2020-03-05 12:21:00 UTC

Which is the best ERP for a mid-sized AEC company?


I work for a mid-sized AEC company.

We currently use an older version of BST Enterprise. Which ERP systems do you recommend that would be the most compatible?

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

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2525 Answers

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User

I assume when you state AEC, you are meaning engineering company. BST is a well-positioned ERP application, and I assume you are currently using an on-prem built solution. There are a few factors you will need to address before you simply move to a new ERP application, Size of the company (you mentioned mid-sized 150 users + I assume), how much custom dev do you currently have and are you looking to replace these with an end to end solution? Your budget is vital, are you looking at a cloud-hosted solution? How many modules are you wanting to deploy and so on? These are the primary questions you need to answer

When you look at things like 365 Business Central and Finance & Supply chain from Microsoft you need to factor in the licensing costs. Microsoft has built a new model around a per user/per month which is making life difficult due to the amazingly huge layout per year for some of their solutions. The implementation cycle is a slimmer option against something like SAP 4 Hana for instance, but these are factors that will always influence the change from one ERP system to another. We are seeing newer players entering the market now, SAGE has a big drive factor for their new ERP platform but it's still young and the verticals are limited at this stage, Syspro was a great offering as well, however, their verticals, like Sage are limited at this time, but are very capable.

So if I was going to recommend a viable option, I would suggest you set out what your current spending is and what it is that you can afford. Look at your road map for the next 18/24 months and add a 3 and 5-year option and see what it is you are going to need over that time. Cloud is the only viable solution as most of the bigger houses will be pushing companies in that direction in the next 3 years. Break down what the core of your business needs are and then choose the application that fits that mold with a bit of adjustment where needed.

I am a great fan of Dynamics 365 F&O/F&SCM and for a smaller environment of say, less than 150 users, Business central is always a great idea, it carries good weight in the current market and is a modular application. You can implement some of the standard offerings as stand-alone options and you can go big and go end to end if you wish. D365 F&O financials is a great ERP platform to build off and as you get more comfortable you can add more areas in that way costs are used on a consumption base rather than all-out purchase. But hey this is my opinion the rest of responders here have great options as well

2020-03-06 12:09:28 UTC
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Top 5Real User

AEC businesses cover several different sectors with specific requirements, and covering all of them will increase project complexity. So they need to work their budget, which parts are you going to include, and their level of expertise in system implementation.

The big choice is between:
A. A generic cross-sector ERP, with bolt ones for sector-specific requirements (My old BPO company used Microsoft Dynamics AX). But I’ve also seen JD Edwards / Oracle and Open accounts Orchard + in Housing Sector.
B. A sector-specific ERP (which may not be quite so good on the ERP side) e.g. Total Synergy.

Suggest if your client is asking you, then he needs some professional help in the whole process from the project scope, selection, and implementation. Picking the right professional help (as opposed to someone who has expertise in one ERP system) is key.

Some links below

https://www.to-increase.com/blog/dynamics-ax-for-growing-aec-and-government-contracting-companies

https://totalsynergy.com/features

2020-03-05 14:05:35 UTC
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User

As for me, I don't recommend your selection be based on product size, maybe your company is a mid-sized company (Revenue perspective) but in the processes, it's small or medium or large or ultra-large, so basically if you can share a glimpse of the processes it would be good and it will narrow your selections to a specific tier of products *BTW maybe I can tell you a specific product that I can manipulate to transform your business but this is just me I cannot assume all guys can do so. Like SAP products (SAP B1 - ByDesign - S4HANA) with standard modules, no hidden costs and the pricing is well known in the market you can get it from 50K+ USD to ## millions USD based on the processes and industry.

2020-03-08 07:38:52 UTC
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Top 20User

Check Microsoft Dynamics. It is a good option for mid-size companies and has a good position in your industry. Its integration with other Microsoft products like Office and Project is a plus. If you really need some features not present in the core ERP, there is also an ISV ecosystem, companies who build solutions on top or well connected to the ERP. If you still have some specific needs to differentiate your business beyond the ISV offers, you can build it, on loosely-coupled complementary developments, usually with less effort and cost compared to other similar-sized and bigger ERPs. I do not know all the ERPs but be aware that these developments sometimes are not possible in other smaller options, could make you dependent on the vendor or their partners to evolve, or become a nightmare when you need to upgrade to newer versions.

The weakness of Dynamics and other mid-size and small solutions might be the implementation partner ecosystem, depending on the country (ies) you operate. Take this into account as well. You don't want to do it by yourself and the software company is usually focused on developing and selling the software, not on services.

Business and IT needs to be united in this journey since the beginning and create a joint list of requirements as the base of your comparison. Price is an important criteria, but not the number one, or you better wait until you can secure the budget to really make an affordable good choice for your business objectives. And if you are still unsure, get independent advice, not linked to any ERP-vendor, from an expert you trust or hire one for the selection job, which should take weeks not months. And do not get trapped in promises like "the next version will have that".

2020-03-06 15:38:00 UTC
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Oracle's NetSuite 100% Cloud Platform. Ideal for 20+ Employees. Real-Time Data. Types: Accounting Verticals, Cloud ERP Software, Cloud Financials, Ecommerce Solutions.

2020-03-06 13:26:01 UTC
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Top 20User

Besides NetSuite and Dynamics Nav, you may also consider SAP Business One for a mid-sized company. This depends on your company's requirements, each ERP has its strength on certain business processes.

2020-03-06 09:27:18 UTC
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Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Of late, Dynamics 365 is proving to be reliable and cost-effective for many of the mid-sized companies. I have seen more and more mid-sized companies are embracing this with confidence. I would not suggest Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV or Dynamics GP as they have a history/baggage with them carried over from the original products that they emerged from. If you can afford the new SAP HANA from SAP or M3 from Infor (the resource cost for support or any other related work can be expensive) they are fantastic. SAP HANA or M3 in the cloud will not let you customize/enhance though! You have to opt for the on-premise for that and it will cost quite a bit Of the Cloud-based solutions, Dynamics 365 is more flexible and the learning curve is shorter.

2020-03-05 17:11:58 UTC
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User

For a mid-sized company, you can evaluate Infor CSI. The advantage of this product is the out of the box customization tools.

2020-03-09 23:14:37 UTC
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User

SAP Business ByDesign is by far the best choice today. A totally integrated solution out of the box available 100% on cloud and provide much more than an SME would expect.

2020-03-09 13:22:26 UTC
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Wow..AWESOME responses! A little more about my needs..

1. AEC: Yes Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry
2. # of employees: ~400
3. Budget??? trying to get my arms around the issues and formulate a budget to present to CEO/CFO
4. Looking for an iterative progression pathway...i.e. small, intermediate and large steps forward.
5. Would like to get a few small "wins" under our belt by taking advantage of low hanging fruit but keep my sights set on the long-term goal of an integrated IoT (internet of things)

2020-03-09 13:07:06 UTC
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User

You may pick from mainstream ERP solutions from Microsoft, Oracle or SAP. My recommendation is to SAP and specifically would suggest considering SAP Business ByDesign seriously.

You have not suggested how big your company is from the number of staff and geo-locations etc. Also what kind of budget have you allocated? Selecting an ERP is also a journey of its own as right selection is important and impact the company in the long run

2020-03-09 12:16:48 UTC
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Comment on Anthony Karawa´s statement (see below):

SAP S4/HANA is (among other industries) outstanding good for producing companies with perfect Industry 4.0 integration, but only in the field of project management IFS is much better, I´m sure.

2020-03-09 07:00:17 UTC
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User

The AEC industry consists of separate players -- architecture, engineering, and construction -- that work together to bring a project to fruition.

If this is, what you mean with "AEC", then I can recommend the latest version 10 of IFS Applications. During a three day workshop, I learned, that IFS has fairly good project management, integrated into all the rest of an ERP system. And IFS is ready for a cloud-based solution with distributed users.
Products from Microsoft, unfortunately, are using a lot of "external" Office 365 functionalities and thus it is not a really integrated solution.

2020-03-09 06:51:16 UTC
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Top 5Real User

SAP HANA can be one of many products in ERP Systems (on-premise or cloud product). The most distinct advantage of other products is the way you get one system that can integrate a lot of ERP departments in organizations.

The preparation to choose system: you should create documents for a road map to your organization. Then, compare the various products in the market which are most suitable to your road map.

2020-03-08 06:52:50 UTC
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Top 5Real User

It depends on a couple of factors including the biggest pain area to be addressed. However right-hand thumb role is that if the organization is a Manufacturing organization or Asset Intensive Organisation then IFS is the best selection as it is their forte. There ERP, EAM, FSM is all targeted towards Manufacturing, EPCI, Aerospace, Services.

Whereas if organizations looking for ERP are non-Asset Intensive and are not into Manufacturing then SAP S/4 HANA is a natural choice. Price should not be the deciding factor as if the competition is created while buying the product, organizations can benefit from good discounts and the price of their choice.

Other players are also in the game like Dynamics 365, Business One, NetSuite, etc but lack a lot of functionality which within a couple of years becomes a bottleneck hence a bitter experience while using the product.

2020-03-07 10:02:29 UTC
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Top 5LeaderboardReal User

For sure, Dynamics 365 in the cloud version.

2020-03-07 08:18:30 UTC
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Top 5LeaderboardReal User

I recommend NetSuite. It's cloud-based, very good, wide product portfolio, can support project-based companies, and it's the strategic SMB product of a big supplier (Oracle). Be careful with on-prem products as suppliers are moving in cloud direction with their portfolio. Check also the local availability and price of consultants.

2020-03-06 15:07:48 UTC
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User

There are multiple ERP systems available for the Engineering & Construction industry. Oracle JD Edwards however has specific strengths for Engineering & Construction and is one of the best developed modern ERP systems available.

2020-03-06 13:33:56 UTC
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Top 5Real User

This question needs more information. ERP is an Ecosystem, not a piece of software, so I need to understand more about the customer's environment and requirements. If you can provide me an overview, probably I can guess something, but to give you a real recommendation, I need to know much more information. 

2020-03-06 12:37:01 UTC
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User

I would only recommend NetSuite as being the #1 Cloud ERP and it covers all verticals

2020-03-06 06:53:06 UTC
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Top 5Consultant

I would suggest Microsoft dynamics GP 2020 or Microsoft Nav.

Both can be useful depending upon users. If the user counts are more and you want something very simple, then I suggest you try a local ERP system that will fit your business 100%. Hope it helps you.

2020-03-06 06:16:56 UTC
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Top 5LeaderboardReal User

I can only provide my recommendation if I know what kind of industry your colleague is in and what type of ERP he/she is interested in like HCM/ Payroll, Financials, Billing, Material Management, supply chain, banking, telecommunications, Energy, Construction, etc. etc. and what are their current and future requirements.

I do provide services to my clients based on the industry they are in, their requirements, budget and number of employees. Based on the requirements and industry, I develop requests for proposals (RFP) for different ERP vendors to answer and then do the evaluation based on the match of the ERP software with client’s requirements. My experience tells me that software vendors do stretch the truth and do not tell exactly how their software meets the client's requirements. That is where I experience makes the difference to provide an honest opinion to our clients since I am an independent ERP consultant and do not have any connection to any of the ERP software vendor. I have consulted with many of the mid-size and large-size organizations in the evaluation of the software, developing the RFP and then evaluating and selection of the software for the clients based on their requirements in both Private and Public Sectors in USA and Canada.

I would strongly recommend your colleague to hire an independent ERP consultant as they are not connected with any ERP vendors and can provide honest opinion and a better solution. I just completed another payroll implementation in Toronto and became available a week ago.

2020-03-05 20:44:40 UTC
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User

Did you see anything about IFS? Here you have some information: https://www.ifs.com/corp/industries/engineering-construction-infrastructure/

2020-03-05 16:46:57 UTC
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Top 20Real User

Don’t know enough about what the company actually does (architecture, engineering, construction??) but maybe NetSuite.

2020-03-05 16:35:01 UTC
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User

I think SAP. Not really an expert on this.

2020-03-06 11:24:12 UTC
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