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Improving the fluency of installation scheduling, time tracking, and billing in the installation business

16.06.2022 Pinja Blog ERP

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An efficient ERP is a key part of the business in different industries, and the same applies to installation businesses. Optimally, the ERP system functions as an easy-to-use support for one’s memory, a place for electronic documents, and effective work supervisor, and a comprehensive database and archive. When choosing an ERP system, you should make sure that the solution covers material, information, and payment flows.

In labor-intensive industries, strongly represented by installation, renovation and contracting companies, there is an old saying that’s still accurate: time is money. All working hours spent on tasks outside the core work reduce the amount of productive work, or, on the other hand, leisure time. Of the thousands of companies operating in the sector, the most profitable and growing ones have invested heavily in digitalization, and an efficient ERP system, for example, helps minimize the amount of manual work.

When choosing an ERP system that suits your company, you should think about the business as a whole – all related users and stakeholders, and entire workflows from start to finish. In addition to the present, it is also worth anticipating the future so that the system becomes more flexible and scaled as situations change, and also offers comprehensive opportunities for business integrations, now and in the future.

It is advisable to make comparisons in the following areas, among others: 

  • Does the solution serve our sector naturally?
  • Does the solution cover our business as a whole from procurement, project planning deliveries, and scheduling to billing?
  • What kind of features does the system offer to support everyday work? 
  • Is the solution scalable: will we be able to introduce it easily right away and develop it in the future, for example for growth, internationalization, and business changes?

Mobile-based work management and easy billing simplify installers’ everyday lives

Modern ERP systems provide comprehensive support for business workflows and processes from start to finish, and the best of them also provide convenient features that make everyday work easier along the way. For example, ERPs which cover installation and renovation services now offer a wide range of everyday facilitations:

Installation calendar

The installation calendar displayed for the selected user groups helps project and installation managers plan projects, installers control their own work and use functions on site, accountants to prepare bills, and salespeople to calculate bids. By managing permissions, users can be given different viewing or editing permissions as needed.

Functions for the installation phase

An efficient ERP system supports the practical work of installers in many different ways. When the work is in progress or the project has been completed, the installation phase can be signed off, and the necessary comments, status details and documentation can be attached to it. In addition, customer communications can be handled through the system, and, finally, electronic release papers and signatures can be prepared.

Installation team management

From the point of view of ERP, the installation teams are assembled for specific projects. The people in the installation team can be either the company’s own employees or subcontractors. You can add the desired information and permissions to installation teams, making it easier to communicate to subcontractors, for example, and keeping the same information updated to all parties involved.

Flow of information with subcontractors

It is typical for installation, renovation and contracting businesses that additional resources and special expertise are acquired through subcontracting, depending on the current demand. An ERP system, which adapts to the needs of companies providing installation and renovation services, takes this into account comprehensively, and enables, among other things, acknowledgements and remarks during the installation phase, working hour entries for the installation, and convenient time tracking directly at the site using a mobile application.


In the case of installation, renovation and contracting work, it is not only essential to perform the work itself, but also to document it adequately. Often, for example, photographs or videos are taken on construction sites, which make it possible to review the work afterwards. A modern ERP system enables this type of documentation to be attached directly to the installation phase, allowing it to be connected to the project and order, among other things, and it remains available for future reference as needed. Electronic forms, which eliminate the need of papers, are also an important part of modern documentation. This also allows documents such as installation protocols to be signed in electronic format at the site.


A special feature of ERP can be so-called subcontractor self-billing, which is based on the measures and materials used, labor time tracking, and entered project data. In practice, the subcontractor makes a site delivery, entering the material types used, hours worked, and other necessary information, which is then approved. The approved information is used to generate a bill in the system, saving the subcontractor from having to enter the same information into their own system. It is also convenient for the renovation company’s own billing that payment transactions follow a single common set of data throughout the process, which can also be verified afterwards.

Map services

As a good addition, comprehensive ERPs have a map function that allows installers to access job site information with precise addresses and route information. If used effectively, the functionality also offers synergies, as the installer can see the location of agreed sites on a map, and can organize his work efficiently, including travels.

In short, when choosing an ERP system, it is worth paying attention to the big picture and the process as a whole, as well as to seemingly small but ultimately very important details. Small streams make big rivers – in this case, smooth workflow and time saved at different stages of the process.

Read more:

Download our free guide: Avoid errors when selecting and comparing ERP systems
Total ERP by Pinja – an ERP system that keeps your company’s processes flexible and changeable
Blog: From sales to installation – a modular ERP system makes room for growth
Blog: Checklist for comparing ERP systems – what to look out for

Ari Harjula

Ari Harjula

I work at Pinja as the head of Total business unit. In addition to our ERP solutions, I help our customer companies streamline business and knowledge management with various BI and integration solutions. In my work, I am particularly inspired by interesting customerships and solving customers' diverse challenges. Due to my background in industrial economics and process industry, the company’s production processes as well as building bridges between technology, people and commerce are close to my heart.

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