AIA Billing Process in NAV4Construction

NAV4Constrution vertical solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV fully provide AIA billing process for construction business. The AIA billing system is a standardized method of construction percentage of completion contract billing developed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Typically, AIA billing system consists of two forms or pages and on the same way NAV4Construction works with them:

  • G-702 Contractors Application for Payment
  • G-703 Continuation Sheet

When you want to print Invoice from posted document, you can print both of these forms in the same moment or separate if you want this.

Complete process of AIA billing process is presented on the next flow chart:

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You can find here completed process with collection and correction systems. This is simplified process on flow chart, and in practice, you can find more milestones for these activities.

You can see part of G-703 Continuation Sheet on the next picture:

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This is the great benefit in operational work, because completing the AIA G-702 and G-703 forms by hand is usually frustrating and difficult with lot of possible mistakes. This is only one benefit among all other in this construction vertical solution.

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NAV4Construction – SWOT Analysis

You can find information about main strength of NAVConstruction solution, I’ve already wrote here. Also, if you want to use standard NAV in construction business, you can find information about these implementation possibilities here. You can find more texts about reason for using ERP in construction business in my earlier blog posts.

Some construction workers want separate (specific) solutions for construction and rest processes (ERP). But, in my experience, the main strength of construction in ERP is exactly possibility of using all actual data on each part of ERP. When you use this solution, you can use:

  • actual cost from purchase or manufacturing in construction or when you make bids
  • actual cost from cost accounting, about goods and/or all other resources
  • automatic posting of invoice to G/L with any number of dimensions
  • managing with purchase process using construction requirements
  • using forecasting and other planning processes for construction, mechanization, subcontractors, manufacturing, purchase, sale, WMS in the same time

Otherwise, Microsoft Dynamics NAV is not real project planning software and someone says that this is weakness of this solution. But NAV4Construction is fully integrated with Microsoft Project Server using web-services. Now, you can use the best things of both solutions; e.g. you can use planning process in Project and Normative and Material requirement process from NAV. Maybe, bidding process is more complex in NAV, but this process is more precise.

On next picture, you can find a short SWOT analyses. If you have additional answers or comments, you can ask and start with discussion.

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Buying new resource or keeping old one?

When you have a lot of resources (hundreds or thousands), you usually have a problem with detail analysis. Maybe, the most important question is when you have to buy new resource? I know, the new resources is prettier, but are you really need new resources. Is your old resource still good?

Using “smart” analysis in BI4Construction, you can make a right business decision. You can make smart comparison of actual costs of each resources per hour (or mileage, or…) in each cost group with cost of e.g. loan or leasing installment costs.

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You can see what maintenance cost analytically for old resources is. You can also see what is you additional fuel or oil cost for old resources in comparison with new one. You have realistic cost of staying time for old resources because maintenance periods…

With all of these details, you can always make a right decision. This is usually requirement for big construction companies with lot of trucks and other machinery.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV in Statistics

Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 brings us some new statistical numbers. As I’m NAV fan, the most important facts are:

  • NAV has the most of the Dynamics customers – 102.000
  • NAV has the most of Dynamics customer adds – 8.000

That means, people trust and like NAV globally. With Windows Azure and NAV as repeatable solution in the future, these numbers will grow. With this possibilities, we will get new customers, while NAV as easy for customize solution will provide standard growth.

Last year, percentage of Dynamics solutions participation was as following:

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Now, with new customer adds, percentage of Dynamics solutions participation is as following:

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You can see, only NAV has percentage growth in total Dynamics customers. When you look at total customers adds, you can find next:

  • NAV       8.000     (8,5%)
  • GP         4.000     (9,3%)
  • AX          1.000     (5,6%)
  • SL                 0     (0,0%)
  • CRM      1.000     (2,6%)

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All statistics data are taken from: http://msdynamicsworld.com/story/microsoft-dynamics-gp-and-nav-outperform-ax-and-crm-handily-customer-adds

Customer Success with Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step

First of all, I want to thanks to the people in Pack Publishing for this book review opportunity (especially to Sagar and Jay). I’m project manager with great ERP experience and I like this topic.

After many years spent in project management and many this topic books read, I was expecting another similar book. But, I was pleasantly surprised. Book is not only standard Sure Step manual. The author has pretty good researched the topics and give us some answers related to question why we need project management.

He is not limited only to the tight topic. He flirts successfully with other project methodologies when he feel this is necessary. Author is successfully introduce us in some new project management area as trusting is. He used parts from Covey’s book “Speed of Trust” and excellent combine them with Sure Step. I like to talk about this area as Trust Management and I think this is the new knowledge area in project management and we don’t think about that often enough.

All parts in book are described with facts, but author used practice examples, as well.

Book pretty good explain what is methodology and how we can choose the right tool for each specific case. Book introduce use in all available Sure Step tools, but also introduce us in tools by 3th party. Also, book teach us how to prepare own tool for specific needs. Very successfully, book explains to us that project management is not something you can learn by heart and this is serious discipline.

This book will be useful for absolute beginners, but also to people with years of experience in ERP or CRM implementation. Author summarized the main items that can make the project successful.

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I could have a lot of good to write, but in one sentence, this book should be read. I highly recommend this book.

If you want to buy this book, go to http://bit.ly/1jI9uZJ

Road Construction Company Continues Business Growth by Using a New ERP Solution

With its substantial growth, the road construction and maintenance company ‘Novi Pazar – Put’ has overcome the possibilities of a functionally and technologically outdated business software they were using. Rational and efficient management of complex business processes and expensive resources created the need for the introduction of a new, modern and flexible business solution, so the company chose Microsoft Dynamics NAV, complemented with add-on solutions (NAV4Construction) developed by NPS.

I already wrote about this on my old blog post https://nav4construction.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/true-story-nav4construction-in-civil-engineering-company/.

Now, Microsoft officially released this case study on Microsoft site: http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Dynamics-NAV/Novi-Pazar-put/Road-Construction-Company-Continues-Business-Growth-by-Using-a-New-ERP-Solution/710000003788

ERP Benefits: Do Not Count on Employee Staff Reductions

Prior to launching an ERP implementation, usually an analysis of project costs and savings is necessary in order to secure project funding. From a financial return on investment (ROI) standpoint, sr. management is typically looking for the hard numbers. While there are many potential benefits associated with ERP that can positively impact the financials, many organizations mistakenly base a significant portion of the project justification on employee staff reductions.

Of course, a new system may result in fewer employees. But when evaluating ERP packages, many become dazzled by the vendor’s software demonstrations and then failed to do their homework to understand the real productivity affect. Other managers have a tendency to insist on staff reductions that are not really feasible. After all, it is brand new software and it costs a lot of money. In either case, ERP becomes all things to all people and then staff reductions are way over-estimated or simply never materialize. Let’s dig a little deeper into this topic.

Staff Reduction Estimates – The Subtleties

Any ERP benefits analysis should include reviewing your current processes, business issues, and improvement opportunities. Also, it is important to gain consensus on how the company wants to do business in the future and how new software may help enable the desired state. As a reality check, benchmarking other companies that have recently installed ERP is another way to gather input when developing savings estimates. But, when it comes to reducing headcount, it is important to understand the subtleties.

Software Meets Real World

Even when the software package selected is considered a good fit, once into the project details there will be software limitation surprises that dampen process improvement objectives. Also, with a new package, the company may take a step backward in certain areas of the business.

Better Business Practices Are Not “Free”

Oftentimes, in order to realize the benefits associated with the system, new value-added tasks must be performed by employees (that were not originally anticipated). While the software may be great and the new tasks enable the system to operate effectively, there is some off-setting affect to the overall time savings (because of the additional work). Remember, ERP is not about slick, it is about working smarter with better tools.

A FTE May Not Equal One Staff Reduction

One of biggest benefits of ERP is integrating the flow of information within the business, not necessarily attempting to automate the jobs of employees. Therefore, the relationship between increased productivity and headcount reduction is not always one-for-one. Rather, much of the total time savings are cumulative across many departments, processes, and people. Yes, one can calculate full-time equivalent (FTE) staff reductions by adding the savings in each area. However, in many cases the need for separation of duties, the skills-sets, and the other major responsibilities of those involved, may prohibit reallocation of the work in order to realize the FTE. This means in order to develop valid estimates, think in terms of business processes and how the work will be reallocated.

Staff Reductions in This Area are often Over-Estimated

In terms of IT department staffing, in most cases it is the same number of IT employees, simply using different technology tools, or doing different things. For example, when moving away from customized legacy systems, you might need fewer software programmers, but the new system might create a new need for IT people that understand how to configure the software. Also, if there is little internal IT support today, there may be a need to increase IT headcount.

 

Of course, every situation is unique and there might be staff reductions in IT if the current systems are decentralized, supported by multiple IT groups, and the plan is to centralize support into one system. Or, you currently have very old systems with many people in IT writing software modifications and supporting outdated technologies. Finally, another example is when at least a portion of the IT function is to be outsourced with the new system (which is an entirely different topic with its own set of advantages and disadvantages).

 

You can find original text written by Steve Phillips here.