Deltek Ajera Provides The CPI Group with a Simple Solution for Managing Complex Projects

July 25, 2022

An Interview with Mark Hejtmanek, Principal and Chief Financial Officer, Therese Morin, Senior Project Cost Manager and Lisa Meumann, Staff Accountant at The CPI Group

For over 25 years, The CPI Group, a leader in complex project management, has provided consulting and program management services for healthcare, aerospace, and high-tech manufacturing facilities. For The CPI Group, executing perfect projects is imperative. As Mark Hejtmanek, Principal and CFO, explained, “A project misstep at a hi-tech manufacturing facility could result in a huge loss of revenue for our clients as much as $1,000,000 an hour.” Meanwhile, downtime at a hospital can be even more serious if there is an interruption of critical patient care.

We sat down with experts from this leading firm, to discuss how Deltek Ajera provided visibility into project profitability and overall firm financial health that their previous ERP system lacked.

 The CPI Group

CPI Group project featured above: Innosphere Ventures’ new bioscience and advanced manufacturing facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. Innosphere provides a commercialization program that supports science and technology-based startup companies.

As a mature firm, CPI had a legacy ERP system they used to help with accounting, procurement, and project management. However, the system proved expensive and cumbersome to get customized reporting from. As a result, the firm was unable to get project and financial information in a timely fashion, leading to frustration among stakeholders and inefficiencies within the business.

Deltek Ajera: The Best Fit

After an exhaustive ERP replacement search, which included evaluating multiple vendors including Viewpoint, Sage, and QuickBooks Enterprise, The CPI Group chose Deltek Ajera, designed specifically for growing A&E and consulting firms, as the best solution to meet their business needs. “We really took the time to look at what our pain points were. We had an entire list of things that we had to have,” said Mark.

In the end, CPI found what they actually needed was a project-based accounting system with simple timesheets and expense management, and flexible reporting that was accessible by all cross-functional team members, including operations, accounting, project management, engineers, and the C-suite. As Therese Morin, Senior Project Cost Manager at The CPI Group said, “We needed to be able to communicate with our stakeholders, including project managers, pretty effectively and we weren't getting that from our prior solution.”

Improved Visibility & Project Efficiencies

Implementing Deltek Ajera has given CPI added visibility into project profitability and overall firm financial health as well as made the firm more efficient. According to Therese, “Not only were the up front costs less than 60% of our old system, but we are getting so much more out of it.”

Specifically, when it comes to project management she sees a big improvement, “Now we’re going to the next level with a lot of these projects because we're able to communicate a lot more effectively, our project managers are able to see reports directly…and address issues immediately.”


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Faster Invoicing

Running the back-office accounting has also been much easier for The CPI Group, thanks to Deltek. Lisa Meumann, Accountant at The CPI Group, says, “I think the biggest thing for me with Ajera is the invoicing process. It’s so much easier than what we were doing before. It has gotten rid of a lot of back and forth between our cost managers, project managers, and accounting. It has probably resulted in a 50% times savings.”

Real-Time, Time & Expenses

Because The CPI Group now uses Ajera for time and expense management, they are seeing where spending is going in real-time and how those dollars impact project profitability. As Mark explains, “We have a timesheet widget that allows us to monitor and manage timesheet submissions in real-time from every employee rather than doing that manually. The widget tells you at a glance who's late, who's on time, and how much they submitted so that you can spend your time addressing the problem, rather than trying to figure out whether you have a problem.”

Ajera’s mobile expense entry was also a necessary feature when evaluating ERP solutions. According to Lisa, “The mobile expense entry has been a huge help for us.” The Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality in the software, where it reads the receipt, has proved to be a huge time saver for employees vs. our previous receipt upload and entry processes.

Feeling Supported

Inevitably new users of any modern software system will require some level of support. Through their implementation journey, The CPI Group has found the Deltek help center and support staff to be top-notch. “Whenever we have needed documentation it has been far superior to what we were able to find and utilize from our previous ERP system, and the knowledge of the customer support reps has been really impressive. When I can’t find a solution in the learning center I'll just initiate a chat. If it starts to become too complicated … they'll immediately fire up a Zoom call and we'll address it live. In almost every case, the person knew exactly what I was dealing with and often had a ready solution,” shared Mark.

Setup for Growth & Future Success

The Great Resignation has affected almost every firm in some way and CPI is no different. However, Deltek Ajera has helped set the firm up for future success by ensuring its staff is fully utilized. As Mark explained, “A big thing from my perspective is being better able to manage our capacity planning. Now with Ajera we are better able to ensure that our people are fully utilized and doing meaningful, billable work, to keep our company profitable.” The ability to quickly understand company backlog ensures they are able to finish projects on time and monitoring employee workload helps prevent stress and increase employee satisfaction.

To learn how Deltek Ajera can help your A&E or consulting firm increase project profitability, improve utilization rates and streamline your back office accounting processes, request a demo from one of our experts.


About The CPI Group

The CPI Group has been providing total program management services for healthcare and high-tech facilities since 1994. Independently owned and Colorado-based, we help clients across the country simplify complex facility projects and realize superior outcomes.