Harness the Power of Practice Management Software

Engineering Practice Management Software Overview

22-Mar 2019

What is engineering practice management software?

The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry is made up of various players who collaborate to complete a project and integrate to achieve a common goal. Engineering practice management software is built to help these industries manage various functions of their practice.  Looking back at legacy software there were two main components - tasks and timesheets. Today, though, there's so much more that should and could be leveraged. One component that your practice needs to dedicate time to is cultivating strong client relationships. 

The reason your practice exists is to help your clients. Your clients are the backbone of your business, and it's important to have an internal system that will foster long-lasting relationships. It's time to stop accepting the state-of-the-art software that was popular 20 years ago. Instead, champion your system, and put your clients first with a modern platform. Here are several examples of what it should do. 

 

6 Important Features for Engineering Practice Management Software

  1. Automation
  2. Managing projects, not just tasks
  3. Intelligent adaptive scheduling
  4. Better billing and invoicing
  5. Triggers
  6. Checklists on tasks

 

1) Automation

Rather than spend hours on manual, administrative efforts, choose a platform that will help you free up your time so you can focus on projects and initiatives that are important to you. Instead of getting lost in grunt work - like managing your timesheet or billing clients - automatically capture how you utilize your time with automatic time tracking and a flexible project plan.

For instance, Gamcorp, a structural engineering consulting firm based in Melbourne, Australia, was wasting countless hours updating systems that didn't talk to each other and manually inputting data. By investing in Accelo, they were able to automatically log their time against budgets and tasks all in one integrated platform so they could get real visibility into the business without jumping between tools.  

2) Managing projects not just tasks

Efficiently manage your business processes and workflows by easily configuring milestones. This will ensure different team members are prompted to update fields when needed and it will send out automatic alerts to your team or clients at the appropriate times.

Assign tasks based on synced scheduling and automatically assign work to team members' schedules, making for a much more efficient alternative than having to oversee multiple calendars and spreadsheets. Make use of reusable templates, drag-and-drop Gantt Charts, and get real-time updates via a team project overview screen to keep everyone informed and on the same page.

Before Accelo, Martin Gamble, the CEO and Managing Director at Gamcorp, had separate tools to manage projects and tasks. A separate one for client information, and another for accounting and invoicing, plus lots of spreadsheets and reports. Right away, he was able to see how Accelo would pay for itself. "Initially, the Projects module got me the most excited because you can do things against budgets and tasks, all while having your time logged automatically."

3) Intelligent adaptive scheduling

Take the best of what each of the two most popular project management methods has to offer with Adaptive Project Management. Manage milestones with budgets and expected timelines with financial discipline like waterfall, but when it comes to your team's schedules, make it simple to accommodate changes and pause projects, tasks, and milestones accordingly.

4) Better billing and invoicing

Improve how you handle your billing and invoicing. Track all the movements within your business with an automated time tracker. Create and design your own invoice templates and PDF invoices that truly promote and showcase the value your company provides. Control which details you want your clients to view from services, materials, expenses, and more.

Gamcorp uses Accelo's bulk invoicing wizard to bill thirty active clients all at once in just a few minutes. This alone has saved the firm over $60,000 per person per year - and that's not even including Accelo's time-saving automation and increased billable utilization.  

5) Triggers

Harness the power of triggers. With triggers, you can configure rules which trigger business processes automatically, such as an email reminder or updating the status of your work to ensure you don't drop the ball or let anything fall through the cracks. You can even set the frequency, controlling the days and times on which you want your trigger to run.

Triggers helped Gamcorp level up their efficiency. By using Accelo's triggers function to automate their business processes, Gamcorp was able to go from a stale growth trajectory to a thriving commercial business. They added almost 60 hours a week in new billable time without changing anything they do (besides using Accelo) so they could reinvest in growth.

6) Checklists on tasks

Expertly manage and keep track of your tasks with checklists. Maintain internal organization with key to-do items that your team can view and access. Every time you and your team complete a task, mark it off and it'll show who completed what. Stay updated on what parts were fulfilled and who completed what, making sure each piece of work is accounted for.

 

Client Testimonial

Thanks to automated timesheets and email tracking, integrated projects, and streamlined billing, Martin saw game-changing results in the company's bottom line: Gamcorp boosted their utilization rate from 35% to 85%.

With Accelo giving the team a single place to manage all of their client work "we have much more visibility into how much time everyone has to work, and our efficiency is much greater", says Martin.  

 

Conclusion

Go beyond managing just timesheets and tasks by streamlining your business processes and using smart technology to boost utilization. Accelo can provide top-tier service with practice management software for engineers that is customized for your needs.

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