Architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms get it from all sides. Seller/doers need to find and win business. Accounting needs to keep cash flowing.
However, while most AEC technology solutions are well-equipped to support those needs, there are some key areas that historically have been left out—namely, project management, HR, and IT. What happened? Perhaps it’s a “squeaky wheel” scenario, where the areas of the firm with the most visibility get the most attention.
Regardless, all these functions play a vital role in your firm. And since the key to the success of any organization is to be connected, it stands to reason that everyone should be using the same systems to do their jobs. Without technology connectivity, there is no organizational connected-ness.
That lack of connectivity can have some serious consequences. You could be missing out on new business opportunities. Losing money on projects. Spending your technology budget on the wrong things. Impeding cash flow with inefficient accounting processes. Losing business—and employees—because you’re not staffing your projects correctly.
Those are big problems that can all be addressed with aec360 because aec360 addresses every facet of your AEC firm. To demonstrate that claim, we’re hosting a five-part webinar series. In each 30-minute session, I’ll focus on one role or department and show how aec360 and the Microsoft cloud can make a significant difference in how you do your job and the results you get from your efforts.
Session 1: Empowering Seller/Doers to Find and Win More Business
Seller/doers are charged with bringing in revenue—and that job never ends…never even takes a break. The key is a healthy pipeline, which is not easy in an industry that is so competitive. To find and win more work, seller/doers must uncover new opportunities with existing clients or find and connect with prospective clients. Both require a clear view of relationships, both internal and external. In this session, I’ll discuss proven strategies for improving win rates and cultivating a healthy pipeline, including how to:
- Put your firm’s relationships to work to uncover new opportunities and increase win rates.
- Leverage your firm’s experience and qualifications to create winning proposals
- Use pursuit intelligence and go/no-go decision support tools to make effective pursuit decisions and increase your bid-to-win ratio
- Gain and maintain a 360-degree view of your clients, relationships, pursuits, experience, and growth initiatives to find and win more work
Session 2: Empowering Project Managers to Deliver Profitable Projects
AEC project management teams touch every revenue-producing engagement in the organization. They have the task of balancing project profitability with on-time and on-budget delivery. With many factors impacting both, you can start seeing a negative impact on the bottom line—and on your firm’s reputation—before you know it. Connectivity to help you build and deliver better projects while keeping budgets under control is key. In this session, I’ll explore proven strategies for managing the entire project lifecycle for on-time and on-budget, high-quality project delivery, including how to:
- Develop more accurate project estimates and budgets by building the project plan before the bid is delivered
- Effectively plan and manage resources to drive on-time delivery
- Put project and budget controls back in the hands of your project managers
- Leverage real-time insights to drive better utilization and project margins
- Improve collaboration across project teams to work smarter
Session 3: Empowering Accounting Teams to Accelerate Your Firm’s Cash Flow
Accounting teams are arguably the backbone of any company—but especially with AEC firms because they control cash flow. Therefore, they must watch for places where cash can drain or be slowed or stopped; from inefficient processes to lack of visibility, there is a minefield of ways to hurt cash flow. In this session, I’ll discuss strategies for optimizing your most valuable resource other than your employees—your cash—by showing you how to:
- Streamline time and expense capture and approval processes
- Increase timesheet accuracy and easily chase missing timesheets
- Automate the review and approval of client invoices to ensure accuracy prior to sending them
- Enable project managers and other key employees to help collect open invoices
Session 4: Empowering HR Teams to Find and Retain the Right Talent
AEC firms depend on smart, capable people. Keeping good talent was already difficult, and then the great resignation made it that much more difficult. Firms are competing for the best talent, so you need to be particularly good at managing your employees, skills, qualifications, and performance goals. In this session, I’ll show you how connectivity can strengthen your talent strategy by:
- Build a centralized, self-service enabled repository of your employees and their competencies and qualifications
- Ensure key employee data flows seamlessly across all areas of your business, including to marketing and project management
- Accurately track experience and qualifications to build strong resumes and put the right people on the right projects
- Refine your performance management practices to develop and grow your employees’ skills, experience, and training to keep them sharp and satisfied
Session 5: Empowering IT Teams to Drive Efficiencies, Automation, and Insights
AI, RPA, low-code/no-code…Where to start? IT teams in today’s AEC firms face big challenges. Cloud transformation is happening fast, the industry is adopting emerging technologies, and employees are demanding more sophisticated tools to help them more effectively do their job.
And it is all up to you to figure out what technology your firm should be adopting and how—and to do all that on a budget. In this session, I’ll discuss how you can drive better efficiencies, automation, and insights across your firm, including:
- Integrating systems and processes to reduce manual tasks and redundancies while increasing efficiencies
- Modernizing legacy applications, digitize manual processes, and drive automation with the Microsoft Power Platform
- Utilizing RPA technology to automate repetitive processes and focus on value-adding activities
- Leveraging Microsoft’s industry leading data and analytics solutions like Power BI to drive real-time visibility across the firm
- Simplifying your IT footprint and reduce your total cost of IT ownership (TCO)
Realize the Benefits of a Connected Firm with Technology Everyone Can Use
A connected firm is a successful, competitive firm—and the only way to attain it is by getting everyone in sync. Register for one or all of these sessions to see how aec360 can you’re your firm become connected.