For AEC Firm UMC, Robust ROI Follows Fast CRM Implementation

Following a lightning-fast implementation, the firm was up and running with Unanet CRM by Cosential.

It hasn’t taken long for the century-old construction firm UMC to conclude it made the right decision in leaving behind an outdated and ill-fitting generic customer relationship management (CRM) product in favor of Unanet CRM by Cosential, a solution purpose-built for architecture, engineering and construction firms.

Known for taking on complex, ambitious projects like the Space Needle and Amazon’s Spheres in its hometown of Seattle, UMC ( decided in December 2020 to ditch the big-brand, off-the-shelf CRM product on which had been relying for six years, having grown weary of the system’s high cost, disjointed user experience, data blind spots and spotty vendor support.

Four months later, following a lightning-fast implementation, the firm was up and running with Unanet CRM by Cosential. And the solution has been proving its value to UMC ever since, providing benefits that go directly to the bottom and top lines of the business, including:

  • AT LEAST ONE FEWER FTE, among other cost savings. No longer does the firm require a full-time employee to maintain its CRM system. Nor does it need to invest in a third-party overlay to make its CRM work.
  • UP AND RUNNING IN FOUR MONTHS — without cutting corners. Shifting to a CRM solution purpose-built for construction firms spared the firm the time- and resource-intensive process of a lengthy, complicated implementation.
  • “AT LEAST 3X BETTER USER ADOPTION overall” with the new CRM system compared to its predecessor, according to UMC Director of Sales and Operations Bob Frey. Marketing, sales and business development teams all quickly engaged with Unanet CRM, along with people across the firm’s lines of business.
  • IMPROVED COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION AND INTER-DEPARTMENTAL SUPPORT across the company, the result of having a single source of truth and greater visibility into data. Marketing, sales and business development “have more to talk about among themselves and with customers,” Frey says, “and everyone has a clear idea of what’s happening with customers, with pursuits and with the pipeline.”
  • THE UMC MARKETING TEAM WORKS 20% TO 30% MORE EFFICIENTLY as a result of Unanet CRM’s automated tools for proposal creation, résumé trafficking, etc., according to Frey, freeing them to focus on higher-value work. Full, seamless and stable integration across product and project pricing, quoting, proposal-generation, prospect and client interactions is enabling the firm to capture important new internal efficiencies. “There’s no question about how and where to find something,” he says. “The answer when someone asks is, ‘It’s within Unanet CRM. Let me show you where.’”
  • The firm has GROWN ITS CONTACT BASE BY 30% with Unanet CRM in less than a year, Frey estimates.
  • ZERO REPORTING LAG TIME for dashboard-based reporting instead of the usual 24-hour wait with the old CRM.
  • ORGANIZATION-WIDE ALIGNMENT AROUND STANDARDS, EXPECTATIONS AND GOALS, elevating collaboration and accountability within and across teams and the business.
  • THE BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A FULLY INTEGRATED DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM, thanks to plug-ins and prebuilt integrations between Unanet CRM and other key software systems, via the Unanet Connect integrations marketplace.

All of which has earned Unanet CRM raving fans across the UMC organization. “Our marketing and business development teams are huge proponents of Unanet CRM,” Frey says, “and all our lines of business have really come onboard with it, too. People are finding uses for CRM that they could never imagine before. Every bit of information that people need to know about what’s happening within the company is there, at their fingertips, in Unanet CRM.”

For more about UMC’s journey to finding CRM fulfillment, read the full case study here.

To learn more about Unanet CRM by Cosential and what a purpose-built solution can do for your architecture, engineering or construction firm, contact us at