Full Sail Partners Blog

Jennifer Renfroe

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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

Top Talent Acquisition KPIs

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

Talent Acquisition

To stay competitive in the talent market for the A&E industry, HR professionals and business leaders must pinpoint core recruiting strategies that work best for their firms. To identify these strategies, they must first capture and analyze talent acquisition data. By using key performance indicators in their recruiting metrics, they can evaluate which strategies are worth keeping and which are not beneficial. So, let’s look at some of these top talent acquisition KPIs.

Application Completion Rates

The number of completed applications by prospective employees shows how well your application process is set up. If more applications are incomplete versus complete, it means that your process is too cumbersome or confusing for potential talent. A good recruiting strategy incorporates an easy to use application system ensuring the best talent is found quickly.

Sourcing Effectiveness

It is crucial for recruiters to pick the most effective sourcing channels for top talent. Analyzing which sources deliver the best results is significant to a successful recruiting strategy. Seeing these metrics, talent acquisition managers and leaders can be more informed when determining which sources are worth their time and effort.

Retention Rates

Once talent is brought on board, it is significant to see how long the employment lasts. Looking at retention rates allows firms to see which positions are difficult to keep filled. Hopefully these metrics will provide some revelation as to what can be done to improve retention for the future. Perhaps certain talent targets can be better honed to prevent attrition.

Offer Acceptance Ratio

The entire talent acquisition process is futile if offers are not accepted. This KPI identifies how many offers are extended versus how many are accepted. If the acceptance ratio is low, then there are clearly problems with the recruitment strategies in place. Maybe it is taking too long to make an offer, or the compensation package is not competitive enough.

Workforce Diversity

Having a diverse workforce has demonstrated benefits including increased innovation and greater collaboration. Talent acquisition managers and leaders should track the levels of diversity in their hires. If your numbers are not diverse, it means that your recruitment strategy needs some adjustment.

Improve Recruitment Strategies Using KPIs

Talent acquisition KPIs provide much needed insight into choosing which recruitment strategies yield the top talent your firm needs to ensure future success. By evaluating what these metrics mean for your firm, much time and effort will be saved in the recruiting process. In the end, less recruiting equals less expense for your firm which positively affects the bottom line.

Talent Management

Topics: Professional Services, HR

Full Sail Partners Receives 2018 VAR of the Year from SAP Concur

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

SAP Concur VAR 2018

At the annual SAP Concur Fusion Conference in San Diego, Full Sail Partners was honored to receive the 2018 VAR of the Year award for the Solution Provider Program. For the last few years, Full Sail Partners and SAP Concur have successfully been working together to provide a Blackbox Connector solution to their mutual Deltek Vision clients. The Blackbox Connector offering by Full Sail Partners for Deltek Vision is future proofed for Vantagepoint and allows users to connect their systems to other third-party software solutions like SAP Concur to streamline business operations.

“The OCR capability combined with the monitoring and reporting features within the SAP Concur product almost sells itself when I explain it to clients. Now that our team is also SAP Concur Certified Implementation Partner, the implementation and connection process is even easier. It has been another amazing year, and I look forward to continued success with Blackbox Connector and SAP Concur,” stated Amy Balassone, Relationship Manager for Full Sail Partners.

SAP Concur is the world’s leading provider of integrated travel, expense management, and invoice management solutions. Deltek Vision is a leading enterprise software solution designed for project-based professional services firms to improve business performance, streamline operations and win new business.

“Our Blackbox Connector team has established a great relationship with SAP Concur over the last few years. We continue to see how the Blackbox Connector positively impacts our mutual Deltek Vision firms. What is even more exciting is that, after rigorous training and certification by SAP Concur, our own Full Sail Partners’ consultants are now taking lead on implementations,” stated Wes Renfroe, VP of Information Technology with Full Sail Partners.

For more information about SAP Concur Connectors, please visit Full Sail Partners’ Blackbox Connector website http://www.blackboxconnector.com/.

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

Topics: Press Release

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

Firms Should Make Employee Development a Priority Using Career Paths

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Mar 27, 2019 @ 05:31 PM

Career PathsAcquiring top talent for project-based businesses is a necessity. With the best teams in place, projects are run more efficiently, completed timely and ultimately profitable. While getting these key players on board is crucial, keeping them inspired and engaged is just as significant. If your firm incorporates career paths as part of its HR Talent Management strategy, then employee development becomes a priority and retention remains high.

What are Career Paths?

Career paths are plans that lay out the steps to get to the next place in an employee’s journey with your firm. Your top talent needs to feel that there is growth potential within your organization. Using Deltek Talent Management, employees can see jobs they want to aspire to and other lateral roles they may need to undertake first. With career path software, everyone is informed of where an employee currently stands, and where he wants to be down the road. This keeps all parties accountable for employee development.

The Key is to Start Early

Developing career paths should begin at the talent acquisition phase. Is this candidate a fit now and potentially down the road? What are the motivations and incentives to be part of your firm? What are the cultural desires? HR can use Talent Management to review skills and competencies and determine what gaps need to be filled to move further down the career line. There should be a three to five-year duration of the career path. What would be the immediate placement of this candidate and what would provide growth?

Development plans

When establishing career paths, it is necessary to set guidelines to target competencies and identify skill gaps. There must be clear objectives and deadlines to reach these goals. Mentoring by firm leaders and developing new skills are essential to acquiring needed competencies. However, employees can also use professional associations in their industry to further develop their knowledge base. Development can happen year-round.

Reviewing Career Paths

While the firm should provide opportunities for development and mentors to help talent learn new skills, the employees need to drive the effort. Both lateral and job promotions are necessary parts of the career path. It is just as important to spend time in different jobs at one level as it is to move to the next. Continuous feedback sessions should be part of the career path process with roadblocks included. Finding out how the employee is contributing to the firm shows engagement.

Career Paths Contribute to Employee Retention

Career paths help make employee development a priority, and they can be updated as needed. Employees can even be included as part of succession planning in their career path. Remember that in creating career paths, authenticity is key, and communication is vital. Employees must know that you value them and how they can grow with the firm. In exchange, excitement for career potential will keep employee retention high.

Deltek Talent Management  

Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Talent

Track Business Development with Informer Business Intelligence

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Feb 20, 2019 @ 11:30 AM

 

Business Intelligence Business development is crucial to the future of any company. Therefore, efficiently tracking it should be a top priority. So why are so many firms still using outdated spreadsheets that require so much effort to review? Well, once they get their hands on the Informer business intelligence (BI) tool, executives, business developers and marketers alike will be asking themselves that very question. Let’s see how the Informer BI solution will add value to your firm.

Colorful Graphics Save Time

The days of having to spend hours reviewing the specifics of opportunities and the sales pipeline on black and white pieces of paper are over. With Informer, colorful graphics draw attention to the information you seek. Essentially, you can set up your graphical dashboard using whatever dash parts you feel are the most important and drill down into the details as needed. These dashboards refresh automatically to keep your data up to date.

Different Visual Options

With Informer BI, there are different visual options available. Based on the fields selected, Informer automatically creates different visuals and you can choose from a saved list. You can customize your chart visuals depending on what you would like to see and how you would like to see it. Chart types vary from trends to pie charts to bar graphs to scatter plots. There are even geographic heat maps that show where your core opportunities are and where your firm needs to do more business development.

Keep a Finger on the Pulse of Business Development

Business developers are concerned with the health of the sales pipeline. They, of course, want opportunities sold as fast as possible and a way to track the win rates. Another great feature of Informer BI is the option to set up alerts when opportunities are closed. When an alert comes in, you will be drawn back to your dashboard to see what has changed. Informer even allows you to set up comparison boards with side by side displays. You can track win rates from month to month, year to year or even by location.

Get Informer Now

There is no need to waste any more time with those old fashioned and dated spreadsheets. Informer BI shows you exactly what you need to know about your business development as the opportunities unfold. Even more, Informer integrates with Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision. So, what are you waiting for?

Blackbox Connector for Informer  

Topics: Building Business, Marketing, Technology Solutions