March 2019 Newsletter

What we’re mad for this March:

  • Sage Enterprise Management Construction was featured in Construction Today (and so was LAI!)
  • Buy One, Get One HALF OFF on users + modules is back until the end of the month!
  • Bundle up and save up to 20% on Sage Service Ops and Field Ops mobile apps
  • Ruth S. says revenue recognition in ’19 may require changes
  • Sage Intacct article: Moving to the cloud means moving the needle
  • Know someone? The deadline for the Work Ethics Scholarship from mikeroweWORKS Foundation is this month!
  • Some SWEET ‘Tips and Tricks’ for Sage 300 CRE | Sage 100 CON | Sage Estimating

 


Enterprise Management Construction

Excerpts from Construction today

Sage Enterprise Management Construction (formerly Sage X3 for Construction) was recently featured in a Construction Today article (Volume 17, Issue 1) by Janice Hoppe-Spiers. The following are excerpts from the article, to familiarize you with a real-time, scalable, ERP solution for construction. 

In full disclosure, Ledgerwood is featured as a reseller in the article – YEAH! Tony Merry explains why LAI wanted to add this powerful solution to our Sage suite.

Please note that these excerpts were hand-picked, and do not reflect the full narrative — but no content has been changed from its original form, breaks will be indicated by triple ellipses.  For the full article, click here.  

SAGE INTRODUCES FEATURES TO PROVIDE GREATER CONSTRUCTION INSIGHT. BY JANICE HOPPE-SPIERS

In a rapidly changing technology landscape Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management has evolved to meet the needs of the more than 5,500 organizations globally. “The Enterprise Management solution has been around now for a few years, but as technology moves, it’s our obligation to keep up with that,” says Chris Wiener, CEO of {SAW} Software Mill.

In 2015, {SAW} Software Mill partnered with Sage to develop Sage Business Cloud Enterprise Management Construction. Today, the solution empowers project managers and other stakeholders around the world to better manage the entire construction  lifecycle. It captures more granular, work-in-progress project and financial data using one integrated system…

A Program of Continuous Developmentreal time construction

Version 12 of the Enterprise Management solution delivers a new user experience that streamlines workflows and accelerates the management of your business. The responsive design automatically adapts to the size of the screen giving users the freedom to work on the best device for the task at hand whether it is a desktop, tablet or mobile. “Enterprise Management understands if I’m working at my desktop, tablet or phone,” explains Robert Sinfield, vice president of product, enterprise management suite for Sage. “It adapts automatically to the size of my screen, making the best use of the available space, and giving me the flexibility I want as a user.”

In addition, this latest version of Enterprise Management delivers significant benefits for distribution, including stock availability, supply chain management, EDI, back-to-back orders and enhanced inventory management with the introduction of License Plate Numbering (LPN). LPN allows for grouping and managing inventory by container.

“You can now drive efficiency across your supply chain, managing logistics and tracking key information for a group of items with a single number, as well as the ability to group and manage inventory you can connect that to distribution to know what goods are on the truck,” Sinfield explains. “If you trust the supply chain and the truck is sealed, you can use the LPN to receive goods into the warehouse and you don’t have to unpack everything. That’s huge in cost savings and performance.”

Enterprise Management Construction was developed for the whole construction industry, including not only those in the field, but also material supply companies, specialty subcontractors such as MEPs, ready mix, roofing, framing and others, and those in the back office overseeing procurement, inventory control and distribution management. “Importantly, the same tool can be used people in the back office and those in the field in low bandwidth environments,” Wiener says. “They all need to access that same set of data in real-time. What we do with Enterprise Management Construction is move that window of knowledge from being 30, 60 or 90 days in arrears to today and in as real-time as it can be. There’s no latency in the system; it comes down to humans putting data into the tool.”

Optimizing Performance

Enterprise Management Construction allows companies to use bill of quantities and bill of materials from a procurement perspective and order things when needed. “Construction has small laydown yards and don’t have a warehouse for materials to build a 50-story tower, for example,” Wiener says. “They typically have one floor, and everything has to go through that up the tower. We have swiftly improved the way BOQ on the construction side is handled.”fire-alarm-installation

The platform uses that information and attaches material labor and the type of labor, so now the material is inputted as an assembly. “When we talk about assembly, it’s converting material into tasks,” Wiener explains. “It’s not just the fire alarm on the wall, for example. Now it’s the alarm on the wall with the conduit, fittings, cable, labor and testing, which allows for things to be tracked at a human level and more understood.It streamlines field reporting.”

Enterprise Management Construction introduced crew reports in the Jobs module last year, allowing reporting from the field on a tablet to document hours, material, rates, equipment run time, expenses and all the things involved on a job site to collect multiple crew reports into a daily or periodic report. “Reports are produced by supervisors to connect them together into a daily job site report, which will include site conditions, weather, safety incidents and any other observations,” Wiener says. “They then take those daily or periodic reports and convert them into job progress reports. Every level is signing off that the team did the work and that’s how to track progress against the job for billable conversion.”

Wiener says the new tool is “incredibly powerful. The job progress report can convert from raw material down to the contractual item,” he says. “A fully installed fire alarm may have a different bill rate than the cost of the materials, and the people in the back office don’t have to understand the field. It smooths out that process and is more flexible.

What Construction Resellers Can Bring to Customers

Ledgerwood Associates Inc. (LAI) in North America is a certified partner of Enterprise Management Construction. The company has the knowledge and industry experience, having been in the construction industry for more than 40 years. As construction technology has grown over the decades, so has the complexity of projects and financial strategy. LAI recognized it needed to offer solutions according to the project scopes, as well as scalable to the business needs.

“Throughout the years, LAI has had direct exposure to the ever-evolving and changing needs of construction companies, primarily regarding technology and visibility across clients’ organizations,” LAI co-owner Tony Merry says. “While Sage has many industry-leading solutions across major market sectors, a gap existed within the Enterprise level construction vertical, which requires robust and sophisticated processes dedicated to planning and executing large scale and highly complex projects.”

LAI is uniquely positioned to offer their enterprise-scale clients a more modern, higher performance construction solution that was conceived to perform to global standards. With the principals’ previous experience working in structural steel, high voltage, hydroelectric and utility-scale solar verticals, LAI has the ability to translate complex and lengthy construction phases into operable and profitable executions.

Being on time and on budget truly scales exponentially with enterprise construction, and Sage Enterprise Management is the centralized, scalable solution of choice for LAI.

Enterprise Management Construction brings tomorrow’s best practices to a wide variety of construction, implementation, and project management companies today. In future articles, we will explore more of the key pain points which Enterprise Management and its construction add-in bring to bear on the industry. We will also include more information about {SAW} Software Mill’s and Sage’s global partners and we will get to meet some of the customers implementing the Enterprise Management Construction solution.

 

Follows: @ConstructToday | @ConstructionEm  | @RealChrisWiener | @lai_tony_merry | @lai_joanie

 



Bundle up and save on users and modules!*

Buy any Sage 300 CRE, Sage 100 CON or Estimating module/user licenses and SAVE 50% on the SECOND module/user!*

Want some ideas? Add of any these:

  • GL,AP, AR PR modules
  • Sage Estimating
  • Service Management
  • Project Management

LAI price quote

* Offer does not include OEM products.

 


About Sage Service Operations (SSO)

Sage Service Operations bridges the gap between the field and office staff by bringing Service Management to the field. Core functionality provides Work Order (WO) processing, service site history, sales opportunity creation, and mobile Purchase Order (PO) creation. SSO works with BOTH Sage 100 CON and Sage 300 CRE!

With Sage Service Operations, managers and technicians have access to real-time information anytime, anywhere. Increase the efficiency of your service operations with the ability to track critical items in the field including assignments, work orders, quotes, preventative maintenance, purchase orders, customer equipment, site history, refrigerant, notes, and time worked.

Sage Service Operations has been designed to support most mobile platforms, including the Android and iOS. Provide your customers with accurate, real-time information on service requests, history, equipment and more.

About Sage Field Operations (SFO)

Sage Field Operations provides field technicians with the critical information they need while office teams receive real-time updates from the field, resulting in higher quality work, improved efficiency, and maximum profitability of your service operations. Integrated with Sage 100 Contractor and Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate, Sage Field Operations helps you deliver excellent customer service anywhere, anytime — so you retain your clients today and win new clients tomorrow.

Now, until March 28th!

  • Save 10% on 5 – 9 users
  • Save 15% on 10 -14 users
  • Save 20% pm 15+ users

 


Revenue recognition – changes in Accounting standards

by Ruth Stockdale, LAI Director of PSG

Data setup and report modificationrevenue-recognition

For some of you, 2019 is the year for implementing required changes in methods of reporting revenue. As always, talk to an accounting professional for clarification on how this may apply to some, or all, of your jobs. But, if you are subject to the changes, your data setup and reports may need modification.

Recommended areas to check:

Terminology

The rules refer to “performance obligations”. I recently saw a presentation where “PO” was used as an abbreviation for performance obligation. Some of us think of PO as a purchase order. When discussing procedure or data changes, be sure everyone is clear about terms.

Cost and Revenue Breakdowns

You may need additional records to split up a job, or a way to group multiple jobs together. Adapting your use of Contract, Project, Job, Phase, Cost Codes, or custom fields can help.

Procedure Changes

Formal Change Orders may need to be set up in your software instead of just informally adding costs and billings to a job. Your job setup and closeout process may change. You may need to handle rework and maintenance differently.

Accounting Adjustments

You may need to make an adjustment to prior year entries.

Report Design Edits

You will need to accommodate any changes or additions in account numbers or other codes. If you use year-to-year comparisons, you may need to accommodate the slight mismatch between old-to-new methods of reporting.

Let us know if you would like input or assistance with changes. You can also view related information at Sage City, the LAI website or TUG.


Moving to the cloud means moving the needle

Sage Intacct staff writer

Cloud vendors love to talk about how cloud solutions are less expensive and easier to implement than an on premise solution. However, for some reason, companies are still skeptical. To help give you an idea what to expect from a switch to a cloud solution, let me start with an Intacct customer example.cloud-spells-erp-icon

A leading field service software vendor deployed Intacct to automate its business processes, help its accountant’s process more transactions, create automated workflows, and empower executives around the globe to share timely information. Nucleus Research, an independent ROI analysis firm, found key benefits of the project included increased productivity and the ability to support rapid growth without a similar growth in staff. They calculated that this software company achieved a 532% ROI, a payback in two and a half months, and an average annual benefit of $301,995 from their use of Intacct’s cloud ERP software.

Those are just a few incredible stats on how migrating to the cloud can lead to a significant return on investment. In fact, the overall ROI delivered by cloud applications compared to on-premise alternatives, is on the rise. Nucleus found that cloud application projects deliver 2.1 times the ROI of on-premise ones—up 24 percent since 2012.

So what about concerns around deployment costs for implementing a cloud-based solution? Given that there are greater features and functionality available in cloud applications as the years pass, one would think that such enhancements might drive up the cost of deployment along with the time it actually takes to implement a cloud system. Not so it seems.

Nucleus noted: “While the average time to deploy a cloud application has increased somewhat (increased complexity of applications such as ERP drive great variability in time to deployment), the relative cost of cloud implementations has actually gone down since 2012. Cloud deployments incur 63 percent lower initial consulting and implementation costs than on-premise ones (in 2012, companies spent 40 percent less on consulting for cloud deployments than on-premise ones). Personnel time to deploy cloud applications in comparison to on-premise ones has dropped as well. On an ongoing basis, companies spend 55 percent less (on average) on personnel to support cloud applications compared to on-premise deployments.”

In fact, for Intacct customers, 92% of our implementations are completed at or below budget. This gives our customers a predictable path to success. Most Intacct implementations are completed in just a couple months, depending on the complexity of the business.

Further, most cloud vendors deliver upgrades once or twice per year—at Intacct, we offer four software updates per year to ensure that new functionality and innovative capabilities are always at our customer’s fingertips. This means that cloud users (and Intacct customers) are not only getting their money’s worth, but they’re reaping the benefits of their investment on an ongoing basis.

The fact is, the cloud is not just the way of the future, it’s now. To avoid irrelevance, organizations must be both adoptive and adaptive.

To learn more about how small and medium-sized businesses are successfully using the Intacct best-in-class cloud ERP system to save time, streamline accounting processes, and provide analytical insight into their business click below! It’s really NBD.

Intacct free demo

 


Mike Rowe Works: ‘Work Ethic Scholarship’ deadline to apply is EOM!

by Joanie Hollabaugh

Proud to be a MR ‘fangirl’

In full disclosure, I am a huge fan of ALL things Mike Rowe takes on (with the exception of Barbershop Quartet singing; not my jam).

Witty, self-deprecating, and an advocate for down-to-earth work ethics, it’s not surprising Mike Rowe has a foundation to help close the gap in skilled trades.

So if an opportunity comes along to plug him AND benefit the construction industry, I will gladly jump on that bandwagon! Available to all skilled workers, including “Plumbers, electricians, welders, and all skilled workers who make civilized life possible” – this scholarship program offers “a modest pile of money” for the opportunity to learn a skilled trade.

From the website:

We’re looking for the next generation of aspiring workers who will work smart and hard.  This program doesn’t focus on test scores, grades, or grammar.  It’s about the people who share our values and understand the importance of work ethic, personal responsibility, delayed gratification, and a positive attitude.

So if you know an individual whose path may not be a traditional Bachelor/Masters degree, and has an inclination for virtuous, yet gratifying “Dirty Jobs” — send him or her to https://www.mikeroweworks.org/scholarship/ to apply. This year’s deadline to submit applications is March 28, 2019.

More Mike

From a Paul Harvey-like podcast, to a tear-jerking FB Watch series, to his break-through TV series, Mike always seems to be celebrating the unsung hero. If you need more MR (and who doesn’t?), here are a few links to a few of my favorite things.

 


 

Follow LAI on Social Media for current construction and technology news!

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Check out the LAI YouTube channel – recordings of past webinars and training classes!

 


Upcoming LAI Online Training and Networking Events:

 



Cashflow management

Submitted by Bryan Eto, CPA BeachFleischman

Why construction finances are different

Construction project financing and cash flow management are unique for several reasons.

First, start-up construction companies are very easy to form with the “two men, tools, and a truck” business model. Because of this, credit and business history often are not extensive as the positive histories that typically give businesses access to large sums of capital to start the business.

Second, cash flows on projects are such that trade contractors bear the financial burden. This is because they pay their crews on a weekly basis and pay their suppliers on thirty-day terms, but they receive money on a “pay when paid” structure. As a result, incoming cash typically lags far behind the outflows that were expended on a project.

Modified Critical Path Model

One thing construction contractors can do to increase their proficiency at managing and financing cash flows is to examine the nature of the project. To do this they can use a modified critical path approach just as they would to execute their job site operational function.

The critical path model for cash flow management means that certain key financial goals must be met before a project can continue. For example, weekly payroll, major equipment financing down payments or cash payments to bind annual insurance policies cannot be missed or the next week there will be no workers, machinery deliveries and no certificates of insurance to allow owners to get work authorizations.

These critical cash flow items are important not only because they are vital to proceeding with a project, but also because they are large, and therefore they must be planned for. So segregating existing cash reserves and allocating incoming cash flows in order to formally meet these upcoming financial necessities by using a chart like the one below will not only help you see clearly what needs to be done to meet those objectives, but also how much cash will be left over after these critical cash outflows are satisfied.

Two-week cash flow projection

Cash available for use

A key distinction to make when using the critical path model for cash flow management is between cash that is available and that is not available for use. This sounds incredibly simplistic, but the idea can revolutionize the financial operations of a construction company that is struggling to keep up with its debts and bills. Put another way, the best way to meet financial targets and put financial muscle behind your company decisions is to set aside cash for those disbursements.

As current cash reserves and incoming cash flows are set aside, they are no longer available for use, even if they are in the bank. The cash that is available for use is at the bottom line of the chart above. That cash is all that is available to meet general sales and administrative expenses, unpredictable obligations and such other uses as savings, investments, and owner distributions.

The Advantages

Separating these non-negotiable, large cash outflows from more routine, smaller cash flows will help you see not only how to meet your bigger, critical financial obligations but also how to save money for expenditures you may have been unable to make in the past.
Check with your financial accounting and tax advisers on this and other ways to maximize your cash flows.

Beach Fleischman 2201 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016 | 602.265.7011 | http://beachfleischman.com | twitter: @BeachFleischman

 

The GL Archive in Sage 100 Contractor

by Pam Schulz, Sage Certified Consultant

The fundamental reasons and rolesarchive Sage software

In January, the PAYROLL archive was done. If your fiscal year ended December 31, you will soon be considering your GL ARCHIVE. 

Note: the GL ARCHIVE is separate from the PAYROLL ARCHIVE. The GL ARCHIVE is done to remove old “fiscal year” and “closed jobs” data from the current operating data file and store it in an “archive file.” This is a fairly simple process in Sage 100 Contractor — the program contains an archiving wizard to move through the actual archiving steps.

What

The GL ARCHIVE is a process that removes certain data from the “current” operating files and stores it in an “archive” file.

The ARCHIVE FILE is a “copy” of the data as it would be at the cutoff period for the archive. The “current year’s” files carry forward “current” information and the archived information is stored in the archive file. During the process, the General Ledger for the year is archived, and you can optionally remove closed jobs and paid non-job AP invoices.

Who

Since the GL ARCHIVE is done in the DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR, it must be done by someone with access to the SQL server, and Admin rights in the program. The timing of the task requires input from the Accounting Department. Finally, since Exclusive Access will be required, all users must at least be made aware when the archive process is scheduled.

When

Archiving should be done after all entries for the year have been done. Entries done to a file after archiving need to be done in both the archive file and the current file, so this should be avoided.

While this limits the soonest you can archive, there are differing opinions regarding when you must archive. You can keep multiple year’s data rather than archiving each year. Consider the pros and cons of this; more data means more to search through, and while some users find it pesky to scroll through many periods when running reports, others prefer to have more years available in one file.

Where

The Database Administration program, located on your SQL server, has the option to “Archive Company Data”; then “Archive Oldest Fiscal Year.” From this option, you select your company, and then follow prompts through a program wizard to archive the company data.

How

As outlined above, a very helpful Archiving Wizard guides each step of the process. From the SQL server, log into the Database Administration. Choosing the Archive menus, follow the steps in the Wizard. You will be given choices regarding the removal of closed and refused jobs, as well as paid AP invoices not connected to jobs. You will also be asked to name the archive file.

Archiving requires “exclusive access”- no other users can log into the data file during the process. Make sure to allow enough time; the archive process includes THREE backups: one before the archive begins, then a backup of the newly created archive file, and a backup of the “current” file after the process is complete. On top of that, the process itself takes some time, and if you are removing a lot of closed jobs you will need even more time.

Why

Archiving makes your data easier to use because old, unused data isn’t causing “clutter.” Depending on how much data you have, this could negatively affect your system’s speed. For example, lookup windows will be easier to use after archiving.

The archive process does not need to be a daunting one. However, each company should decide the ideal archiving schedule and time-frame, there is not a set requirement.

When

Any time after all entries (including CPA adjustments) are done; allow exclusive access and several hours to be safe.

Cleanup: mark closed jobs (make sure they have $0 balances), as well as:

  1. Make sure your nightly backups are happening
  2. Have the backup files get “backed up” off site
  3. Test your backups on a periodic basis
  4. Evaluate what is being backed up nightly in Sage to make the best use of your resources

Need help from a certified Sage 100 Contractor Consultant? Just click, and we’ll contact you in a jiff! It’s no big deal, right?

Navigating Sage City

by Kyle Zeigler, Sage Senior Certified Consultant

Create your bookmark

Sage City is a one-stop website full of powerful resources for users of Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate and Sage 100 Contractor. With links to forums, blogs, training opportunities, videos, year-end centers, and more, navigating the site can be a little daunting to newcomers. To start, Sage City offers resources for all Sage accounting products, so making sure you are accessing the right resources is critical. Sage 300 CRE and Sage 100 Contractor users will want to bookmark https://sagecity.na.sage.com/support_communities/sage_construction_and_real_estate to be sure you start your foray into Sage City on the right foot.

Join and sign in

Once you’ve accessed the correct webpage, we recommend you join the Sage Construction & Real Estate Sage City Community to get important information and notices about your software. Joining and then signing in is easy: just click the person icon in the upper right corner of the page or the blue bar below the links.



Set your preferences

Once you’ve joined the Sage Community and are signed in, you have access to additional icons and links to view notifications about your software, view messages from the Sage City Community, and bookmark pages. Additional links on the right side of the page allow you to set preferences for a daily or weekly digest that comes straight to your email to keep you informed about your software, bookmark groups and more.


 


Easy navigation

From the main Sage City page, click a link to start exploring!



Quick access prompts for deeper dives

And be sure to check out all of the right side of the page for quick access to the Year-End Center, the Sage Knowledgebase, and Live Chat with a Sage analyst, as well as timely tweets and trending topics.



Each link leads you to more links to dive deeper into topics that interest you, but have no fear of getting lost in the maze of information! Your browser’s back button will safely lead you back to where you started.

If you would like more information about Sage City or your Sage 300 CRE or Sage 100 Contractor software, please contact Ledgerwood Associates.

Need help from a certified Sage 300 CRE Consultant? Just click, and we’ll contact you in a jiff! It’s no big deal, right?