Top 10 Construction ERP Systems for 2024

Top 10 Construction ERP Systems in 2024

The construction industry necessitates dedicated ERP systems tailored for distinctive accounting and payroll demands. This explains why accountants often undergo specialized training in construction accounting when transitioning into this industry.

Moreover, industries adjacent to construction, even if not at its core, often adopt numerous processes from it. Manufacturers supplying the construction sector undergo pre-construction, bidding, and submittal processes. Likewise, contractors like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC may share these processes and necessitate specific feature sets.



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Hence, ERP systems not tailored for construction accounting and industries may seem out of place. So, which construction ERP systems should we consider, and how do we assess them? Let’s kick off with a compilation of the top 10 construction ERP systems frequently implemented in the industry. This list is curated after analyzing numerous ERP systems and their capabilities using publicly accessible information, along with insights from our team’s experience in evaluating these systems for clients. The intent here is not to make recommendations but to present options for your thorough consideration. Are you prepared to delve into the list?

Criteria

  1. Overall market share/# of customers. The higher the market share of the product, the higher it ranks on our list.
  2. Ownership/funding. The more committed the management to the product roadmap, the higher it ranks on our list.
  3. Quality of development (legacy vs. legacy dressed as modern vs. modern UX/cloud-native). The more cloud-native are construction capabilities, the higher it ranks on our list.
  4. Community/Ecosystem. The larger the community for the construction product, the higher it ranks on our list.
  5. Depth of native functionality for specific industries. The deeper the construction functionality provided out-of-the-box that the publisher owns, the higher it ranks on our list.
  6. Quality of publicly available product documentation. The poorer the product documentation, the lower it ranks on our list. 
  7. Construction product share. The higher the focus on construction, the higher the ERP system ranks on our list.
  8. Ability to natively support diversified business models. The more diverse the product, the higher it ranks on our list.
  9. Acquisition strategy aligned with construction. The more aligned the acquisitions are with construction, the higher it ranks on our list.
  10. User Reviews. The deeper the reviews on public sites by construction companies, the higher the score for a specific product.
  11. Must be an ERP product. It can’t be an edge product such as Salesforce, ProCore, Adeaca, InEight, or ServiceNow. It also can’t be an add-on owned by ISVs or VARs that sits on top of other accounting platforms.


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10. Viewpoint

Similar to CMiC, Viewpoint stands as a longstanding player in the construction domain. Since its acquisition by Trimble, it has provided more extensive construction management features. Despite endeavors to shift their legacy codebase to the cloud, many screens still retain a distinctly on-premises appearance.

Functionally, Viewpoint can address the majority of your construction business requirements, spanning construction management, estimating, construction finance, equipment management, and more. While Viewpoint’s revenue share surpasses CMiC’s in the construction sector but falls short of Deltek’s, its recent valuation during the Trimble acquisition reached $1.2 billion. Given these factors, Viewpoint retains its position at #10 on our list of the top 10 construction ERP systems, with no change in rank this year.



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9. Unanet

In contrast to CMiC and Viewpoint, Unanet focuses on Architectural and Engineering firms, catering to stringent DCAA compliance requirements for government contractors, akin to Deltek. Setting itself apart from its legacy counterparts, Unanet boasts a contemporary, cloud-native interface.

Although Unanet offers a comprehensive solution for project-centric firms, it operates atop other accounting packages like Sage or SAP. This is commonly employed in a two-tier setting, where larger enterprises seek enhanced financial control at the corporate level. Despite its robust features, Unanet holds a smaller market share compared to Viewpoint and because of these reasons, Unanet ranks at #9 on our list.



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8. SAP S/4 HANA

Similar to Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O, S/4 HANA caters to enterprise companies with over 10-15 entities. Both solutions boast seamless integration of resourcing and procurement within projects, facilitating effective supply chain management, resourcing, and forecasting. Additionally, they feature robust field service components. SAP S/4 HANA expands its portfolio with complementary solutions like SuccessFactors for HCM and Concur, encouraging best-of-breed configurations. Companies often leverage SAP S/4 HANA alongside other leading solutions, such as Salesforce for CRM and Workday for HCM.

Although SAP S/4 HANA lags in operational ERP capabilities in the cloud, its financial functionalities suffice for many construction companies. Vanilla ERP systems may not be as pertinent in the construction space, leading these companies to seek construction-centric solutions like Unanet or Procore in a two-tier setting for operational construction needs. Consequently, SAP S/4 HANA retains its position at #6 on our list of the top 10 construction ERP systems this year.

7. Sage Intacct

Unlike Acumatica, Sage Intacct primarily targets service-centric industries, including construction—a sector that has been a significant revenue driver for Sage through its Sage 300 CRE product. Although Sage Intacct may not currently boast the same construction market share as competing products or Sage 300 CRE, its design aligns well with construction-centric industries. With robust multi-entity functionality and native consolidation capabilities, Sage Intacct stands out. Additionally, its seamless integration with ProCore positions it as a powerful cloud-native solution, offering a unique advantage that sets it apart from other competing solutions.

Although Sage Intacct boasts superior design for the construction sector compared to other cloud-native products tailored for product-centric industries, its entity-based pricing presents a drawback compared to Acumatica. However, as Sage Intacct continues to enhance its capabilities, mirroring those of Sage 300 CRE, it is anticipated to provide a migration path for customers transitioning from the CRE product.

By expanding its capabilities, Sage Intacct aims to capture a more substantial share of the construction market compared to its competitors. However, its current limitations, particularly in areas like union reporting, have led to a slight reduction in Sage Intacct’s ranking. Nevertheless, it retains the position of #7 on our list of the top 10 construction ERP systems.

6. Sage 300 CRE

As the longstanding leader in construction and real estate, Sage 300 CRE boasts robust accounting functionality and seamless integration with ProCore, a powerhouse in construction management. While its capabilities in AE and GovCon may not be as pronounced, Sage 300 CRE remains an appealing choice for SMBs needing comprehensive features in construction accounting, estimation, job cost codes, and project procurement, backed by Sage’s financial stability.

While Sage 300 CRE stands strong for SMB construction companies today, its future is uncertain due to Sage’s focus on the Intacct portfolio. Existing customers face a dilemma as transitioning to Intacct may lack the same depth. Prospective users may hesitate, anticipating potential shifts in Sage’s product strategy. Consequently, we’ve significantly adjusted its ranking this year, placing it at #6 on our list.

5. Acumatica

Much like Sage Intacct, Acumatica ranks among the top three cloud-native ERP products. Acumatica offers a construction edition with robust features tailored to construction-centric field services, payroll, and job codes. While lacking some multi-entity functionality, Acumatica compensates with seamless integration with ProCore. Its consumption-based pricing appeals to construction companies with fluctuating workforce needs for various projects, positioning it as a compelling choice.

Acumatica may need additional add-ons for comprehensive DCAA compliance compared to Deltek and Sage 300 CRE. Nevertheless, its core features, including accounting, project management, field service, construction job management, and cost code tracking, are expected to be more robust. Despite these strengths, Acumatica faces limitations in globalization and location capabilities, limiting its scope in a few countries. Consequently, Acumatica’s ranking has been downgraded this year, although it maintains the #5 position on our list.

4. IFS

IFS offers a wealth of functionality designed for companies with substantial asset and field service operations, making it particularly advantageous for the construction sector. Tailored service-centric capabilities cater to project-driven organizations, aligning with the data model of companies managing large programs. With WBS-centric processes providing comprehensive project visibility, including field services, IFS stands out as an excellent choice for construction-centric industries. Positioned uniquely, IFS appeals to enterprises in search of mature, industry-specific capabilities, minimizing the necessity for extensive development compared to generic ERP systems like SAP or Oracle.

Navigating the IFS data model requires an adept internal team and external ERP advisory support, crucial for aligning processes with its intricate structure. Tailored for upper mid-market companies outgrowing smaller systems like Acumatica or NetSuite, IFS offers mature capabilities for enterprise-wide asset scheduling and maintenance. Beyond functional prowess, IFS adeptly handles the transactional workload of upper-mid-market enterprises.

Distinguished by robust global, multi-entity capabilities, IFS operates seamlessly as a cloud-native ERP solution. With a substantial customer base in the $100M – $1B revenue range, many approaching the $1B mark, IFS has surged into this year’s ranking at #4. Recent successes in the North American market and securing prominent enterprise logos in construction contribute to its notable ascent on our list.

3. Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O

Catering to enterprise companies with over 10-15 entities, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations aligns well with the construction industry. SMBs in construction often manage numerous entities, typically assigning one per project based on project complexity and financial risk. Although transaction volumes are lower than retail or manufacturing, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations effectively addresses the unique needs of construction SMBs.

Although Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations lacks the operational depth of specialized solutions, larger companies favor its corporate-level financial control. In a two-tier setting, they often utilize additional Dynamics F&O add-ons like Adeaca for operational requirements. Addressing construction-specific features may necessitate further add-ons or custom development for optimal functionality.

Furthermore, MS365 F&O offers seamless integration for field service, HCM, and CRM at the database level, empowering large companies to construct a best-of-breed architecture. This consistency in performance has contributed to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations gaining the new rank at #3 on our list of top 10 construction ERP systems this year.

2. Oracle Cloud ERP

Unlike SAP S/4 HANA and Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O, Oracle ERP Cloud stands out as a prominent leader in the construction enterprise space, offering extensive operational functionality tailored for construction-centric businesses. Oracle’s construction-focused ERP Cloud portfolio encompasses various products, including Oracle Aconex for design and construction coordination, Primavera products for project and portfolio management, Textura payment for subcontractor invoicing, and additional tools for submittal management during the pre-construction phase, fostering collaboration among general contractors and subcontractors.

Oracle’s operational capabilities in construction industries grant it a notable advantage over competitors in the enterprise space, including Microsoft F&O and SAP S/4 HANA. While Oracle may not exhibit the same depth in last-mile functionality for government contractors as Deltek, Sage, or Unanet, its globalized and localized features cater to the demands of large public construction firms. Oracle Cloud ERP remains an excellent choice for enterprises seeking to consolidate global entities seamlessly within a single database, minimizing the need for numerous subsidiary-level ERP systems in a two-tier setting. Consequently, Oracle Cloud ERP has significantly elevated its position on this year’s list, now securing the #2 ranking.

1. Deltek

Deltek dominates the construction and GovCon sectors, boasting a substantial market share and a robust valuation of $2.8 billion in 2016. Outclassing legacy competitors, Deltek stands as one of the GovCon giants, securing major customers like AWS and Booz Allen Hamilton. With advanced cloud-native functionality, Deltek outpaces smaller vendors like Viewpoint and CMiC. Its solution, widely embraced, particularly by larger construction firms, solidifies Deltek’s leadership in the industry.

Deltek gains a distinct advantage through its extensive ecosystem penetration. Major GCs using Deltek often mandate their sub-cons to adopt the platform, fostering collaboration, especially in the pre-construction and bidding phases. While lacking Oracle ERP Cloud’s extensive globalized features, Deltek excels in operational capabilities, catering to upper mid-market organizations. In the upper mid-market space, Deltek faces minimal competition, contributing to its remarkable ascent in the rankings. Deltek now claims the top spot on our list of the top 10 construction ERP systems.

Conclusion

Construction businesses require specialized processes and accounting solutions. Generalized ERP systems often prove inadequate for meeting the unique needs of the construction industry. Selecting an ERP becomes even more challenging for industries blending construction with manufacturing, service repair, or distribution.

When assessing a construction ERP system, prioritize understanding and identifying unique critical capabilities for successful implementation. This curated list aims to offer potential options that align with your specific needs. But don’t underestimate the importance of an independent ERP advisor for your construction ERP journey.

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