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Jennifer Renfroe

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2020 Trends in the Professional Services Industry

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Jan 15, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Looking for Trends

Firms in the professional services industry must adapt to compete in today’s world. Through acquisitions and other partnerships, many professional services firms have been entering into new markets. These firms now have the need to offer a wider range of services to a larger client base. Additionally, many firms have increased their global presence which affects the way client needs have been handled in the past. Let’s check out the top trends for professional services firms as they deal with evolving client expectations and staying competitive.

On-demand Workforce

As new demands arise with the increasing service offerings by professional services firms to more clients, an on-demand workforce is necessary. This workforce can include contractors, part time staff and temporary workers in addition to full timers to meet staffing needs. Firm leaders will need to learn how to manage this future workforce and cultivate a culture that will be attractive to top talent with the key skill sets to render firm services.

More Flexible Service Rendering

Competition for the professional services industry has increased with rapid globalization. Clients expect professional services firms to support them and deliver high quality services from anywhere in the world. With location not being the priority, client demands can be met with operational and staffing flexibility. It is very important to stay abreast of who would be competent and available for doing the needed work.

Perception as Advisors

Professional services firms are changing the way they price services. There has been a shift from the traditional per-hour revenue model to a more value-oriented model. With value-based pricing, professional services firms are setting their prices primarily on perceived or estimated value of the service to the customer rather than historical prices. This value-based pricing encourages the relationship of a professional services firm being an advisor rather than just a service provider.

Leveraging Automation

With technology changing at such a fast pace, professional services firms are increasing their offerings with the use of automation. Using automation allows firms to simplify complicated and/or difficult processes saving a lot of time while delivering quality services. Automation also makes it easier to find the source of problems and provides the ability to remedy them quickly. Additionally, automation can help reduce errors and eliminate repetitive tasks.

Staying Competitive in Today’s World

Professional services firms must stay competitive in the global world of today. In order to do so, they must keep a pulse on their evolving client needs. Even more, they must be ready to provide a flexible workforce rendering quality services as fast as possible to wherever needed. The use of automation is a necessity for success. Furthermore, professional services firms must focus on satisfying their client expectations to ensure their services continue to be utilized.

Thinking Out Cloud

Topics: Tips, Building Business, Professional Services

Summary of Human Capital Management in 40th Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Dec 04, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

40th Annual AE Clarity Report

Summary of Human Capital Management in 40th Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report

The results of the 40th Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report regarding Human Capital Management (HCM) indicate similar trends from the past few years. There continues to be a tight labor market, and firms still struggle with finding qualified candidates. With the talent that they do hire, firms are working to engage their employees especially by offering better career development which ensures retention. Let’s take a look at some of the key findings regarding HCM.

Talent Acquisition Challenges

The top three challenges firms are dealing with regarding talent acquisition are the availability of good candidates in the marketplace, the ability to offer competitive compensation and matching qualified candidates to open positions. Continuously nurturing qualified talent is must in this competitive talent pool. Firms must also take a hard look at their compensation plan to ensure they can recruit the desired staff to fill open positions. Utilizing a talent management software such as Deltek Talent Management will help with these talent acquisition needs.

Issues Regarding Managing Talent

Succession planning, employee engagement and performance management seem to be the primary concerns for firms regarding managing talent. Unfortunately, the report showed that only 45% of participating firms in the survey had succession plans in place. Lower on the priority list for firms were learning and development and recognition. Both of these actually go a long way towards improving employee engagement and should be looked at more closely. Therefore, it is wise to keep in mind that performance management is easily trackable using a talent management software.

Developing Talent

It is clear from the study that firms are in fact encouraging the development of talent that they are able to recruit. 75% of firms reported that coaching and mentoring are used to develop their talent with 54% using external education programs. 80% of firms prioritize professional licenses with 77% making conference attendance a focus. With the addition of 76% endorsing professional certifications and 72% offering continuing education reimbursement, the results show that firms are interested in investing in their talent which is always a plus!

Human Capital Should be Smartly Managed

Having the best talent in place now and a plan for the future is the secret to success for any firm especially project-based firms. With the constant flux in project management, talent needs to be qualified, available and engaged. Additionally, learning and development is crucial to not only keep employees retained but to ensure that projects are run as efficiently as possible. For a more detailed look at the HCM results from the 40th Annual Report available in the link below.New call-to-action

Topics: Professional Services, HR, Deltek Clarity Report

Preparing for 2019 Year-End

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Year End 2019

Year-End is coming! Don’t let year-end bring you down - create a plan and stick to it. A great way to start is by creating a checklist and calendar. Make sure your calendar includes all year-end deadlines: final AP and Expense payment processing, final timesheets due, and final bank reconciliation are all important items to include. Deltek issues a checklist yearly, and this is an excellent starting point to create the plan for your company. Once issued, it will be available on the Support Center site.

Top Items to Consider Adding to Your Year-End Checklist

  • Reconcile all cash accounts – Post all transactions in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision. Verify your general ledger balances match your bank statements. Make all adjustments as needed.
  • Final Invoicing – Process all client invoices for the fiscal year.
  • Review outstanding Accounts Receivables – Follow-up with clients who have outstanding accounts receivables beyond 30 days. Send past due statements and/or simply give them a call. Enter the results of your collection efforts in the comments section of Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision Invoice Review. Year-end is an excellent time to collect your outstanding receivables. If you determine there is uncollectable AR, be sure to write those invoices off.
  • Review Unbilled detail - Time and expense transactions that cannot be invoiced to clients should be written off at this time.
  • Fixed Assets – Fixed Assets are larger purchases that are made throughout the year (i.e. equipment, automobiles, furniture, computers, etc.). This is the time to make sure all fixed assets are reported on the balance sheet if they are still owned. If not, record the sale or disposal of these fixed assets. Additionally, verify the depreciation on your fixed assets as well and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Employee Expenses and AP - Verify that all accounts payable vouchers have been recorded in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision. Make your 401(k), SEP IRA, and Simple IRA contributions have been made, if you have not done so. Try and pay all your vendors and employee expense reports by year-end.
  • Notes Payable - Verify notes payable (i.e. loans) amounts on your balance sheet match the statements from your lenders and make all adjustments as needed.
  • W-9s – Order 1099 forms as soon as possible. Furthermore, make sure all W-9s from your vendors and/or contractors that have been paid $600 or more to throughout the year are on file. Don’t forget 1099s should be mailed on January 31st. 1099 forms can be purchased from most office supply stores, or you can order them for free from the IRS.
  • W-2s – If you run payroll in Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision, order W-2 forms. W-2s should be mailed by January 31st. W-2s can be purchased from most office supply stores.
  • Budget for next year - Create your GL budget for 2019.

Communication and Organization is Key to Success

Make sure all in the firm know what their role is for year-end, i.e. when final timesheets and expense reports are due. Put a year-end process in place, create a manual and checklist to use yearly, and you’ll be ahead of the game next year! Please note: Deltek will be issuing year-end updates for Vision 7.6 and Vantagepoint. If you are on 7.5 or older, you must upgrade to a supported version to receive a 2019 year-end update. If you are still on Vision 7.5 or an older version, contact Full Sail Partners if you have questions about upgrading to Vision 7.6.

Deltek Customer Care

Topics: Accounting, Support, Professional Services

Introducing New Features in Deltek Talent 16.0

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Mon, Nov 04, 2019 @ 12:36 PM

red-vector-logo-lo-res

The release of Deltek Talent 16.0 has offered users even better functionality further improving firm workforce productivity. This latest version of Deltek Talent was created with the intention of strengthening strategic partnerships and developing Human Capital Management (HCM) capabilities. Let’s take a look at some of the new features of Deltek Talent 16.0.

Talent Relationship Management (TRM)

Version 16.0’s Deltek Talent Acquisition module introduced Talent Relationship Management which helps firms stay ahead of recruiting. Firms can now create recruitment campaigns to build relationships with top talent and source for openings. This improvement allows firms to fill project positions quickly. The Acquisition module also contains workflow improvements and enhanced on-boarding features.

Core HR

Once talent is hired, the new Core HR module enables firms to more efficiently manage employee records. Project-based businesses are constantly changing and there are shifts in workforce expectations. As part of the 16.0 release, there are newly added fields providing the ability to process hires, rehires, terminations and job changes. Using this automated process, there can be more focus on HCM within projects that helps with strategic planning.

Continuous Goal Management

Employee engagement and retention is always a top concern for firms. With the new continuous goal management feature in 16.0, you can set and manage goals separate from the appraisal process. This change significantly simplifies the goal writing process requiring less time. There is also the option of no score appraisals and comments can be tracked. Giving employees the consistent and frequent ability to meet set goals is important to keep them engaged.

Learning Requirements

Deltek Talent 16.0 incorporates the Learning module which lays out course and curriculum deadlines, recurrences and deadline offset options. There is a new two-level process that replaces CEUs allowing for flexibility on a per course basis. Additionally, Deltek has partnered with Red Vector for e-learning content which elevates performance for project-based businesses. Firms are able to track training and development in one place. There are 130+ courses available covering project management, leadership and HR issues.

Enhance the Whole Employee Life-cycle

Deltek Talent 16.0 offers new features that support the entire employee life-cycle. From sourcing the best talent to tracking human capital per project, to ensuring project managers are always learning and engaged, this new release fits the bill. Ready to see this improved functionality in action?

Deltek Talent

Topics: New Features, Professional Services, Deltek Talent

Full Sail Partners is Excited to Win a 2019 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction from PSMJ Resources and Client Savvy

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Tue, Oct 29, 2019 @ 12:05 PM

2019 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction Full Sail Partners, a Deltek Platinum Partner, is pleased to announce that it has been selected as a recipient of the 2019 Premier Award for Client Satisfaction by PSMJ Resources and Client Savvy, creator of the Client Feedback Tool. This recognition only goes to firms in the AEC industry who have gone above and beyond to deliver a truly exceptional client experience. A Full Sail Partners’ distinction is that it provides client-focused technology solutions and services always considering what would work best for each individual firm.

Recipients of the Premier Award for Client Satisfaction are determined using data collected from 280,000 surveys across 300 firms. Based upon the surveys, firms which really stand out regarding client feedback are given this prestigious designation. This year’s award winners will be recognized at the 2019 PSMJ A/E/C THRIVE – The Growth, Profit, and Performance Summit on October 2-4 in New Orleans.

“Among other aspects of our CX strategy, Full Sail Partners has found great success in consistently using the Client Feedback Tool to gauge client satisfaction and make appropriate changes to improve client experiences,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing and Sales. “We are greatly honored to be one of only 23 firms to be recognized with this Premier Award for Client Satisfaction.”

About PSMJ: For more than 40 years, PSMJ Resources, Inc. has been recognized as the leading publishing, executive education, and advisory group devoted completely to improving the business performance of A/E/C organizations worldwide.

About Client Savvy: Client Savvy works with professional services organizations whose success depends on strong client relationships. Their commitment to clients is to help them align their client experience (CX) strategy, implementation, and measurement initiatives with their top strategic priorities.

“Since 2009, Client Savvy has partnered with PSMJ to recognize the professional services firms around the globe that achieve the highest standards of excellence by the metric hardest to achieve: excellence recognized by a firm’s clients. Of the hundreds of firms that participate in this benchmarking each year, only the top 30 are recognized. Full Sail Partners began their journey several years ago, achieving an Honorable Mention in 2018, and placing near the top of all firms in 2019. By integrating a thoughtfully designed client feedback process into their project management system, Full Sail Partners has assured their clients always have a voice,” stated Ryan Suydam, Chief Experience Officer at Client Savvy.

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release

Ways to Improve Office Communication

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 11:12 AM

Connections Employees

In the workplace, communication is vital to success. Leaders must make sure that their team knows what is happening on a constant basis and what is expected from them. Not only does communication keep everyone abreast of the goings on, it also encourages relationship building which leads to a more productive and engaged workforce. So, how can you improve your office communication to make it the most effective?

Have Open Meetings      

Having team meetings in a common, open venue is a great way to encourage communication. It is a receptive environment offering the opportunity to discuss issues that are on team member’s minds. The face to face dialogue of open team meetings allows for matters to be actively addressed and some problem solving to occur. Additionally, all team members can contribute their input which provides various points of view.

Listen and Encourage Feedback

For effective communication to happen, leaders must listen to what their team members have to say. They must keep an open mind and really hear what is being said before following up with the team. They should also encourage feedback from the team to make sure that what they are trying to convey is being accurately digested. With the give and take of all parties, communication will thrive.

Keep Humor

Another trick for improving office communication is making it light and relaxed. When dealing with subjects that can otherwise be intense, keeping humor in the conversation makes the message easier to pass along to the team. This does not mean you have to become a stand-up comedian but just insert some humor into the discussions.

Be Appreciative of Efforts

A necessity for business leaders who want to have improved communication with their teams is to show appreciation for their team efforts. When they attend a meeting and offer feedback, thank them for their time. Being respectful towards your team shows that you care, and in the end, will make them more engaged with your firm.

Update Frequently

Frequent updates are certainly required to improve communication. When communicating more boilerplate information, they can be done in one of two ways - either by email or via an internal newsletter. While emails are good for quick reminders, internal newsletters impart much larger amounts of general information to all team members.

Effective Office Communication Helps with Retention

When firm leaders use effective office communication, they are engaging their teams. Engagement is a big reason that employees choose to stay employed with a firm. So, by improving office communication, you are not only helping with productivity but ultimately staff retention as well.

Talent Management

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, Office Support, Communication

Why Clear Business Intelligence is Important for Future Success

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Oct 02, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Business Intelligence

Business leaders cannot run their firms successfully if they don’t have all relevant information at their fingertips. With clear business intelligence, data can be consistently analyzed and interpreted allowing for the creation of actionable goals. KPI dashboards can also be set up by all department heads enabling them to focus on their specific needs. With all departments having the insight to work more efficiently and effectively, there will be an across the board positive impact on the firm. Let’s see how clear business intelligence can ensure firm success.

Ensuring Productivity

By tracking sales or marketing progress in business intelligence dashboards, firm leaders can keep a pulse on their staff’s efficiency. If the numbers are not meeting expectations, managers can meet with teams to recalibrate the strategies to improve them. Firms will operate successfully if inefficiencies are eliminated and sales goals are met in a timely manner. Ultimately, using business intelligence will accelerate the firm’s ROI.

Improving Customer Satisfaction

Business intelligence can be used to improve the firm’s ability to meet customer needs. It can first be used to identify the target audience or the most valuable customers. Then it can track the customer interactions making sure they are receiving the support and resources necessary for them to be satisfied. Pinpointing the proper prospects for growth and ensuring current clients are getting what they need will ensure future success.

Managing Risk

Being able to see data on a constant basis allows those in charge to identify problem areas before they become disastrous for the firm. With graphs and charts in the dashboards showing the significant data in real-time, leaders can evaluate current situations noting any red flags. Being proactive and tracking this information allows for corrective action to be taken before the matter is unmanageable.

Making Smart Decisions

Overall, it is crucial for firms to have a full understanding of the organization’s entire operation in order to make informed decisions. Whether it is to determine long term staffing for a new project or evaluate the efficiency of marketing campaigns, seeing complete data is necessary to make smart firm decisions. Business intelligence allows firms to see all aspects of the operation and make choices leading to firm success.

Blackbox Connector for Informer

Topics: Project Management, Building Business, Professional Services

Improve Employee Engagement with Training, Learning and Development

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Sep 04, 2019 @ 01:56 PM

Employee Training

According to Gallup’s most recent research, only 13% of employees worldwide feel engaged in their workplace. Additionally, only 33% of Americans are engaged at work based on a report from the latest State of the American Workplace. Without employee engagement, there is limited innovation and problem solving which leads to a dissatisfied customer base. Converting these uninspired workers into engaged employees is a must for a firm to be successful. A sure-fire way that firm leaders can do this is with employee training, learning and development.

Effective Training

To encourage employees to become engaged, managers must first show interest in their employee trainings. They should speak to their employees before a training to discover what they are looking to get out of it. Afterwards, they should take the time to talk about what has been gained from the training. Additionally, there should be a balanced blend of training options to appeal to a diverse workforce. Embracing technology is also an excellent way to make training enjoyable. Managers should know their people and what works for them, and with well thought out trainings, employees will stay engaged.

Constant Learning

Another way to keep employees engaged is to provide them with constant learning opportunities. One size does not fit all. Some employees like a structured lesson while others prefer an interactive approach which gets them more involved. There is certainly more accessibility to learning activities with technology so again using technology as part of the learning options is ideal. Additionally, offering employees a yearly allowance for professional learning is a great way to get employees engaged. The allowance could be spent on books, on online classes or even industry conferences.

Career Development

Another big area for engaging employees is their career development. Managers should sit down with their employees and evaluate what the future holds for them. They should be offered the opportunity to experience different roles in the firm, gradually being given more challenging work and responsibility. This entails daily learning of new skills to help reach the ultimate position with the manager’s help. From the manager’s side, this means aligning firm needs with employee aspirations. Knowing that their managers are interested in what they desire in their career path makes for engaged workers.

Worth the Time Required

While the time required to provide a balanced training menu, a variety of learning opportunities, and personal career development is high, the cost of losing the firm’s key knowledge base or customer connections outweighs the burden. Employees are a firm’s best asset and keeping them engaged should be a priority. Engaged employees work harder for your firm and ensure customer happiness so it’s worth it to spend the time to make them so.

  Deltek Talent Management

Topics: HR, Employees, Deltek Talent

What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint?

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 11:35 AM

Deltek Vantagepoint

If you haven’t heard yet, Deltek has reimagined Vision to create a more powerful and user focused ERP system specifically for professional services firms. Deltek Vantagepoint’s 360-degree view of a firm’s projects offers improved productivity, increased profitability and significantly improved strategic business decision making capabilities. Vantagepoint is an incredible upgrade from Vision and is continuing to grow with each new version. The latest release of Vantagepoint has even more enhancements which will allow firms to deliver even better projects. Let’s take a look at what’s new with Deltek Vantagepoint.

New Proposal Builder

With the new Vantagepoint proposal builder, business development teams can quickly put together impressive proposals to stay ahead of the competition. This new visual proposal builder provides a drag and drop option for images, allows project descriptions to be taken directly from project records and offers the ability to easily create resumes. Within the new proposal builder, there are also reusable templates, boilerplates and master elements to ensure your branding is correct. Having the ability to quickly create uniformed proposals allows business development teams to focus on the other activities required to create new business opportunities. 

Combined Opportunities and Projects

Project information is now consolidated into one hub making it easier to create, manage and deliver projects. By combining opportunities and projects, all project details can be monitored in one place. Having one location for project information prevents duplicate records, simplifies project administration and provides complete visibility into projects.

Streamlined Billing and Invoicing

Enhancements have been made to the billing and invoicing processes with the latest Vantagepoint release saving time for accounting teams. Deltek realized that having billing and invoicing in one place will greatly improve the user experience. With Vantagepoint, users can view project details that include billing information in the new Projects hub. As part of this enhanced capability, draft invoices can be reviewed and approved by project managers directly from their projects. Therefore, the overall time from draft to final invoice is cut short with this interactive billing process. Accounting teams and financial managers can analyze financial information and email final invoices more efficiently and improve cash flow.

Improved Dashboards

Without being able to visualize your data in several formats, it is difficult to make fast and actionable decisions. With Vantagepoint, dashboards have been enhanced to provide improved business intelligence and offer more actionable insight. Now there are new chart dashparts and better ways to sort, group and filter data. Multiple dashboards for users can be created and configured to meet specific user needs allowing for even more effective business management.

Get Ready to Upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint

With all these features offered by the newest release of Deltek Vantagepoint, professional services firms can run their projects even more effectively. Deltek strives to power project success and will continue to seek out more improvements to help project-based firms run at their best. Are you ready to upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint today? Check the official Deltek Vantagepoint Readiness Portal to learn more about the requirements and when you should start considering upgrading to Vantagepoint.

  Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, Deltek Vantagepoint

Full Sail Partners Receives the 2018 Deltek Reseller of the Year Award

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Thu, Jul 18, 2019 @ 03:28 PM

Deltek Reseller of the Year 2018

Full Sail Partners is honored to have received the Deltek Reseller Award for 2018 at the annual Global Partner Kickoff Event. As a Deltek Partner, Full Sail Partners continues to provide sales, implementation, consulting, hosting and customization services for project-oriented professional services organizations. Our mission is to help businesses integrate their processes into one singular system, better understand and retain current customers, and increase their market share.

“I am very grateful to work with a great team of professionals at Full Sail Partners and for our firm to be recognized by Deltek with this Reseller Award,” said Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing and Sales at Full Sail Partners. “We strive to do what is in the best interest of our clients and that approach has and continues to serve us and our clients well. We are excited about the next generation solution, Deltek Vantagepoint, to help project-based firms gain even more actionable insight to their business.”

As a strategic and trusted partner to over 1,000 professional services firms, Full Sail Partners can show clients the value of investing in technology solutions that results in increased productivity and profitability. The Full Sail Partners’ team has over 275 years of combined experience using Deltek products. This experience and our honest, get real approach have allowed us to build long lasting relationships with our clients. 

“It is my pleasure and honor to recognize Full Sail Partners as the Deltek Reseller of the Year. As a strategic Deltek Partner, Full Sail Partners provides their expertise, integrated products and services to continue helping our customers deliver successful projects. I look forward to Full Sail Partners leading the way in bringing Vantagepoint to professional service firms throughout North America,” said Andy Christenson, Senior Director, Global Alliances, Deltek.

Deltek provides leading software and solutions designed for project-based businesses to improve business performance, streamline operations and win new business. Using Deltek Vantagepoint or Deltek Vision, professional services firm can automate their marketing, financial management, planning, tracking and administration of resources and projects. BothVantagepoint and Vision uniquely integrate end-to-end business processes. Additionally, by using the Blackbox Connector offering by Full Sail Partners, Vantagepoint and Vision users can connect their Deltek systems to other third-party software solutions further streamlining business operations.

About Deltek

Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 23,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success by helping firms achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue. www.deltek.com

For more information, please contact Full Sail Partners’ Marketing and Communications Department. 

Topics: Press Release