Using benchmarking (and the Inspire Report) to drive better business outcomes for your AEC firm

In the final post from our series recapping the AEC Inspire Report, learn more about the power of benchmarking.

We’ve reached the end of our nine-part series highlighting the findings from Unanet’s 2022-2023 AEC Inspire Report, a report packed with actionable data and insights from top architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firm executives. So, if you’ve read the report, you may be asking yourself…what now?  

Let’s take a closer look at some of the report’s key findings, how you can leverage the report to help your firm, and how benchmarking can help you not just survive, but thrive.  

What is benchmarking?  

Benchmarking isn't about copying others, it's about learning from the best. It’s when you review what the best in your field are doing to grow and support their businesses and compare that to how you run your operation.  

The AEC Inspire Report offers you an exclusive look into the strategies and practices of top-performing firms in our industry. Armed with this information, you can evaluate your firm's performance, identify gaps, and calibrate your business practices accordingly. 

Of course, that’s not all you should do with the reports findings.  

Share this benchmarking data with your firm’s key decision-makers 

The research contained in the Inspire Report can be helpful for multiple departments within your organization.  

Sharing the data – whether you send the report or blog posts from this series highlighting the information – throughout your firm can help more people buy-in to the idea of benchmarking as a way to enhance the way you do business.  

Leverage data for informed decision-making 

Another key finding from the Inspire Report is that in today's data-driven world, the firms that leverage their data resources effectively are the ones who come out on top. Use your data to allocate resources efficiently, manage your projects effectively, and make well-informed decisions.  

Remember: the fresher and more reliable your data, the better the outcomes. 

Integrate project management and finance tools 

One of the key challenges identified in the report is the lack of integration between project management and finance tools.  

If you want to streamline your billing processes and improve your financial performance, start by integrating these tools. It'll give you a clear line of sight from project schedules and budgets to actuals. 

Improving project visibility and performance 

Visibility into in-progress projects is a game-changer. Over one-third of AEC firms are unsure if their projects are being completed on time and on budget.  

Having real-time project status updates can give you a competitive edge and enable proactive decision-making. 

Embracing agile project management 

Agile isn't just for software development. In fact, adopting agile project management can mitigate risks, deliver consistent value through iterative planning, and foster collaboration and flexibility.  

It's time to embrace the agile methodology as a way to stay organized and enhance client satisfaction. 

Tracking key project metrics 

Keeping tabs on key performance indicators such as project revenue, project percent complete, and project profitability can provide insights into your project performance and financial health.  

Consider tracking additional metrics such as burn rate, variance metrics, and earned value for a comprehensive understanding of your project progress and financial performance. These are invaluable metrics that can help you understand not just how well you’re performing, but how much progress you’re making quarter over quarter and year over year.  

Looking ahead: The 2023-2024 AEC Inspire Report 

I hope you’ve found a lot of value in this year’s edition of the Inspire Report. If you can’t get enough of these insights, though, there’s exceptionally good news.  

We’re already hard at work on the 2023-2024 AEC Inspire Report, coming in 2024. We're excited about the fresh insights and updated benchmarking data that will help you take your firm's performance to new heights. 

Until then, embrace the spirit of continuous improvement and stay inspired. If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download a free copy of the AEC Inspire Report today