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Now, more than ever, wouldn’t it be nice to have a crystal ball? Projections based on past performance are on shaky ground in the face of continued uncertainty. In short, “the future” has become increasingly ambiguous – and planning for it increasingly difficult.   

So what can commercial real estate practitioners do to lessen that challenge? It starts with implementing initiatives that serve to “future-proof” their companies. A good future is one in which a business is still operating successfully. That means being able to easily adapt to changing circumstances. Within that context, adopting a modern business management solution that provides agility and promises to evolve commensurate with changing needs is a very good place to start.  

Simply put, modern cloud-based, industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems enable firms to adapt to circumstances as they shift. We may be biased, but Imperium Powered by Acumatica (for property management/accounting) and Acumatica Construction Edition (for construction management/accounting) are great examples of today’s best-in-breed offerings.  

Both systems are based on open, flexible platforms for easy integration with critical third-party applications. They are updated regularly through continual investments in emerging technology. And they provide company-wide access – from wherever and whenever – to a single source of business truth. The result is a fully connected business that achieves continuity and resiliency in the face of an unknowable future. 

Any business in any industry can plan for a brighter future. Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, recently released a report that addresses future proofing. Their focus is modern integration strategy for cloud ERP solutions, which is a vital consideration. The report is detailed, but the gist of it is that companies must have a strategy that allows theto seamlessly integrate their ERP solution with other, necessary business applications. Doing so extends the business capabilities, reduces the risk of rising maintenance and supports costs, and sets the organization up for future success. 

And IDC, the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information and technology industry, released a recent report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed businesses. The report notes that “cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology helps make the digital business resilient, durable, and sustainable so that it is able to withstand the factors of health and safety, social distancing, and working from home.” 

Future-Proofing Commercial Real Estate  

Experts agree – a cloud ERP solution is the answer for businesses that a) understand that the future holds many surprises, and b) know they must be agile enough to flex accordingly. Industry-specific ERP solutions for property management and construction management can provide that “flex-agility.”  

Consider this common commercial real estate scenario. “Company X” believes in offering outstanding customer service and technical support, but they are not getting that from their legacy ERP system. The solution is slow and requires manual processes. Company X also needs to operate on several different platforms. That means there is a full history of “siloed” data that is difficult to access and, therefore, provides little value from a business intelligence perspective. And often, a lack of – or delayed – communication between team members in their various locations leads to the failed exchange of timely, accurate information and project updates. 

Does that sound familiar?  

What Company X really needs is a cloud ERP solution catered directly to their real estate business type – a system that will serve as their foundation for continued growth. Today’s robust, cloud-based applications bring mobility, transparency and functionality that addresses traditional pain-points like ineffective office/field communication, project estimating and time reporting. They enable real-time access to information on any device and from any location, integrating disparate data, reducing or eliminating errors and delays across the entire operational process. 

Property management, construction and development executives can choose from two types of cloud software solutions. A deep solution includes applications for financials, contracts, budgets and costs, while a broad solution covers a range of areas such as construction accounting, purchasing and customer relationship management (CRM). These modern tech platforms can also help boost efficiencies by directly connecting the field with decision makers and the historical data stored back at the office on any given job, property, vendor or client. There is no substitute for the ability to, with a few simple clicks, drill down from the most complex to the simplest details.  

The point of having a business is to stay in business. Planning for the future, however, can be a challenge. None of us knows what tomorrow holds, but implementing a future-proof ERP solution is an important step toward maximizing its potential. We’d love to show you how IBS can help. Contact us today!