Architecture, Engineering, and Construction firms have traditionally relied on separate databases to collect data on projects, manage financial information, and handle client accounts. Navigating these disparate systems makes it difficult for internal divisions to share and access important information needed for proposal generation and document management.
Some of the common business challenges that plague our AEC clients include:
- Trouble managing multiple data sources
- Navigating redundant and inconsistent data
- No single view of clients
- Difficulties making go/no-go decisions
If you're a marketer working at an AEC firm, we know that it can be especially painful to generate proposals and manage documents. But it doesn't have to be. With a well-implemented CRM solution, AEC firms can tame the proposal and document management beast.
1. CRM can track MSAs, NDAs, and Contracts
MSAs, NDAs, and contracts need to be stored in a logical and easy-to-find place. Instead of storing them in hard-to-navigate-to folders on a shared drive or in a Sharepoint labyrinth, use CRM to store and place them right against the project record that's complete with project data. While these documents don't do much for proposal generation, it's convenient to have these documents on hand so you know what you agreed to with the customer.
2. CRM can track employee skillsets and certifications and automate updates
All of the important employee information you need like project experience, trainings, certifications, trade association memberships, pictures, and more can be stored within your CRM. Better yet, CRM can help automate the process of updating this information with automatic notification emails that tell employees to update their resume via an easy-to-use employee portal which guides them through the process. And if an employee doesn’t update their information in a timely manner, workflow can alert a manager or HR. If you want to get really fancy, project information can be automatically appended to employee records as they are staffed on a project or as projects wrap up.
3. CRM can aid in targeting the right pursuits and proposals
We know that proposal generation is a pain point for AEC firms. Since proposals are so expensive to generate, you don't want to waste time having Marketing develop them or have the BizDev team chasing pursuits that you have a low chance of winning. An unprofitable project could be due to the type of project, the geography and the local competition, the client itself, or any combination of these things. A CRM system can help AEC firms pinpoint where they can maximize their profits and minimize low profit pursuits.
4. CRM can simplify proposal generation
We know that marketers at AEC firms are required to dig through multiple databases and work with multiple departments to get the information they need for proposal generation. You have to pull data from other marketers, HR, project managers, clients, the company shared drive, the company document management system, the financial system, and project management systems. With a CRM system, you have a central place where you can get the information you need for a proposal, collaborate on the document, track where the proposal is in your process, and have a logical place to store it once it’s complete. You can even have templates in the system to publish all of the project, employee, and other data in a proposal-friendly format.
Proposal generation and document management doesn't have to be a beast. There is an easier way. Want to learn more about the business benefits our AEC clients have experienced with CRM? Contact us to learn more about quick and easy proposal generation and document management.