Featured Firm Interviews
William H. Gordon Interview
Full Sail Partners CRM Consultant, Sarah Gonnella recently met with Rob Walker, PE, Sr. Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Paul Fleckenstein, Chief Financial Officer, and Katie Sanner, Marketing Manager with William H. Gordon Associates, Inc. (Gordon) to discuss how they market to the AEC industry and their Deltek Vision CRM implementation experience.
Full Sail Partners: Who is Gordon and what differentiates your firm from its competition?
Katie: Gordon is a trusted partner in the AEC industry. Providing site programming and design, Gordon brings built environments to life. We pride ourselves in solving complex problems with innovative and integrated thinking. Our talented employees strive each day to create livable, safe, and sustainable spaces.
Full Sail Partners: In what ways does your firm market its business? Any recent changes to marketing tactics?
Katie: Gordon is a firm believer that to have a successful business, you must have excellent client relationships. For over 35 years that has been Gordon's strongest and most successful marketing tactic. Client relationships will stand the test of time, while other more traditional marketing tactics will sometimes fall by the wayside (i.e. direct mail, print advertising, etc.). When reaching out to new clients and markets, we rely heavily on 'people on the street.' We want to get our people out there talking with prospects and getting to know our potential clients.
Full Sail Partners: Looking out 3 to 5 years, what do you think will be the next big change in the AEC industry?
Rob: In the next three to five years I believe we will see a continuation of what we are starting to see now. Client’s looking for greater value for their dollar. AEC firms will have to identify how their service brings added value to the marketplace. Most likely the use of technology will play a role in enabling AEC firms to be efficient yet relevant. Aging infrastructure and increasing regulatory requirements should continue to create opportunities in the AEC industry.
Full Sail Partners: What were the key reasons you decided to add the Deltek Vision CRM module? How is the CRM module improving the way you do business?
Katie: Gordon saw implementing Deltek Vision CRM as a critical element to fully integrate all aspects of our business into one central system. Creating a transparency of information was important for Gordon to keep employees up-to-date on crucial data that is important to their decision making processes.
While still in its infancy at Gordon, Vision CRM has already made an impact on our business development processes. We are able to easily track prospective and client relationships, and quickly see which of our contacts need more nurturing. Also, through the use of Activities in Vision CRM, duplication of outreach efforts is a thing of the past. We are able to track and see the amount of effort going into each of our corporate strategies, in real time! The ability to have measurable results is invaluable.
Full Sail Partners: What steps did you take to ensure your business objectives and goals were accomplished?
Paula: Gordon worked hand in hand with Sarah Gonnella to ensure a seamless transition from Deltek Advantage to Deltek Vision CRM. We chose to implement several of the modules, including CRM, to enhance the integration of our system. What we found valuable to our transition/implementation, was having a plan of attack on our end before we started the transition/implementation process. We wanted Deltek Vision to work for Gordon, not the other way around. With clear goals and objectives of what we wanted to achieve with Vision, Gordon was able to fully customize our system and be up and running in less than six months. Without having this plan, and the dedication of our consultant, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Full Sail Partners: What advice would you give other firms that are looking to implement a CRM solution?
Katie: Look at how you're doing business now. If you're company is running off of multiple spreadsheets and contact files, you need to implement a CRM solution. As mentioned before, transparency of information is key to a business' success, and Deltek Vision achieves this by allowing employees access to all the information they need in one central location. By utilizing Vision CRM, you're also encouraging employees to take action and start making a difference in business development opportunities within the company. They now have the information they need to make a change.
Paula: When your firm has decided to implement CRM, make sure you plan, plan, plan! Out of the box, the system will only do so much for you. In order to maximize your investment, you need to identify areas of the CRM that need to be customized to make the system unique to your firm. Just as they say about projects, 'each project is unique and needs a unique approach,' the same thing rings true for your CRM system.