Full Sail Partners Blog | Ryan Felkel

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Level Up Your AE Firm’s Business

Posted by Ryan Felkel on January 12, 2022

For all businesses, earning a nice profit is the expected goal. Yet for some AE firms, stagnant earnings, increasing costs and expenses, low new client acquisition, and deteriorating workplace culture may have become the new normal. What was once a business bursting at the seams and barely able to take on more work, has now become complacent and satisfied with mediocrity. However, there is something that can be done to change the current course. Take a quick read through the following tips to help create ideas for ways to get started.

man walking up steps

Create and Stick to a Plan

Get SMART and create a strategic business plan that provides clear direction and expected results. For some AE firms, this may be as simple as reviewing the existing plan and making updates to meet current business needs. In other cases, it may be best to scrap the existing plan and start over from scratch. Either way, a solid business plan needs to be reinforced with SMART goals.

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. To create SMART goals, begin by thinking about the entire firm and decide how to designate areas of responsibility and determine expected results. It is likely easiest to start at the department level and then work down from there. Additionally, goals need to focus on the desired result and need to be high level while remaining specific. If there seems to be an excessive number of goals, it is likely that they are too granular and focused on task level items and not the desired result. Lastly, goals need to be measurable and incorporated with time-based milestones.

Get Friendly with the Firm Numbers

It’s time to stop avoiding that uncomfortable relationship people seem to have with numbers. We are not all accountants. However, numbers can tell the ugly truth even when someone doesn’t want to hear it. Like that one friend we all keep around that inevitably reminds us of what we are trying to avoid in an effort to minimize the realities of a situation. So, what numbers are important? All of them.

A good place to start is with cash flow. There’s no way around it, businesses with limited cash reserves and low cash flow will inevitably shut down. Also, get friendly with the firm’s overall net profit and the profit performance of the firm’s projects. Keep in mind that great profits don’t always equate to positive cash flow which is required to bill overhead expenses and salaries. Lastly, check the firm’s credit score to make sure the firm can get a loan with favorable terms if cash flow becomes a temporary issue or new assets need to be purchased. Many firms are finding that a solid business intelligence solution provides the best insights into numbers. Learn more in this past webinar.

Embrace the Multi-Generation Workforce

Move over generation MTV, the kids are entering the workforce. Seriously, there are now four generations in the modern workforce. To put this into perspective, there are employees that remember sharing work computers, and there are employees that got their first personal computer at eight years old. To say the least, there are some differences in expectations when it comes to the way work gets done.

Sure, it’s easiest to just say conform to our ways or else. But the reality is that the members of the younger generations are the leaders of the future. Therefore, it’s important for firms to start adjusting to accommodate these differences. For help, check out this white paper.

Engage and Interact with Clients in More Ways

Welcome to the 21st century, where that must-have fancy technology is out of date before most of the world even knows that it exists. We are now in the digital era which has transformed the way we communicate and consume information. Now, we have personal computers in the form of mobile phones that mostly fit in our pockets. As a result, people have become accustomed to receiving notifications and obtaining information using these digital formats.

A lot, if not all AE firms, have websites, but some of these websites were created and last updated over a decade ago. Furthermore, even those firms that have a modern website still likely only have a small digital footprint. Therefore, AE firms need to evaluate their current digital marketing efforts to decide which areas need improvement. To help AE firms, Full Sail Partners is publishing a blog series titled “Driving Growth with Digital Marketing” that is specifically geared towards AEC companies. Find a listing for all the articles and signup for notifications about new articles and other content here.  

Take Your AE Firm to the Next Level

Ready to improve your AE firm? Putting SMART Goals in place, confronting the inevitable numbers, accommodating workplace differences, and engaging in the digital era will move firms from stagnant to reinvigorated. These efforts will result in a visible positive impact. Additionally, Full Sail Partners can aid in identifying areas of opportunity for improvement via a Navigational Analysis. Use the link button below to contact us to learn more.

Reach Full Sail Partners

Common CRM Adoption Challenges for Professional Services Firms

Posted by Ryan Felkel on January 06, 2022

For professional services firms to be successful, they need a client relationship management (CRM) system to help them focus their business development strategies to identify prospective projects and to nurture client relationships to ensure they win new projects. Furthermore, an effective CRM system requires firm employees to use the system and this is not just directed to the business development team. This requires the entire firm to be updating client records to ensure the most up-to-date information is available for business development. However, firms that have invested in a CRM system seem to have a common hurdle which is employee adoption. Here are a few things that can negatively impact user adoption at your firm.

Adopt CRM

The Lack of Defined Processes

Time and time again, firms roll out a new CRM system with the assumption that it’s just requires switching it on, and it’ll take care of itself. However, this is not the case. Firms need to first start off by identifying what goals they want to achieve so they can actually see results. Once they have their goals identified, a formal process needs to be outlined to ensure the CRM system is utilized in a way the benefits firm and aligns with current marketing and business development procedures. Here are some things to consider when defining a process:

  • What is a lead and when does a lead become an opportunity?
  • Who has the information at your firm that needs to be entered about a contact?
  • Who can update contacts and what can they update?
  • What role is responsible for cleaning up the CRM database?
  • What reports are required for different roles?

Misguided Goals

Goal setting for business development teams are far too often focused on dollar amounts and win rates. However, this thought process ignores setting goals that align with the firm’s strategy for achieving their targeted dollar amounts and win rates. For example, the sales cycle to win a project for many professional services firms can be months to years depending on the industry. Therefore, having a goal that helps the business development team keep up with touchpoints helps ensure client relationships are being properly managed. So when considering goals, it’s important to develop goals that align with your firm’s strategic client management process.

Picking the Wrong CRM Solution for Your Firm

There are several things to consider when selecting a CRM solution for your firm. Firstly, not all CRM systems are the same and have different capabilities to support different industries. For instance, having a CRM system that integrates with your firm’s accounting and project management platforms is essential for professional services firms. Especially if you want all your firm’s data in one central location and your desire is for people to utilize the CRM system. An example of this is a firm that uses Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision for their accounting and project management, the obvious CRM system selection is Deltek CRM.

Additionally, system integration is great, but having a CRM system that has a friendly user interface is important as well to increase user adoption. By selecting a system that is intuitive and well designed, implementing a CRM adoption directive will most likely succeed across your firm.

Increase CRM Adoption

Many firms struggle with getting employees to adopt a new system. However, this does not have to be the case. By setting goals and processes for different teams within your organization to encourage use, your employees will be able to see the value of the CRM system. Lastly, make sure to point out the fact that a CRM system will help your firm continue to grow and be successful in the future.   

Grow Revenue with a CRM

Key Takeaways from the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Report - Project Management Edition

Posted by Ryan Felkel on December 22, 2021

Managing and delivering successful projects is the goal of every architecture and engineering (AE) firm. For most, it’s nearly a repeatable process that requires some minor adjustments to the work breakdown structure to meet the unique needs of a project’s scope. Year after year, AE firms continued with this same process while making improvements based on lessons learned. Then all of a sudden, everything in our world was altered, including the way AE firms manage and deliver successful projects.

Woman managing a time clock

However, it’s not all gloom and doom. There’s actually good news to report! According to the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Report, firms of all sizes dealt with the uncertainty and unexpected changes very well.

Clarity on Project Management Success    

Overall, the majority of firms that responded to the Deltek AE Clarity Survey indicated that their projects stayed on schedule with some being ahead. This is great to hear, and there is more. Most of the respondents also indicated that projects remained on or under budget in 2020. This is a consistent result year after year in the AE Clarity Study findings. As 2020 was filled with uncertainty with no clear end in sight, staying on or under budget is an amazing accomplishment. Kudos to those firms!

Clarity on Challenges for Project Managers

Interesting enough, it is hard to link the effects of the pandemic to the findings in the Deltek AE Clarity Study. Overall, project status visibility issues continue to be reported as a common challenge for project managers over the past few years. Furthermore, visibility into project cost variance remains a top reason for not being able to identify project overruns before it is too late.

Highlighting other challenges AE firms experienced in 2020, tracking project KPIs continues to hinder project managers and jeopardize the successful outcome of projects. This is followed by schedule variance visibility, which only had a small upward change from previous AE Clarity Study findings. In summary, project visibility issues remain problematic but can be easily resolved by using a project management software built specifically for AE firms.

Clarity on Client Satisfaction

Mentioned, but less of a focus for project managers, is visibility into client satisfaction throughout the project life cycle. In the survey, only 40% of firms stated that they measured and tracked client satisfaction. What makes this troubling is that it is a fact that the client experience (CX) and client satisfaction has a direct impact on the ability to win future work.

For many firms, this is an unaddressed problem because they have neither a formalized CX initiative nor a solution to help track client satisfaction. This is likely because these firms are unaware that there are resources to improve their CX. Full Sail Partners is an active partner with Client Savvy, the creators of the Client Feedback Tool and the CXPS Community and can help firms to acquire these needed CX resources.

Clarity on Future Project Management Initiatives

AE firms historically have embraced a business model that forces project managers to wear multiple hats at the firm. However, this seems to be changing with more firms stating they want to:

  • Clearly define responsibilities for project management, business development and design work.
  • Invest in internal project manager training.
  • Develop internal project management best practices.

Surprisingly, all respondents to the AE Clarity Study indicated one of these as a top priority at their firm. Further down on the list of the top initiatives for AE firms is the need to hire more qualified talent. Noted in the Human Capital Management section of the AE Clarity Study, firms stated that the availability of good talent is a top acquisition challenge.

AE Clarity on the Future of Project Management

AE firms looking for future success have recognized the need to pay more attention to the discipline of project management. Moving forward, project managers need to focus on delivering successful projects. Firm leaders need to find others to share or take on the work of business development and let designers focus on creating. In other words, firms need to give the discipline of project management the respect and attention it deserves.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

With all the uncertainty of 2020, AE firms remained resilient when faced with adversity. This says a lot about an industry that is directly affected by economic ups and downs. Overcoming what could have been an industry crippling situation, firms adapted, and project managers stepped up to continue to deliver great projects.

The Deltek AE Clarity Report is an insightful study that firm leaders should review each year. Additionally, firm leaders should use the available scorecard to benchmark their firm’s results with the rest of the industry. Get a free copy of the Study and the scorecard using the button link below.

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

Deltek 42nd AE Clarity Study Reveals an Evolving AE Workforce

Posted by Ryan Felkel on December 01, 2021

Starting with the obvious, all departments and roles at AE firms were directly impacted by the global pandemic. This is emphasized in each section of the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study. However, the Human Capital Management (HCM) segment highlights another challenge firms are facing – a multigenerational workforce.

Today, an AE firm’s workforce can include members of up to four generations. This infusion of differing opinions about professionalism, work-life balance, and overall expectations of an employer has pushed many company leaders to shift their culture to embrace these differences. While some firms have accepted this multigenerational workforce, others have chosen to keep up their traditional methods – until now.

manager demonstrating poor human capital management practices

When the COVID-19 global pandemic struck, expectations of flexible schedules, more casual work environments, and telecommute options were thrust upon everyone without warning. Even those that were steadfastly against the idea of hybrid workers. Now, we are at the crossroads of two seemingly unrelated challenges that have a common solution, and the pros and cons of this evolving workforce dynamic are highlighted in the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study.

New Human Capital Management Challenges

Great workforce management requires consistency, which is everything that work, and life hasn’t been since 2020. As a result, this imbalance has created a new leading challenge for AE firms in terms of HCM. According to the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study, succession and career development planning jumped to first place from third place in the previous study. Subsequently, performance management and employee engagement fell to second and third place.

On the surface, these challenges are expected in the given circumstances. Taking a deeper dive, learning and development programs ranked fourth overall and was considered a top three challenge for forty-eight percent of survey respondents. Looking below the surface, succession and career development planning, and learning and development programs are closely linked. Therefore, it’s logical that the increase in ranking in both these challenges goes hand in hand.

Employee Turnover and Staffing Levels

Overall, survey respondents reported that employee turnover rate went down over one percent. This may seem like a small change, but it goes against trends documented in past surveys. In previous years, AE firms reported increases in employee turnover rates. Likely because of the strong economy. Since 2020, it has been likely that employees preferred to stay with their existing employer for stability instead of taking a leap of faith with a new company during uncertain times.

In terms of personnel growth over the previous year, firm respondents stated that they had an increase of 0.5% which is nearly 3% less than reported in the 41st Deltek Clarity Study. This is likely the result of hiring freezes during uncertain times. Additionally, thirty-three percent of firms reported having more open positions at the time of the survey and fifty percent had fewer open positions. Encouraging is the fact that forty-eight percent of respondents state the reason for open positions is solely because of firm growth.

Talent Acquisition Challenges

One of the least surprising findings of the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study is that the availability of good candidates in the marketplace once again ranked number one in terms of top talent acquisition challenges. The simple cause and effect assumption is to connect this finding to the decrease in employee turnover rates and other factors like uncertainty about the future economy. But what impact will the pandemic and a new hybrid workforce has on talent acquisition challenges.

For years, firms have competed for talent within their local geographies. However, the global pandemic has allowed firms to embrace their evolving workforce, and employee can be an effective member of the team whether they are at the office or at their home. When taking into consideration the changes created by the pandemic, the challenges of the past, such as matching qualified candidates to open positions and offering competitive compensation will likely become minute in comparison to the other challenges listed in the Clarity Study.

Focusing on Managing and Retaining Talent

Providing a clear career path with training goals and milestones helps keep employees engaged and ultimately retain talent. For AE firms, this strategy helps them plan for the future to make sure the firm can remain successful. Apparently, this is no secret. Respondents to the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study overwhelmingly ranked create or improve succession and career development planning as a top initiative. Closely followed by developing more formal career development programs. Being leading areas of opportunity for improvement, these initiatives and the others that are highlighted in the 42nd Deltek AE Clarity Study are things firms should evaluate closely.

Clarity for the Future

Reflecting back, it’s impossible to avoid including the impacts of the global pandemic on businesses. For human resource professionals and AE firm leaders, they sure got the “short end of the stick” with having to adapt and quickly create policies to ensure business can continue as normal and employees are aware of the new expectations. Fortunately, the world is getting back to some sense of normality and those tasked with overseeing their firm’s HCM strategy can get back focusing on hiring and retaining talent, and developing training and succession plans.

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

Why Deltek Vantagepoint CRM for Professional Services Firms

Posted by Ryan Felkel on October 27, 2021

The world of professional services firms revolves around clients and projects. It’s a daily process of finding new clients and pursuing them for new work with hopes that all this effort equates to a winning project. While some firms chose to treat this like a rat race, others have learned that it’s more efficient to be strategic and intentional with their tactics. The latter has also likely adopted Deltek Vantagepoint CRM. Which enables professional services firms to use data to make actionable decisions that generate profitable projects.

Deltek Vantagepoint logo

Use Deltek Vantagepoint CRM to Track Client Relationships

Touchpoints galore! That’s right, professional services firms have touchpoints with numerous people at client firms and the information gained during these interactions needs to be collected and stored in one common place. By having these insights stored in a centralized system, firm marketing and business development teams can identify new pipeline opportunities and nurture key relationships.

Additionally, Deltek Vantagepoint CRM is the only real project-based CRM and supports the “seller-doer” model. The “seller-doer” model is when project managers and/or consultants are responsible for providing their services as well as generating new work. With Vantagepoint, “seller-doers” can easily record client touchpoints since they are in the same system being used to deliver and manage projects and engagements.

Gain Insights into Client Interests

Creating the right messaging and keeping clients engaged is a daily battle for marketers. Each victory is one step closer to winning the war, or in this case, new work. In this modern-day business development warfare, insights into client behavior are the weapons to success. Marketing campaigns in Deltek Vantagepoint can be used to track and measure the success of particular marketing efforts. Initiatives such as email blasts, webinars, industry conference sponsorships and more can all be tracked in Vantagepoint marketing campaigns.

Using these insights, marketers can determine which techniques and messages are working best to keep clients engaged. Business development teams can identify firms and contacts that are demonstrating high levels of interest and know what is getting their attention. As a result, relationships can be nurtured, and proposals can be more tailored to address the unique needs of a client.

Identify Opportunities and Create Winning Proposals

Often, it’s not just about finding new work, but it’s also about picking which request for proposals (RFPs) to pursue. Let’s admit, proposals are time consuming and often require the involvement of staff from several departments. Furthermore, firms often lack a go/no go process that is based on actual data. However, that doesn’t need to be the case if firms are using Deltek Vantagepoint.

Vantagepoint is a single source of truth since it contains project pursuit and opportunity information. Prior to picking which RFPs to pursue, business development teams using Vantagepoint can:

  • Identify if internal resources are available to assist with the response.
  • Apply lessons learned from previous wins and losses.
  • Use quantifiable data to determine if an opportunity is financially beneficial for the firm.

After deciding which new RFPs to pursue, Vantagepoint remains a handy tool for the team responsible for preparing the proposal response. Being a project-focused CRM tool, the new pursuit stage begins by capturing project information in a new project. This allows the team to build an actual project plan with assigned resources, timelines, and budgets to ensure the final proposed project can be delivered in a profitable manner.

Additionally, past project information with descriptions, pictures, budgets and more can be included as reference project information. As is the same for resumes of employees that are identified as key resources for the project.

Automate Activities, Notifications and More with Workflows in Deltek Vantagepoint CRM

Updating data and maintaining clean accurate data is a daily struggle. More importantly, without taking the time to keep data up to date, it eventually becomes useless. Workflows are essential for automating repetitive tasks and notifying people about actions that need to be taken. In Deltek Vantagepoint workflows can:

  • Update a client record when a change to the client field is made in a user defined grid.
  • Provide an error notification with a user fails to update a required field or uses a wrong value.
  • Trigger follow-up reminders for predefined activities in a marketing campaign.
  • Automate the RFP go/no go process.

While these are just a few examples of workflows available in Vantagepoint, a Full Sail Partners’ consultant can help identify more workflows a firm can utilize to meet their unique needs. Click here to reach a crew member.

Win More Work with Deltek Vantagepoint CRM

Being that Deltek Vantagepoint is a project-centric CRM, it’s built and designed for the way professional services firms do business. Firms using Vantagepoint CRM gain a clear vision into their business development pipeline, nurture the right client relationships at the right time, and can propose competitive and reliable project bids. Now is the time to adopt Vantagepoint CRM and all its capabilities to win more business.

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

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

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