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6 Ways Your AEC Firm Is Losing Money By Not Using FCA Software

April 6, 2022

Think back to when AutoCAD, 3-D modeling, and BIM were new. The firms that were early adopters of these technologies continue reaping the benefits today – while those who took a “wait and see” approach are still playing catch up.

Facility condition assessment software is another tech tool that can bring long-term benefits to your firm. So if you aren’t using it yet, this is one bandwagon you should definitely jump on. Here are 6 ways you could be losing money by not using FCA software.

Lost Opportunity #1

You’re Losing RFPs

More and more building owners are requesting their FCA results in software form vs. paper or a static PDF. If you’re not providing that deliverable, that puts you out of the running for plenty of RFPs. Talk about missed opportunities.

Investing in FCA software will allow you to immediately start bidding on a whole slate of RFPs you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It opens the door to lots more potential business.

But choose your software partner wisely. Look for a solution provider who will help you implement the software, provide comprehensive training, and continue working with you to improve your experience with the tool. That’s the sort of partner who can get you up and running quickly and correctly – so you can start chasing more RFPs.

 

Lost Opportunity #2

You’re Missing Out on Future Business with Your Clients

Even if your firm doesn’t do FCAs all that often, not having the ability to deliver a solid assessment when a client asks for one doesn’t help the relationship. Having FCA software means you can say “Yes!” instead of “Umm, not really.”

FCA software is more than a delivery mechanism for assessment data. It’s a relationship building tool that can help you make a positive, lasting impression on clients. Picture it: your client receives data they can trust in an easy-to-use digital format. They refer to it often because of how valuable it is. Guess who they think about every time they access their FCA: the firm that did it for them. So when new projects come along, who will they turn to? Yep – your firm.

Not only that, a digital FCA allows you to keep adding new data to it, meaning you can continue providing FCA services to your client year after year. Instead of starting over from scratch every 5-7 years, you and your client have a living FCA that you can simply update every 12 months. That translates to less intensive work for your engineers and – over the long term – lower costs for your client.

Software can strengthen your existing client relationship and position your firm for future business. It’s a win-win.

Lost Opportunity #3

You Aren’t Leveraging FCA Software for Other Types of Assessments

Why stop at just FCAs? This type of software is also well suited for other assessments – such as daylight studies, energy analysis, lighting retrofit analysis, fire readiness plans, use analysis, even terrorism risk assessments.

That’s because it’s designed to collect, store, and output data. Any service you offer that starts with data collection can be put into the platform, and – here’s the cool part – if you use AkitaBox, that data can be tagged to a specific location on the building floor plan.

Think of the value add to your clients. Not only do they receive the results of their energy analysis, they can also see exactly where their energy is going on a map. That’s the sort of deliverable that’ll keep clients coming back.

Lost Opportunity #4

You’re Not Gaining Efficiencies from Streamlining Your FCA Process

No two FCAs are exactly alike. One firm’s FCA looks more like an energy audit, while another’s includes a technology assessment. That’s because each firm approaches them differently based on their expertise and what their brand represents. A firm’s FCA is a reflection of what makes them unique in the marketplace – their special sauce.

So if you’re trying to differentiate your FCA from all the other ones out there, buying software that’ll just make yours look like a carbon copy of everyone else’s wouldn’t make sense. Even though an FCA tool brings benefits, you’d lose your FCA’s unique flavor. Plus, they don’t provide any flexibility if you ever need to change your FCA.

Not anymore, though. Customizable platforms (like AkitaBox) let you configure the tool to fit your firm’s FCA. You can build out the forms, directions, and checklists exactly how you want to, special sauce included.

Now you have the advantages of FCA software on your side, including:

  • More accurate onsite data collection
  • Streamlined, repeatable processes
  • A floor plan-based deliverable

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We talk more about the specific advantages of FCA software in this blog post: The ROI of FCA Software for AEC Firms.

But wait … there’s more. Customizable software enables you to pivot quickly when you need to change the way you do FCAs. What happens if you have to deliver a new component in your FCA? What if you have to change your existing process? What if a new market opportunity pops up? Being nimble enough to react to change gives you a distinct advantage over your competition.

Lost Opportunity #5

You Can’t Replicate and Scale Profitable Micro Services

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer at an AEC firm with very specialized expertise that he uses to provide a micro service to a select few clients. That micro service is highly profitable, but Ben’s the only one on staff who knows how to do it. So the firm can only provide a limited amount of that service, greatly limiting the potential revenue it could generate.

Do you have a Ben at your firm? An FCA tool could be the answer. Customizable software platforms like AkitaBox allow you to build out templates and checklists for collecting and organizing the required facility data for the micro service. Suddenly, anyone at your firm has the instructions they need to deliver the service. Boom! It’s a repeatable, scalable process – and it might just become your firm’s newest cash cow.

Lost Opportunity #6

You Don’t Have a Jumping Off Point for More Money-Making Opportunities

You can use an FCA tool for way more than just FCAs. If you’ve completed an FCA for a client, you already have their floor plans in the platform. Why not regularly update their Revit model for them? If you’re a scanning company, you can use FCA software as a vehicle to deliver building and asset documentation.

A customizable location-based asset tool like AkitaBox can become the basis of any other service offering that needs to store and present building information. Think of FCA software as a delivery vehicle you can customize and build on to create additional revenue streams. Use your imagination and you’ll start to see the possibilities.

 

So Which FCA Software Should You Choose?

Not all FCA software is created equal, so it pays to look closely at your options. We don’t just mean comparing features. You need to evaluate the providers themselves. Choosing the right software partner can make all the difference for your firm.

Going with a software provider that’s focused on continuously improving and transforming the FCA process ensures your FCA offering will stay competitive and cutting edge long-term.

 

A good way to spot these software partners is to ask this question: is this company digitizing processes that used to be done on paper OR are they changing the process itself to make it better?

 

FCA software that digitizes or automates existing processes can be very helpful in the short term. It moves data from paper to the digital world. But the process itself is the same way it’s always been done.

Transformational software, on the other hand, uses the latest technology to improve every aspect of the FCA process. That’s the approach we take at AkitaBox.

A transformative mindset leads to innovations such:

  • Creating floor plan-based asset location maps
  • Adding asset photos and condition reports in real time while onsite
  • Capturing asset information from photos using text recognition

We talk more in-depth about transformation vs. digitization in this article for Facility Executive magazine: Transformation In Facilities Management: Start Today Or Be Left Behind.

Want to know what the future of FCAs looks like? Schedule a demo of AkitaBox FCA software.

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In the meantime, don’t leave money on the table. With the help of good software, FCAs can play a much more profitable role at your firm. So get out there and find the right tool!

Kendra Wenzel

Digital Marketing Specialist for AkitaBox.

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