Greenprint Partners Finds a Straightforward Solution for Complex Project Management

May 06, 2024
Greenprint Partners

Greenprint Partners is an award-winning consulting, planning, and civil engineering firm that helps deliver inspired green infrastructure projects. Recently, we sat down with Nicole Chavas, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and co-founder of Greenprint Partners, and Aaron Young, Director of Finance Administration. They discussed Greenprint Partners' success and how Deltek Vantagepoint has helped the firm grow from a small startup to a team of 25 professionals with offices in multiple states and resources across the U.S.

The Challenge

Greenprint Partners started as a small firm based in Chicago, Illinois, to assist public agencies in planning, designing, and implementing sustainable water infrastructure. As it grew from a handful of employees into a more prominent firm with complex projects and clients across the country, it faced challenges managing projects and finances effectively. The firm used disparate cloud-based tools, and, as Nicole put it, "a lot of Excel," for time tracking and light project management. However, as their project portfolio expanded and became more sophisticated, these tools became unwieldy, and extracting data from them was challenging and time-consuming. As a result, Greenprint Partners needed a more robust system to manage their growing firm and project portfolio.

The Solution

Greenprint Partners chose Deltek Vantagepoint as their solution in large part because they had seen the system work effectively for similar firms and they understood it would allow them to replace several project management and accounting tools with one system.


“We were using QuickBooks for accounting as well as Harvest for time tracking. In addition, we had for AP, Expensify for expense reports, and Asana for project management. After seeing Vantagepoint, I could clearly see how it replaced many of our tools into one system.”

– Nicole Chavas, President, COO and Co-Founder of Greenprint Partners


In addition to the benefits of infrastructure simplification, the pricing of Vantagepoint was another selling point for Greenprint Partners. As Nicole explained, "Price-wise, it paid for itself. When I added up the cost of all of those tools, we found it didn't cost us more to transition in terms of monthly payments because we were spending money on a whole bunch of different tools.”

A Lightning-Fast Implementation

Greenprint Partners implemented Vantagepoint accounting, time and expense, resource planning, and CRM modules. To help implement the solution, Greenprint Partners hired Aaron Young, who had a certification in Deltek Vantagepoint and had implemented the system elsewhere. Aaron expanded, "I worked with Craig Stoll, Sr Consultant, from the Deltek Professional Services team from May thru August. We grabbed as much data as possible from our prior systems and migrated all of that into Deltek. We were live by September, so it was very fast." The Deltek Professional Services team has completed hundreds of successful implementations, with industry-specific, pre-configured offerings that focus on reducing Time to Implement (TTI) and driving quicker Time to Value, helping customers go live quickly and efficiently. Once Greenprint Partners was fully up and running with Vantagepoint, they were able to replace more than 10 cloud-based and on-prem tools.

“KPIs at our Fingertips”

With Vantagepoint, consulting firms like Greenprint Partners have clear visibility into their projects and company performance. The key performance indicator (KPI) dashparts in Vantagepoint make it easy to see how the business performs without spending hours sifting through reports. Greenprint Partners was also able to set up separate reports for financials, KPI reporting, and labor. Nicole explains, "So we now have a package of reports that go out monthly that I review, and then we send them to team managers or whoever needs to know. We've created a KPI dashboard to monitor our key KPIs, including utilization, realization, and sales. We have all those important KPIs at our fingertips, and we can slice and dice that info in the way that makes the most sense to us. The transparency has been a game changer."

A 12% Utilization Improvement

Beyond visibility, implementing Deltek Vantagepoint led to significant process improvements and ROI for Greenprint Partners. Tracking utilization is one of the primary drivers of profitability for consulting and professional services organizations.


“With Vantagepoint, we increased our utilization by 5% in one year and then improved by 12% the year after that. We use Vantagepoint as our single source of truth, leaning in and seeing real results.”

– Aaron Young, Director of Finance Administration at Greenprint Partners


Improved Cash Flow Helps Propel Growth

Deltek Vantagepoint helps professional services improve cash flow by helping firms to automate and create a more accurate invoicing process. After implementing Vantagepoint, Greenprint Partners reduced their Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) by nearly 15 days. DSO is a calculation used to estimate the average length of a company's collection period. Reducing this number can help professional services firms weather unexpected challenges, collect payments faster for better cash flow, seize market opportunities, and ultimately sustain long-term viability. In addition to reducing DSO, Vantagepoint helped Greenprint Partners shave time off their monthly close.


“Because everything is centered on one single source, it's easier and more standardized. It allows the project managers to look at multiple projects and identify things that may be incorrect. It's shaved three to four days off of the monthly close.”

– Aaron Young, Director of Finance Administration at Greenprint Partners


The Ability to Handle Large-Scale Projects

In the short 10 years since their inception, Greenprint Partners has built a national track record in sourcing, designing, and delivering community-driven green infrastructure projects on public and private property across America. As a result, they have had the opportunity to take on projects with a much larger scope and complexity.


“Deltek Vantagepoint allowed us to take on more complex project work. We now manage some pretty sophisticated multimillion-dollar programs that we never would have been able to handle operationally before Deltek.”

– Nicole Chavas, President, COO and Co-Founder of Greenprint Partners


Feedback Received

One unanticipated benefit that Greenprint Partners expanded on was the responsiveness they received from the Deltek product and support team. Deltek is committed to seeking customer insights to build the best products. One way we do this is through the Deltek Idea Portal, an online tool designed to provide greater visibility and discussion around user-requested enhancements.


“I don't think the Deltek Idea Portal gets enough recognition because the speed at which ideas go from just an idea to implementation is impressive. I submitted some ideas last November, which are already being rolled out in Vantagepoint 7.0. It's impressive. Deltek really listened to our feedback.”

– Aaron Young, Director of Finance Administration at Greenprint Partners


Future Plans

As Greenprint Partners continues to grow, they plan to implement the skills inventory in Deltek Vantagepoint. This will help them make better decisions about who to put on project teams and understand what skills are available across the firm. Vantagepoint goes beyond just listing resource titles; users can search and categorize skills and their corresponding level of proficiency. As Nicole explained, "After seeing the skills inventory available in Vantagepoint, we realized it could help us make better decisions about who to put on project teams or to see what kind of skills are available across the firm to support certain projects. So that's something I'm really excited to implement this summer to help us with better labor and resource management."


Implementing Deltek Vantagepoint has allowed Greenprint Partners to undertake more complex project work. They can now handle large, multimillion-dollar, multi-phase programs that they wouldn't have been able to manage operationally before Deltek. Deltek's implementation has helped Greenprint Partners grow, become more efficient, and execute more complex projects.


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