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Why Should AEC Firm Stakeholders Be Involved With the ERP Selection Process?

07 Mar, 2023

When it comes to selecting ERP software, some AEC firms make the mistake of seeing it as a unilateral decision that only affects a particular group. However, while leadership will likely have the final say on which ERP system you choose, it’s still important to get the rest of the team’s perspective. Since your firm’s day-to-day functions are influenced by the metrics and tasks available in your ERP software, it’s worth knowing the team’s use cases to allow for a system that facilitates those functions.

Here are a few of the most important reasons to get opinions from stakeholders:
  1. Company Buy-In on Selection
    Because each team has unique needs and workflows, it will be essential to find an ERP system that can accommodate those and be truly useful to all. Failure to understand what your teams need from an ERP could mean you end up investing in a system that lacks crucial functionality or has features you don’t need.


    Before charging forward with a new ERP system, ask your employees about their business needs and preferences. In addition to helping the overall decision-making, this will also win supporters who are more likely to advocate for the new software because they know how it will benefit them.

  2. Reveal Any Problems or Conflicts Before Implementation
    Apart from learning what your people need, consulting with stakeholders will also help you evaluate where potential problems might arise. Are there any competing needs or interests within your firm that need to be balanced or reconciled? Do any of your key stakeholders need to resolve interdepartmental conflicts? Will any of your firm’s workflows be counterproductive with a particular ERP system? It’s better to iron out any of these problems now than to scramble for a solution after a hasty ERP implementation.

Who Are the Stakeholders & What Do They Need?

An AEC firm has a variety of key players who will have important perspectives and needs to consider when selecting an ERP partner.

If you’re in the process of pitching an ERP implementation, take a look at the unique needs of the key stakeholders at your firm. Be sure to pay attention to their individual concerns and the questions they will need answered before they give their stamp of approval.

  • C-Suite & Executives
    As leaders of your firm, C-level or executive team members will have a vested interest in the success of your ERP integration. Budgets, project management and approval, and the allocation of funds and human capital will be top of mind, so ensure that you thoroughly research and address those concerns for your firm’s leadership.

  • Senior Managers
    Senior managers will need to address their individual departments’ needs and workflows. Before adopting an ERP system, research the various workflows at play in each department of your firm. Start by asking senior managers for their input on what they need from an ERP to be successful.

  • Information Technology (IT)
    For most ERP implementations, your IT department will be doing a lot of the heavy lifting. That team naturally has the most detailed knowledge of your firm’s network and server infrastructure. Additionally, the IT team would have the best idea of a solution’s compatibility with the unique requirements and protocols of your firm’s systems. Pay close attention to the IT team’s insight to ensure that your implementation goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Business Development
    A new ERP solution changes what your firm can offer clients by changing how your firm operates. These new capabilities and specifications are essential knowledge for your Business Development department, as they will impact the language used in client-facing messaging. Be certain that this department is updated on the firm’s latest services and offerings.

  • Project Management
    Project managers play a critical role in planning and executing your firm’s various projects, which means they will need to have a good idea of how a prospective ERP system operates. After all, it will be a major part of their day-to-day work. Give them a chance to interact with the system, and get their perspective on where it excels and what could be improved. This will help you determine which ERP best suits their workflow.

  • Finance Directors
    ERP systems allow your financial team to interact with data regarding the billing, utilization, revenue and all other aspects of your firm’s budget and cash flow. Are there capabilities that your finance director needs from an ERP system to better meet goals and quotas? What monitoring tools or metrics would enable them to plan more effectively?

  • Human Resources
    The human element is perhaps the most valuable asset your firm has. A well-utilized ERP system allows your Human Resources department to track important employee metrics and industry stats to benchmark employee job satisfaction against other firms. Providing your HR department with the right metrics and action items plays a big part in preventing employee attrition, so be sure to get HR’s perspective when deciding on the right ERP tools.

Trust the ERP Experts at BST Global

BST Global is the AEC industry expert for project-based ERP systems. Some of the world’s top-rated architects, engineers and consultants rely on BST Global for a more efficient solution to their ERP challenges.

Speak with our ERP software professionals for more information about selecting the right ERP solution for your firm’s needs.


Meet the Author


BST Global designs, develops and deploys the AEC industry’s first suite of AI-powered project intelligence™ solutions. Beyond our flagship ERP offering, we provide work management, predictive insights and resource management solutions to complement a firm’s existing ERP. More than 120,000 architects, engineers and consultants in 65 countries across six continents rely on BST Global’s solutions each day to successfully manage their projects, resources, finances and client relationships. With unrivaled industry knowledge, BST Global serves as a trusted partner to its loyal clients and remains at the forefront of innovation. For more information, visit