So far, our new business model has been thriving! But now, we are looking to ask tough questions with our collected data to determine the best path forward for the business.
These are questions like, should we continue doing GC projects? Are we more profitable in Portland or Seattle? Should we expand to San Francisco? Should we start self-performing some more work? These are hard questions that require good business aptitude and great analytics. Now, let’s talk about the way that we can analyze the numbers we have.
One option we have is to run a job profitability report for all projects in Portland, and compare the profit percentages to the projects in Seattle. This is a canned report that allows us to tell the system that we want to see details on all projects in Portland and all projects in Seattle, hit the preview button, and generate the numbers. This will answer the question about which location is producing more profitable projects. But, this report is limited. What if we want to see why projects in Portland are outperforming Seattle area contracts? We could run another report to get a detailed job cost report by cost code, or a job overview report to see the bigger picture on each project broken down by cost type. These types of reports will give more detail behind the numbers.
Canned reports are a great way to get information to very specific questions that have specific answers. We can think about AR clerks who need to review open invoices on a daily basis. For these people, an open AR report is going to provide the specific information they need. We can also think about a PM, who needs to look at their committed cost reports on a weekly basis. They can run a canned report to see that data.
But, a question that begins with “why” doesn’t have a definite answer. We could spend an hour or more running different types of canned reports to form an opinion on why Portland projects are more profitable than Seattle, but we don’t have time for that. That’s where a dashboard comes in. On a dashboard, we can see all the information from three reports in one place, plus the cash position on the projects, so we can get our answers much faster. Through using a dashboard we can also uncover some really important information. In this case, we can use a dashboard to see that, while Portland projects are overall more profitable, Seattle projects have better cash flow. This causes the company to have higher interest costs on Portland projects, to cover money we’ve had to borrow from the bank to to cover costs that the cash we received from our billings didn’t cover. Our company didn’t plan for those additional operating costs. So, now, we can use that information to make better business decisions.
In addition to using business intelligence to gather advanced information, our employees can also take advantage of dashboards. Our project managers can take advantage of various log views. Now, instead of thumbing through a stack of papers to determine whether or not a response has been received on a certain RFI, they can pull up a log to see exactly what has and hasn't been received. This takes seconds rather than minutes or sometimes even hours. Log views can be customized by user, so each person sees only what they want to see in the order they want to see it. Project managers can gather and act upon data in a shorter amount of time than it used to take them to just find information.
While you might not find reporting cool, these recording features, and the features of the future will allow us to make educated moves following best-practice business strategies.
Report planning, along with other accounting workflows, can be difficult to manage in a way that maximizes your organization's efficiencies.
Trimble Construction One is a connected suite which connects your office to the field to streamline these workflows with the industries’ leading solutions to give you the right data for your projects. Check out what Trimble Construction One can do for you.