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Software for Engineering Firms

Software for engineering firms: How it can improve your business

EngineerEngineering consulting is a challenging business – it all comes down to people, knowledge, and relationships.

Your consulting engineers go to work each day to solve challenging technical problems for your clients. Ensuring they can do their job effectively is not easy: How do you train and develop them? How do you equip them with the tools they need to do the job? Or to leverage knowledge from across the firm? Or even to manage time and expenses without undue administrative hassles?

In addition to the day-to-day work, there are a number of specific challenges at the overall firm level. How do you raise the profile of your engineering consulting firm and communicate with clients, contractors, and the broader business community? How do you get real-time visibility on the key drivers of your profitability? How do you manage the selection, retention and training of your engineers and other staff? Keep track of your finances? Or manage the sales process and keep track of client relationships?

The right software can be a powerful asset in running a successful engineering consulting practice. There is software available to streamline and improve each key function in your business – are you taking full advantage of it?

Common types of software for engineering firms

Software is available for each key function within your engineering practice. Some of the most common software solutions found in consultancies are:

Timesheet software
Keep track of your consulting engineers’ time against clients, projects and tasks, and use this to generate invoices and get insight into how projects or the firm as a whole are performing. Typically, timesheet software allows to you distinguish between billable and non-billable time, set different billing rates for different situations, and manage the approval process – amongst other things. Most systems also handle expense management as well.
Expense management Tracking expenses on client work is easier with the right expense management system. Engineers and other staff can lodge their expenses, managers can approve them, and finance can reimburse them and charge the client accordingly.
Project management Keep your projects on track with good project management software. Lay out the key tasks that need to be done, organise them on the time schedule, and assign responsibilities to each person. Run reports to see how projects are performing, and identify any emerging issues.
Technical software Specialist technical software is now essential for many types of engineering design and analysis. Whether you are using CAD, finite element analysis, vibration analysis, or any of a myriad of other specialist solutions will depend on the type of engineering services you provide.
Customer relationship management (CRM) Relationships are key in engineering consulting, and CRM software allows you to get proactive in managing your client relationships. From keeping track of client contact details through to a more sophisticated system that manages your sales prospects and records all interactions, there is a CRM system that can help improve your client relationships.
Human resources management (HRM) People are one of your biggest assets, so it is important you manage them appropriately. Keep track of all your staff, manage their training and development schedules, and streamline the recruiting process. This and much more is possible with the right HRM solution. Sub-types include learning management (LMS) and applicant tracking (ATS)
Accounting software Every business needs a core accounting system to record its transactions for both accounting and management purposes. But you may also benefit from specialist invoicing or billing software, to better manage your financial relationships with clients
Email marketing Manage your email campaigns to clients, prospects, staff and contractors with powerful email marketing software. Ensure high delivery rates, learn which content is working best, see who opened and responded to your messages, and much more.
Integrated business management solutions (PSA, ERP, practice management) Manage all aspects of your engineering consulting practice with a single, integrated system. There are typically modules available to handle each of the above specialist functions, such as timesheet, expenses, project management, CRM, and HRM. If your consultancy is large and growing, it may well be worth investing in a fully-integrated solution. See case studies on ERP for professional service firms here.

How to find the right software for your engineering consulting firm

Get A Shortlist

If you have a budget of $10,000 or more and are looking for ERP/PSA or CRM solution for your firm, take advantage of our free shortlisting service to get connected with a shortlist of 3 to 5 highly relevant vendors. Simply fill in the webform about your needs, one of our consultants will call you up for a quick and free discussion, and before long we’ll introduce you to specific providers who are well-placed to help. It’s convenient and 100% free for you. Submit your ERP/PSA or CRM requirements now for a free shortlist

ERP shortlist

If you’re looking for a single integrated solution to manage your entire engineering practice, visit ERP shortlist to see top vendors, customer case studies and thought-provoking white papers as well as a range of expert articles and useful downloads. You can use filters to zoom in on industry specific content, such as case studies for professional service firms. It’s all free, with registration required to download some resources.

CRM shortlist

If you need a system to keep track of your contacts and manage your client relationships, check out the great solutions available at CRM Shortlist . See detailed profiles of leading CRM software, as well as case studies, whitepapers, articles and resources. It’s all free.

Timesheets for engineers

If you need a timesheet software (perhaps including expense management as well), check out this specific page for detailed information and a shortlist of online timesheet solutions that are well-suited to engineers.

Software directory

If you’re after other software types, we encourage you to browse our software directory to find quality providers. It’s a great way to find out who’s out there and what they offer, and you can click through to their website to find out more.