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New Year's Resolutions for Project-based Firms

Posted by Amanda Roussel on January 13, 2021

A new year often brings new goals to set and work toward and doing so helps you focus and improve behaviors to better yourself. Personal goals are a must – health, organization, time, etc. – the list can go on and on. However, professional goals have great importance as well. There are always areas we can work to improve upon in the workplace. These can be personal, for a team, or even for the firm as a whole. Let’s take a look at some new year’s resolutions that project-based firms may consider in 2021.

new-year-resolution

New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals

1. Use technology more efficiently

Firms may have numerous software options available, various calendars, and maybe a plethora of tracking files. Try consolidating and mastering a different resource, one at a time. Master it, share with your team, and promote a wider usage for consistency. By focusing on one new tool each quarter, four cleaner processes may be established by one employee alone!

2. Make technology accessible by all

The last year has taught us the value of being able to work from anywhere. Some IT groups were ready to roll, and others had to pull together additional resources to get employees the access needed for business continuity. If your firm has not invested in accessibility, this is the time.

There are numerous cloud options that firms can consider to be more accessible by all. There may have been IT projects put on hold, but perhaps moving forward with them will see a greater outcome once complete.

3. Be adaptable

There may have been some frustrating moments in 2020 when plans suddenly had to change. With many scenarios out of our individual control, our reactions make a huge impact on the future. Therefore, being adaptable and open to change can actually lead to great things for firms. It allows us to change the narrative instead of using the workplace curse words of, “This is how we’ve always done it.” I never liked hearing those words anyway.

Being adaptable allows employees to have a quicker rebound, with less downtime as they try to figure out each little detail. Modifications can be made along the way as needed. Also, try to see things from another’s perspective. We all have our own challenges and can work together for effective solutions.

4. Promote employee growth

Don’t forget about training, mentoring, and collaborating. Executives, managers, and employees alike should have opportunities for learning and growth regardless of what the office looks like. Employees can still be paired with a more senior position to continue learning, executives can collaborate and check in on teams, and managers can continue training on a virtual platform. This goal will always be important for a firm’s success.

5. Support local communities

Communities need each other. Find ways to use local businesses and support community-based organizations. By doing this, more money can stay within the community and help other small businesses and families directly in your area.

6. Adopt a new habit as a team

There are many tools at our fingertips that can help teams communicate and collaborate. As new information or details emerge about opportunities or projects, do yourself and your colleagues a favor and record them properly. Think of the new information as a shared company resource and use technology to make it accessible to others. I encourage you to collaborate with your colleagues to modify some professional processes for a more streamlined workday. New year = new technology habits.

7. Time management

Be intentional with how your time is spent. We can all get caught up in mundane tasks but identifying important professional tasks can keep us on track. Block time off on your calendar for various projects to ensure chunks of time are available to focus on independent work. This helps protect your own work time while working efficiently for clients too.

8. Keep learning and add value

Let’s face it – we know a lot, but we do not know everything. Even an expert in a particular field has more to learn and room to grow. Step out of your comfort zone and dive into something new. It can be a new hobby, a new skill, or sharpening and fine tuning a skill you are already promoting. There are ways to add value to your life and to your work. Allow yourself to be inspired and empower others to learn and grow. Personal development expands your horizons and what you have to offer!

Keep Pressing On

A new year does not necessarily equal a new you. Instead, it welcomes the opportunity for improvements over time. Our work is never complete and that’s part of the fun. Our personal and professional lives can be so intertwined. Improvements in one area may bring success to the other as well. Best of luck with your resolutions – you can do this!

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Deltek Vantagepoint – A New Era for Project-based Professional Services Firms

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on December 30, 2020

As 2020 draws closer to the end, we reflect on the past and think about the future. A two-decade era of Deltek Vision is winding down. As a result, we are encouraging firms to make the move to Vantagepoint when it's right for them. Additionally, Deltek will continue to support Vision beyond 2023, with no end of life yet determined by Deltek. Its legacy will continue under a new name - Deltek Vantagepoint. Just like Vision, Vantagepoint will continue to help your people manage your projects from start to finish, but with a reimagined, intuitive interface focused on efficiency. Throughout 2020, our firm has communicated with more than 250 firms about their plans to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. In 2021, we look forward to continuing the conversation with many more firms and demonstrating why Deltek Vantagepoint is the gold standard for project-based firms.

Deltek Vantagepoint-2

Available Resources at Your Fingertips

As the Deltek Vision product continues to evolve to Deltek Vantagepoint, clients are looking for answers and clarification on how the change will impact them. The foundation of this new solution is based on Vision with enhanced features and capabilities that users should be aware of before they upgrade. Full Sail Partners has dedicated two years to providing firms with resources to help answer questions and simplify the upgrade process. If you are just starting this journey, be sure to review these resources:

In 2021, we plan to continue educating firms about the latest features as new versions are released. Be sure to sign-up for two webinars focused on the latest release of version 3.5. Both of these webinars will be an hour long and experts will be available to answer your questions.

Preparing for Success

For firms that are ready to jump into 2021 with a plan in hand, we recommend checking out our webinar Preparing for a Successful Move from Vision to Vantagepoint and our Vantagepoint Transition Services to learn more about our 3-step process. Full Sail Partners is helping firms navigate through the upgrade process to deliver a smoother result. Our process reveals the “sins” over the years that might need to be addressed and helps answer the questions of where to start. We have dedicated resources ready to help you outline a plan, train your staff on new features, and make the process more efficient.

Bringing Everything and Everyone Together

Deltek Vantagepoint is designed for the needs of everyone throughout the project lifecycle. The solution was built specifically for professional services firms to improve productivity, boost collaboration, and increase profitability. Suffice to say it was purpose-built with people and projects in mind, bringing all critical business processes into one unified platform. Deltek Vantagepoint brings value to all roles within your firm:

The Future is Deltek Vantagepoint

We understand there are other products that your firm may consider, but we suspect none of them will match the superior levels of project intelligence, management and collaboration needed to grow your business. In 2021, we look forward to helping existing and new project-based businesses better understand the power of Deltek Vantagepoint. Wherever you may be in your Deltek journey, let Full Sail Partners help you navigate your way!

Vantagepoint Transition Services Webinar

The Value of Vantagepoint for Executives

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on November 04, 2020

Vantagepoint Value  for Executives

As an Executive, we carry a lot on our minds and plates these days to ensure our companies are running smoothly. Unifying our teams and simplifying our business processes is a key challenge all executives are looking to resolve. When searching for tools to help staff, it is important to find systems that will grow with your business. This is why thousands of firms rely on Deltek products. For professional services firms, executives are turning to Deltek Vantagepoint to track growth, performance, and profits throughout the project lifecycle. Let’s explore the value of Vantagepoint for executives.

Creating Value for Your Team

Deltek Vantagepoint provides 360-degree visibility into your projects to drive business success. Creating value is not done magically. It requires thinking about the end users’ experience and understanding their business. With Deltek Vantagepoint, much of that work has been done for you. Deltek Vantagepoint was designed by thinking about how each person within your firm will interact within their role and creating efficiency around their interaction with the solution.

Some of the key benefits important to executives include:  

  • Sharing mission-critical data easily across your team while eliminating roadblocks and redundancies
  • Creating a collaborative systematic business process to ensure teams are able to quickly share information across the company
  • Visibility into your team resources company-wide to determine how best to avoid missed milestones
  • Driving home accountability to help maximize productivity and improve efficiency
  • Streamlining cash flow management by capturing timely expenses and captured billable hours with targeted alerts and accurate invoices
  • Simplifying and protecting work in the cloud with a secure, sophisticated infrastructure

Perfect Fit for All Sizes of Project-Based Firms

Deltek Vantagepoint is perfect for project-based firms of all sizes. Interestingly, the majority of firms Full Sail Partners serves are under 50 employees (57%) which coincides with the typical size of project-based firms across the United States. So, as your firm continues to grow, the solution should grow with you. What is most important is choosing a solution that fits your staff’s needs and provides leaders the information necessary to make business decisions about your firm’s growth plans. For firms that have more complex needs, the solution also includes robust features like multi-currency, multi-company, multi-language capabilities and much more that can be enabled.

Modern, Intuitive and User Friendly

Vantagepoint is an intuitive, powerful solution that puts your people and projects at the center of your business. It is designed to help you manage the entire project lifecycle better than before. One of the focal points when the solution was created was to ensure the interface was modern, intuitive and user friendly. It is purpose-built to allow firms to access the solution from any device or browser. As Deltek looks to add new features, they include finding ways for users to utilize the solution more easily. Here are a handful of the cool, modern features within Deltek Vantagepoint:

  • Role-based Dashboards – Quickly access pre-built dashboards designed specifically for the different roles which users are involved in within the company.
  • Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) – Provides users the ability to translate text from handwritten or typed format back into the solution. For example, taking a picture of a receipt and auto filling an expense report.
  • Outlook Add-in – Proactively manage client relationships from within Outlook and synchronize data between both solutions.
  • Calendar Synchronization – Synchronize your personal calendar to easily create touchpoints and timesheet entries.
  • Hey Deltek – Use a personal assistant to help locate, open or create new records.

Built for All Users

In addition to providing executives an at-a-glance look at the health of their business, Vantagepoint is also focused on each role within the firm down to individual employees. The solution was designed with the needs of every employee in mind which ultimately helps executives manage the company. The role Vantagepoint plays in other roles will be discussed in future blogs. Suffice it to say that Deltek Vantagepoint can do it all.

Bringing Everything and Everyone Together

Not only does the solution encourage a collaborative environment, but it brings all your firm’s critical business processes into one unified platform to ensure executives get value from their investment. All employees from project managers to finance to marketing and business development can benefit using Deltek Vantagepoint. Be sure to check out our entire Deltek Vantagepoint mini-series to see how the product can help your employees and firm.

Deltek Vantagepoint Visuals

Reasons to Have a Project-Based ERP System

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on October 24, 2018

 

Project-based ERPThe goal of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is to integrate all aspects of a business from finance to CRM to HR. To have and maintain a successful business operation, accurate and timely information must flow between all the different business functions. With an ERP in place, there is visibility into operations which provides greater control over the business. However, while all businesses benefit from an ERP system, one size does not fit all. Project-based companies are distinct and thus require ERPs suited for their needs.

Unique Financials

Unlike firms just selling products to be shipped, project-based firms have financials reflecting more specific details. Project-based financials are focused on resources, projects and clients. Project-based firms are concerned with billing and time and materials needed per project which is vastly different than a firm that simply tracks inventory. Since project-based financials are so particular, project-based firms should have ERP systems that are equally so.

Deeper Function of Resource Management

Resource management for project-based firms is also a lot more involved. Project-based firms must manage both clients and projects matching the scope of a project to delivery. More than just people, resources here mean skills needed in a project and determining when certain skills are to be used. CRM with projects is built around proposals and recurring client interaction. With the intricate nature of running projects, project-based firms require ERP systems set up to manage resources in this more complex way.

Designed for Different Roles in the Firm

Executives, accountants and project managers all have different focal points. Executives want to see that the business is financially sound and that customers are satisfied. Accounting needs to be able to make sure billing is being completed on time. Project managers must collaborate with everyone to make sure the work is getting done and that people are being utilized by tracking workers as they come off a job. Project-based ERPs are specifically built for all these key roles ensuring efficiency in operation.

Complete Visibility into Business

With project-based ERP systems, every transaction is tied to an account, organization and project. The general ledger account describes expenses, the organization describes who is doing the work and the project is the source of revenue. With these elements linked, financial reports, invoices, payroll and project status reports are all available to show the whole picture of the business providing complete visibility.

Match the ERP to Firm Needs

With a project-based ERP in place, project-based firms will be able to make proactive decisions with current, real-time data. Generic ERP solutions do not meet the needs of project-based companies. Project-based ERPs are specifically designed to ensure that all aspects of project management are tied together to provide an accurate view of project profitability and company health.

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Benefits of Having Clean Company Data

Posted by Ryan Felkel on September 26, 2018

 

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

Improves Employee Productivity

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

Improves Marketing Efficiency

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

Improves Decision-Making

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

Prevents Fraud and Billing Mistakes

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

Get Your Firm’s Data Clean

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

Blackbox Connector for Informer 5 and Deltek Vision 

Hot Service Offerings for Deltek Users in 2017

Posted by Amy Balassone on December 20, 2017

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

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

Deltek for Professional Services

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

Deltek Talent

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

Deltek Project Information Management

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

Blackbox Connector

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

Do More with Deltek in 2018

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

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Understanding and Effectively Using Cross Charge in Deltek Vision

Posted by Michael Kessler, PMP on March 01, 2017

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

High Level Insight into Cross Charge in Deltek Vision 

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

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

Why Use Cross Charge? 

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

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

  • Office
  • Department
  • Discipline
  • Market Sector 

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

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

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

Real-life Application of Cross Charge in Deltek Vision 

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

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

Gain Control of Resources with Cross Charge 

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

Deltek Vision Navigational Analysis

 

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

Posted by Ryan Felkel on August 11, 2016

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

Deltek Vision, Professional Services

Debunking Myths about Deltek Vision

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on June 30, 2016

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

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

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

Below are the top 4 Deltek Vision myths:

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

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

Myth #2 – Deltek Vision is so expensive. 

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

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

Myth #3 - Vision is complicated. 

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing the Right ERP 

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

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Managing Talent with ERP

Posted by Ryan Felkel on July 08, 2015

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

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

Recruitment – Talent Acquisition

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

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

Performance Tracking – Employee Acknowledgement and Engagement

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

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

Employee Development – Succession Planning and Workforce Motivation

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

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

Conclusion – Managing Talent by the Numbers

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

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