Harbor Sets the Stage for Future Growth with Deltek Vantagepoint and Deltek Pros®

September 20, 2023
Harbor Improves Financial Processes with Deltek Pros

An interview with Leslie Davis, President & CEO of Harbor Environmental and Safety

Harbor Environmental and Safety is a woman-owned, full-service EHS compliance, engineering and sustainability-consulting firm serving clients around the world. Founded in 2007 by Trena Adair and Leslie Davis, Harbor is “small, but mighty” with 33 employees and revenues exceeding $4.6 million. The leadership team attributes their success to integrating innovative technologies and ideas into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of each client’s projects while promoting environmental and social stewardship and sustainability.

“We expanded from straight environmental and health safety compliance work and now we have an Engineering Group, as well as a Sustainability and Digital Solutions Group,” states Harbor’s President & CEO, Leslie Davis. “It's been quite the journey. We've been in business for 16 years and are finally at a point where we are competitive with the big firms in expertise and services.”

Deltek Vantagepoint Provides a Foundation for Growth and Scalability

Harbor knew that in order to move forward and grow, they needed to invest in a software solution that better met the needs of their changing project-based business. They were struggling with the challenges that come with using disparate systems that don’t integrate – QuickBooks and BillQuick (BQE), necessitating multiple points of data entry. In addition to the hassle of double data entry, they also struggled to trust the accuracy of the information that was coming out of those systems and never felt like they had a true handle on project costs and reporting.

“We knew the software was lacking and we needed something different, and at the same time we were looking for better project management capabilities,” said Leslie. “We were doing things in-house the old-fashioned way, with paper approvals and manual invoice reviews, and didn’t really have a central location for all the project managers to get the right financial information about a project. For example, project managers could hunt and peck to see five different versions of project costs, but they couldn’t always get the right numbers from the data in our software because payables were managed in Quickbooks and labor expense was managed in BillQuick. That led us to look for a way to really beef up that part of our internal operations.” To get Harbor to the place where they could “play with the big firms,” they knew they needed a solution that connected their project management, project financials and overall company financials in a single system. In 2021, they made the switch to Deltek Vantagepoint, a fully integrated solution built specifically for the needs of consulting firms like Harbor.

“One of the things that really sold us on Deltek Vantagepoint was the ability to do proposals and manage resources,” said Leslie. Vantagepoint’s ability to provide complete financial visibility of the firm, while supporting the complexities of project accounting, invoicing, and billing was key to establishing a scalable foundation for future growth and business maturity. “Because we are a digital solutions company and we help implement software for our clients too, we understand the importance of having the best technology to move the company forward,” Leslie added.

Deltek Pros Industry and Product Expertise Helped Harbor Save Time and Maximize Value

Shortly after Harbor went live with Vantagepoint, one of the founding principals and CFO, Trena Adair left to pursue her passions and the firm was without its financial guru to manage the everyday accounting and financial management responsibilities. Although they now had a solution to provide complete operational transparency, they lacked the time and financial expertise to leverage the full power of Vantagepoint. Fortunately, they were connected with an industry expert from H.H. Morgan through the Deltek Pros program.

“We were not operating at our highest efficiency, and we were not getting everything out of Vantagepoint that we wanted,” Leslie said. “Our Deltek Pro not only filled that gap by providing CPA assistance, but they also made sure that we have the reports and processes in place to use Vantagepoint to our full advantage.”

The combination of professional, industry and product expertise that the Deltek Pro Bookkeepers and Deltek Pro CPAs for Vantagepoint provided for Harbor saved them an immeasurable amount of time.

“Our Deltek Pro assessed where we were, saw the backlog of reconciliations and tasks and sifted through nine months of information getting us up to speed in about 60 days,” Leslie stated. “What the Deltek Pros do is connect the dots in the business and tell you how to get the most out of the software. They have customers like me who have 1,000 other things on their plate and who just need someone to help them figure out the answer. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have found that for both the financial and the software side.”

Advice for Other Firms

Leslie recommends using a Deltek Pro which can offer firms both industry-specific professional experience and product knowledge when implementing a new solution.

“I'm not a financial person. I'm an environmental compliance consultant who is looking to run and grow a business, “said Leslie. “I need to be confident that I have a complete view of my financials so I can invest for growth. Linking those two worlds together is so valuable.”

With the help of Deltek Pros, Harbor has been able to maximize the value of Vantagepoint and set the stage for future success. Not only have they achieved a clearer picture of their financial performance, but they’ve been able to leverage the full power of Vantagepoint to help them make better decisions and build a foundation for future growth.


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