An Interview with Jeanell Freeman, Managing Director of Business Operations, and Robert Johansen, Director of Business Systems at Nonprofit HR
Consulting firm, Nonprofit HR has been helping associations and nonprofit organizations develop and navigate talent management objectives and challenges for over 20 years. As their nationwide client base steadily expanded to servicing upwards of 400 clients at a time, they realized they needed a more robust accounting and project management system to help them manage their complex engagements.
Growth Drives Change for Nonprofit HR
Jeanell Freeman, Managing Director of Business Operations, explained their reasoning, “Our strategic plan and growth drove our need for Vantagepoint. We needed a more comprehensive financial management system that could support our project management needs and our operating requirements. It was essential that any new solution could also capture data in a centralized location that would maintain the integrity of that data and ultimately, drive decision making.” Jeanell continued, “Before, we were using disparate systems: A highly customized, yet insufficient CRM, and a customized system for accounting, plus various project management tools across the organization. We needed and all-encompassing system that included resource management and the ability to accurately measure profitability and productivity.”
After conducting a preliminary assessment to understand their operational and financial needs, Nonprofit HR selected Deltek Vantagepoint as the best solution to help them reach their organizational goals. One that would help them to better manage projects and quickly and reliably report on project and company profitability. “When I saw the Vantagepoint system, I know that it was exactly what we needed,” Jeanell said.
Deltek Vantagepoint helps firms like Nonprofit HR manage proactively manage project risks with alerts to inform project managers of potential schedule and cost overruns before it’s too late and make adjustments to keep the projects on track.
Seamless Project Management & Better Data
Vantagepoint allows consulting firms like Nonprofit HR and other project-based businesses to manage projects, enable teamwork and collaboration, and empower users with a simple, intuitive experience via a single tool. Jeanell noted, “Deltek Vantagepoint allows our consultants to manage projects in a more seamless and accurate way.”
The project planning tool within Vantagepoint allows users to create alerts to inform project managers of potential risks and make adjustments to stay on track and meet client demands. Robert Johansen, Director of Business Systems at Nonprofit HR agrees, “The ability to plan and easily see project metrics, resource utilization, do labor forecasts, revenue forecasts and pipeline forecasts is huge for us.”
A View of Deltek Vantagepoint’s Project Hub
The Road to More Profitable Organization
A recent Hinge Research Institute study shows that professional services firms’ growth is closely tied to project profitability. The ability to access project data in real-time can be the difference between a profitable project and one that loses money. Deltek Vantagepoint helps firms like Nonprofit HR manage project risks with alerts to inform project managers of cost and schedule overruns, allowing stakeholders to make adjustments to keep projects profitable and clients satisfied.
Nonprofit HR has a number of complex projects that include a wide array of people and services such as; company assessments, executive search, hiring, onboarding, training, and performance management. Deltek Vantagepoint has helped streamline the management of those projects. According to Jeanell, it will also help set them up for future success because they can more easily evaluate and select the most profitable projects.
"Deltek Vantagepoint provides a more integrated approach for us to measure and figure out how profitable a project is and use that data to drive a strategic approach to choose what projects to pursue in the future."
– Jeanell Freeman, Director of Business Systems
A Single System Delivers Efficiencies for Nonprofit HR
According to SHRM, many employees are overwhelmed and wasting time bouncing back and forth between too many disparate software systems. With Deltek Vantagepoint, professional services organizations can have all of their essential project information in one place – from pursuit and proposal, to project planning and financial management. As Jeanell describes, “We have been able to hone in on profitability, and realized project management efficiencies through the use of a single system. Before, we were pulling data manually; now, we have reduced the time we spend combing through project financial data. It has made our life easier and decision-making faster.”
And Robert notes that the single system has also resulted in more accurate information. “At other companies we had much more siloed data. Deltek Vantagepoint has reduced that and made us more process driven and reliable. And because we have included the Vantagepoint CRM module, we can follow all the way from pursuit to award, to execution, to close. We have the data we need at our fingertips, and since it ties back to the financial data, we understand exactly how we are doing.”
Advice for Others Evaluating ERP Systems
Choosing the right financial management or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is one of the most important decisions a consulting firm can make. Jeanell advises others going through this process to make sure they take time and perform due diligence with their preliminary assessments. “What led us to Vantagepoint was our internal understanding of what our operational and financial reporting needs were, and the ability to articulate those needs to the vendor.” She continued, “Adopting Deltek Vantagepoint is a big change. We made sure the accounting team was a part of the process from start to finish and that they were onboard and excited about the ability to get clean financial data and better reporting.”
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About the Author
Nonprofit HR is a human resources firm with approximately 130 employees and 100 consultants across the United States, focused exclusively on the social sector, including nonprofits, associations, social enterprises, and other mission-driven organizations. Their full scope of services includes talent acquisition, executive search, consulting, research, education, and training assistance.
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