Topic Thread

Best software for site contractor

  • 1.  Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-08-2019 15:17
    I am just beginning the process of selecting accounting software for my company to replace QuickBooks.  QB has been sufficient for the company in the past, but as the  company continues to grow, I know that we will be in a better position to manage our projects with a more robust system.

    I would very much like to hear suggestions for which software to consider and why.  If anyone would care to share knowledge and experience, I would very much appreciate it.

    Thanks,

    ------------------------------
    Steve Hunt CPA
    CFO
    Alto Construction Company, Inc.
    Tampa FL
    (813) 241-2586
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  • 2.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-09-2019 10:37
    Sage 100 (construction version) is good for $15 million and under.  It has a great job cost and payroll system.  The payroll can do certified payroll reports with ease..  Sage 300 (Timberline ) is good but does not have the drill down like other softwares, but it is a solid construction software.

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    Luther Salonen CCIFP / BA
    President
    Salonen CFO Services
    Kansas City MO
    (816) 808-7684
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  • 3.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-10-2019 09:08

    I agree that Sage 100 Contractor works well.  We are specialty subcontractor with $11m in revenue.  Feel free to call if you'd like additional feedback.

     

    Sincerely,

    Carolyn Brister, CBA

    Controller

    Momentum Mechanical, Inc.

    2504 Gravel Dr.,  Fort Worth, TX  76118

    817-624-0024 Office     817-846-6476 Cell

    cbrister@momentummechanical.com

     






  • 4.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-11-2019 15:21
    Thanks for the input.  I've made contact with Sage and will evaluate.  May follow up with you as I learn more.  Thanks for the offer!

    ------------------------------
    Steve Hunt CPA
    Cfo
    Alto Construction Company, Inc.
    Tampa FL
    (813) 241-2586
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-11-2019 15:28

    You should contact a company in Illinois – Syscon.  Check out their website Syscon-inc.com.  Catherine Wendt 630-850-9039.  She is GREAT and knows Sage 100 Contractor inside and out.  Their company can provide cloud hosting for the software, and an add on for field time entry that is better than Sage's version.

     

    Talk to them before you do anything directly with Sage.  Good Luck!!

     

    Sincerely,

    Carolyn Brister, CBA

    Controller

    Momentum Mechanical, Inc.

    2504 Gravel Dr.,  Fort Worth, TX  76118

    817-624-0024 Office     817-846-6476 Cell

     






  • 6.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-11-2019 15:34

    Also Syscon creates very useful webinars and a newletter.  I've been using the software for 3 years and learned a neat little tip from their recent newsletter.  Their webinars and Utube videos are very helpful regarding updates to the software.  They generally create some type of communication on when to update the software, and if you might wait to install the update.  Anyway, even if you don't use their services, the education opportunities are very helpful.

     

    Sincerely,

    Carolyn Brister, CBA

    Controller

    Momentum Mechanical, Inc.

    2504 Gravel Dr.,  Fort Worth, TX  76118

    817-624-0024 Office     817-846-6476 Cell

     






  • 7.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-09-2019 10:49
    Steve,
    I have used Timberline, JD Edwards, CMIC and Viewpoint over my career in the Construction industry.  I would recommend Viewpoint/Vista as being one of the best software for users.Feel free to give me a call if you would like additional information.

    TAMMY BASS
    Controller, Pence Construction

    T : 503.399.7223

    C : 503.643.5750




    ------------------------------
    Tammy Bass
    Controller
    Pence Construction, LLC
    Hillsboro OR
    (503) 643-5750
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  • 8.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-10-2019 07:50

    Hi Steve,

    Specialty contractors have unique needs that GC centric software has a hard time handling (which will result in significant over just for you.)


     If you keep these eight tips below in mind as you review software you should be able find a better fit while determining true cost.

    1)  Handcuffing
    : When vendors under-quote labor to sign deal at a low price, knowing the true cost will be 200% to 400% higher.

    1.a) Solution to Handcuffing:  Compel vendor to list all services required for pre-live, go-live, post-live and long term labor to ensure software is adopted and then have vendor included all services for GMP (guaranteed max price) in agreement.

     

    2)  Cloud Cuffing:  When a cloud provider hosting the solution denies client access to data unless client re-news subscription. (NOTE: sometimes a lifetime license was purchased but if the vendor changes the end user license agreement the lifetime license can be made null and void)

    2.a)  Solution to cloud cuffing:   Get data ownership and a lifetime license 'in writing' AND also have a term in the agreement that ensures the lifetime license is grandfathered into any and all future agreements should any change event, merger or acquisition occur.

     

     3)  Smoke Stacking: When integration of products in a tech stack or software ecosystem are oversold and the integrations do not function well enough for specialty contractors.

    3.a)  Solution to smoke stacking:  Do demos using YOUR data and have key people from ALL departments validate all workflows and witness the integration. Identify any GAPs that the integrations do not handle and have vendor include, in writing, programming to fill all GAPS 'prior to go-live' in the GMP agreement.

      

    4)  GC software being re-labelled and sold as specialty software:  When GC software is re-labelled as a trade solution despite inability to handle granularity of the said trade.

    4.a)  Solution to re-labeling:  Do demos using YOUR data and have key people from ALL departments validate all workflows and ease of use.  Identify the GAPs that the software does not handle and have vendor include, in writing, programming to fill all GAPS 'prior to go-live' in the GMP agreement.

      

    5)  R&D deflection:  When software vendors collect annual fees or subscriptions that are similar to the fees they collect from general contractors but the R&D and enhancements mostly benefit GCs and/or other markets.

    5.a)  Solution to R&D deflection:  Review vendor's previous 3 years of enhancements to determine fair subscription/annual fees for YOUR trade.  If only 10% of the released enhancements we're specific to your trade, negotiate a rate that is in line with that value.

     

    6)  M&A disarray:  When mergers and acquisitions fail to deliver on promises made to contractors and result in higher cost and lower service.

    6.a)  Solution to M&A disarray:  Have vendor promise service levels in a service level agreement that ALSO includes performance credits should they fail to deliver on any level of service.  This ensures that if service levels drop, the investment lowers as well.

     

    7)  Custom work cuffing:  When service providers and 3rd party consultants complete custom work and write custom reports to make a solution work better for a specialty contractor but fail to disclose the ongoing cost of maintaining the custom work when issues arise during software updates.  This results in perpetual and unexpected billable hours to keep the custom work functional.

    7.a)  Solution to custom work cuffing:  Find software that fit your workflows the best and ensure that the vendor and/or service provider includes, in writing, the cost to repair custom work when it breaks and cost to maintain functionality during software updates.

     

    8)  Weasel words:  Intentionally vague buzz words that misrepresent value.(ie:  real time data, connect field to office, single source of truth, seamless integration, end to end)

    8.a)  Solution to weasel word selling:  Extend due diligence as long as possible.  SLOW DOWN the decision!!!   Have the vendor create demos using YOUR data and have key people from ALL departments validate the workflows and ease of use. "Show! Don't tell")



    ------------------------------
    Chad Pearson
    Director of Business Development
    Plexxis
    Brampton ON
    (416) 574-1677
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-11-2019 15:26
    Tammy,
    In my previous life I was the CFO of a GC in Indiana and we were evaluating Viewpoint.  That company actually made the switch to Viewpoint after I left, and so I am aware of them and know they're a good product.  I just considered them as more GC-centric and more costly, so I wasn't planning to consider them, but maybe I should.
    Thanks for the input!

    ------------------------------
    Steve Hunt CPA
    Cfo
    Alto Construction Company, Inc.
    Tampa FL
    (813) 241-2586
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-11-2019 15:32

    Steve,

     

    Viewpoint for the Cloud is a great option for smaller contractor.  I think you should definitely consider Viewpoint and I can personally share excavation contractors that are smaller then grew with the implementation of Viewpoint Vista.

     

    Please advise if you are interested in learning more.  I have a Viewpoint contact in Florida for you.

     

    Sandrah Vittands-Farwell

    S&B Systems, LLC

    Lead Consultant

    248.736.9788

     






  • 11.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-11-2019 16:38

    If you chose CLOUD - include these 3 things in contract to prevent CLOUD CUFFING.

     (Cloud cuffing is when software vendors charge subscription fees BEFORE they get you live or deny you access to your data if you leave them so they can force you into another subscription contract)

     3 ways to prevent Cloud Cuffing:

    1-  In your agreement, clearly define the 'Go-Live' milestone, then get the vendor to agree to only start the subscription fees once you reach that milestone.   (you should only pay a deposit and labor to get you live)

        a. NOTE:  If they offer a subscription fee that includes labor for go-live DO NOT TAKE IT!!! That is toxic tactic that ensures they maximize revenue even if they cannot get you live. You need to separate labor and subscription fees so the VENDOR is incentivized to get you live. (You don't subscribe to Netflix if the movies don't play)
    2-  Ensure your agreement INCLUDES a LIFETIME LICENSE so you can access historical data should you switch providers.

         a.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, ensure you get in writing that the lifetime license is automatically grandfathered into all future agreements that replace the original.


    This is critical because some vendors are snakes and change the end-user license agreement on you when you update your system. The new agreements remove the lifetime license and you only find out when they deny you access to your own data when you leave them.

     Confident vendors who deliver successful go-lives will give you these terms as the terms ensure that the same level of trust represented in the sales cycle, is also represented in the contract.


    I wish you the best in your search.

     

    Chad Pearson  |  Plexxis Software Inc.

    Dir. Business Development and Dealer of Truth, Happiness and RBD

    B: 905 889 8979 |  866 PLEXXIS

    C: 416 574 1677



    ------------------------------
    Chad Pearson
    Director of Business Development
    Plexxis
    Brampton ON
    (416) 574-1677
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-12-2019 12:05
    I second Tammy's suggestion. I may be a little biased, as I have only used Vista by Viewpoint as a Construction Accounting Software for the past 8 years. But in my prior company we also used Vista. The best thing about Vista is the "one-stop-shop" vision they have been striving for. Everything Accounting (AP, AR, Cash Management, GL, Job Billing, Payroll), Document Management (RFIs, Submittals, Purchase Orders, Subcontracts, etc.), Project Management (PM, Job Cost, Service Management, etc.) including a host of other options including Equipment Management, Inventory management, a Business Analytics & reporting feature. It is highly customizable (my favorite).

     

    I'm sure there are other fantastic products available, that others can speak to; but this is just a little about what you get with Vista. Good luck in your search!



    ------------------------------
    Christopher Gibbons
    Sr. Accountant
    Prairie Electric, Inc.
    6000 NE 88th St.
    Vancouver WA 98665

    O: (360) 573-2750
    C: (360) 241-1581
    E: chrisg@prairielectric.com
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-10-2019 11:42
    I looked at your website to get more of a sense of the type of contractor you are.   Heavy Civil contractors like you have unique issues related to unit pricing and unit productivity, management of heavy equipment and heavy self performed content with labor.    With those needs in mind there are really only a few construction specific ERP software products that can handle these needs.    The list below is in order of my personal opinion ranking:

    Viewpoint - Vista:   This product's roots lie in the Heavy Highway, Heavy Civil contractor and over a period of 30 years much ongoing development has gone into the product to make it the leading product for equipment and labor intensive contractors with unit price and productivity issues.  It also has excellent functionality related to materials used by heavy civil contractors with ability to interface with scale software for automation of scale ticket entry.   Vista is also highly malleable, so if you get a new information need that is not met by out of the box functionality, you can add your own screens, tables, fields, to accommodate the need inside of Vista.    This effectively stops the proliferation of productivity sucking manual spreadsheets and offline systems.

    Viewpoint - Spectrum:  Vista and Spectrum have very similar histories, formerly competed with each other for HH and HC contractors until Viewpoint acquired the company behind Spectrum in 2017.   Both are excellent choices for contractors like you.   Spectrum is nominally less expensive than Vista in both licensing costs and total cost of ownership issues.   Vista is more malleable / adaptable than Spectrum and has the edge on advanced materials functionality as would be needed by an aggregate supplier.   Spectrum is totally browser based so it's remote utility is slightly better than Vista.

    CMIC:  Though I don't have direct user experience with this product, I do know they have HH and HC customers and I sometimes compete against them when working with a HH or HC potential customer.   Oracle based.

    Specifically I would avoid applications that were designed around the needs of a GC.     They will fall short when it comes to equipment, unit, and material related functionality.  Many HH and HC prospects on these products report having to go outside of their ERP to solve operational needs, have lots of manual spreadsheets and offline disconnected systems.   Feel free to call or email me privately and I'd be happy to share with you who I would avoid looking at.


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    Dan Conway
    Enterprise Sales
    Viewpoint Construction Software
    Rye NH
    603-502-6657
    dan.conway@viewpoint.com
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  • 14.  RE: Best software for site contractor

    Posted 04-10-2019 18:04
    Hello Steve,

    We have current clients include Heavy Highway, Heavy Civil contractor and they are using Vista by Viewpoint so we recommend getting a demonstration from Viewpoint.  Our company is experienced with implementing Viewpoint and would be happy to chat with you at your convenience.



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    Sandrah Vittands, PMP MBA MBA - Project Management
    CEO And Lead Consultant
    construction101forwomen.com, Llc. dba S&B Systems, LLC
    Humble TX
    (248) 736-9788
    www.sandbsystems.com
    ------------------------------