Full Sail Partners Blog

Benefits of Having Clean Company Data

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 @ 03:41 PM

 

Clean Company DataYou’ve probably heard the saying, “bad data in – bad data out.” Well, bad data is outdated, incorrect, incomplete or duplicated information, and according to the Harvard Business Review, workers waste 50% of their time dealing with it. Now ask yourself, when was the last time someone at your firm took a deep dive into the data in your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?  While the process of cleaning company data is time consuming, it is something all firms should do on regular basis. Businesses can achieve numerous benefits by fixing bad data. Here’s a look at some of the top benefits.

Improves Employee Productivity

Spending the day combing through a bunch of bad data is tedious work and a major time waster. Furthermore, the result of this extensive effort might be little to no actionable information. Also, with finding inaccurate information, employees may be led down the wrong path and not towards the goal. However, with clean company data, businesses can be sure employees are making the best use of their work hours and accomplishing goals.

Improves Marketing Efficiency

Building a pipeline of new revenue requires having accurate data about customers you want to target for your marketing efforts. Having the correct email address, mailing address and phone number is critical to ensure the highest rate of return for your marketing efforts. Regularly cleaning customer data ensures information is up-to-date and marketers can realize a higher return on investment and a larger pipeline of new opportunities.

Improves Decision-Making

Effective decision-making is critical to the success of a firm and requires having accurate data. Business intelligence (BI) is a hot topic in all industries right now. For your firm to be able to jump on the BI bandwagon, the data you are using to make decisions must be accurate. Having clean data can support better analytics and improve your firm’s decision-making process.

Prevents Fraud and Billing Mistakes

Having clean company data can also reduce fraud and billing mistakes. In many cases, vendors may send multiple invoices for the same service to encourage firms to pay them faster and more often. They are not trying to be malicious. Accurately tracking invoices to see which ones have been paid will reduce double paying vendors.

Get Your Firm’s Data Clean

The task of going through your firm’s data can be daunting, but the benefits of clean company data are worth it. To begin the cleaning process, you’ll want to define goals and assign ownership to the different steps required to obtain your goals. You can also automate several of these steps using the different software solutions, or you can seek help from a trusted outside company that is familiar with the ERP system your firm uses.

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision 

Topics: Client Relationships, CRM, ERP

Hot Service Offerings for Deltek Users in 2017

Posted by Amy Balassone on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

Deltek Logo2017 was a banner year for Deltek users with so many amazing new service offerings coming available. Each of these solutions was designed with users in mind to create a more streamlined business operation. From improved user interfaces to near instantaneous data transfers, Deltek users now have an array of options to get their work done faster and more efficiently.

Let’s take a look at these hot service offerings from 2017.

Deltek for Professional Services

Deltek for Professional Services (DPS) is the newest cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) enterprise software solution designed by Deltek and launched this year. DPS is based on Vision with an improved user interface like that of iAccess for Vision. Deltek for Professional Services integrates and automates your firm’s business processes allowing better control over your business and your projects. Designed to meet the needs of the A&E industry, DPS manages the project throughout the entire lifecycle including business development, project management, resource management, collaboration and financial management.

Deltek Talent

Deltek Talent helps businesses maximize their strongest and most distinctive resource, their people. It simplifies the entire employee lifecycle, enabling companies to seamlessly recruit, on–board, develop, compensate, and track their employees. Maximizing your Talent with Deltek Talent allows you to keep skills and competencies at the forefront of your strategy providing the competitive edge you need to stay ahead in the ongoing war for talent.  

Deltek Project Information Management

Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) provides project management and collaboration tools designed to help employees access critical project information to stay connected throughout the entire project lifecycle. With PIM you will avoid lost files and duplicate information saving hours of manpower. You can see all versions of the project documents, tag documents across multiple related locations, and review new designs and drawings instantly. Organized files across all aspects of business in one centralized location provides companies the intelligence to more effectively run their business.

Blackbox Connector

The Blackbox Connector is a no-code, low cost connector offering an interface between Deltek Vision and other third party business applications. With the Blackbox Connector, you will significantly reduce integration time and duplicate efforts in the entry and maintenance of data. The Blackbox Connector provides easy to implement solutions focused on connecting your Deltek Vision system to Concur, Client Feedback Tool, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. Connectors for both HubSpot and Informer will be released soon. The Blackbox Connector eliminates data silos by providing a better and more formidable way to connect to Deltek Vision.

Do More with Deltek in 2018

Whether your firm is looking for ways to retain top talent or help to expedite completing expense reports, there is a solution for you. Are you ready to take advantage of these time saving services?

Reach Full Sail!

Topics: Deltek Vision, Technology Solutions, ERP

Understanding and Effectively Using Cross Charge in Deltek Vision

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on Wed, Mar 01, 2017 @ 10:30 AM

Cross Charge BlogIn a previous blog, we reviewed multi-company functionality in Deltek Vision and learned how it serves as a tool for sharing and accounting for resources across the companies within an enterprise. Cross charge capabilities in Vision are based on similar theories as multi-company, but are focused on the interaction within a company and its organizational breakdown structure (OBS). Before we dive deeper, here are some links to blogs about multi-company functionality and OBS in case you are unfamiliar with these topics.

High Level Insight into Cross Charge in Deltek Vision 

It is important to understand that cross charging is a financial tool and is based on the general ledger. It is not an attribute of project reporting since time charged to a project remains on the project for billing and reporting purposes. Cross charge is labor focused and occurs after the timesheet is posted. 

By default, Vision is built to be project centric, which simply means that the process of entering and posting timesheets determines where the labor charges are assigned. If the cross charge process is not configured or run, the cost will remain on the “books” of the organization where the project is assigned. 

Why Use Cross Charge? 

As financial and operational managers, we must always remember that revenue can only be earned once and a cost incurred once. For this reason, cross charge allows businesses to move these elements in and out of various “buckets” within their organization. When a combined income statement is run, all cross charge entries will zero out and the original revenue and cost will remain. 

The cross charge process is used when firms loan and borrow labor at the lowest OBS level, which could be: 

  • Office
  • Department
  • Discipline
  • Market Sector 

A good example is a civil engineer where projects live in the various disciplines. The survey department would loan their staff to the engineering projects and cross charge would be the financial component to drive and manage the accounting for the labor. 

There are two internal pricing options to choose from when configuring cross charge: 

  1. Project Centric – This is when labor remains on the books of the organization where the project resides. A multiplier is then used to account for some portion of operational/overhead (OH) costs. This factor could be limited to a fringe benefit rate, could represent a breakeven OH rate or even include some profit. The purpose is to ensure that the loaning organization has an incentive to keep their staff busy, but they also need to be careful as to not over extend their resources. 
  1. Employee Centric – This works by adjusting labor back to the employee’s organization. Using typical billing rates, although a multiplier can be used, the revenue is moved from the projects to the employee’s organization. The purpose again is to ensure the loaning organization doesn’t lose the ability to show a profit by sharing their staff. 

Real-life Application of Cross Charge in Deltek Vision 

Here is a success story where the operational process and projects are built on the premise that fee and scope drives work breakdown structure (WBS) in a clients’ Deltek Vision database. Under this model, high accountability becomes the first option where phases and tasks within a project are assigned to different organizations based on the portion of the work. Employees then charge the phase/task that is assigned to the organization they “live” in. This results in more closely managed projects because the profit accountability is shifted back to the organization supplying the labor. This process eliminates the need for cross charge. 

But wait…realizing that in order to run successful projects, there is a necessity to anticipate unplanned needs. This means that the firm must have the ability to borrow an employee from another department for a short-term assignment or a last minute need. For example, the base building studio decides it needs input from the interiors studio. In this scenario, the client falls back on the project centric method noted above as a mechanism to facilitate resource sharing and not impede project progress. Furthermore, this is a prime example of a need for cross charge. 

Gain Control of Resources with Cross Charge 

Whether your current OBS is solid or you are considering a change, cross charge can provide the functionality required to ensure an open and smooth process of resource sharing. With a thorough understanding and effective implementation, cross charge can provide another dimension in managing your business.

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis

 

Topics: Professional Services, ERP, Accounting

On Trial: Deltek Vision vs. Generic ERP Solutions for Project Based Firms

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 @ 11:28 AM

Johnnie Cochran once said, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” Well the same idea is applicable to purchasing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for any business. Sure, QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics are good for certain types of business, but neither one are designed specifically to support project based businesses. To support this idea, the following infographic will serve as evidence to make the case that Deltek Vision is the best option for project-based firms.  

Deltek Vision, Professional Services

Topics: ERP, Deltek Vision, Professional Services

Debunking Myths about Deltek Vision

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 @ 03:06 PM

Deltek Vision Myths Are you thinking about needing a new accounting system or ERP? If your firm is still on Deltek Advantage, Sema4, or FMS or even on Quickbooks, Protrax or another system, you might be evaluating options to figure out which solution is right for you. We receive questions from prospects asking about the differences between Deltek Vision and some other product. Additionally, during our conversations over the years, we have heard many myths about Deltek Vision and we thought it was time to set the record straight, as we see it.

To start, what we have found is some software providers say they have a feature, but the quality and capabilities are completely different. Some people might say we are biased. You know what, we probably are, but for good reason:

  1. We use the product we sell. We know Deltek Vision inside and out. Can our competitors say that? Ask them.
  2. We aren’t just sales people. We care about the success of our clients and that’s not just rhetoric. We’d rather turn a sale away then have an unhappy client.
  3. We have done extensive migrations of all kinds of software. What we have found is many of our competitor’s software are done on the cheap or just completely leave out industry standard capabilities.

Below are the top 4 Deltek Vision myths:

Myth #1 - Deltek Vision is only for large firms.

Fact #1 – The numbers don’t support this claim. As a Deltek Premier Partner, the majority of the firms we serve are under 50 employees. Of those firms on Deltek Vision, 57% are under 50 employees; 33% are 25 employees or under; and 17% are 15 employees and under. Most importantly, the size of your firm should have no bearing on the solution you choose. What is more important is choosing a solution that fits your staff’s needs, the information you need to make business decisions and your firm’s growth plans. Deltek Vision fits firms of any size. Additionally, in 2012, Deltek came out with a cloud option (SaaS) for Deltek Vision that made Vision simpler to deploy at a lower entry price for any size firm. Check out this 10-person firm’s story.

Myth #2 – Deltek Vision is so expensive. 

Fact #2 - A recent 20-person firm looking at another AE ERP product was surprised to find that Deltek Vision’s cloud software option was less expensive. In fact, Deltek Vision has had a very comparable software pricing for small firms ever since the SaaS option became available. Additionally, the basic package of Deltek Vision’s SaaS offering includes 5 users of CRM for marketing and business developers and 5 users of Resource Planning for operations. The choice for us seems simple. For about the same price you get a much more robust system with Deltek Vision. Where the differences in pricing may come is with the services that are provided. Here are some key items to keep in mind when receiving an implementation quote to ensure you are getting the same level of service: 

  1. Does the quote include migration? Our experts have been doing migrations for almost 30 years and we are proud to say we probably have some of the best in the business. When it comes to migrating your data, we highly recommend importing your historical data. The level of import can vary, but it’s important to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Will bringing over the beginning balances be enough? This is only a question you can answer, but our experience has been firms rarely want this option unless that is their only option. Do you really want to lose all of your historical information?  
  2. This is more than a transaction. You are not just buying software, you are buying a solution that needs to address the specific capabilities your firm’s needs. More importantly, you are buying into a relationship. From our perspective, we aim to make sure the software is the right fit. If it isn’t Deltek Vision, then we will raise our hand and tell you. That is why we take a consultative sales approach and conduct a discovery to uncover what is working well and identify if there are bottlenecks or inefficiencies that could help you improve your business. The discovery process should identify the output needed. More specifically, what data (reports, alerts, dashboards, etc.) is needed to make business decisions? These specific capabilities should drive what you are looking for. Make sure you are talking to a consultant during the process, not just a sales person and take time to establish a relationship. We are here to help you today and tomorrow as your firm grows. 

Myth #3 - Vision is complicated. 

Fact #3 – This fact is easily debatable. Driving a stick shift is difficult for some people, but for others it is simple. So the word itself is relative. We argue that Vision is not complicated, but rather it’s scalable. What can’t be debated is that Deltek Vision is great for growing businesses. Businesses are constantly changing and no one has a magic ball to predict when these changes will occur. Here are some key points to keep in mind if you are a growing firm looking for a new solution: 

  1. Firm Evolution - Should your firm have different contract work types; need to expand your business; or face evolutionary life cycle challenges, like ownership transition and retirement scenarios, Deltek Vision can easily accommodate growing firms. It has all the utilities, under the hood to handle these contingencies.
  2. Acquisitions – Should you acquire a new firm, all of the data can be accommodated in Deltek Vision. The same cannot be said about our AE ERP competitors. In fact, in addition to a push button conversion for Advantage users, Full Sail Partners has created push button conversion tool for Ajera. Additionally, we have a very streamlined process and economical migration price for Quickbooks. The same cannot be said of our AE ERP competitors. Because Deltek Vision has the ability to create custom fields, tabs, grids, and User Defined Info Centers (UDIC), all data can be represented. To put it simply, Deltek Vision can represent all data from other databases. However, if a firm was on Deltek Vision and tried to migrate to our competitor’s software, you would in fact lose data.

Myth #4 – Other AE ERP Solutions have the same capabilities as Deltek Vision.

Fact #4 – The differences between Deltek Vision and other AE ERP software are vast and go beyond just multi-currency capabilities. Here is a breakdown of some of those differences: 

  1. Audit Trail - Deltek Vision has an audit trail. When changes are made in Deltek Vision, all changes are tracked and you know who made the change and when. This is not only important from an accounting perspective, but very important for firms that have government compliance requirements.
  2. Multi-Company - If this capability is needed, Deltek Vision allows the set-up of multiple companies including reporting with a single sign-in. One financial report can be run to see how each company is doing. Other solutions have tried to resolve this issue on the cheap by creating separate database instances requiring multiple logins. Keep in mind, you will not be able to share financial reporting for all companies and there is no automated Inter-company billing process, therefore, each company reporting is separate.
  3. CRM - If this capability is needed, Deltek Vision has an integrated, seamless CRM and proposal automation module that has a single sign-in. Additionally, Deltek Vision integrates into other marketing tools, including Constant Contact, MailChimp and Hubspot. Other AE ERP solutions may integrate with other CRM solutions. Because of that you will have a separate system that requires two separate logins. The process is far from seamless and none of them integrate with other marketing tools.
  4. Security – Deltek Vision provides the ability to lock down any field in the system and make it read only. Unfortunately, security in other AE ERP solutions are not as robust as Deltek Vision.
  5. Built-in Capabilities – Deltek Vision contains tools that provide flexibility and allows users to streamline processes and clean up data on the fly without any programming knowledge. Because of the open architecture, the system is built to grow with your firm. Here are some examples of some of the built-in capabilities that can be utilized:
    • Custom Fields – Deltek Vision provides the ability to create user defined fields, tabs, grids and info centers as your firm sees fit. As your firm grows, you may need to track further information.
    • Workflows – Deltek Vision provides the ability to streamline processes through workflows. For example, sometimes data needs to be represented in two locations. However, you never want to a have dual entry process. In Vision, you can have data entered into one location and the data flows to the other location. View this webinar, to learn more about the power of workflows.
    • Utilities – Vision has built-in utilities to handle contingencies to easily clean-up and move data without a migration or custom expert.  
      • Need to move billed time to a new phase? There’s a button for that.
      • Need to combine two clients together? There’s a simple to use conversion tool to do that in seconds.
      • Need to move data from one location to another? There’s search and replace utility that is simple to use.
      • Have more than 999 projects and need to add another digit to your project number structure? There’s key formats for that.

Choosing the Right ERP 

Finding the right ERP solution for your business is not an easy process and is full of misguided information. Therefore, asking the right questions is imperative to get clear answers. Formulate your questions based on the needs of your firm. Then find out and compare how each ERP solution manages these requirements. Make sure there is substance. Those shiny features might just be an illusion to distract you from the lack of robust capabilities. Some AE ERP solutions try to act like Vision, but they don’t perform like Deltek Vision.  

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Topics: ERP, Deltek Vision, Professional Services

Managing Talent with ERP

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Jul 08, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

iMac Monitor v2Sometimes life’s not fair. We’ve all been told this before, and if you are part of the human resources (HR) department, I’m sure you hear about fairness all the time. But what about you - the HR professional performing manual processes and navigating through a sea of paper work. Why do the accounting and operations departments have sophisticated software to make their lives easier? It’s just another one of life’s injustices, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s right, talent management systems are now being integrated into those awesome Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions your counterparts in other departments are using and are changing the way companies manage their human capital.

So how does managing talent with an ERP benefit your company? Let me explain. The purpose of a talent management system is to attract, retain, and develop a skilled workforce to ensure a company has the talent needed in order to grow in the future. More specifically, these systems are integrated software suites that address the three core areas of managing talent: recruitment, performance tracking, and employee development. Let’s look at how a talent management system can ease headaches for the HR department and can increase workforce engagement. 

Recruitment – Talent Acquisition

Admit it, the recruitment process is a daunting task and selecting the best candidate isn’t easy. One job posting can generate hundreds of responses from candidates with varying levels of skills, and reviewing all those resumes is a time consuming process. Why continue spending precious hours on the tedious recruitment process when a talent management system can reduce these headaches.

Talent management systems can eliminate several of the time consuming and tedious tasks related to the recruitment process. For starters, advertising new positions over multiple job board sites and social media sites happens with just one click, therefore reducing the time to advertise new positions. Speaking of saving time, the most time consuming component of the recruitment process is reviewing numerous cover letters and resumes. Quickly reduce the resume review time by eliminating underqualified candidates using pre-screening questions, and using standardized resume templates to enable an apples-to-apples comparison of qualified candidates.

Performance Tracking – Employee Acknowledgement and Engagement

When a company has an inconsistent appraisal processes, employees have a tendency to lose motivation. It’s human nature to desire to achieve goals and receive recognition for their accomplishments. Even worse, no one likes giving or receiving an unexpected poor review. Put an end to the inconsistent appraisal processes and create a process that motivates employee improvement.

By utilizing a talent management solution, the employee performance tracking program can increase accountability and the entire process is documented within one system, which ensures that the appraisal process is consistent across all departments. Talent management solutions are also designed to make sure the business goals align with employee goals and these individual impacts on the company bottom line are measured. Additionally, goals are tracked throughout the year enabling a multistage approach to the appraisal process so employees are aware their performance throughout the year.     

Employee Development – Succession Planning and Workforce Motivation

There’s nothing more demotivating at work than feeling pigeon-holed into a position. Sure, that recent raise was nice and even the bonus. But let’s get real, no one wants to be doing the same task day-in and day-out for an eternity and employees have aspirations of climbing the corporate ladder. Furthermore, employee development is a critical factor in succession planning. How does senior management identify the skills and talents of individual employees in rapidly growing organizations?  

The employee development component of a talent management system is critical for identifying top performing talent. For starters, these systems allow employees to build individual talent profiles where they add their skills and career goals to ensure alignment with their development plan. These profiles allow managers to create individual development plans based on the employee’s personal goals, strengths and weaknesses. As a result, employee learning and development are tracked within one centralized database where the employee and management can see their progress.  

Conclusion – Managing Talent by the Numbers

How important is it to have an effective talent management system in place? According to Josh Bersin, “Organizations with superior talent management practices generate 26% higher revenue per employee, 40% lower turnover among high potential employees and 29% higher employee engagement than their peers.” (Bersin by Deloitte 2013) Based on these stats, it only seems fair for HR to have a sophisticated ERP system. 

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Topics: Technology Solutions, ERP, HR

What's New with Deltek Vision 7.4

Posted by Graham Gardner on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

vision7.4The much anticipated wait for Deltek Vision 7.4 is finally over! To kick off 2015 on a high note, Deltek is releasing the most powerful version of Vision ever. So what features and enhancements are included with the newest version of Vision? Let’s see!

Deltek Vision 7.4 Features and Enhancements:

  • Increase project management accuracy with new task dependencies Plan projects with Task Dependencies, change dates and choose the Predecessor and Successor date changes along with it. Additionally, added right-click functionality to easily move dates.
     
  • Deliver consistent opportunity estimates even faster with the new fee estimate tool | Standardize the way professional services firms develop fee based scopes:
    1. Create Fee Estimate for the Opportunity based on templates
    2. Create reports to include with proposals
    3. Create projects from the Fee Estimate mapping compensation values and Work Breakdown Structure
    4. Project Fee estimates stay intact in Project Info Center
       
  • Manage your purchasing approvals in Vision with new workflows as simple or complex as you need them | The new Approvals workflow engine in Vision has been applied to the Purchasing module! Utilize new workflow capabilities to automate your approvals.
     
  • Customize your invoices with enhanced invoice template editor | Ensure that the details you and your customers need most are always included.
     
    1. Include User Defined Fields on Invoices
    2. Control your Invoice Subtotals
    3. Group your billing phases for your fee invoices
       
  • Much, much more | In addition to the above enhancements, there are dozens of additional features and improvements, including:

    • Associate All button - Quickly associate a supporting document with all voucher lines
    • Key Convert and Combine Records even if they have planning data.
    • Audit Trail for Closing/Opening Accounting Periods
    • Create and schedule recurring/reversing Journal Entries

    Have questions about the newest enhancements and features included in Deltek Vision 7.4, or looking for information on how to upgrade to 7.4? Reach out to us below, and we will be happy to help you get a grasp on all of the new functionality available to your firm!

     

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    Topics: New Features, ERP, Deltek Vision

    Top 5 Fears Keeping You From an ERP Implementation

    Posted by Full Sail Partners on Wed, Jan 28, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

    describe the imageMy momma was always full of advice. Some I took with great results, but others … well let’s just say I had to learn the lesson the hard way. At this stage in our lives, we’ve all moved on from those tender years where momma was our greatest guide, but we are all still attuned to receiving advice from those more experienced. Or at least we should be. Take for example, the ERP Implementation process:

    Most savvy business professionals know the ERP acronym, but not all have taken the advice.  But why?  What’s keeping some companies from “pulling the trigger” and bringing this all important piece to their success puzzle – especially when their competitors are?  In my years talking and working with a variety of firms, I have gathered the top five fears why companies, like yours, haven’t completed an ERP Implementation. 

    1)      You say: “It’s going to cost too much.”

    We hear:  Fear of Being Out of Control

    We solve: An ERP system will address this fear by managing costs and stopping       financial leaks.

    Problem:  The industry says that ERP implementation can be expensive and many companies wonder where the money is coming from. Many function under the notion that it’s easier to just do the quick fix and move on.

    Solution:  The right ERP system, implemented correctly with the aid of the right consultants, will fix those expensive leaks in processes. Furthermore, with a detailed IT growth plan and the information from the new ERP, the initial costs will be recouped and you’ll be well on your way to a better financial and technologically focused picture.

    2)      You say: “I don’t have the time to research an ERP.”

    We hear:  Fear of Where to Start

    We solve:  Taking the first step with an ERP and controlling your future will eliminate this fear.

    Problem:  It can be daunting to think about the work it will require to research and discover the right consulting firm who will help find and implement the right ERP. But, in this scenario, consumers are being reactive rather than proactive - spending days living those old clichés “with your head in the sand putting out fires.” 

    Solution:  It’s time to take action - focus on goals and the future. An ERP is a planning, forward-looking mechanism designed to give control over an organization’s future. If the research and work is done at the beginning of the ERP implementation, energy will be focused on the future. 

    3)      You say:  “It’s going to take too long to implement.”

    We hear:  Fear of Failure

    We solve:  An ERP system helps you succeed by pulling together all your information for a clear picture of your newly improved organization.

    Problem:  When you run a lean organization, all internal resources are at full capacity unable to see the big picture which makes for silo’d company data inhibiting the ability to see the big picture. Not having a clear picture serves only to stunt a firm’s growth:  it’s this lack of encompassing visibility which keeps a firm from being able to make intelligent decisions or to understand trends, because they are lacking departments and systems that are connected to each other.

    Solution:  A good ERP system will pull together all this disparate data giving users the clear picture they need to move forward and giving everyone the gift of time. Yes, ERP implementations require some work and time to evaluate and establish new processes, establish goals, and get everything running smoothly, but the more attention is focused on the consultants and the implementation, the faster you will reap the benefits and feel the relief.

    4)      You say:  “It’s going to require too much change in my current processes.”

    We hear:  Fear of Change

    We solve:  An ERP consultant will guide you through change.

    Problem:  Even a bad process can feel comfortable, familiar. And in the fast-paced business world, we all have to find comfort where we can. It’s understandable to want to avoid the work, unfamiliarity, and making changes to numerous business processes. But what’s more important is that your competitors are already using their ERP systems. They will be on “the latest and greatest” while you are still floundering with “this is the way we’ve always done it.”

    Solution:  Here’s where the right consultant can really help. Someone who knows their way through the maze of settings; who knows the latest and most relevant business processes; and who, most of all, knows YOUR business and YOUR industry. Once the consultant tailors the ERP implementation to what are now highly efficient business processes, you’ll be able to appreciate the value of the phrase, “change is good.”

    5)      You say:  “No one will use the system, anyway.”

    We hear:  Fear of Unknown

    We solve:  An ERP is such a supportive tool, it will quickly become a familiar part of your world.

    Problem:  So after all the trouble of researching and implementing and ERP; the real fear is, “Will I really use it or just revert back to our old ways?”  Once the shine wears off of a new ERP system, there will be some effort every person will have to make to make the changes permanent. HuffPost Healthy article, “How Long Does It Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science)” tells us that, “On average, it takes more than two months before a new behavior becomes automatic -- 66 days to be exact.” 

    Solution:  That’s great news, because in a little over two months, with a focused effort, everyone, including you, will have turned these new processes into automatic actions. What’s more, the new processes will have included regular reviews of data giving a clear picture of the entire organization allowing responsible action for your future. We also recommend understanding more about the 8 key ways to make your implementation a success

    ERP Implementation Fears Laid To Rest!

    Some (or all) of these fears may have indeed been on your mind as you contemplated your company’s future success. To learn more about ERP implementation, the benefits and the return on the financial and time investment, check out Full Sail Partners’ whitepaper, “Could Your Firm Benefit from an Enterprise Resource Planning System?”

    In the end, while momma’s advice may not have included an ERP implementation, her wise words still resonate and are perfectly applicable to this journey “Nothing tried, nothing gained!” Obstacles are just opportunities waiting to be discovered!

     

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    Topics: Building Business, ERP, Professional Services

    Project Based ERP: It’s Time to Tackle This

    Posted by Brian McNamara on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 @ 10:20 AM

    Project Based ERP TackleProject based ERP.  You’re probably wondering to yourself, “what is this anyway?”  We’ve all heard of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, but now the industry added the words “project based.”  It probably feels like they are just layering more words … and difficulty.  So let me make some sense out of this for you. 

    Project Based ERP Straight Talk

    Traditionally, ERP’s have primarily been associated with companies manufacturing products: a key factor in ERP is the merging of IT, HR, Finance, and Marketing data with product operations and inventory management. 

    In services firms and consulting businesses like yours, however, some alterations must be made for the ERP system to show the data they need to achieve their goal – high profit and high revenue in a skills based environment – hence the addition of “project based” to our discussion about ERP systems.  Your services business deals with a model where intellectual property is what you produce.  You don’t have the evils of shelf life, production lines, or parts departments.  Instead, your lives are geared toward a consistent evaluation of process, of skill, and of running the perfect project.   

    Get Down to Business

    Project based firms are exceedingly good at running projects.  They can create a GANNT chart that’s a thing of beauty, they can set achievable deliverables, and they meet or exceed every deadline.  But finding an ERP system that’s attuned especially to services and not manufacturing – now that’s tougher.  It takes dedication, knowledge and the focused energy of the right team to get it all together.  

    • An ERP Consultant whose job is to master-mind all the necessary pieces to banish redundant, useless old processes and make your project’s business goals a realty.

    • A Project Manager focused solely on gathering and maneuvering all the professionals to make achieving your project goals a success.

    • Your IT, HR, Marketing/Sales, Finance as the true heroes to making things happen.

    So What Are You Going To Get Out Of It?

    I know, I know.  “It’s expensive to add new software.”  “It’s a lot of work and we’re already pretty busy.”  I’ve heard this and more.  But let me tell you – you can’t afford NOT to add a project based ERP system!  The table below details those differences:

    blog2

    Brass Tacks

    Still need more?  Here’s the slam-dunk.  According to “Managing Your Consulting Firm for Growth,” an IDC Info-doc, ERP systems built from the ground up with projects as a core process give firms the tools to make the most effective decisions in these critical areas:

    Lifecycle process across customers, projects and employees.

    Details on projects that help optimize profitability and lower risks.

    • Manage and optimize an integrated portfolio of services – using data to learn how to do more of what “works” and eliminate what isn’t “working” (i.e. what’s not profitable).

    • Find the “right” customers and have the data to eliminate unprofitable customers.

    • Manage the future by understanding the past and using data to make fast, accurate course corrections.

    A project based ERP system will combine the
    strengths of 
    Marketing/Sales, IT, HR, Finance together with
    project management software 
    to help eliminate project waste.

    Bottom Line

    Your dedicated employees joined with the support of organizations like Full Sail Partners, Inc.  will make your project based firm as successful as possible by using your greatest resource – a specifically designed project based ERP system.  And while it’s rad here in California to just “ride the waves,” when it comes to running your project based firm, using a project based ERP is your best choice.  Dude. 

     

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    Topics: ERP, Professional Services

    What Do Soccer and ERP Consulting Have in Common?

    Posted by Scott Seal on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 12:00 PM

    crazysoccerHere in the United States, our sports zealots perform crazy antics like going shirtless in freezing weather or painting their faces in support of their teams.  But it’s more than the individual antics; the real difference is in the scale of extremism that soccer fans exhibit – a literal global exuberance all in support of their beloved sport.  But wait, isn’t this an article on ERP Consulting? 

    Well, believe it or not, soccer and ERP consulting have quite a lot in common: 

    • They both strive to achieve a very specific GOAL.
    • They require coordination among the various efforts of serious talent to make it all happen.
    • True fans are enthusiastic about the team winning.

    Breaking it down: Are Soccer and ERP Consulting that Similar?

    ERP

    First, let’s talk about and define ERP.  Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the name given to the compilation of software products and/or modules.  According to “Could Your Firm Benefit From an Enterprise Resource Planning Solution

    The original Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, introduced in the 1990s, were primarily designed for and used by manufacturers. Today, ERP solutions have evolved and serve as a tool to manage the project life cycle for professional services firms. These include firms involved in IT services, architectural and engineering, design and planning, system integration, and management consulting, to name a few.
    Furthermore, according to CIO.com’s “ERP Definition and Solutions"
    ERP’s must serve “the needs of people in finance as well as it does the people in human resources [and other departments which typically have their] own computer system optimized for the particular ways that the department does its work. But ERP combines them all together into a single, integrated software program that runs off a single database so that the various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other.” 

    This sharing and communicating of information is all geared toward one, single purpose – achieving business goals. 

    Putting them together

    Next, let’s get back to one of my favorite subjects, soccer.  Soccer is a game requiring the coordination of individual players, each with their own proficiency; sometimes it involves players from different nationalities, or differences in a position focus like a goalie or halfback or a variations in specific skillsets like juggling or dribbling the ball. The players rely on the communicating and sharing of information during a game to one single, purpose – putting the ball into the net for a GOAL, a win.

    So, like the soccer team with different players, ERP consulting requires synchronization of dissimilar needs, processes, and indeed functions of the software of different departments, so that the business can achieve its business GOALS, its win.

    It takes the right coach to win

    ERP ConsultingIn soccer, while the right players, good equipment, and positive fan support are unquestionably important parts of the team’s success, the keystone to an effective soccer team is, in fact, the coach.  The coach’s job is to balance each player’s strengths against the combined team’s goal of winning.

    The coach in ERP is the ERP Consultant.  Having the right individual department software is important, but the keystone to implementing a system, evaluating business processes, and bringing all that information together in a meaningful way is the ERP Consultant.  This person, like the coach, has to balance all the individual parts, i.e. departmental needs, in order to reach the business GOALS of the entire organization. 

    How to find the right ERP Consultant

    Choosing the right ERP Coach, er, Consultant is your important first step.  This person can help you determine the scope of your ERP project – including costs, size, structure, business process evaluation, and ERP goals as well as help you research and find the right ERP solution for your business.  Full Sail Partners, Inc., for example, specializes in identifying the critical resources to create a faster, more efficient, and cohesive business infrastructure for professional services firms looking at ERP solutions.  Ultimately, you need a consultant who

    • listens to you
    • knows your industry
    • understands needs beyond the tool
    • understands your company culture, and
    • knows the ERP industry.

    Don’t get a red card

    redcardChoosing the wrong ERP consultant or software solution can lead to significant issues penalizing you in dollars, time and public relations.  Following are only two examples of many instances of what happens when ERP implementations fail:

    … Knight Capital, [a financial services firm,] recently lost over $400 million in a matter of minutes because of a glitch in its trading software — trading software that wasn’t fully tested and properly deployed prior to production. In addition to the immediate impact of lost cash and profits, the software failure also caused the company’s stock to drop 68-percent the day following the glitch. 

    SAP and AxonCity of San DiegoThe city of San Diego, CA terminated its software implementation contract with services provider, Axon, citing “systematically deficient project management practices” and a project that was running $11 million over budget.

    But be aware, an ERP Consultant cannot entirely save you from these “red card” losses.  Like the soccer coach, their real purpose is more about setting realistic expectations and sound goals, as well as offering their expertise for avoiding potential issues before they occur.   

    In the end

    Although analogous in many ways, the reality is that soccer is purely a game to most of us while ERP consultants help you achieve your GOAL – a more efficiently run business resulting in greater success for all your employees.  Calling Full Sail Partners as your ERP consulting expert is your first step in achieving your WIN.  

    And while going shirtless in below freezing weather or being painted the colors of your favorite ERP vendor is one way to show your support, it’s not necessary.  But then again…a Full Sail Partners logo on my chest would make me stand out in the crowd. 

     

    Blogs from author Scott Seal

     

    Topics: Building Business, Technology Solutions, ERP