EasyBuild’s business software provides construction companies with a more intuitive, logical approach to running their IT, says new CEO Carol Massay.
In the competitive construction management software marketplace, EasyBuild believes that they have an advantage, because its product was developed inside a construction company.
The ERP (enterprise resource planning) software was originally developed by EasyBuild founder Patrick McGowan who was formerly the Group Financial Controller and IT Manager at Durkan Group.
Patrick, now EasyBuild’s Chief Technology Officer says “EasyBuild will always be ahead of other construction ERP software packages because it was built for construction by construction”.
EasyBuild has successfully grown as a business – while retaining close links with Durkan – selling its ERP software system to a wide range of clients, including house builders and contractors.
This connection with the industry, and understanding of what drives construction companies, is the main reason that EasyBuild is so successful, says new CEO Carol Massay, who has over 30 years’ experience working within the construction industry.
“EasyBuild is an end-to-end, totally integrated, ERP solution – a suite of application software that addresses all the operational needs of a modern construction business including finance, commercial, project management and compliance,” she explains. “It’s also flexible and easy to integrate; the underlying platform is Oracle and it uses the Microsoft .NET framework, which means it can talk to any other system. “From my industry experience, I’ve seen many construction companies with a piecemeal approach to IT development,” she says. “They will typically have made one big investment decision, and then added a few bolt-on’s over time, and ended up with a mish-mash of Excel and other systems which don’t talk to each other very well. We often get companies coming to us after a bad IT experience on a contract.”
EasyBuild is intended as a full ERP solution, though Mrs Massay says new customers can start with just the accounting software modules and build from there. She points to the software’s CVR (cost-value reconciliation) handling as one of its biggest selling points. Cost value reconciliation is absolutely fundamental to accurate accounting and statutory compliance, within an industry that works on very tight margins. “The original development of the software was driven by a collaboration between commercial managers and the financial function to share information across all projects at Durkan,” Mrs Massay says. “Subcontractors are the biggest cost on a project. EasyBuild tells you in real-time what your subcontractor costs and liabilities have been during each monthly reporting period. The CVR process allows the commercial manager to check every subcontractor for variations, and any additional works required. “The development of EasyBuild allows QSs to have access to this on a daily basis, but it’s also for senior management. They can control authorisation of payments and run monthly reports across all contracts for CVR.”
Flexibility is a watchword for EasyBuild. “We adapt to our customer’s needs and circumstances,” says Mrs Massay. “For example, some companies use SharePoint for workflow processes and document management, and other estimating package. If they’ve made large investments, we will work proactively to integrate Easybuild into existing core systems. We are all about making their IT processes as slick as possible.” EasyBuild prides itself on taking feedback from our customers and adapting its products accordingly. “We’ve recently introduced a KPI rating system for subcontractors,” explains Mrs Massay. “You can use the software to bring up a subbie’s portfolio, and rate their performance on key parameters such as health and safety, finish on time and on budget. It helps contractors with PQQs and supply chain management.”
Our future construction management software roadmap includes a brand new release of our works order module with mobile apps, health and safety management systems based on site, linking back to head office systems, coming out later in 2016. “For companies who provide repairs and maintenance, the module logs jobs as they are received, track their status on site, and provide a full database of engineers with skills and location,” Mrs Massay says. “It will integrate into the core EasyBuild system so there will be no need for re-keying of information.”
EasyBuild also works with other business partners to improve its service offering. It has recently agreed a tie-up with document scanner provider Plustek, and Mrs Massay says she is talking to BIM software providers, with a view to forming a partnership. “Interoperability is obviously key – we would want any software partner company to use up-to-date BIM software that can work with anything else – that’s why we’re using Oracle/Microsoft,” she says. “Construction has always been perceived as an IT dinosaur. As long as contractors make money, they are sometimes reluctant to make changes. But the reality is that contractors could be making more profit by improving checks and controls with a modern integrated accounting and finance system. And that’s what happens with companies who move across to EasyBuild.”
Lists www.easybuild.com for more information