Better Information = Better Decision Making

Much of what we use in our day-to-day business operation at Hicks Industrial Roofing is old. Custom applications that I built in MS Office Suite software in the early 90’s, and have continued to tweak over the decades, Excel being the one most used. It works for us, and the cost of transitioning to fully integrated software suites has been hard to justify.

We have used an accounting software system since 1994 called “The Construction Manager,” which is capable of running a multi-site construction operation of any size, providing fully detailed, up-to-the-hour job costing information and just about any other financial bit you want that would apply to a construction company. Good accounting should be the first and foremost software choice you make. It deserves serious consideration, and you should look 10-20 years into your future, because changing accounting software can be a very expensive and painful process. Software that provides you with accurate and up-to-date financial information is KEY to good decision making.

We also utilize FCS (Facility Control Systems) now a part of Jobba Trade Technologies for the service side of our business. This year we are looking to more fully integrate it into our sales and contact management efforts. It has been a good fit for us and now we want to use their technology to connect, manage and track all of our sales and service processes on one platform in real time.

For the past two months my team has been evaluating several different HR management software systems. We wanted to bring about better company-wide communications, standardized and documented onboarding and offboarding of employees, make the full scale of our benefits packages more accessible and appreciated by employees, and tracking and promoting employee training progress. At the same time, we really want to get rid of the mountain of employee paperwork that currently is occupying too much storage space. Good HR software brings all of these various elements that cross several lines of personnel responsibility within the company, into one central location where it can be viewed, updated and managed by all the parties connected to these various aspects of our employee experience, while helping to build appreciation for the company culture among our asset force.

After taking a detailed look at four different HR platforms, we just settled on BambooHR. My advice is to really take your time and look at the software and be sure it is a fit for your culture. If your team does not like it, it will not last long. BambooHR wasn’t the most expensive, nor was it the cheapest. We liked its user interface, support system, and have seen that it collects and organizes all the information we gather throughout the employee lifecycle, including hiring, onboarding, preparing comp plans, training progress and/or building culture, and when needed, consistent and documented offboarding. It seemed the right product for us, but our experience is just beginning.

Utilizing MS Office Suite, Construction Manager, FCS and now BambooHR, along with things like drones, cloud-based servers and updated mobile communications allow us to provide customers with the latest expectations in professional and useful information. It allows our employees to work from virtually any location and keep that custom feeling that we hope each one of our valued customers senses in the information we provide as we strive to educate our client base on the real value of long-term roofing solutions.

Michael Hicks is owner of Hicks Industrial Roofing. See his full bio here.

Article originally posted on Roofer’s Coffee Shop.

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