How AEC Firms Can Optimize CRM to Benefit from Infrastructure Bill 

aec360 helps AEC firms overcome CRM challenges and win more opportunities 

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act became law in November 2021. This infrastructure bill will allocate $1.2 trillion to fund infrastructure projects across the United States, including improvements to roadways and bridges in addition to water, energy, and broadband capabilities.  

As new projects are defined and funded, those AEC firms ready to deliver stand to benefit significantly from these increased infrastructure investments. 

However, to take advantage of this influx of new capital, AEC firms must first make sure their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is capable of helping them win these projects. 

To make the most out of the immense funding opportunity this bill provides the AEC industry, firms will need to act quickly and position themselves in front of the right people. Managing these relationships from the beginning is an essential step to success. Your CRM system must be capable of giving you the actionable information you need to make critical decisions on which potential projects to pursue as well as your optimal next steps. 

Below, we outline several CRM issues that can create challenges for AEC firms, how these issues can affect a firm’s ability to take advantage of provisions in the infrastructure bill, and how aec360 by HSO can help. 

Limitations imposed by an inadequate CRM system 

Many AEC firms struggle with inadequacies in the CRM system in three fundamental areas: relationship management, efficiency, and decision making. 

Relationship Management: Breaking down the silos 

Relationships drive sales, particularly in government contracts, so firms must make the right connections to the right decision-makers. Making these key connections to the project stakeholders early in the sales process increases your chances for success across multiple opportunities. 

Many firms have already made the right connections to key stakeholders and decision-makers but fail to leverage them because the information is siloed among various departments and individuals.  

Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 with aec360’s CRM functionality helps break down these silos. The Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM) application in aec360 enables you to identify existing relationships that you can use to create new ones.  

Screenshot of Enterprise Relationship Management features in aec360

ERM shows relationships the prospect has with you, your co-workers, and any external business contacts of your firm. The screenshot above uses a co-worker’s contact with the prospect to calculate a score of the strength of the relationship. ERM also leverages LinkedIn Sales Navigator to show optimal connections to individuals outside your organization. 

Efficiency: Using automation and machine learning to your advantage 

Manually updating client data and building complex queries slows down productivity and discourages wider adoption by the staff. 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and aec360’s CRM uses machine learning to help automate tasks and reduce user administration of the system, removing the time-consuming aspects of the process. 

In the screenshot below, aec360 CRM anticipates when a user would likely perform a task, in this case, the software is asking if the user wants the software to create or modify contacts.  

Screenshot showing contact creation and modification features in aec360 CRM

The software identifies increased activities with a contact. In the event the contact is not in the database, the software offers to create a new record for that contact. If a contact moves to a different address or company, the software will identify the change and offer to update the contact record. 

Decision Making: Targeted and timely information you need when you need it 

Old or inaccurate data CRM entries, complex manual processes, and poor reporting tools all combine to make many CRM systems yield ineffective results.  

Targeted and timely decisions, such as which new regions or market sectors to enter or which opportunity yields the greatest return, depend on the speed and accuracy of information from your CRM software. 

aec360 has native integration with Microsoft and Power BI, delivering dashboards that deliver real-time, actionable information for critical business decisions. 

Example aec360 CRM Power BI dashboard

aec360 CRM’s Power BI dashboard provides mission-critical information that is accurate and up-to-date. Dashboards convey information in a clear, visual report that is easily consumed and used by key decision makers. 

Maximize the benefit of your CRM system 

The new infrastructure bill has the potential to completely change the AEC landscape. You need a CRM system that can your firm take advantage of the opportunities that are coming. For example:  

  • Can your CRM support the complex Relationship Management you will need? 
  • Does your CRM make your team more efficient? 
  • Are you able to get the information you need quickly and accurately to make critical business decisions? 

Find out how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and aec360 CRM can help you tackle each of these issues and position your company for success in the coming months and years. Contact us for a demonstration of aec365 by HSO

Gary Mills serves as Senior Vice President of Finance, Planning & Analysis for HSO | ProServ. Gary’s diverse industry background brings a unique perspective to the company, with more than 30 years in corporate finance, banking and commercial real estate.

In his role as CFO of HSO | ProServ, Brian Lounds leverages deep experience implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions to drive excellence into the organization’s financial and practice management practices. Having worked with Dynamics solutions since 1998, he has a strong understanding of technology solutions and their application
to business initiatives.

Whit McIsaac is CEO of HSO | ProServ and brings over 20 years of leadership experience in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem to drive the group’s overall business strategy. Whit was Co-founder and CEO of aec360 and legal360 prior to merging these practices into sa.global, where he served as CEO of the Americas prior to launching HSO | ProServ.

Andy Yeomans brings nearly 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics sales and marketing experience to lead the HSO | ProServ sales organization. Under Andy’s leadership, the organization has shown strong growth and has consistently been recognized by Microsoft as a top performing partner, winning multiple Microsoft Inner Circle and Partner of the Year awards.

Jan Dahl Sorensen’s deep experience with Microsoft Dynamics gives him a unique foundation to guide the HSO | ProServ client success team. As part of the original development team under Damgaard Data, Jan has been working with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions since 1995.

Joe Stuckey is EVP and Director of CRM Product Development for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM product development efforts across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Joe leverages the power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power Platform technologies to design and develop purpose-built industry solutions.

Paramesh Rajan is VP, Technology at HSO | ProServ. Paramesh has served in many Microsoft Dynamics project and program management roles over the past 20 years, and currently drives the development of the organization’s vertical ERP and HR solutions and outsourced development services.

A highly respected Microsoft Dynamics veteran, Jen Wisemore serves as CAO for HSO | ProServ. Jen was instrumental in the launch of sa.global’s US subsidiary in 2007 and has served in a wide variety of roles within Microsoft Dynamics consultancies across sales, pre-sales, program management, and leadership capacities.

John Aschenbrener is Director of Delivery Services for HSO | ProServ. John brings over 20 years of Microsoft Dynamics project and program management, consulting, and architect experience to his current role where he is responsible for driving PMO standards, methodology, and overall project delivery.

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In his role as Chief Operating Officer, Sean Skiver brings nearly 25 years of broad Microsoft Dynamics experience to provide strategic leadership around product development and client delivery services across the organization’s solutions and industry segments.

Amy Spencer leads the team that is responsible for go-to-market strategies, messaging, and demand generation in the US.

Amy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The College of New Jersey and has 25+ years of experience in marketing management for technology and professional services companies.

As Vice President of Human Resources for HSO, Kristen Ramerini is responsible for initiatives including recruitment, onboarding, professional development/career progression, performance management, culture, and employee retention. Prior to her position with HSO, she worked in human resources and recruiting for Seviroli Foods on Long Island and CCN, Inc. in New York City. She holds an MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University and is PHR certified.

Darren Gooding is VP of Delivery for HSO | ProServ, leading the company’s CRM delivery across the legal, AEC, consulting, and accounting markets. Darren applies his 25 years of experience and HSO’s industry focused intellectual property to successfully deliver large-scale, global engagements that ensure customer success.