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A&E Finance Leaders Took Control in 2020 According to Deltek Clarity

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 22, 2021

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses across all industries were forced to make quick and decisive decisions. For A&E firms, determining the best plan to keep projects profitable and on schedule became the priority. While many departments were able to quickly adjust to working from home and figuring it out as they went, finance leaders had to determine how to maintain financial controls immediately. The 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity highlights the success of these efforts in addition to providing some insights on other key financial metrics.

Deltek Clarity Report logo

Numbers that Improved

Across the board, A&E firms of all sizes had increased utilization rates in comparison to the previous year. With small firms reporting a little over two percent increase and large firms showing over a one-percent increase. While this increase seems small, it’s actually significant when viewed as a change over a one-year period. Additionally, net revenue per employee also increased for A&E firms of all sizes. When looking back over the last year and comparing other relative information, it’s reasonable to link this improved utilization rate to the fact that firms had minimal growth of personnel. Meaning existing employees are being worked more and firms need to be aware of the negative effects of employee burnout. Make sure to learn about exception reporting and how this can help identify employees that are at risk of burnout.

The overhead rate for A&E firms dropped in comparison to last year which can be linked directly to the decrease in travel and other in-person related expenses. Obviously, this can be attributed to restrictions created by the pandemic, but it also leaves room to wonder if this can be maintained in the future as the world transitions to the “new normal.” Which itself is still unclear, many are predicting a hybrid variation of a remote and in-person work environment. This is even highlighted in the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity report as something firms need to evaluate in the future.

The largest indicator of success is the firm’s earnings after all operating expenses are taken out which is referred to as the operating profit on net revenue. Unsurprisingly, A&E firms that responded to the Deltek A&E Clarity survey overwhelmingly indicated an increase with small firms reporting an eleven percent increase over the previous year. Looking back to overhead rate, the pandemic related changes firms were forced to make is a clear connection between these two numbers making it difficult to determine if this will be sustained in future years.

Numbers that Suffered

While success is easy to celebrate, shortcomings also need to be reviewed and given attention. Starting with the net labor multiplier, firms that responded to the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity study reported a decline to a minimal increase. Which actually breaks a ten-year trend and reverted net labor multipliers being realized by firms to similar rates of five and six years ago.

An A&E firm’s most consistent indicator of operating performance is the total payroll multiplier. On face value, the total payroll multiplier remained unchanged from the previous year which seems like a win. And might as well be when considering the challenges firms were presented with as a result of the pandemic.

Future Financial Initiatives

Across the board, respondents to the 42nd A&E Deltek Clarity study stated their top priority is business process improvements which is a consistent leader year after year. Furthermore, this seems like a vague statement that lacks an actual plan action and is likely the yearly list leader for this reason. With all the adversity firms faced throughout the last year, it might be a good time to start implementing a business process improvement plan by first mapping out firm processes to see how these changes have impacted firm operations.

Further down the list of financial initiatives firms wish to address are better managing growth, organizational change, and increasing spending for talent acquisition and retention which are ranked fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Lumped together, all of these are a component of human capital management. From an employee perspective, this is promising to know that A&E firms are realizing that their value proposition is their people.

Gain Financial Clarity

In the face of uncertainty, A&E financial leaders buckled down by tightening finance controls by embracing technology to keep teams connected. Similar to what other departments within the firm did which is detailed in the technology trends section of the A&E Deltek Clarity report. Further, it’s exciting and promising to see that A&E firms weathered the initial impact of the pandemic fairly well. While the future still has some uncertainties, A&E industry has once again proven to be resilient and capable of overcoming adversity.

Benchmark your firm! Use the link button below to download the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity report and scorecard for free.

Link to download the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity Report

The Best Deltek Vantagepoint Video Demos

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 15, 2021

Finding helpful and insightful information just got easier for Deltek Vantagepoint clients. The Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint mini demonstration series is a growing library of video content for Vantagepoint users of all roles and skill levels. Each video is five to twenty minutes long and about a specific feature and function available in Vantagepoint that many are unaware exist or are unsure how to use.

Person watching demos on laptop

Projects Start with Business Development

Winning work is the first step to initiating a project and Deltek Vantagepoint helps business development (BD) professionals generate and close opportunities. Even on the go! With the mobile CRM functionality, BD team members can easily access and update client information from anywhere using a mobile device. Check out this demo to see how simple it is to review and update client information right on your mobile smart device.

In addition to the great benefits of mobile CRM, tracking Outlook emails and calendar appointments in Vantagepoint CRM is seamless with Deltek Vantagepoint Connect for Outlook. With a few simple clicks, BD team members can conduct typical CRM tasks directly in Outlook. Watch this demo to see how easy it is to create contacts, manage appointments and schedule meetings directly in Outlook.

Simplify Project Startup and Creation

Before work can begin, a client must pay a retainer fee. As simple as this sounds, there can be many parties involved throughout the process. During this mini demo, Vantagepoint accounting professionals can learn how to easily process retainers using cash receipts all while automatically keeping the project manager in the loop through the entire process. As simple as this sounds, it’s a favorite obscure feature for many accounting professionals.

Setting up new project and plan can be a time-consuming process that can be avoided using Vantagepoint Project Templates and Plan Settings. Instead of starting each project from scratch, Project Templates and Plan Settings allow firms to use pre-defined work breakdown structures to quickly set up complex projects. Essentially, simplifying the project creation process and ensuring consistency of project records. Watch this demo to see a project set up in less than 10 minutes.

Track Time for Timesheets Easier

Managing projects and clients is already a lot of work for billable employees. On top of that, they are required to track and update their timesheets on a regular basis. Deltek can’t create more time in a day, but Vantagepoint can make updating timesheets easier. Using the Calendar feature, users can track their billable time and add it to their timesheet with a few clicks. Check out this mini demo to see how.

Manage Talent Acquisition and Learning

Growing firms need to hire quickly and onboard new talent fast. Attracting and recruiting new talent requires getting the message out about new open employment opportunities. During this demo, human resources (HR) professionals will see how to post open positions across multiple job listing platforms with a simple click.

Once a new employee is hired, getting them started and setting up their training needs to be as simple as advertising for the position. In this demo, HR staff will learn how to set up the new hire onboarding process in an online environment. Additionally, the demo covers how employees can submit required paperwork and info as well as complete self-guided online training.

Get Paid Easier

Before billing a client, it’s important to make sure the invoice is correct. This internal back and forth process between project managers and accounting can become time and paper consuming. After watching this demo, accounting professionals and project managers will both be relieved once they see how easy it is to digitally markup invoices and resubmit them to accounting.

The ugly side of accounting is having to bill and collect interest from clients. Well, Deltek Vantagepoint can’t talk with clients about late payments, but it can make charging interest easier. Learn how to set up billing terms in Vantagepoint to make collecting and tracking past due balances easier in this demo.

Deltek Vantagepoint Provides Answers

Reports after report, Deltek Vantagepoint as them which is great. However, picking the right report can be confusing which is not Deltek’s intentions. In this demo, picking the right project planning related report is thoroughly explained along with the context about how each report is created. This demo is great for those tasked with forecasting project performance.

What seemed like a dream for project managers is a reality in Vantagepoint. With the combination of project planning and budgeting in one hub, project managers can quickly review project success based on both of these data inputs. The Project Review demo shows how Vantagepoints pulls from both these data sources to help ensure projects are profitable.  

Maximize the Benefits of Deltek Vantagepoint

Getting work done just got easier for Deltek Vantagepoint users! While these are just a few of the mini demos available in the Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint series, more are available using the link button below. Make sure to regularly check out the growing demo library for updates and share these with coworkers.

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

Join the Deltek Project Nation at Virtual Insight 2021

Posted by Ryan Felkel on August 25, 2021

Calling all Deltek users! Block your calendars for September 14 and 15 to attend the virtual Deltek Insight 2021. This gathering of Deltek users only happens once a year and always delivers the ultimate learning and networking experience for project-focused professionals. For Deltek Vantagepoint users and those that are upgrading from Vision soon, attendance to Insight 2021 should be considered mandatory for those seeking to embrace the full capabilities of Vantagepoint.

Deltek Insight 2021 logo

Aside from the added attention to Vantagepoint this year, Insight also provides industry insights and other various forms of thought-provoking content. From an inspiring keynote presentation, live education sessions led by Deltek and industry experts to engaging networking opportunities that are sure to delight, Insight has something to offer Deltek users of all experience levels. Checkout what’s planned for this year’s largest gathering of Deltek users.

Kwik Fix to Reclaim the Brain’s Full Potential

After sustaining a devastating head injury as a young child, Jim Kwik struggled with learning which made succeeding in school seem like an unsurmountable achievement. Growing up he was known as the “boy with the broken brain.” However, he was determined to not let this hold him back, and his passion for superheroes and comic books inspired him to unlock his “superhero brain.”

As the Deltek Insight 2021 keynote speaker, Jim Kwik is set to deliver an inspiration presentation focused on improving memory, reading skills, and decision-making abilities. Jim has worked with global companies such as Nike, GE and Zappos, and speaks to over 200,000 people a year. Make sure to attend this aww-inspiring keynote presentation.

Knowledge Sharing and Learning for All

With over 200 breakout sessions, this year’s Deltek Insight has something for everyone! Of these, over 40 sessions are dedicated to Deltek Vantagepoint users, and cover features and functions that support all the roles within a firm. Even more, Full Sail Partners is hosting a session specifically for firms still on Vision. The session will feature two firms, Impact Sciences and RIOS. They will be discussing their experience with the Full Sail Partners’ Vantagepoint to Vision upgrade process. Make sure to sign up early for the session.

In addition to the breakout sessions, conference attendees will have the ability to meet with a Deltek expert one-on-one for a 30-minute video appointment. Each Deltek expert is a member of the Deltek Customer Care team, Deltek Global Consulting or Solutions Engineering group. Meet the expert appointments are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Networking at virtual events seems impossible. Well for Deltek, making the impossible possible is what they do. This year, Deltek is excited to incorporate Braindate into the Insight virtual experience. Braindate provides attendees the ability to meet up virtually with other Deltek Project Nation members to have meaningful peer to peer conversations and discuss topics important to them.

Earn Deltek Vantagepoint and Vision Certifications

While many claim to be a Deltek expert, only a few have the certifications to prove it! As part of registering for Insight 2021, access to the Deltek University certification exams will be provided for free through October 28, 2021. Monetarily, this is a $295 value. Professionally, this in invaluable!

Interact with Full Sail Partners During Deltek Insight

As a dedicated Deltek partner, Full Sail Partners is sponsoring Deltek Insight and will have a virtual booth. Make sure to navigate over to the sponsor exhibit and stop by the Full Sail Partners booth to find what’s new with the Blackbox Connector, and learn how our team of Deltek consultants are helping firms upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. While you are there, click on the Contact Me button to receive a $25 Amazon gift card (*gift card offer is only available to Vision and Vantagepoint clients).

Additionally, Full Sail Partners will be hosting two highly interactive events during the month of September. During each event, Full Sail Partners’ consultants will give a short presentation about that day’s topic. Following the presentation, attendees will be split into small groups that have similar interests. Each group will be assigned a Full Sail Partners' expert that will facilitate a group conversation to allow participants to share and talk about their experiences. The first session will be on September 16, 2021 and will explore the Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint upgrade process. On September 23, we will explore the endless uses of workflows and even create one or more during the small group breakout sessions. Make sure to register for these interactive events today.

Project Success Starts at Deltek Insight

Last year’s Insight brought together over 10,000 members of the Deltek Project Nation as one giant virtual gathering of project-focused professionals. With everything that was offered last year, it seemed impossible for Deltek to outdo themselves in the future. But this year’s Insight is certain to set the standard for virtual conferences for all industries.

Deltek Insight 2021 image registration link

Significant Technology Trends Discovered in the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study

Posted by Ryan Felkel on August 11, 2021

With the uncertainty of 2020 behind us, many AE firms are optimistic about the future and expect that investment in new technology will likely remain consistent. While a great number of firms are still in the early stages of moving to the cloud and making investments to support a mobile workforce, smaller tech savvy to large-sized firms have already implemented these technologies by 2021 and are seeking out IT solutions that improve project delivery and ultimately their bottom line. According to AE firms that participated in the 42nd Deltek Clarity study, adopting new technologies to support firm growth and client needs is a priority, however, selecting which technologies will produce the desired results and provide a noteworthy return on investment seems to be a challenge.  

Deltek Clarity study logo

Clarity on Technology Trends for Small Firms

Small AE firms, those with less than 50 employees, reported in the Deltek Clarity study that investments in new and emerging technologies will likely see a reduction. Likely, because many of these firms made larger than expected technology investments in supporting the needs of a remote workforce to ensure business continuity during the pandemic. Therefore, many of these small firms are refocusing efforts and spending on revenue generating resources.

Furthermore, small firms typically have smaller budgets for all departments across the board. As a result, they tend to invest in new technologies that are usually more affordable and easier to deploy firm wide. Which brings up another key finding from the Deltek Clarity study – limited internal IT expertise. Small firms and even medium-sized firms both noted that one of the largest challenges with adopting new technologies is having internal experts to help navigate the sea of technology options that serve different and unique purposes. Even more, some firms are likely unaware of which operational processes can be improved with the assistance of technology.

Medium-sized Firms Looking to Go Big

AE firms with 51 - 249 employees, commonly referred to as medium-sized firms, indicated in their responses to the Deltek Clarity study that they are eyeing big data and artificial intelligence (AI) for future technology solutions to support their organizations. However, only 18% of firms reported having an actual plan in place. With a large percentage of firms citing the aforementioned and seemingly consistent theme of lacking internal champions to identify and thoroughly vet new technology. Overall, medium-sized firms as a whole are continuing to straddle between implementing less expensive and simpler technologies with big aspirations to embrace and invest in emerging technologies large firms are already utilizing.

Large Firms Seek Clarity with Big Investments

Large AE firms, defined as having more than 250 employees, will always lead the AE industry when it comes to adopting the latest and greatest technologies since they generally have larger budgets and the ability to spend. As such, larger AE firms that participated in the Deltek Clarity study stated they are continuing to move forward with making large investments in emerging technologies like geolocation, big data and data science with no indication of slowing down. More importantly, large firms revealed in the Clarity study that they have less of a challenge with employing internal technology experts that can provide guidance on future technology investments that are aligned with the needs of the firm.

Similarities Deltek Clarity Identified for All Firms

According to the 42nd Deltek Clarity study, firms of all sizes have some shared challenges regarding technology initiatives. Unsurprisingly, data and cybersecurity lead the way like previous years and will likely continue to be the leading concern for AE firms well into the future. An encouraging finding in the Clarity study is the common strategy all firms are taking to mitigate these risks, with nearly half of respondents stating they are implementing new security policies and protocols. Even more, thirty-four percent of respondents said their firm is planning to outsource their IT administration and infrastructure. Although there are no fail proof safeguards against a cyberattack, being proactive can certainly reduce the risks which is what firms are trying to accomplish.

Do More with Technology and Deltek Clarity

One thing is clear from the Deltek Clarity study, AE firms of all sizes will have to continue to invest in technology just to stay competitive. For small and medium-sized firms that indicated they lack internal experts to help make technology investment decisions as a challenge, maybe they need to consider enlisting the assistance of a company that specialize in the technology needs of AE firms to help with these choices.

Lastly, big data and data science are quickly being adopted in the AE industry. As a result, AE firms will begin to see new technology solutions specifically tailored to meet their needs being brought to market over the next few years. Which adds more complexity for firms when it comes time to decide which technology solutions they should pursue in the future.

Link to download the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity Report

42nd Deltek A&E Clarity Study Finds Business Development Embraced New Strategies

Posted by Ryan Felkel on July 07, 2021

Overall, the majority of respondents to the Deltek A&E Clarity study shared an optimistic view about opportunities and growth potential in coming years. Conversely, the long-term effects of the global pandemic did shock the industry with handshakes and face-to-face meetings becoming collateral casualties. As a result, the loss of these interpersonal connections was far greater and impactful than many could have imagined, and this sudden mandate and frankly need to socially distance inevitably left its mark on the way people interact and nurture relationships. As a result, this year’s Deltek A&E Clarity results are that much more significant as they shed light onto the future of A&E business development tactics that firms have embraced and will likely continue to utilize well into the future.

Deltek Clarity Report logo

Top Three Business Development Challenges

Finding time to nurture client relationships seems to be a list leader year after year for the A&E industry. However, the number of respondents that listed this as a top challenge grew five percent from prior years. Increased competition is second on the list with 22% of respondents putting this as their top BD challenge. While the third top challenge was identifying new prospects, with 15% of respondents listing this as their top challenge.

Interestingly enough, 14% of respondents indicated that their firm’s business development model has dedicated BD staff, 39% have a seller/doer model, and the remainder a combination of both. Even more, firms reporting having a formal business development process declined from previous years. Identifying the exact correlation on how these different BD models and lack of processes impacts these top BD challenges is difficult to measure, however there is with some certainty a direct relationship.  

Bidding to Winning

This year’s Deltek A&E Clarity study found that more firms are employing a formal go/no go process with an increase to 75.7% with 51% stating they use a formal process for all opportunities. For firms not using a formal go/no go process, 25% are considering implementing one in the future.

For small and medium A&E firms, proposal win rates decreased by nearly two percent from last year while large firms had an increase of almost two and a half percent. On the contrary, firms of all sizes saw an increase to their capture rate with a cumulative increase of three and half percent. These differences between win rate and capture rate can be attributed to the type of work firms are pursuing and the use of a more strategic go/no go process.    

Deltek Clarity on A&E Marketing Techniques

Respondents to the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity study indicated that they predict traditional marketing techniques like in-person trade shows and exhibits, and public relations initiatives will see a sharp decline in utilization with a transition to more modern techniques. Specifically, firms stated they will increase the use of client-specific marketing, social media, thought leadership and content marketing as the core to their overall marketing strategy. This is not to say that trade shows will be abandoned, but these will likely become more virtual and/or hybrid versions which can reduce their benefit and importance to A&E firms. Overall, it’s encouraging that A&E firms want to adopt more modern marketing techniques, but their willingness to make significant investments into these changes has yet to be seen.  

Deltek Clarity on the Future Outlook and Forecast of A&E Industry

Small firms expressed a bullish outlook when reporting on their revenue growth forecast while medium and large firms expected to experience gains in the coming years. When asked to look further out to nine years, respondents expected to see growth of five to six percent in most years indicating there is still some level of uncertainty in the market, but still being sanguine there will be an upward trend in the years to come. Generally, A&E firms are optimistic about the markets they serve and believe they will be able to increase their position within them.

Significant Deltek Clarity Business Development Findings

In summary, the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity study found that firms are going to need to continue to rely on passive sources for new opportunities which will require nurturing existing client relationships to win more work from them and to gain referrals as well. Firms will also need to embrace business intelligence tools and strategic business development models and processes to remain competitive. Additionally, the pursuit process itself has changed and became more virtual and digitized. As a whole, A&E firms have recognized the need to revolutionize their business development strategies if they want to remain relevant and viable in the future.

Understanding the full business development findings of the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity study truly requires comparing the results to one’s own firm. Make sure to download your free copy and use the Clarity Scorecard to benchmark your firm.

Link to download the 42nd Deltek A&E Clarity Report

How to Use Client Feedback to Improve Client Experience

Posted by Ryan Felkel on May 19, 2021

In a recent study by Dimension Data, 84% of companies that strive to improve their client experience (CX) report increases in their revenue. Another survey completed by Gartner found that 81% of businesses compete primarily on CX. Even more, PWC found that 32% of customers are willing to walk away from a brand they favor because of one negative experience. While there are endless amounts of statistics that directly correlate CX to company revenue and growth, many companies are still falling short in terms of their clients’ standards.

Client taking survey

 

Typically, the common denominator for businesses that are providing subpar CX is the lack of asking for feedback from clients. Certainly, your firm’s team members are meeting with clients and sharing ideas about their projects and expectations, but these conversations are merely that…just talk. However, creating a formalized client feedback process can revolutionize the CX and take your firm’s brand to the next level.

Understanding What to Measure

For professional services (PS) firms, measuring a client’s satisfaction with the final product ignores the process of delivering a project from start to finish. Therefore, the quality of the process is what determines CX for project-based firms. In other words, PS firms need to be more focused on asking for feedback about the project delivery process. When determining what questions to ask about the process, it’s important to keep in mind that there are two categories that need to be evaluated about the process, subjective- relationship metrics and objective-deliverable metrics.

In terms of subjective or relationship questions, firms need to understand how helpful they were during the process. Additionally, they need to ask for feedback regarding how the client felt about their responsiveness and their abilities to make the right decisions at critical moments during the project.

For objective or deliverable feedback, PS firms need to know how clients feel about their ability to manage budgets and schedules. Overall, objective feedback measures the accuracy of quantifiable standards and expectations that were set prior to the project starting.

Cadence of Asking for Client Feedback

Waiting until a project is completed to ask for feedback is too late. At this point, fixing any negative perspectives is a moot point as it’s hard to correct something in the past. For PS firms, it is critical to ask for feedback early on and often.

It is often encouraged to begin the feedback process at the project kick-off. During this time, the project teams need to make sure milestones and KPIs are aligned, and all parties are clear on the path to success. Once the first milestone has been met, there is now an opportunity to request client feedback and to begin to assess the process your firm is using to deliver a project. As the project continues and various milestones or percent complete points have been met, feedback can once again be requested. Finally, client feedback needs to be requested upon project completion.

Asking Clients the Right Feedback Questions

Providing a great CX requires asking the right questions to gain feedback about the project delivery process. Additionally, each client feedback inquiry should include six to eight questions that are shorter than 12 words. Questions should also be different for each phase of the project, and they also need to be tailored to the role each stakeholder has in the project. Most importantly, the goal is to create a great CX, therefore questions need to be geared toward measuring expectations and not satisfaction. Since satisfaction cannot be controlled, but expectations can be managed.

Moreover, avoid questions about an individual since they are only part of the process. Also, ask questions about things you can control and change. For instance, asking a client if they think a budget is sufficient is pointless since the budget was predetermined prior to the project. Most importantly, reevaluate questions that use the word “and” as this is usually becoming two questions with the use of a conjunction connecting two clauses or thoughts.

Take Action on Client Feedback

Well, now you’ve asked for feedback which means you likely need to respond and address the client feedback. In many cases, positive feedback only requires a small acknowledgement. When the feedback indicates expectations are not being met, it is imperative to reach out to the survey respondent to understand why they feel the process is falling short of expectations.

It is equally important to note that the person requesting client feedback needs to the person reaching out and acknowledging the responses whether they are positive or negative. Additionally, the person requesting feedback needs to not take the information personally since the questions and responses are about the process. Lastly, when discussing feedback with a client, the person requesting feedback needs to practice empathy as to avoid creating a conversation filled with attacks and defenses.

Join the CXps Community

Pick the Winning RFP with Deltek Vantagepoint CRM

Posted by Ryan Felkel on April 21, 2021

It seems like déjà vu and it should. It’s the same scenario played out over and over again for every proposal professional. Sitting in a dimly lit room with a lukewarm cup of coffee behind stacks of RFPs with pages upon pages to read. This entire process seems to be on constant repeat as you extract important details to determine which RFP is the winning one for your firm. However daunting and looming the task seems, the process is necessary.

decision making

For a proposal professional, the repetitive preparatory tasks are important since they are the gatekeeper that determine which RFPs receive a response. As a result, this responsibility requires analyzing specific metrics and information to determine which RFP your firm can win. In doing so, they utilize the infamous go/no go process to compare the details within the RFP to determine which opportunity is the best fit for their firm. But what if there was a solution that can help select the winning RFP for your firm? Well, there is since Deltek Vantagepoint CRM is more than your average CRM.

Deltek Vantagepoint is Your Source of Truth

A major benefit to starting the go/no go process with the Deltek Vantagepoint is that it already contains project pursuit and opportunity information. By using Vantagepoint early on in the process, you can:

  • Identify available internal resources to assist with the RFP response
  • Compare previous wins/losses and apply lessons learned for better decision making
  • Quantify the go/no go process to make more objective decisions
  • Avoid high risk pursuits and projects
  • Improve your overall win rate
  • Use automatic notifications to stakeholders to inform them of the go/no go decision and next steps

Utilize Vantagepoint User Defined Fields and Workflows

With user defined fields, a go/no go process can be created based on your firm’s needs. From simple to complex, Vantagepoint can be aligned to meet your business goals. User defined fields allow your firm to capture intel during the go/no go process and even apply a numeric score to criteria your firm uses to make a final decision. If your firm chooses to use a numeric score, a workflow in Vantagepoint can be created to determine whether or not to pursue an opportunity. A short list of some great areas to track using a numeric score that can be calculated using a workflow are:

  • Experience with type of work in the RFP
  • Client relationship type
  • Client relationship status
  • Past project performance for client
  • Amount of work to be subbed
  • When did you learn about the opportunity (before advertised, etc.)
  • Does the project align with the firm’s strategic plan
  • Can we compete with known competition
  • Number of competitors
  • Is there an incumbent

Implementing Deltek Vantagepoint CRM for the Go/No Go Process

When adding Vantagepoint CRM into your firm’s go/no go process, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate:

  • If you’re asking the correct questions and weighting them appropriately
  • Past wins and losses to identify what questions you could have asked to make a better go /no go decision
  • Ways to simplify the process for others in your firm like project managers and senior management
  • Collaborate with others at your firm on questions and metrics that should be included
  • Test, test and test again to fine-tune the go/no go process

Start picking the winning RFP for your firm by using Vantagepoint CRM in your go/no go process.

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Read This Before Deciding to Attend a Virtual Conference

Posted by Ryan Felkel on April 07, 2021

Handshakes, large group lunches, and late nights mingling with strangers that will likely become longtime professional connections and even friends are highlights of attending professional conferences. Ahhhh just remembering those days…excuse me while I reminisce on my past experiences that made attending in-person conferences fun and exciting and not just educational. While I’m sure many of us can relate and probably add to the list of things we love about in-person conferences, many of those perks have disappeared with conferences being forced to move to a virtual or hybrid approach.

Now, reflecting upon my recent experience with the new virtual/hybrid format for conferences, I can say for certain that participating in a virtual conference is a different experience in comparison to the traditional in-person conferences most of us are accustomed to attending. However, by understanding the benefits of attending a virtual conference and applying some best practices, you can ensure your virtual participation is a success.

Man Standing in front of virtual audience

 

The Advantages to Attending Virtual Conferences

We all have a list of things we loath and find extremely annoying. For me, I like traveling to places that require air transportation, but the whole routine of going to the airport, arriving early, waiting in long TSA lines, and walking all over the place just to find a restroom seems to put a damper on the entire trip. The list can go on when you think about the ups and downs of staying in a hotel. So, while there are perks to traveling, nothing beats staying in the comfort of your own home with your family.

By eliminating travel, virtual conferences also provide other benefits. Instead of wasting time hustling around the airport and wandering around hotels, you can spend more time on your actual work which we all know doesn’t complete itself while you’re attending a conference. Even more, since there are no associated travel expenses with virtual conferences, the company would be more willing to approve them over in-person events.

Prepare Yourself for the Virtual Conference

Attending a conference in-person or virtually, you should always take time prior to the conference to review conference schedules, register for educational sessions and other activities, and learn about resources that are available to attendees. Additionally, review the format of the conference as it seems to vary from conference to conference. Last year alone, I attended or participated in numerous virtual conferences. Some were 2 to 3 all-day events and others were a series of half-day events. Others even included ongoing monthly meetings to encourage continued conversations about topics presented at the conference itself. So, make sure you are familiar with the conference format and able to commit time to attending and participating.

Most importantly, update your work calendar. I recommend blocking out your calendar for the entire time you plan on attending the conference. I even take it one-step further by adding the sessions I plan on attending to my calendar with related links included in the body of the appointment. 

Be Seen by Being Present

You may ask, “If it’s virtual, how am I going to be seen?” Great question! First, let your professional network know you are attending by posting to LinkedIn. A simple message with a link to the conference letting people know what you are excited to learn about is a great way to be seen virtually.

During the conference, avoid distractions by closing your email and messaging tools and treat the conference like you are there in-person. If you typically take notes with pen and paper at in-person conferences, do the same while at your desk. Furthermore, virtual conferences that are worth attending will have a great communication platform for attendees and presenters. So, don’t be shy! Be seen by asking engaging questions during sessions, tour the virtual sponsor expo hall and chat with vendors, and participate in conference events and contest like dance-offs, trivia games, or other fun activities. In other words, find ways to network and be camera ready.

Do Your Homework

The conference might be over, but your opportunities to learn and network have just begun! One of my favorite things to do after a conference is send out LinkedIn connection invites to my new contacts. Additionally, I include a note with the connection invite that mentions how we met and a highlight of something we discussed. This is a convenient way to keep track of how you have met people in your LinkedIn network.

It’s also a great idea to follow up with your favorite speakers by sending them a LinkedIn message or an email. Let them know what you liked about their presentation and how it impacted you personally. Then include a question you did not ask during the live session or one you thought of afterwards. Believe it or not, speakers generally and truly enjoy receiving messages from audience members like you.

So, get out there…virtually that is…and attend professional conferences to continue to build your skills and network!

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Change in the Workplace Climate – In Comes the Deltek Cloud

Posted by Ryan Felkel on March 31, 2021

Beginning in 2020, the workplace environment saw a drastic change when the pandemic shut down nearly all in-person office work. Not expected by many, this dark and looming cloud forever transformed the workplace indefinitely. Zoom and video conferencing became an everyday alternative to face-to-face interactions at the office, and work from home became the only solution and not a privilege.

While many workers had to adjust to this new remote working model, businesses had to quickly adjust to this changing workplace climate. As a result, employers had to quickly adapt to allow this newly created remote workforce to able to get work done from anywhere with an internet connection. As stated in July 2020, Accounting Today’s top VARs of 2020 noted that this is the year that has pushed the cloud over the tipping point largely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

cloud data

Now a year later, the forecast for the workplace environment has changed. Many firms accepted this back in 2020, but the businesses that held out hope that normalcy will return are now facing the reality that so many have accepted as the “new normal.” While the Deltek Cloud has emerged as a solution to solving numerous challenges professional services firms faced by becoming a more remote workforce, there are also other benefits to consider when choosing to move to the cloud.

The Difference Between Fog and the Cloud

Cloud computing in itself by name can be confusing. Simply stated, on-premise or hosting your own software means that software and servers that run your Deltek solution are typically hosted within the four walls of your business. In other words, on-premise is similar to fog in that it is on the ground.

On the other hand, the cloud means that the software and servers used to run your Deltek solution are on an external infrastructure like Amazon web services. Additionally, the cloud is also referred to as software as a service (SaaS).

The Brightside to the Deltek Cloud

There are so many misconceptions about the cloud and the entire idea can seem daunting. To put your mind at ease, here are some benefits to taking your Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint system to the Deltek Cloud.

  • Fast and Easy Upgrades – Always have the latest and greatest version of your Deltek solution without the need to tie up valuable IT resources for software and hardware upgrades.
  • Off-Site Data Replication – Protect your data from an unexpected natural disaster with multiple backups in multiple data centers.
  • Secure and Reliable – Data is secured and monitored 24/7 to standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and reported on Service Organization Controls (SOC) audit requirements.
  • Access from Anywhere at Anytime – Workforces are more mobile and remote than ever, give your teams secure access to your Deltek solution from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Easily Grow and Expand – As your company grows, so can your Deltek Vision/Vantagepoint instance by simply adding users to your license, not hardware which tremendously helps during the acquisition and expansion process.
  • Cost Effective – Eliminate costly and time-consuming software and hardware upgrades and ongoing maintenance hassles and the people and time required to support this making future costs predictable.
  • One Subscription Fee – Using the Deltek Cloud allows you to pay one subscription fee that can be easily budgeted for year after year allowing you to use IT budgets for projects that can improve your firm’s productivity and effectiveness.

Should the Deltek Cloud be in Your Firm’s Forecast?

It’s easy for us to assume that since we made it through the crisis created by the pandemic without the Deltek Cloud, then we can continue on with our newly crafted workaround solutions. While this seems logical, there are other reasons to consider the cloud. Take a minute to review the following questions:

  • Does my firm have aging hardware?
  • Do we have plans for growth in the near future?
  • Is our workforce becoming more remote and mobile?
  • Are we getting ready to upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint?

Is you said YES to any of these questions, then it’s time to take your Deltek product to the cloud.

No Umbrellas Needed for the Deltek Cloud

When it rains, it pours. Well, with the Deltek Cloud, it pours with even more benefits. For starters, nothing really changes for your firm or employees. The Deltek Cloud offers the same power of Vision/Vantagepoint and the same functionality your teams are accustomed to using on a daily basis. Furthermore, your employees get unlimited access to the Deltek University eLearning content at no extra cost so they can continue to build on their knowledge and improve how your firm uses Vision/Vantagepoint. Lastly, making the move to the Deltek Cloud is simple and can be done in 24 hours or less in most instances. Above all, by choosing the Deltek Cloud, your firm will be resilient to any workplace climate change going forward.

Thinking Out Cloud

Introducing Deltek + ComputerEase for Construction Firms

Posted by Ryan Felkel on March 10, 2021

For more than three decades, the construction industry has trusted ComputerEase Construction Software to help ensure contractors are able to manage their construction projects while adhering to the unique accounting challenges this industry faces. As one of the first construction software developers, ComputerEase has become the industry leader with its evolving and innovative construction and accounting solutions for contractors of all sizes. Additionally, ComputerEase was one of the first to introduce innovative features like dashboard reporting to allow users to make critical decisions based on actual data.

ComputerEase Logo

After 36 years of continued success and growth, ComputerEase caught the attention of Deltek, the leading software solution provider for over 30,000 project-based firms such as architectural and engineering firms, and management consulting firms to name a few. Due to this, Deltek and ComputerEase decided to join forces in August of 2019 to create Deltek + ComputerEase. This new partnership created when Deltek acquired ComputerEase marked the beginning of a new era for the construction management software industry.  

Benefits of the Acquisition

Deltek left in place the previous upper management led by John Meibers who had been the ComputerEase President for 22 years. Therefore, the original company vision and dedication to providing great customer experiences through excellent support and training remain in place. With the addition of Deltek, new strategic positions were added to accelerate product development and innovation, and 24/7 support became available for customers, employees, and partners.

Even more, Deltek is now leveraging technologies it already uses in other software products such as GPS, complex integrations, and access to the internet of things (IoT) to further enhance Deltek + ComputerEase’s existing capabilities. Deltek is also using its experience to develop a product roadmap to deploy new features quickly to address the ever-growing needs of their construction management customers. These new resources will help to continue to drive innovation of their existing product offering which will better serve clients long into the future.

Why Deltek + ComputerEase?

Deltek + ComputerEase is known for being innovative and user-friendly which is why they are the leaders in construction management software. With job cost accounting being the lifeline of the construction management industry, Deltek + ComputerEase integrates project management, purchasing and inventory, subcontracts, HR and payroll, and accounting functions into one system. As a result, firm leaders can easily access advanced and comprehensive reporting tools that allow for them to ensure continued profitability based on accurate firm data.  

Why Full Sail Partners?

Full Sail Partners has been a dedicated and trusted Deltek partner for over two decades, and our staff, collectively, has over 275 years of experience with Deltek products. Our team of accounting, business development and marketing, project management, and technology experts are well versed in the nuances and complexities that project-based firms deal with on a daily basis. As such, expanding our partnership with Deltek to offer construction management clients a software solution designed to meet their unique needs was a no brainer.

Get to Know Deltek + ComputerEase

ComputerEase has embodied the philosophy of putting the customer first, and Deltek + ComputerEase continues with the understanding that strong relationships with clients and partners is what makes great companies thrive. As a team, Deltek + ComputerEase are committed to continuing to improve their software solutions to help their customers increase the profitability of their projects. Make sure to keep up with the future Deltek + ComputerEase innovations that can help your construction management firm become an industry leader.

Link to Deltek + ComputerEase information