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Take 90 Minutes to See How We Can Make Your Business Better

February 9, 2012 at 7:35 AMDoug O'Roak

 

If you’re in the contracting industry, or you service the construction industry, than you know you run a very specialized business.

To run your business, you need very specialized software to manage your operations.

If you employ more than 20 people, it’s not an option to pop into Best Buy and pick up a copy of Quick Books.  You need to employ a software company that hopefully has everything you need to run your unique business and tie it all together.  You need that company to offers world-class setup, training, and support.  And you need that company to continue to grow dynamically, just as your contracting business does.

Though the main focus of any business management software is accounting, you need the software to connect all the dots.  You need to do job costing.  You need to be able to quote.  If you’re a service contractor, you need to issue work orders.  You may need to track your inventory or your fixed assets.  And I’m sure project management would be a plus.

Since your financials are all tied together by the software, in addition to G/L, payables, and receivables, you may want to be able to do payroll and issue your own checks.

To go a step further, you may need special forms for AIA billing, and you may need to set up all sorts of special rates, costs, and benefits for union workers and jobs.

As an executive or financial officer, you may simply want a dashboard set up so you can review key performance indicators and metrics.

The software you use to manage your contracting business must be robust and all-encompassing, but it must also be easy to use, easy to learn, and offer great support.

contractor business management software

With so much activity gearing up in the construction industry for contractors, now may be the time to beef up your office to handle the coming load.

Here at C/F DataSystems, LLC., we offer free online demos of our accounting software package, and we offer job cost, project management, payroll, work orders, and many other modules that you may want to tie in to your system.  Our account managers can help find the system that is right for you, and our support staff and development team are on-site to help you get started and go live in a very short time.

We’ve been in business for 33 years, and we’ve maintained our focus on serving the needs of contractors.  We’ve seen what others have to offer, but no one has the experience or dynamics that we do.

A great compliment we always hear is that our customers feel like our office becomes an extension of theirs when they sign on to STRUCTURE.

Our online demo is less than 90 minutes, it’s free, and it will answer all your questions about how we can make your business better.  Sign up now!

 

construction software

Shot of Adrenaline for Massachusetts Contractors

November 18, 2011 at 9:47 AMDoug O'Roak

This has been quite an exciting week, one that has brought incredible news for Massachusetts contractors.

First, an agreement has been reached, and ownership of Weymouth’s South Naval Air Station will transfer from the U.S. Navy to Southfield.  This has been a 15-year negotiation in the making, and the last obstacle was the Navy’s commitment on the environmental cleanup of the property.

business management software

The benefits to the development of this property, according to an e-mail from U.S. Congressman Bill Keating, will be 10,000 construction and contactor jobs created over the next 10 years.  He states the development will include 2,800 new homes, including a mix of apartments, condos, townhouses, and single-family houses, as well as 2 million square feet of commercial space, of which 450,000 will be retail.  Additionally, 70% of the property will be reserved for open space and active recreation.

contractor accounting software

Secondly, the Massachusetts House and Senate have both come to an agreement and passed a casino bill, and it currently sits on Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk waiting to be signed into effect.

We faced this same scenario last year, and the governor vetoed the bill.  However, the governor had given ultimatums regarding what he would be willing to pass last year, and those demands were not met.  Specifically, he would only allow one slot parlor in addition to the three casinos, but the bill allowed for four slot parlors. This year, there are no indications that the bill is outside the scope of what the governor is willing to pass, and there is strong speculation the governor will be signing the legislation on Tuesday.

construction accounting software

Once this passes, it will allow three resort-style casinos to operate in the state, as well as one slot parlor sited at a former dog racing facility.

Each resort casino must invest $500 million towards development to be considered for licensing, so these are going to be some really big casinos, with plenty of work for contractors.  There is already activity by at least a dozen investors, including the Mohegan tribe, who purchased large tracts of land in Palmer, a Las Vegas-based casino developer who has made an offer on a $16 million parcel in Springfield, and two developers are looking at two different sites in New Bedford.

The owners of former dog racing facilities Suffolk Downs and Raynham have both spent considerable money over the past 15 years in hopes of converting to world-class slot parlors with restaurants, retail, and hotels, and will be competing fiercely for the one available license.

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The Wampanoag tribe from Mashpee will be given first go at the license for the southeastern part of the state, but may be held up in litigation with the town of Middleboro for a site they had already signed an MOU for.  The town’s board of selectmen has threatened to sue the Wampanoag if they do not pursue the Middleboro location, which could prove harmful to their chances of securing one of the state’s $25 million licenses.

In all, estimates show these two bits of news will create 50,000 jobs for the construction industry over the next ten years, and will lead to even more development in the surrounding areas, as well as necessary infrastructure improvements.  The boost to our industry is incredible, and couldn’t have come at a better time.

The light at the end of the tunnel just got a little brighter for Massachusetts contractors, and as one of the top companies supporting those contractors, we look forward to being really busy very quickly!

Golf: A Needed Boost for the Construction Industry?

August 17, 2011 at 5:29 AMEric Drummond

It’s often been said that a leisurely drive to work can spurn ideas and solutions. Today was that day for me when light bulbs and thoughts centered on how the economy can be revived. My response is to build more golf courses.

You are sitting there reading and maybe asking yourself why. The sport is immensely popular and at its highest point with more people playing, taking lessons, buying equipment and apparel, and there has been an increase in television ratings. How often are you driving and seeing a sign advertising land for sale? I’d say I see this type of thing two or three times a day.

It would take a few simple things to get such projects off the ground. A good developer, a person to design the course and clubhouse, a general contractor, and the sub contractors. Imagine all these people going to work to build one course. Even if you built 50 courses over the next two years, the revenue would be incredible. People could apply for jobs to run the courses, maintain the courses, and the golfers would have new courses to try out and lose more golf balls.

No one is saying that this is easy or realistic, but if you don’t dream, then you can’t achieve.

 Where I live in Massachusetts they talk about building casinos and state government gets involved. The golf course is a better option and people shouldn’t feel like they are losing money playing golf.

Here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago I played with my boss and two of our customers in a golf tournament. The beauty was being outside, riding around in golf carts exchanging ideas, doing a little business but best of all just having fun. With the way the economy is people are clamoring for fun. That’s why we look forward to the weekend.

Think about all the materials needed to build a golf course: steel, brick, water, cement, lights, sand, floors, drywall, etc. This would be a win-win for a variety of different industries.

 The construction industry is very important and could use all the help we can give it. Not to mention people who are seeking jobs from golf pros, cooks, waiters/waitresses, landscapers, maintenance just to name a few.

  Many of the new courses I see also have residential communities, some with village markets, built around the course. This adds greatly to the value of the course, as well as adding considerably to the contractor’s job.

Conclusion:

Let’s band together and get a message out to the people who have the undeveloped land that the economy could use a boost as well as the sub contractors. They would thrive with this type of project. More people would have fun and hopefully the economy could receive a much needed shot in the arm. Best part: Washington wouldn’t need to be involved.

Posted in: Bidding | contractor marketing | development | federal stimulus | golf | planning

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Gearing Up to Break Ground: Are You Ready?

July 15, 2011 at 6:04 AMDoug O'Roak
This week I attended a forum with Massachusetts Lt. Governor Tim Murray held in my hometown.
It’s always interesting to see what the administration is up to in a non-election year, and I also wanted to ask about the status of the Casino Gaming Bill, which, if passed will allow up to three full resort-style casinos in the state.  You can imagine what a boon to the local construction industry that will be.
I got to ask my questions, and unfortunately learned the bill will be on hold until September, as the summer will be spent on judicial reform bills.
While I was there, an activist for the Jones River Watershed was asking questions about plans to improve the watershed infrastructure, stating she was concerned about a recent Sysco plant that broke ground last week in Plympton, and she was sure the plant and the 900 workers would add a strain to the current water infrastructure.
The governor, in his response, talked about how Federal stimulus had dried up, but the state needed to formulate a plan to improve infrastructure state-wide. 
His concern is, to improve the economy and attract new business, which will ultimately create jobs and revenues, we need infrastructure improvements to support the new business.

 

Without improved infrastructure, we can’t grow.
I think this statement is true for any business, and specifically, a contractor’s business.
 
While the state is waiting for the economy to improve, they need to work on improving infrastructure to support and sustain the business, but in the meantime, business owners need to improve their own infrastructure.
On a local level, I’ve watched planning board meetings, and things are starting to gear up.  In my own neck of the woods, there is an 1100 home development gearing up to break ground, a new factory that just broke ground, another 180 home retirement development in the planning stages, and another stage of development planned in a golf community, as well as a dozen other projects in the idea stages.
Things are starting to gear up, and there will be more projects coming, like the resort casinos (hopefully.)
Are you ready?  Is your business ready?
One of the best ways to improve your business’ infrastructure is to implement a robust construction accounting package  that can help run your business more efficiently, save you money, cut costs, and improve your processes.
You don’t want to take on a project like that while you’re in full tilt, so consider it now.
There are many packages to choose from, so do your homework, and choose wisely.  Having the right tools and the right infrastructure will help you get the business, and make it as profitable as possible for you.  Be ready.
 

Posted in: Accounting Software | Bidding | development | federal stimulus | infrastructure | planning

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