Full Sail Partners Blog

Preparing to Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Nicole Temple on Wed, Jun 12, 2019 @ 12:56 PM

Deltek VantagepointGreat news! Deltek Vantagepoint is continuing to expand its capabilities and more Deltek Vision users are able to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. However, it seems some are either unaware of what Vantagepoint is or they’re hesitant to accepting change. Therefore, let’s take a moment to inform people about what Vantagepoint is and why you should be extremely excited about transitioning to Vantagepoint in the near future.

What is Deltek Vantagepoint?

In short, Deltek Vantagepoint is a Vision reimagined with several enhancements. When using Vantagepoint, users will find its new functionality easy to navigate. As a result, managing projects and driving business development will be much easier with more streamlined processes and workflows. With Vantagepoint, project-based business will see an increase in efficiency in all aspects of their business.

New Look and Feel

Deltek Vantagepoint is a web-browser based ERP that is built on the iAccess for Deltek Vision platform. When Deltek was creating Vantagepoint, a top consideration for them was creating a product that has a great user interface (UI). Studies have found that software products with an intuitive UI have a significant increase in user adoption. Therefore, Deltek knew that having a high-quality UI was essential, but they took it one step further.

“Hey Deltek”

Deltek is taking simple functionality to the next step. In today’s world, hey…Siri, Google, and Alexa are common features we use to access information from our smart device or the internet. Well, Deltek has created “Hey Deltek” to help users search through their database using voice commands. “Hey Deltek” utilizes natural language commands to help locate, open or create a new hub record, log activities and create reminders using a common phrase. Keep in mind, this product is still in development and the capabilities of “Hey Deltek” will continue to grow and allow users to update timesheets, expenses and more using voice commands. 

Improved Dashboards and Dashparts

Start seeing the information that is important for your role in colorful graphs and charts right on your dashboards. With an improved UI, Vantagepoint users can easily setup dashparts that allow them to make actionable decisions faster. Furthermore, they can select how they want to see the information. Now there are several ways to see your data. Users can select from different types of graphs and bar charts and tables to better visualize data.   

Get Prepared for Deltek Vantagepoint

While change can be scary, it shouldn’t be the case when upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint. Deltek has taken very meticulous steps to ensure Vantagepoint is a vastly improved ERP product that is focused completely on helping project-based businesses improve their performance. If you’re a current Vision user, it is highly recommended that you start using iAccess (if your firm has it enabled) to get yourself comfortable with navigating around Vantagepoint as these are similar interfaces.   

Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Professional Services, Deltek Vantagepoint

How Do You Measure Your Firm’s Success?

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Jun 05, 2019 @ 01:18 PM

Metrics Measuring your firm’s achievements and shortcomings are important to ensure continued future success. However, many firms are unsure of what factors indicate the health of their business. Also, some firm leaders believe one indicator, such as financial reports, is more important than other areas like talent management. Well, that is not necessarily the case. Let’s take a look at some of the indicators your firm should use to make informed decisions to improve business performance.  

Employee Recruitment and Retention Rates

One of the largest factors affecting the growth of architectural and engineering (A&E) firms is human capital management. Having the right people working on the right projects has a significant impact on the profitability and overall success of an A&E firm. From highlighting experienced staff members during the RFP process to actually delivering the project, talent affects all aspects of your business. Looking at recruitment rates, employee turnover rates and several other talent management metrics is essential to evaluating and measuring success.

Measuring Business Development

Wasted time on winning new business is very costly. Measuring win rates, revenue from top clients and net revenue growth will prevent wasted time. For some, this seems like a logical thing to measure, but many firms don’t track this information and they should. If you’re tracking these numbers and they continue to decline, then you know you have some major issues. You can quickly change this trend by evaluating what types of projects you’re winning and losing, and why.

Financial Metrics

Without a doubt, financial metrics are extremely important. Knowing things like total employee cost, overhead rate, and total payroll multiplier are necessary to keeping your finger on the pulse of your business. Diving deeper, measuring performance using metrics like operating profit on net revenue, utilization rate and the net labor multiplier from previous years can provide a clear picture of the performance of your firm. If these numbers slip in a negative direction, other metrics mentioned in this article could provide useful insight.

Overlooked Technology Needs

Historically, the A&E industry has been hesitant to adopt new technology. As a result, firms continue to use outdated technology that lacks the abilities to keep up with the changing A&E industry. This has become the number one hurdle for little firms to keep up with larger and faster growing firms. A&E firms need to evaluate their current technology.  Are your systems connected or is there a lot of manual entry from one software tool to another? Is your software up to date? Being behind on technology can greatly hinder your ability to even measure performance indicators.

Comparing Your Firm to Others

Ok, let’s assume your firm will measure these metrics and keep track of them. Even better, it will use current metrics and compare them to historical metrics to notice trends. However, does it compare itself to other A&E firms to determine where it stands in the industry? Well, it can. Make sure to download the Deltek A&E Clarity Industry Study to see how your firm stacks up against your competition. The Deltek A&E Clarity Industry Study is created in collaboration with ACEC, the Association Consulting Engineering Companies Canada, SMPS and AIA. The data collected comes from 386 US and Canadian firms and draws from over 250,000 data points.

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Topics: Professional Services, Deltek Clarity Report

Ways to Track Marketing Success

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, May 29, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Digital Marketing

When you are determining what marketing techniques are going to be the best for your company, there are some important things to consider. It’s common for business owners to cast a wide net in their initial marketing plan, throwing everything they can against the wall to see what sticks. However, continuing to throw money at a marketing strategy that is not generating conversation will result in loss of revenue and time. Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid this by tracking the success of your marketing techniques and being able to adjust the ones not yielding results.

Website Analytics

Let’s start with one of the easiest and most common methods of tracking marketing success: website analytics. Utilizing this method, you can see who is coming to your site and from what sources. This lets you know which marketing tactics are creating the most clicks and how those clicks could be converted into leads or sales. A lot of website analytic tools are easy to setup and simple to use.

Email Outreach

Email marketing is easy to track and measure. Most email marketing platforms offer a host of data that will help you gauge the efficiency of your email campaigns. Your task is to find those metrics that best suit your email marketing goals and to keep an eye on them. There are many different things that are important to look at when it comes to the success of email marketing. Deliverability, open rates, click-through rates, conversation and bounce rates. These all can give you a better idea of how your email marketing campaign is going.

Phone Tracking

Call tracking is one of the most effective ways to evaluate lead generation sources. By taking advantage of call tracking technology, you can see what marketing ventures are generating the highest number of phone calls. This gives you the opportunity to keep track of who is calling from where and gauge where your budget is best spent.

CRM Tracking

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps sales staff stay organized and track marketing campaign results. Using a CRM software, sales professionals create profiles for each prospect including name, company, phone number, lead source, and any other relevant information. CRM platforms not only lead the way in tracking initial marketing efforts but continue to serve in following the future of client dealings.

Save Time and Effort by Tracking Marketing Success

Tracking marketing success is quite effective when using the right techniques. You can learn what works and what doesn’t when marketing to contacts to create more business and ultimately generate more income for your firm. Using a tool like the Deltek CRM, you can easily.

Email marketing, battle for the inbox

Topics: Marketing, Technology Solutions, CRM

2019 Mergers and Acquisitions Trends

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 22, 2019 @ 01:45 PM

Mergers and AcquisitionsWith growing global political tensions, trade wars and volatile markets, one would assume that mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity would slow down. However, this has not been the case.  As a result of US tax reforms and a reduction in the US regulatory climate, firms are retaining larger amounts of cash reserves. Furthermore, according to a recent Deloitte survey, M&A activity will continue to increase throughout 2019. Here are some reasons for this trend.

Need to Diversify

Architecture and engineering (A&E) firms must diversify their service offerings to continue to win new business. Diversifying in the A&E industry is usually in reference to purchasing or merging with another firm that has a different set of skills. For instance, an engineering firm specializing in soil science has a desire to offer a different service like water control which requires it to acquire or merge with another firm. Therefore, M&A activity will continue to grow to meet these needs. 

Generate Firm Growth

Historically, firms have used excess cash flow to pay down debt, purchase shares back or simply retain cash reserves as a backup. However, A&E firms are now finding that acquiring another firm is a simple and lucrative way to grow business. Essentially, this allows a firm to increase its market share and acquire a competitor’s client base.

Demographics are Changing

Many A&E firms are private companies owned by baby boomers. These owners are starting to look for an exit strategy, and an easy solution is to put the business on the market. By doing so, owners can request for bids to purchase their firms and obtain a fair market value. As a result, owners can capitalize on their success and enjoy retirement with a nice-sized nest egg.

Preparing Your Firm for a Merger or Acquisition

A&E firms desiring to take the M&A path need to make sure they have their internal records clearly documented. This includes providing understandable project financial reports, presenting any risks a buyer should evaluate, and having records that are easily auditable. Lastly, and probably most importantly, firm leadership should communicate their intentions and the expected results of the merger or acquisition with their employees. Is your firm ready?

 Mergers and Acquisitions

Topics: Professional Services, Mergers and Acquisitions

Why a Good User Interface Matters?

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 01:29 PM

computer_inside

In essence, a User Interface (UI) guides users – it is a chain of screens, pages, buttons, forms or any visual element that interacts with a user. It may prompt the user to seek further information, navigate the site, make a registration or purchase decision with a series of clicks. Having a good user interface can ultimately change the way you work and process information for your business. There are many different aspects that a UI can offer to make things more efficient, quicker, and easier to understand.

Clarity 

Clarity is one of the most important elements of a user interface design. The whole purpose of a UI design is to enable people to interact with your system by communicating meaning and function. Clarity throughout the application can make this easier and more efficient. One great way of simplifying an interface is to use whitespace which breaks up the content and allows the user to concentrate on the important areas.

Presentation

An interface that is poorly designed can drive incoming traffic away and leave a bad impression. Features such as attractive branding, color scheme, layout, graphics, tabs and other tools make a great design that users will want to utilize. You want the UI to look good while still having the right features to work well keeping users satisfied.

Easy-to-Decipher

Easy-to-decipher and consistent navigation that is simple to locate and browse through is the basic requirement for a good UI. If the navigation is complex for a user to work with, there is no way they will want to spend more time trying to figure it out. One way to make things better is to make buttons and options more easily recognizable by using the icons the users expect to see. A good example is the trash can as most users will understand what this does without further explanation.

Functional

In the end, it is all worthless if the UI’s functionality is not up to speed. A quality User interface focuses on making the user interactions simple and efficient. Having such a user interface can go a long way in ensuring an exceptional user experience. Every single second a user spends on the interface is directly attributable to the functionality of that UI.

Make Sure Your User Interface is Exceptional

The User experience is tantamount to business success, and the User Interface is the most significant touch point for your users. If your UI is user friendly, it will be used repeatedly increasing your business productivity. Without a quality UI, the opposite is true, and that is why having a good User Interface matters.

 Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Thinking Outside of the Box?

Posted by Wes Renfroe on Wed, May 08, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Custom Solutions Do you have an idea that hasn’t been done before? Full Sail Partners can leverage our expertise to help build a custom solution to your specifications. Just let us know what you have in mind and be as detailed as possible. It will be worth the effort since it will expedite getting your project to reality. Here’s all you need to do:

Go to Our Website

First off, just go to the Full Sail Partners website then click on the Services tab. Next, click on Deltek Product Solutions. At the bottom of that page, we have a link for “contact us today” for unique business needs. Just click there and it will bring you to the list of questions to help us understand how we can help.

Motivations for the Custom Solution

The first few questions let us know the gist of your idea including the type of project you have in mind. Is it report driven, data driven or something else? What has brought you to needing this custom solution? Finally, are there certain necessary components that need to be part of your custom solution?

Give Us the Details

We want to understand exactly what you are looking for with your idea. So, in this next part we need as many details typed into the box as possible. Also, we want to know if your Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision is hosted or if you are maintaining it on site. Full Sail Partners does Vision hosting, therefore if you are one of our clients already that is even better.

Send Screenshots

Lastly, screenshots of what you are looking to accomplish are a big time-saver. They give us a good visual of what you have in mind for your custom need. There are directions provided to help you get that screenshot to us. If there are any additional mock-ups or samples of your idea, send those to us as well.

Submit and Full Sail Partners Will Get Right on It

Custom solutions are available for Deltek Vision and are becoming available for Vantagepoint to help your firm get the most out of your ERP solution. The process is easy and the effort very worthwhile. We are looking forward to seeing what out of the box ideas your firm has today!

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Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

What Makes a Quality Business Software Solution?

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 01, 2019 @ 02:56 PM

Business Software

For those of you reading this, I’m glad that you have a desire to expand your knowledge. While you might be a great accountant, business development person, project manager, HR professional, or C-level executive, you might not have a high level of IT knowledge. Yet, you are the professionals that must use your company’s business software solutions. Therefore, you need to ensure these business solutions are allowing you to be more productive. So, let’s see if your current business software solution is a quality one or not.

Simple to Understand

This sounds like a no brainer-but how simple is the software solution you use? Simplicity is more than a friendly user interface. When thinking about simplicity, you need to imagine inputting data and extracting actionable information.

Even more, it means being able to share information with others within and outside your firm. Taking this further, how many clicks does it take to get to your destination? And let’s not forget being able to easily obtain support from the software provider with quick resolution for your problem.

Pleasant User Interface

Software companies have entire teams of professionals dedicated to human-computer interaction, or in other words, how humans interact with machines. A quality user interface does make a software solution simpler, but more importantly, it entices users to want to use the solution. A software interface should be visually appealing and provide an intuitive environment. The better the user interface, the more likely employees will adopt using the software.

Integrates with Other Software Solutions

The fact of the matter is that businesses usually use more than one software to deliver services. For example, business intelligence (BI) software, like Entrinsik’s Informer BI tool, is becoming a leading software product used by companies to better analyze data. However, a core software must be able to integrate with a BI software to be able to extract the data.

Moreover, businesses also often use piecemealed together systems that are created as a business grows and/or a new gap needs to be filled. As a result, these individual solutions must be integrated together so they can communicate. If they are not integrated, employees will then have to manually input information from one system to another which waste time and is more prone to errors.     

Get Your Job Done More Efficiently

Does your current solution meet the needs of your business? Does your software help you better serve your clients and streamline your business processes? Lastly, will the software solutions you use be able to grow with you and your firm? If the answer to any of these questions is no, let Full Sail Partners help!

Reach Full Sail Partners

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services

Using Compensation Strategies to Retain Talent

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Apr 24, 2019 @ 05:19 PM

Compensation Compensation can directly impact the engagement and productivity of your talent. Without engaged talent, project-based firms will have a difficult time delivering successful projects. Retaining quality talent is a necessity to firm success so a well-planned compensation strategy is crucial. Let’s look at some components of an effective compensation strategy.

Budgeting

Salaries usually make up the largest part of the overall budget for project-based firms. Using Deltek Talent Compensation, budgets can be set up for each part of the compensation review cycle. They can be further broken down by level so reviewing managers will know how much money is available for compensation. There should, however, be some flexibility for outstanding efforts.

Rules and Guidelines

Rules and guidelines help employees to understand compensation plans. Having specific pay grades clarifies salary differentials. Employees can see what the expectations are for each level such as required certifications, education or professional experiences. With the guidelines in place, managers can make compensation recommendations using approval workflows.

Salary Audits

Staying in-tune to the market value of positions with your firm is important. Market data can be uploaded into Deltek Talent Compensation to show details about the current status of an employee in relation to the market. This allows managers to see how competitive their firm salaries are compared to other similar firms.

Total Rewards Package

Employees need to see all parts of the compensation package. The base salary is just one aspect of the package. The health benefits component is significant in the rewards. Additionally, any short-term incentive pay like commissions or bonuses or long-term incentive pay such as stock options make a heartier, more desirable compensation package.

Be Visible

Deltek Talent Compensation provides insight into all aspects of the compensation plan. Employees want to see that they are being paid fairly and that reasonable expectations are established for their positions. Employers need to stay on budget yet stay competitive in the market. With a visible technology solution in place, all needs of the employee and employer are met.

Implement a Comprehensive Compensation Strategy Now

With unemployment being at a historic low, not having a visible strategic compensation plan will affect retention of top talent. While putting such a plan in place may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Once your firm has established the key components of your compensation strategy, communicate it to your employees. With top talent buy in, retention will no longer be an issue.

Succession Planning

Topics: HR, Deltek Talent

Workflows Your Firm Should be Using in Deltek Vision

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 @ 03:55 PM

Deltek Vision WorkflowsMost Deltek users have heard of Vision workflows but aren’t aware of the vast capabilities they offer. From managing repetitive tasks to enforcing compliances and validating data, workflows are extremely versatile and easy to set up. Whether you are a workflow rookie or a veteran, let’s take a look at some workflows that your firm should be using in Deltek Vision.

Different Types of Workflows in Deltek Vision

User Initiated -Allows set up of automated actions in Vision that are triggered when a record is saved, and certain conditions are met.

Contact Record Verification - Provides employees further insight on the validity of contact information by creating a workflow using custom fields. Employees simply check a checkbox, and through a workflow, the modified user and the date the checkbox was checked can populate reducing the number of fields the end user has to fill in.

Scheduled -Allows you to create automated actions that run at regular intervals via the process server.

Web Services – Allows you to set up an interface between Vision and external application.

Opportunities – Makes sure the business development team is following up on opportunities by creating actions and alerts that are prompted when an opportunity is opened, a stage is changed and when the opportunity is closed.

Types of Workflow Actions in Deltek Vision

Validate Error – Creates a “check” against the data entered and returns an error message.

Validate Warning – The same as the error but provides only a warning. The user will be able to save the record.

Email Alert – Creates an email to a specified person or role or another employee linked field (for example project manager).

Stored Procedure – Executes a SQL script on the Vision database. Requires knowledge of T-SQL and stored procedures. However, this allows you great flexibility to update information across all info centers in Vision.

Function – Calls well known Vision methods to do specific tasks like create a project from an opportunity.

Invoke A Custom Method/Invoke a Web Service – Requires advanced programing knowledge and web services. 

Let Deltek Vision Workflows Work for You

These are just a few examples of things you can do with workflows in Deltek Vision. Setting these workflows up is easier than you think and will save you and your firm lots of time. Our team here at Full Sail Partners is ready to help you set up any Vision workflow you think would benefit your firm! Let us know if we can help you!

Deltek Vision Workflows  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

The Value of Email Communication Management with Deltek PIM

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Apr 10, 2019 @ 03:15 PM

Deltek PIM

Project-based firms do experience challenges during the project lifecycle from ensuring a project remains on schedule to keeping the client satisfied. With these challenges, however, there is one common denominator…communication. Communication is key to the success of a project whether it’s with the client or with your own project team. One of the most common forms of communication is email, but if you’re not included on every email that pertains to a project, how can you know what is going on? With Deltek PIM, the communication problem is solved, and your firm will reap the benefits.

Centralized Email Communication

With a simple click, an email can be stored within the project in Vantagepoint or Vision. Therefore, every employee working on a particular project can quickly access the email communications that contain important information about the project. This saves time and improves project communication. With Deltek PIM, an employee might notice a change to the project and can quickly search through the emails to see who made the change and why.

Improved Decision Making

Using Deltek PIM increases the collaborative work environment since everyone has access to project related communication. With more insight into the project information, team members can make informed and quick decisions. The impact of this efficiency is significant for project-based firms in the form of a higher profit on each project.

Quick User Adoption

If your firm is already using Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision, PIM easily integrates with these project management platforms. Even better, this integration makes it easy to use which increases user adoption. As a result, an investment into Deltek PIM offers value since firm employees will actually use this product as they are already managing projects in Vantagepoint or Vision.

Deltek PIM Does More

Not only does Deltek PIM provide centralized email, but it also allows for all project related files to be stored directly in the project in Vantagepoint or Vision. With PIM, you can store emails, all types of documents, easily organize drawings, and improve sharing since all these things are in one location. If you haven’t seen PIM, make sure to check our webinar listing page to view upcoming and past PIM webinars.

Deltek PIM 

Topics: Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)