Digital Transformation: Lerch Bates is Redefining Business Success With Deltek
An Interview with Debbie Greufe, Accounting Manager at Lerch Bates
Innovative engineering firms like Lerch Bates are changing the world. They are building some of the most amazing structural marvels of our time and expanding their footprint globally. Lerch Bates is an internationally acclaimed elevator and escalator consulting firm with offices throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and India. Lerch Bates is looking forward to upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint as the next step in the firm's digital transformation. This innovative ERP solution is built specifically for professional services firms to improve productivity, boost collaboration, and increase profitability.
Q: Lerch Bates has been a Deltek customer since 2012. What has your role been at the firm during this time?
Debbie Greufe: Lerch Bates is vertical transportation consulting firm focused on commercial high-rise as well as new design and existing buildings. We’ve been in business for 72 years, having grown from 30 to 175 employees globally. I've been with Lerch Bates for 27 years, starting off as Quentin Bates’ administrative assistant and working my way into accounting. I’ve seen lot of changes over the years in terms of the business, the needs and the global requirements. But it has always been a family company, first and foremost.
Q: Your firm designed elevators for both the Willis Tower and the Burj Khalifa - two of the tallest buildings in the world! What was it like working on those projects?
Debbie Greufe: The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower, completed in 1974) is a 110-story skyscraper in downtown Chicago and the second-tallest building in the United States. It has more than 56 machine rooms and 83 elevator shafts for elevators to run. It was a big project for us and we are still under contract for maintenance work.
The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai (completed in 2010), is currently the tallest building in the world. If you have never been to Dubai, you may recognize it from the movie Mission Impossible - The Ghost Protocol. We worked on the project from start to finish! The building itself is three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower and two times as tall as the Empire State Building. It took six years to build and at the height of the project more than 12,000 construction workers were working on it at any given time.
We were shocked when we realized we had won the job, knowing the manpower that it took for us, as a company, to make sure that we hit all the targets and the deadlines. It truly was a total company effort, from accounting to contract management, to the consultants in the country. Deltek helped support our awarding of the contract for the Burj Khalifa, and was there from start to finish in terms of proposals and winning the project to make it become a reality.
Photo Caption: Willis Tower (left), the second-tallest building in the United States and the Burj Khalifa (right), the tallest building in the world.
Q: We know that Lerch Bates has been a Deltek customer for almost a decade. And during this time you have expanded your firm internationally. How has Deltek supported your efforts?
Debbie Greufe: Deltek understands the global aspect of our business, with the ability to do multi-company, multi-currency and international work – making sure we're in compliance with all these countries.
We have offices in Dubai, Chile, Shanghai and Canada, and the complexity of foreign currency has been less of a challenge for us since we've started using Deltek. Our Deltek solution has helped us capture the various currencies we use, at different times throughout the month, and it produces financials we know we can count on. In addition, Inter-company billing has really been a lifesaver.
Q: With a history of big projects completed and a bright future ahead for Lerch Bates, what are you focusing on as a company?
Debbie Greufe: I believe the future holds no limits - we are growing fast and furious! We are very much involved in acquisitions and I see the future being very bright. Our firm is on a digital transformation journey and Deltek plays a large part in that for us. We are looking forward to upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint, and to start taking advantage of features like Hey Deltek and OCR for expense reporting. I'm excited to see what other benefits we get from Vantagepoint and how we can best flex Deltek's muscles to grow our business.
Expanding Their Footprint Globally with Deltek
About Debbie Greufe
Debbie Greufe has been with Lerch Bates for 27 years. She was lead on the conversion to Deltek in 2013 and continues to seek ways to flex its capabilities as Lerch Bates continues to grow.
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