The Perfect Solution for a Consulting Firm on a Fast-Growth Trajectory
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Katherine McElroy, Executive Vice-President of c3/Consulting, a Deltek client and management consulting firm headquartered in Tennessee. As a winner of numerous industry awards, c3/Consulting recently received Consulting Magazine’s 2016 “Fastest Growing Firms” award. As a consulting expert, Katherine has 25+ years of experience in software development and has worked with numerous clients analyzing their business processes and applying technology to solve their business challenges.
Following are some of the key takeaways from our discussion with Katherine about their Deltek PSA implementation.
A Project-based Solution Tailored for a Fast-Growing Consulting Firm
c3/Consulting started using QuickBooks for basic bookkeeping – to which they added plug-ins for timekeeping and other business functionality. As the company grew they realized that QuickBooks would not be able to scale to keep up with the firm’s fast growth. They also realized they needed a more robust accounting system, designed specifically for project-based consulting firms that could support more sophisticated requirements as the business matured.
When c3/Consulting evaluated their options, Deltek came out on top. c3/Consulting found that Deltek really understood the project engagement model and consulting industry. In addition, Deltek’s expertise and significant investments in the technology demonstrated deep commitment to the consulting industry.
According to Katherine, “I would definitely recommend Deltek products and solutions to other companies in the professional services industry. Deltek really understood our type of company and is continually upgrading the products and types of features that this industry needs … That's what makes great software. It’s when a lot of people are using it and pushing you to improve it for that industry.”
Enhancing Core Business Processes with Professional Services Automation
Replacing spreadsheets and manual processes with automation has enabled c3/Consulting to grow without adding administrative headcount. According to Katherine, “As we have implemented more and more of the features in Deltek, we have been able to scale more and more.” The company has continued to evaluate their internal processes to identify other areas to potentially automate or improve. According to Katherine, “Deltek has been right there for us, ready to do that.”
The technology rollout at c3/Consulting started with Deltek’s basic professional services automation, which includes accounting and time management, flexible invoicing and reporting. They added Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to help manage opportunities, track CRM KPIs, and to identify the best areas to focus their BD activities. Most recently they have started using Deltek’s resource planning across their organization. They have found that as they have grown, managing resources efficiently across projects has become more challenging and more critical.
Consulting firms by their nature are labor intensive; therefore time management is also important for c3/Consulting. According to Katherine, “What’s really nice is the flexibility of being able to evaluate time on different levels and in different ways… we can look at it according to the project and the type of time (billable or non-billable) … The accounting is very robust so we’re able to create business statements very easily and evaluate all kinds of KPIs.”
A Cloud Solution that REALLY is Seamless
According to Katherine, “Our [Deltek] Cloud implementation was absolutely seamless. We have a long history in software development and I know many times a software salesman will say, it's seamless - and that's not at all the case. In this case it was absolutely true; it was truthful. I really couldn't believe how easy it was. We took care of a couple of things, we made sure there was a backup, we went through trial, tested it out, and did it again, and no one else in the company even knew that it happened. We changed the URL and it was seamless, we loved it. I can't imagine not doing it. Why would you even want to maintain your own server?”
According to Katherine: “Deltek is worrying about the cloud, we're not worrying about it. Love it!”
- For more information on Deltek’s Solutions and Commitment to the Management & IT Consulting Industry <click here>
- To learn more about Deltek’s Professional Services Automation Solutions <click here>
- Download your free copy of Deltek’s Professional Services Automation for Dummies <click here>