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Deltek Vantagepoint Success Stories

Environmental Consultancies

PNJ Engineering Automates Processes with Deltek Vantagepoint

An interview with Param Dhillon, General Manager, PNJ Engineering and Craig LaFranchise, Managing Partner, Rhodium Digital

Canadian owned multi-disciplinary engineering firm PNJ Engineering Inc. specializes in pavement technology, materials engineering, inspection and testing, geotechnical, and concrete technology. The firm, founded in 2020, now utilizes Deltek Vantagepoint Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to better manage their projects, improve visibility, and automate processes.

When senior engineers and technologists came together in 2020 to start multi-disciplinary engineering firm PNJ, they selected an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution they thought would provide the necessary functionality to move their business forward. However, they soon discovered that the software was missing core functionality. They couldn’t easily create reports or apply filters – limiting their insight into overall performance metrics.

How Deltek Vantagepoint Drives Business Success

PNJ’s General Manager, Param Dhillon, shares three ways this modern ERP solution is driving business success and profitability.

01.

Project insight boosts profitability

The ability to easily configure, and where necessary create reports in Deltek Vantagepoint, provides additional functionality PNJ didn’t have with their previous ERP software – giving the team critical insight on their project profitability and overall business operations. And the Project Review function provides a real-time snapshot of where the PNJ team is with the project at any time.

According to Param, “You get immediate insight, so you know if you need to make changes to your process to make sure that the project is profitable.”

PNJ also utilizes reports to track overall efficiencies, to see if projects are on budget, check resource allocation, job-to-date costs (JTD), and estimate to completion (ETC) so they can monitor performance, make changes and improve overall project profitability.

"The modern interface of Deltek Vantagepoint is one of my favorite features, along with the additional functionality."

– Param Dhillon, General Manager, PNJ

02.

Process automation saves time

Param’s favorite time-saving feature in Deltek Vantagepoint, is the back-end automation of timesheets and expense reports. With this added functionality PNJ is able to automate these core operational processes, reducing their busywork. And, as an added bonus, employees can record time and expenses from anywhere with the Time & Expense mobile app.

With Deltek Vantagepoint, PNJ now schedules Accounts Receivable (AR) reports for Project Managers to review every two weeks so they can keep everything moving. And their Accounting team is able to spend less time overall reconciling finances so they can more easily finish up month-end. These automated processes result in faster billing, and ultimately expedited cash flow.

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03.

Modern solution and lasting partnership

Since implementing Vantagepoint, PNJ is happy with their decision to align with Deltek and Deltek Partner, Rhodium Digital. Having previous experience with Deltek’s project-based ERP solutions at a prior company, Param was pleased with the modern advancements found in the latest Vantagepoint release.

PNJ was guided by Rhodium Digital throughout their system evaluation, selection and implementation. Their working relationship spans over 10 years so Param is excited to partner with them again on such an important business initiative.

“We’re honored to be able to continue our long-standing relationship with Param and his team,” said Craig LaFranchise, Managing Partner of Rhodium Digital. “Pairing the enhancements Deltek incorporated into Vantagepoint with PNJ’s familiarity with Vision combined to deliver a timely and impactful implementation.”

PNJ complemented Rhodium’s consulting guidance with Deltek University for employee training. “We learn something every time,” Param stated, “and we appreciate the on-demand content available anywhere, anytime.”

What's Next

With all the added benefits that come from a modern solution, PNJ is looking forward to managing their upcoming projects in Deltek Vantagepoint and pursuing new project opportunities aided by the solutions’ CRM functionality. Along with the opportunity to tap further into Deltek University for continuous learning and Rhodium Digital’s recommendations toward continued adoption of more functionality within Vantagepoint.

PNJ is also eagerly anticipating the additional time savings and productivity improvements that will power their project success and continued growth.

About PNJ Engineering

PNJ Engineering Inc. is a Canadian owned professional company formed by a group of Senior Engineers and Technologists. This multi-disciplinary firm provides services in the fields of Pavement Technology, Materials Engineering, Inspection and Testing, Geotechnical, and Concrete Technology. PNJ develops and implements appropriate and effective quality control and quality assurance programs with the specific needs of their clients in mind.

Haley & Aldrich Realizes Significant Cost Savings with Deltek Vantagepoint

An Interview with Eric Eldridge, Chief Information Technology Officer, Haley & Aldrich

Summary: Haley & Aldrich is a leading environmental and geotechnical firm that implemented Deltek Vantagepoint to eliminate costly customizations and simplify usage for its more than 800 users throughout the United States, giving them more time to focus on client work rather than onerous data entry and management. With Vantagepoint, Haley & Aldrich can simplify business processes, leverage project-based functionality, and take advantage of the latest technologies to service their clients more effectively.

Over the last four years

Over the last four years, Haley & Aldrich began to struggle with the day-to-day financial management of their business and the burden on their information technology (IT) team to maintain their project and accounting system. They needed a solution that could help them better support their dispersed workforce, better align business processes to those of a project-based business, and reduce their overall costs.

Business Challenges That Led to Change

Haley & Aldrich had been using Microsoft Dynamics for about four years when they realized it was time for a change. The biggest challenge they faced was using a tool that was not created specifically for the architecture and engineering industry, which led to costly third-party tools, add-ins and customizations. Eric Eldridge, Chief Information Technology Officer at Haley & Aldrich, explains that they had to transform the system to meet their needs, which became very unwieldy and expensive to maintain.

“We weren’t using anything that was out of the box and trying to do an upgrade was virtually impossible,” said Eldridge. “If you wanted to do an upgrade, it was like a brand new implementation and when you can’t upgrade, you can’t take advantage of new features.”

When evaluating their current solution, Eldridge determined it wasn’t feasible from a cost or functionality standpoint to stay with their current solution.

Why Deltek Vantagepoint

When looking for a new solution to manage their 800-person business, Haley & Aldrich didn’t have to start from scratch. They had a shortlist of solutions to consider and relied on insight from others in the industry to guide their selection. Ultimately, “it came down to the fact that Vantagepoint is written for our industry, a large portion of our industry is using it so many staff were already comfortable with it, and the capabilities out of the box met almost all of our needs,” said Eldridge. “We felt we could completely migrate to Vantagepoint in a short period of time and be in a better position on day one with some pretty significant cost savings.

By moving to Deltek Vantagepoint, Haley & Aldrich will realize about $200,000 a year in operational savings between licensing, maintenance and on-premises infrastructure to support their system. Not only will Haley & Aldrich experience significant annual cost savings, but there are other benefits to their teams as well.

Simple Approvals Lead to Big Returns

One common challenge all architecture and engineering companies face is timesheet entry and approvals and Haley & Aldrich is no different. With Deltek Vantagepoint, Haley & Aldrich has been able to improve their timesheet approval processes with mobile technology that not only improves timesheet data accuracy, but also expedites posting and improves cash flow.

‘We’re not looking for a rubber stamp of approval, but we needed a way for staff managers to make sure the right projects were being charged and time was being entered properly,” said Eldridge.

To have all timesheets completed each Friday and posted by end of day Monday, Haley & Aldrich needed a solution, like Vantagepoint Mobile Time & Expense, that makes it easy to get timesheets updated from anywhere and empowers staff managers to quickly review and approve timesheets. With so many employees on project sites, the mobile app makes it easy to quickly capture hours before the end of the week from a smartphone. A manager can get notified that a timesheet is complete and then review to see if anything is incorrect or needs updated before approval.

“Vantagepoint’s mobile app for time and expense really helped us improve accessibility while adding a little more complexity and control, so that we have fewer errors without sacrificing the amount of time it takes to process,” says Eldridge. “The time entry and approvals is one area that we get the most bang for our buck.”

Taking Deltek Vantagepoint to the Cloud

Haley & Aldrich chose to host Deltek Vantagepoint in the Deltek Cloud, moving away from the headaches of hosting their own solution.

“We intentionally chose something that we couldn’t customize and couldn’t get into the backend database,” said Eldridge. “We had Dynamics in a data center, but it was our staff managing it and that was part of the problem. We had 20 servers in our environment for development testing, support environments, and then production.” Now, with the Deltek Cloud, that headache is gone.

“From a personal standpoint, I spend probably five or six hours less a week dealing with administrative accounting tasks than I used to,” said Eldridge. “I’m less concerned about backups and security updates, or spinning up new environments, now that Deltek manages all of that.”

Moving to the Deltek Cloud has freed up Eldridge and the IT team at Haley & Aldrich to focus on more strategic initiatives for the business and eliminates much of the noise. “They’re not just dealing with bandages and duct tape, but they can focus on moving us forward as a business,” said Eldridge.

Companywide Adoption

After a challenging implementation with their previous solution, Haley & Aldrich was focused on a manageable and successful implementation for Deltek Vantagepoint. They also made a conscious decision to maintain the scope of the implementation. “We took a crawl, walk, run approach to our implementation,” said Eldridge. “We needed a solution that could manage our financials and evolve with our business.”

In Eldridge’s experience, there can often be a steep learning curve to get users up to speed, but with Vantagepoint, it was different. “We had a two-week period of time where there were no transactions posted at all. We went live on a Friday and once live, I was getting approval requests from accounts payable the next day. And, it wasn’t just one or two – I got a hundred over the weekend so they were processing very quickly,” shared Eldridge. “From getting time entered to getting invoices out the door – those groups didn’t miss a beat. Our cash application and project setup teams had a similar experience.”

Eldridge says that the intuitive nature of Vantagepoint and their training program made this transition more seamless. Haley & Aldrich had an implementation team that trained key leaders from each group to be the point person for their teams. They also delivered role-based training that focused on what each group needed to focus on in order to complete their day-to-day tasks. The usability and impact of training goes beyond just the power users.

“I have not heard one person in 800 people say they wish we hadn’t changed systems,” said Eldridge. “It’s not always 100% the way they want it, but what I hear from the staff is that it’s a lot better than what we had.” Eldridge also contributes their success to their partnership with the Deltek Global Consulting team and Deltek Partner CCG. The consulting team not only had in-depth knowledge of the solution, but also shared experiences from other users to help Haley & Aldrich make the right choice for their business.

Recommendations for Architecture and Engineering Firms

Eldridge shared some key considerations for other architecture, engineering and environmental firms looking for a financial management or enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. “If you are in our industry, you definitely want to look at Deltek Vantagepoint because you are going to get more out of the box than you will with other solutions that need to be augmented and can be difficult to maintain,” said Eldridge. “You don’t need to try and fit a round peg in a square hole.”

He also shared that some ERP projects can be a great opportunity to improve your business processes. “I would much rather have a system that works for a large number of companies than think my process is so much better than everyone else’s and try to change the software,” said Eldridge. “There are times when you do an implementation, where you have to change your processes, because improvement has to be a combination of people, process and technology.”

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What's Next for Haley & Aldrich?

Haley & Aldrich completed their implementation of Deltek Vantagepoint in the midst of a global pandemic and also completed an acquisition during that time. According to Eldridge, their next task will be moving the newly acquired company to Vantagepoint from BST and then determining the next set of capabilities to implement across the business.

“Whether it’s resource planning or customer relationship management (CRM), it’s good to know that Deltek has an industry-focused toolset that can help us accomplish our goals,” said Eldridge.

Haley & Aldrich is also focused on connecting with the Deltek user community through user groups, the Deltek Insight user conference and town halls. “To get the most of your investment, you have to be an active participant, so we are making sure we are getting involved in the Deltek Community and talking to peers to stay informed and connected,” said Eldridge.

And, as Haley & Aldrich looks to the future, they are confident that the time and cost savings achieved with Vantagepoint can be put toward innovation. “Our strategic vision for five years from now is focused on how we leverage evolving technologies to better deliver value to our clients,” said Eldridge. “And you can’t just fund that from thin air. You need to have time and resources available to invest. Eldridge anticipates the time no longer spent managing updates and security will be spent finding better ways to serve their clients.

About Haley & Aldrich

Haley & Aldrich provides environmental and geotechnical engineering services throughout the United States for a wide range of projects in industries such as aerospace, healthcare, education, manufacturing, mining, energy, government infrastructure, and real estate development. Haley & Aldrich has more than 800 professionals in more than 30 offices who focus on solving complex problems above and below ground for their clients. 

How OES Cleans Up On the Competition Thanks in Part to Deltek Vantagepoint

An Interview with Cherise Bowens, Treasurer & Controller at Oklahoma Environmental Services

Oklahoma Environmental Services (OES) is an environmental consulting and remediation firm located in Oklahoma City. The firm specializes in environmental remediation and consulting for contaminated soil and groundwater projects at local, municipal, state, and federal facilities.

A Need for Company & Project Visibility

With more than 20 years of experience and 20,000+ successful projects, OES has built a reputation as a remediation expert. Still, the view of their financial and project data was far from clean.

As Cherise Bowens, Treasurer and Controller at OES, explained, “We had all the information that we needed, but it was operating in different silos. We had an accounting system that was really just for recording the financial activity, but we needed to have more insight into our projects. We had data in emails, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and more. Some information was on laptops, other information was on in the cloud, and nothing was really talking to each other. So, it was hard to gain insights into project and company performance.”

Deltek Vantagepoint: A No Brainer

At the time, OES was using Sage 50 for financial data along with a number of tools for project management, including Microsoft Excel and Word, and Outlook for scheduling. According to Cherise, “We were looking for an ERP system that could bring all the project-based information, financial information, and customer information into one place, so we could make meaningful decisions and be intentional about our business strategy going forward.”

project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like Deltek Vantagepoint allows consulting firms like OES to gain visibility across the company, from project initiation to completion. With a complete view of your company in a single place, you can make better, more informed decisions to drive your business forward.

During discovery, OES looked at different competitors including Sage Intacct, Oracle, NetSuite and Epicor.

"We weighted each competitor against our top criteria and felt that between price, support, implementation, and overall functionality, it was a no-brainer for us to go with Deltek Vantagepoint."

– Cherise Bowens, Treasurer & Controller, OES

Real-Time Insights = Efficiency & Profitability

Once the implementation was complete, OES immediately began to realize significant benefits. As Cherise attested, “One of the top benefits of Deltek Vantagepoint for us has been the ability to be more efficient as a result of the real-time access to data.” That real-time access allows OES to make immediate changes on a project that ultimately impacts profitability.

Vantagepoint has also helped OES become more efficient by freeing up administrative activities. “We found several automation opportunities. For example, with workflow. I didn’t realize how many emails we were sending out about reminding employees to submit timecards. Instead of manually doing that, I can let Vantagepoint bug them as much as I want.”  

Project reporting has been another efficiency gained. Cherise continued, “Deltek Vantagepoint has been so much more efficient for the accounting team. If a Project Manager (PM) wants to know ‘what are my labor hours charged?’, we have that right away. Before this all-in-one solution, I had to manually job cost timesheets, and it was a burden. I would have to go to each PM or technician, who were all working on 10-15 projects per week, to get that information.”

Deltek Vantagepoint: A No Brainer

At the time, OES was using Sage 50 for financial data along with a number of tools for project management, including Microsoft Excel and Word, and Outlook for scheduling. According to Cherise, “We were looking for an ERP system that could bring all the project-based information, financial information, and customer information into one place, so we could make meaningful decisions and be intentional about our business strategy going forward.”

project-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system like Deltek Vantagepoint allows consulting firms like OES to gain visibility across the company, from project initiation to completion. With a complete view of your company in a single place, you can make better, more informed decisions to drive your business forward.

During discovery, OES looked at different competitors including Sage Intacct, Oracle, NetSuite and Epicor.

"Deltek Vantagepoint has decreased many administrative processes and opened up my role to provide more business value."

– Cherise Bowens, Treasurer & Controller, OES

A Clean UI Encouraged Adoption

A good user interface (UI) can have a powerful impact on the usability and overall adoption of any new software. Cherise understood that a simple and clean UI was essential to help the company embrace this project and encourage the adoption of the overall system. “When we saw the UI interface, I was like, gosh, that’s all I wanted. It’s simple and straight to the point.” 

Deltek Vantagepoint is built to empower professional services users with a simple, intuitive interface, to make adoption widespread, and the OES experience reflects that. Their company started with just five users, but within a short period, they had the whole firm using it.

A Competitive Advantage by Enabling Remote Work

With the ability to quickly understand what is happening within a project and across the business, Deltek Vantagepoint enables teamwork and collaboration. For OES, Vantagepoint gave them a competitive advantage by empowering them to transition more easily to a remote work environment.

As Cherise describes, “A lot of our competitors weren’t set up for remote work, but with us having a cloud-based ERP system, we had minimal business interruption. Now we can schedule and give out assignments remotely, without having to set up or wonder what system(s) a person is using. It really helped us take advantage of the short-term need for remote access, remote capability, and remote flexibility.

Long Term: Winning More Business

OES also expects more long-term benefits from Deltek Vantagepoint that will help them stay more efficient and, in-turn allow them to win more business. “In this industry, a lot of pricing is set by the government or an overarching body, so the competitive advantage is really how efficient are you at that project. And I think, especially during the pandemic, efficiency became the differentiator for us. Where some take a week, we’re so agile and adaptive, we take three to four days, and we’re moving on to the next.”

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To see how Deltek Vantagepoint can help your consulting firm improve productivity, boost collaboration and increase profitability, visit the Vantagepoint demo page.

How Deltek Vantagepoint Powers Growth for Environmental Consultancy

An Interview with Makayla Cates, Contract Performance Manager, Emma Pires, Business Analyst, and Chad Rahmani, Director of Financial Services at Surf to Snow Environmental Resource Management, Inc.

Surf to Snow Environmental Resource Management, Inc (S2S) is a family-owned business established in 2008. A California-based environmental firm, they are a Department of Veteran’s Affairs-verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and state-certified Small Business Enterprise/Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (SBE/DVBE) founded on a mission is to provide natural resource and regulatory expertise to help their clients and partners build projects and succeed in business while protecting and managing the shared environment for today and future generations. As Makayla Cates, Contract Performance Manager at S2S explained, “We have the expertise to support all project phases in establishing and maintaining project compliance with local, state and federal laws and regulations while also ensuring that our clients’ project objectives, costs, and schedule goals are achieved.”

Empowering Growth

As a growing business with new contracts, S2S realized they needed a more efficient way to manage projects, perform invoicing, and track time and expenses. At the time they were using a myriad solutions including spreadsheets, QuickBooks,® and an outdated PSA/ERP system. According to Emma Pires, Business Analyst at S2S, “We interviewed a lot of different vendors and we ultimately landed on Deltek Vantagepoint because we felt it could integrate all of our needs in one solution.” Vantagepoint is a project and financial management solution built for the way project-based businesses work. Chad Rahmani, Director of Financial Services at S2S explained, “We talked with some similar firms who were a bit larger and found those companies were successfully using Deltek Vantagepoint, so we knew it could scale with us.”

Flexible Invoicing

Another major reason for choosing Vantagepoint was the flexible project invoicing design options. As Emma described, “Some of our clients have very specific invoicing demands with three+ levels of information. For example; project name, task, order number, and location. Deltek is able to get to a very granular level of detail when it comes to projects.”

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Project Insights & Efficiencies

A big benefit of utilizing an integrated project and financial management system is the ability to proactively manage projects by consistently monitoring project performance. With Deltek Vantagepoint, S2S can access company and project data quickly, including key performance indicators for employee utilization and project billing. As Makayla explained, “An important function for S2S is project management and visibility. The ability to have insights into our projects, ensuring we are hitting our goals, and the capability to track better was a huge improvement for our project management team.” With critical business information at their fingertips, S2S is able to make informed decisions about their projects faster.

Cross Department Visibility

As a relatively small firm, the staff at S2S wear a number of hats. After implementing Deltek Vantagepoint, they can more easily share information across the company, and spend less time manually pulling reports. “Vantagepoint helps us get information across different departments and has been a significant timesaver for our administrative team,” according to Emma. “Instead of having to pull or create custom reports, we can inform the team that it’s already on their dashboard and they have access in real-time.”

Setup for Future Success

Overall, Deltek Vantagepoint has helped S2S become more efficient and helped set up the company for future growth.

"Vantagepoint has added a lot more efficiency to our process. More procedures are automatic and with that added efficiency we can maximize the utilization of our staff."

– Chad Rahmani, Director of Financial Services, S2S

And as Emma Pires describes, “Vantagepoint will help us with scalability by giving us the ability to take on more contracts, because we have a better system to manage and report on our projects.”

Advice for Firms Implementing an ERP or PSA Software

The team at S2S has some advice for other professional services companies who are evaluating and implementing an ERP or PSA system. Makayla advises, “One of the big things we learned was to make sure to communicate and have buy-in from leaders across the company. Make sure everyone is aware and prepared so there are no delays and efficiencies can reach their full potential as quickly as possible.”

About Surf to Snow

Surf to Snow (S2S) is a full-service environmental consulting firm working in the electric, gas, and hydroelectric utilities; transportation; telecommunications; green infrastructure; federal; state and local services sectors. Their areas of expertise include stormwater, water quality, permitting and compliance, environmental planning, natural and cultural resources, and restoration support. They are also a GSA Federal Supply Schedule contract holder (47QRAA21D000B).

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