Top 6 Benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with Progressus for Architects

In today's blog learn how Progressus for Architects can help you make data-driven decisions with real-time visibility.

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    Since the role of an architect is inherently creative, it is hard to put a price on every dash. However, to keep utilization and billable hours high, architects need to understand how much what they’re designing will cost so that they’re not setting client expectations too high or having to fix blueprints later.

    Homegrown or legacy solutions do not allow architects to develop fee-based budgeting, manage change orders, or have compliance with the American Institute of Architects (AIA). They make it tough to manage fixed price revenue recognition and stay on top of the billing schedule. Resource management is a headache, to say the least. Many architecture firms are finding that they can operate much more efficiently with project-centric Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with Progressus

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive, cloud-based ERP solution for small to midsized businesses, connecting sales, service, finance, and operations to work smarter, adapt faster, and perform better. It has the best ROI in the business – a recent Forrester study shows that organizations typically experience 162% ROI with Dynamics 365 Business Central over a three-year period.

    But Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central alone doesn’t have all the functionality that architecture firms need. Progressus is purpose-built on top of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to provide firms with the tools they need to ensure every project is profitable.

    Progressus for Architects helps you make data-driven decisions with real-time visibility into project operations and full control over every aspect of your projects. Here are the top six benefits for architects.

    1. Enhance Business Growth

    There are nearly 120,000 architects in the US, according to The National Council of Architectural Registration Board. That’s 1 architect for every 2,800 Americans; a number 10% higher than 10 years ago. While there are plenty of architectural projects going on now, future growth prospects in the architecture industry are forecast at just 5% until 2032, a rate well below other industries. As growth slows and the number of architects continues to increase, competition for projects will ramp up.

    Retaining and securing clients is a big focus for any architecture firm. You might have a dedicated team or role that includes responding to RFPs, as well as finding and retaining clients for future projects. Even with a dedicated team, the whirlwind of work that’s attached to gaining a new client can disrupt ongoing projects or slow down workflows.

    Progressus helps streamline the RFP and bid process to drive more business. Resource planning helps coordinate all subcontractors involved in your projects to better evaluate proposals, review bids, and select the right consultants for each job.

    2. Seamless Project Lifecycle from Quote to Cash

    Architects face issues of sustainability, biodiversity, climate change, and urbanization, which are too complex to solve alone. A collaborative approach is key.

    Progressus enables better ways of communication and collaboration, allowing teams to contribute anytime, from anywhere – imperative when it comes to supporting the hybrid, post-pandemic workplace.

    In this collective environment, the shared language is data. To ensure data is usable by everyone, the team needs to be able to access it in an intuitive, centralized, and interoperable way. Data is becoming more important in the decision-making process, helping architects reach better outcomes to solve complex societal challenges. Data will improve collaboration by boosting trust and transparency in the team and facilitating more constructive dialogues with the client, municipality, or internally, benefiting the whole project lifecycle. The result will be buildings, neighborhoods, and cities that are better equipped for what uncertainties and opportunities the future may bring.

    3. Simplified Accounting

    Progressus has built-in AIA billing to automatically apply payment due, project details, architect name, application number, contract date, and summary of work. You can also bill multiple projects on a single invoice. You can navigate your project finances using the Progressus Project Accounting feature. It simplifies complex accounting tasks, offers real-time cost insights, and ensures efficient billing. You can then empower your decisions and elevate your project’s financial management to the next level. You can also support defined scopes of service, multipliers, and fees.

    4. Ensure Financial Accuracy

    Low utilization and billable hours are a clear sign that architects’ roles and responsibilities are not distributed fairly or efficiently. For instance, some employees may be spending more time on admin work, while others are overloaded with client projects. Another issue might be having too many or too little resources assigned to a task.

    With too many professionals on one project, some may have extra time in their day for admin work. As a result, utilization falls below the ideal threshold of 85%, indicating that workloads may need to be better balanced.

    Progressus helps architecture firms manage fees, forecast accurately, and reconcile planned vs. actual labor, ensuring you’re on the right track.

    5. Optimize Contract Processes

    Whether you’re using AIA contracts or not, Progressus helps you efficiently manage contracts with streamlined reviews, secure document storage, and easy onboarding in crucial areas. Once you’ve secured the client and contract, you can use the Project Wizard within Progressus which fills in the details automatically and without errors, saving 90% of project creation time.

    6. Generative AI Functionality

    Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a big buzz word for architectural firms. AI and automation will play a greater role in the design process by, for example, predicting outcomes and automating tedious tasks such as number crunching or sourcing data, while freeing up more time for architects to focus on design work.

    The integration of Microsoft Copilot to Business Central allows Progressus to utilize AI and natural language processing to enable business users to create content faster. Along with other Microsoft productivity tools, users can complete routine and time-consuming work tasks with minimal effort, eliminate many manual processes, and streamline business processes like never before.

    Conclusion

    As you can see, most major challenges for architects come down to communication, collaboration, and planning. The good news is that the right processes and tools can address all three. Firms that embrace change, try out different solutions, and improve workflows can see these challenges resolved quickly.

    With more than 33 years of implementation experience, Velosio gets your software up and running—effectively and efficiently—as quickly as possible. Our teams of application consultants and project managers, who are among the best in their field, are ready to help your business keep its commitments while investing in the latest technological advances. We guide your technology roadmap on a schedule that meets the demands of today’s fast-moving marketplace.

    Velosio has helped over 4,000 clients with systems modernization projects and is the top Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central partner and 2023 Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central US and Worldwide partner of the year. Velosio developed Progressus for project-based organizations like architecture firms succeed. We can evaluate your current systems and develop a roadmap to upgrade any lingering legacy systems. To learn more about Progressus, visit the Progressus site here.