Tweet it:' Australian engineering and consulting firm Tonkin Consulting uses Deltek Vantagepoint to simplify billing, futureproof digital growth and get a single source of truth for their 150+ employees.'
An Interview with Baseel Mohammed, Chief Financial Officer at Tonkin Consulting.
As companies expand, firm leaders can find it increasingly difficult to track, share and analyze information across the business. That’s especially true if your company relies on legacy tools and complex inherited systems to keep the lights on.
Australian engineering and consulting firm Tonkin Consulting understands the challenge of rapid growth all too well. Founded in 1955, the firm provides engineering and associated services across various private and public sectors.
But to unlock the insight, scalability, and process efficiency its people needed to thrive, grow and work from anywhere, the firm needed a more modern, integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to manage their projects and financials.
We spoke to Baseel Mohammed, Tonkin Consulting’s Chief Financial Officer and systems manager, about why Tonkin chose Deltek Vantagepoint as its new ERP solution and how they get more from this industry leading solution.
"We’re a multi-office organization with multiple disciplines so it’s important that we can drill down into our data at a granular level across those business units and Deltek Vantagepoint enables us to do that."
– Baseel Mohammed, Chief Financial Officer, Tonkin Consulting
Identifying the Right System for Growth
“We’ve always wanted systems in place to ensure our staff can work seamlessly and efficiently, anywhere in the world,” says Baseel. “Even before the pandemic, many of us preferred to work remotely, but as it became a necessity, we needed a system that we could standardize across our business processes.
The company wanted a project-based ERP that could easily span multiple office locations and scale as more people joined the company, empowering them with simple, intuitive tools.
“We’d acquired another business, so we were running two systems,” says Baseel. “It was a headache. We wanted a single system that could scale with us over the next decade, ease onboarding, and give people a single source of truth from anywhere.”
With Deltek ERP, Tonkin Consulting saw an opportunity to gain a complete view of the business, a key strategic business goal.
“We’re a multi-office organization with multiple disciplines,” says Baseel. “It’s important that we can drill down into our data at a granular level across those business units and Deltek Vantagepoint enables us to do that.”
Lastly, Tonkin Consulting was looking to digitize and accelerate its manual, paper-based billing that, over many decades, had become a hugely time-consuming and inefficient process.
“We generate close to 300 to 400 invoices a month,” says Baseel. “It was mainly paper-based and required constant back-and-forth markups across the finance team. If we don’t get the invoices out on time, we don’t get paid.”
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Preparing Tonkin Consulting for Deltek Vantagepoint
With a clear set of strategic goals to achieve, Tonkin Consulting began working with Deltek’s Global Consulting Team to review its existing processes and explore how Deltek Vantagepoint could help optimize the business through technology and retire unnecessary processes.
“You have to shed your ego in a situation like this,” says Baseel. “Deltek’s consultants asked some difficult questions about our processes, but as hard as they can be to answer, they proved to be very beneficial. They know the system inside-out and worked with us – not against us – to help change our mindset and identify new efficiencies.”
With strong support from its company board and CEO, Tonkin Consulting spent six months on pre-work to ensure that the system, and its users, were prepared for go live.
“We did a huge amount of preparation before the system went live,” says Baseel. “Those six months really helped us stress test the system and get our people ready for implementation.”
Tonkin Consulting assigned a team of Deltek ‘super users’ to champion the system and ensure that everyone knew exactly who to turn to for support post-deployment. In fact, by the time the system went live – the same day Australia went into lockdown – more than 140 users across different office locations were already using Deltek Vantagepoint across the business.
“When the lockdown announcement came through, we were ready to go with Deltek Vantagepoint,” says Baseel. “And because we’d taken the time to communicate change and manage expectations, it made things a lot easier for everyone.”
" We have significantly reduced our invoice turnaround times. The entire process, including approvals and even accounts payable, happens in a single system."
– Baseel Mohammed, Chief Financial Officer, Tonkin Consulting.
A Faster, Simpler Way to Protect Cash Flow
Since deploying Deltek ERP more than two years ago, Tonkin Consulting has connected its remote workers with a single system. Their Vantagepoint solution empowers the teams with the tools they need to stay productive, access actionable business and project level insights from anywhere.
But it’s the billing process that has arguably benefitted most since deploying Deltek, removing the need to manually generate up to 400 invoices a month.
“We have significantly reduced our invoice turnaround times,” says Baseel. “The entire process, including approvals and even accounts payable, happens in a single system.”
“There’s no paper anymore. Project leaders get a notification when an invoice needs to be generated, so it’s become a very efficient process. Plus, the quicker we can get invoices out, the quicker we get paid, which is great from a cash flow perspective.”
As for the future, Tonkin Consulting is confident in its long-term vision with Deltek and is now looking to introduce revenue forecasting tools into its system.
“We’re trying to encourage people to stay within a single system environment,” says Baseel. “We want to build forecasting into their normal work routine, which will help us make better use of our data and drive strategic growth.”
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Deltek’s ERP solutions help project-based businesses get the visibility they need to improve collaboration, streamline operations, and enhance profitability. Learn more about how Deltek Vantagepoint could benefit your business.
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About Tonkin Consulting
Tonkin Consulting is a leading provider of engineering, environmental and related services to private and public organizations. Their vision is to be Australia’s infrastructure consultant of choice.
They design intelligent solutions for the buildings, environmental, land development, marine and riverine, transport, waste and water sectors. Their clients include commercial and residential developers, construction firms, municipal councils and government departments.
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