit-generating features for business growth. Employees are familiar with Microsoft programs, such as Office 365, for an easy on-boarding and a high usage adoption rate. What more could you expect from your cloud investment?