Why We Chose Unanet: Hixson Architecture, Engineering and Interiors
Since implementing Unanet ERP AE, Hixson has taken full advantage of its expanding array of capabilities, functionalities, and automations.
by Lucas Hayden
The Firm: Hixson Architecture, Engineering and Interiors is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm that has built a national reputation in four areas of specialization: food + beverage, workplace, retail and science + technology. Founded in 1948, Hixson partners with some of the most well-recognized brands in the world, delivering insight, advocacy and intelligent project execution through 16 integrated in-house design and technical disciplines, supported by the expertise of 120 associates.
This year, Hixson ranked #8 on ENR’s Food and Beverage Design Firms List, and among ENR’s Top 30 for Industrial Design, while also landing on Commercial Construction & Renovation (CCR) Magazine’s annual Top Engineering and Architecture Firms lists.
When executives at the architecture, engineering, and interior design firm Hixson received word that their ERP system would soon be sunset, it wasn’t exactly the kind of news that a fast-growing company in the midst of digital transformation and recovering from a deep economic recession wants to hear.
“We were going to lose support for the [ERP] system we were using,” recalls Christian Fasso, billing manager and project accountant at Hixson, “so we had to decide, do we stay with that unsupported system and keep our fingers crossed that something within the system wouldn’t blow up, or do we see what else is out there? Ultimately, we decided we didn’t want to go with a system that was unsupported.”
That decision continues to pay significant dividends for Hixson — dividends that firm decisionmakers like Fasso hardly could have foreseen when they opted to go with an ERP software solution from Unanet. Rather than sticking with the bigger-name provider and its soon-to-be-orphaned legacy system, they chose Unanet’s modern software to reinvigorate their operations.
Since implementing Unanet ERP AE, Hixson has taken full advantage of its expanding array of capabilities, functionalities, and automations, including:
- Automated paperless invoicing;
- Analytics dashboards for real-time visibility into project status and resource deployment;
- Resource scheduling capabilities to manage people and their workloads more efficiently;
- Interactive Actions, wizard-style tools to help quickly and easily add projects and clients, streamline workflows, and automate data across the firm; and,
- Integrated extensive customizations that complement the firm’s unique department-centric structure and workflows.
In Unanet, Hixson has a long-term ERP solution that delivers a range of benefits to the firm and its project, HR, accounting, and finance teams. Highlights include:
- BETTER HIRING, GROWTH AND RESOURCE DECISION-MAKING. Real-time project insight and resource scheduling tools enable project managers and departmental decision-makers to see how projects are tracking from a resource standpoint relative to budget, then scale project teams accordingly.
- A CLEARER, MORE ACCURATE PICTURE OF PROJECTS IN PROGRESS. Dashboard-based analytics powered by real-time project data provide project decisionmakers and employees with a single easy-to-navigate way to track a huge range of project-specific and firm-wide data, including budget, production planning, and project labor, and then gauge it versus Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- EFFICIENCY GAINS ACROSS THE BUSINESS. Adding value to clients and increasing firm revenue without increasing headcount is the holy grail for an A/E business. With the ability to automate key functions like production planning, resource scheduling and invoicing that previously involved labor-intensive and often redundant paper-shuffling and data-entry, Hixson is saving 8 hours per week on average.