2020-03-05T12:21:00Z
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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.

29
PeerSpot user
29 Answers
Jairo Willian Pereira - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Security Manager at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
2021-04-16T20:28:24Z
Apr 16, 2021

SAP Business One (depends on process maturity level of your company), MS Dynamics (the cost may be interesting if your model license is global/enterprise).


Attention: try to use solutions that are easy for you "enter" and also "leave" the platform.

Search for a product comparison in ERP
Jairo Willian Pereira - PeerSpot reviewer
Information Security Manager at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
2021-04-16T20:26:09Z
Apr 16, 2021

SAP Business One (depends on process maturity level of your company), MS Dynamics (the cost may be interesting if your model license is global/enterprise).


Attention: try to use solutions that are easy for you "enter" and also "leave" the platform.

Sally Schilling - PeerSpot reviewer
President at SystemLink
Real User
Top 10
2021-03-01T19:08:15Z
Mar 1, 2021

Sage 300 with Business Intelligence

RL
Senior Developer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
User
2020-03-06T12:09:28Z
Mar 6, 2020

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

PG
Commercial Cost Accountant ( Interim) at a security firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
2020-03-05T14:05:35Z
Mar 5, 2020

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

Hatem Mohamed Nageeb Salama - PeerSpot reviewer
Manager Pre-Sales & Solutions Portfolio at Abacus Cambridge Partners
User
2020-03-08T07:38:52Z
Mar 8, 2020

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.

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AC
IT & Business & Project executive at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
User
2020-03-06T15:38:00Z
Mar 6, 2020

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".

EL
Executive Vice President with 51-200 employees
User
2020-03-06T13:33:56Z
Mar 6, 2020

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.

Sally Schilling - PeerSpot reviewer
President at SystemLink
Real User
Top 10
2020-03-06T13:26:01Z
Mar 6, 2020

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

HK
Head Of Information Technology with 10,001+ employees
User
2020-03-06T09:27:18Z
Mar 6, 2020

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.

MS
Sr IT/Business Consultant at Ottap
Real User
Top 20
2020-03-05T17:11:58Z
Mar 5, 2020

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.

Carlos  Cardona - PeerSpot reviewer
Operations Manager at Visual K
Reseller
Top 10
2020-03-09T23:14:37Z
Mar 9, 2020

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

CS
Head Of Purchasing Department with 51-200 employees
User
2020-03-09T13:22:26Z
Mar 9, 2020

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.

User
2020-03-09T13:07:06Z
Mar 9, 2020

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)

Muhammad Shaamel - PeerSpot reviewer
Sales Director at Orangekloud Inc
Real User
Top 5
Jun 7, 2021

@reviewer1304103  you may want to check this out Acumatica ERP  out https://www.acumatica.com/blog...

PeerSpot user
SP
CEO at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
User
2020-03-09T12:16:48Z
Mar 9, 2020

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

RV
IT Process Manager at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
User
2020-03-09T07:00:17Z
Mar 9, 2020

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.

RV
IT Process Manager at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
User
2020-03-09T06:51:16Z
Mar 9, 2020

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.

Eliram Yakar - PeerSpot reviewer
Team leader SAP Development at Ness Technologies | נס טכנולוגיות
Real User
2020-03-08T06:52:50Z
Mar 8, 2020

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.

SK
Director at Peritus
Real User
2020-03-07T10:02:29Z
Mar 7, 2020

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.

DJ
Corporate ERP Manager at BEA Europe
Real User
2020-03-07T08:18:30Z
Mar 7, 2020

For sure, Dynamics 365 in the cloud version.

EV
Managing Director at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
2020-03-06T15:07:48Z
Mar 6, 2020

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.

it_user1004859 - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior R&D Manager at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
2020-03-06T12:37:01Z
Mar 6, 2020

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. 

TB
Managing Director at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
2020-03-06T06:53:06Z
Mar 6, 2020

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

Sathiya Prakash Perumal - PeerSpot reviewer
Microsoft Dynamics GP Techno Functional Consultant at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
2020-03-06T06:16:56Z
Mar 6, 2020

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.

UshaKatyal - PeerSpot reviewer
Owner at kaydex systems ltd
Real User
2020-03-05T20:44:40Z
Mar 5, 2020

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.

User
2020-03-05T16:46:57Z
Mar 5, 2020

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

JR
Director of PMO and Delivery at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
2020-03-05T16:35:01Z
Mar 5, 2020

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

Juan Mendoza - PeerSpot reviewer
General Manager at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
2020-05-29T15:09:37Z
May 29, 2020

I think SAP Business One version on HANA will full fill all modules delivered by BST Enterprise ERP, at a convenient Budget. The HANA version will deploy the BI dashboards that AEC company can find in BST.

it_user1124640 - PeerSpot reviewer
Station Accountant Outstation Finance Cameroon at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
User
2020-03-06T11:24:12Z
Mar 6, 2020

I think SAP. Not really an expert on this.

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FB
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 Good day, If your company it's midsize, and you a need a good ERP for your back office, supply chain and others, I would recommend you to go for a cloud solution.Pay attention to: Cloud'S ERP  are to be used with the best business flow they offer, that's mean don't customize, just the legal requirements not supported as a standard solution on the ERP. Second, define your needs before going to the market and start looking for a Cloud Erp with a cloud solution you just need a good internet connection to assure the constant connection.  You're not going to buy hardware for the application nor other equipments to deploy Erp or databases.  Must of the ERP maintenance, will be done by the supplier, such a constant updates, database support, Erp errors, etc.  You could concentrate yours efforts in your business, no in the IT support (always it is going to be required, but smaller scale).  You can go for a solution like Oracle Cloud Erp.  It is complete, integrated, a lot of help for easy configuration, many templates for data upload, and data integration.  In the other hand, have a good support, Business intelligence integrated and tools for reporting.  You can integrate the Cloud Erp solution with tax software, if required. And very good tools for budget planning and control.  I hace not worked in rhe field of renewable energy but I'm sure Oracle have experience in that field.
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Great answer from @Felix Daniel Bravo Pérez. I would add the following: - What is your company strategy with regards to IT applications - if its a Microsoft company then it would be remiss not to review their offering as it's integrated and can scale - how important is the industry footprint for you - are you looking for a billing engine that is renewable-based? ask for references from ERP providers. - how many users are you looking at (professional and part-time) as that will impact which cloud ERP you consider - Netsuite and Acumatica have very interesting licensing options which means 'per user' is not too important.  Most importantly - when you say 'ERP' do you mean full ERP or Financials and procurement? that makes a big difference.
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How do you use it? Please share some practical examples.
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The Data Dictionary is a list of all the fields being used in the ERP along with the length of the field, whether it is numeric or alpha, decimals, and should also contain the valid values associated with the field.   It should also tell you what table the field is stored in. This is extremely valuable if you are an analyst as you need to know where to pull the data as well as what the values and meanings are.  This is a rather simplistic answer.  
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