Willmer Engineering Future-Proofs its Business with Deltek Vantagepoint and Deltek Pros®

November 13, 2023
Willmer Engineering

An interview with James Willmer, CEO/CFO of Willmer Engineering

Willmer Engineering, a second-generation engineering business specializing in civil engineering, including geotechnical, environmental construction and materials testing, has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1982. However, the company's journey towards efficiency, modernization and sustainable growth began when the current leadership, took over the family business five years ago.

A Legacy of Paper-Based Accounting

When the current CEO stepped into the business, Willmer Engineering relied heavily on paper-based accounting processes. The accounts payable department received a weekly stack of papers, manually initialed by various project managers and payments were issued through traditional checks. It was an arduous, time-consuming and error-prone process that was in dire need of an overhaul.

Recognizing the need for change, the CEO set his sights on implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. He chose Deltek Vision which transformed Willmer Engineering’s paper processes into digital ones. The transformation included setting up new banking relationships, ACH wire transfers and bill payment automation, streamlining the entire financial ecosystem.

Deltek Pros Aids in upgrading Willmer from Vision to Vantagepoint

Willmer realized the next step in the firm’s digital transformation was to move to an upgraded ERP. Vantagepoint offered resource planning and Microsoft Connect, plus more robust dashboards. Two years ago, the Deltek Pros, a group of trusted professionals who are experienced in their industry's project-based needs and have expert knowledge of Deltek solutions, assisted in upgrading Willmer Engineering from Deltek Vision to Deltek Vantagepoint in the Cloud. Today, the company outsources all of its accounting functions to Deltek Pros HH Morgan, providing the CEO and his team with the freedom to focus on core business operations.

Efficiency and Integration

The CEO, a self-proclaimed technology enthusiast, always aimed to be at the forefront of efficiency. The Vantagepoint solution, with support from their Deltek Pros Bookkeepers and Project Accountants, proved to be a game-changer. Previously, reviewing accounts payable (AP) took three hours, now, it takes just five minutes. Tracking projects was also challenging with scattered data and manual entry errors, which Vantagepoint resolved.

One of the standout benefits of this digital transformation was the elimination of paper from the process. With digital accounts receivable (AR) reports, time stamps and CRM reports, Willmer Engineering now operates in a paperless environment, reducing clutter and enhancing organization.

Government Contracts Made Easy

A significant portion of Willmer Engineering's work involves public projects at the state and federal level, particularly in transportation roadway construction. The complexity of these projects requires precise reporting, often involving multiple layers of stakeholders. “If you spend any time in the government sector, you’ll learn that every ‘I’ needs to be dotted and every ‘T’ crossed, especially where the Federal Acquisition Related (FAR) audits are concerned,” said Joy Cranford, President of H.H. Morgan. The support provided by the Deltek Pros in handling government paperwork, along with their availability to address any queries, has proven invaluable to the firm. According to Joy, “With complex billing requirements for federal and state transportation projects, Willmer must comply with FAR requirements. In the past, James shared that they would barely make the deadline, but with Deltek Pros, they are ready for their annual FAR audit three months in advance."

A Mobile-Ready, Future-Ready Solution

“I went down the road with Salesforce, and other solutions, but in the end Vantagepoint made the most sense for our industry with the way you could look at clients and projects,” said James.

Vantagepoint was an ideal fit for Willmer Engineering, not only because it is a cloud-based solution, but it is also mobile-friendly, making it easier for James and his team to review data and make critical decisions from anywhere. It also helps support the mobile workforce so they can better manage their projects on the go.

With plans for growth through acquisitions on the horizon, having a robust, cloud-based platform like Vantagepoint is a strategic asset. It ensures seamless integration of new teams into the company's operations, facilitating efficient scaling.

James believes that the decision to hire Deltek Pros for Vantagepoint is the best thing they've done in the past five years. It has allowed them to concentrate on core business activities while the financial aspects are expertly managed.

James can now focus on business development and the firm is working closely with their Deltek Pros to utilize Vantagepoint CRM and implement Vantagepoint Resource Planning. This will provide project managers with the tools and training needed to project revenue accurately, a critical step for any growing company.

Advice for Other Firms

James Willmer's advice to other firms facing similar challenges is clear: don't hesitate to seek help from professionals who understand the technology and the industry. In the case of Willmer Engineering, engaging the Deltek Pros from H.H. Morgan was a transformative decision that led to efficiency, growth and the elimination of paper-based headaches.

Willmer Engineering's journey from a paper-based accounting system to a streamlined, integrated and future-ready operation with the help of Deltek Pros and Deltek Vantagepoint serves as an inspiring example of how innovation can empower businesses to thrive in today's fast-paced world.


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