Futuristic Firm: How a Top Architecture Firm Moved Their Technology into the Modern Age
An Interview with Aaron Askew, Associate Principal at Moody Nolan
Moody Nolan, the recipient of the 2021 AIA Architecture Firm Award and a 2021 Deltek MVP Award Winner, is moving their firm’s technology into the modern age. The growing firm has automated processes and increased firm-wide access to information to achieve a new level of productivity.
“In 2021, we upgraded to Deltek Vantagepoint and this is moving our firm’s technology from The Flintstones to The Jetsons,” said Aaron Askew, Associate Principal at Moody Nolan.
We chatted with Askew to find out how this firm of 265 employees is becoming a firm of the future by adopting time-saving advanced technology.
Reduce Time Spent on Invoicing by 50%
Moody Nolan reached a point where their enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, coupled with their manual and outdated processes, could no longer support the level of innovation they needed to streamline and improve operations. A Deltek customer for 20+ years, it was time for this award-wining company to automate their processes and leverage their tools more efficiently and effectively.
Before upgrading to Deltek Vantagepoint, the Accounting team used to print invoices, put them in envelopes, and mail them to other offices for review before they went to the client. Now, they have updated not only their processes, but are taking advantage of the automation within Vantagepoint to do this electronically – reducing their invoicing process by 50%, from four weeks to less than 10 days. Plus, by adding solutions from Deltek’s Marketplace partners – EleVia and Alirrium – they’ve automated even more of their processes, improving efficiencies by 60-75%.
Increase Project Pursuit and Win Rates by 15%
The upgrade to Deltek Vantagepoint provides Moody Nolan’s project managers with a user-friendly system that provides increased access to the critical information they need to successfully manage their projects and pipeline, increasing both project pursuit and win rates by 15%.
Improve Productivity and Streamline Processes
Productivity has increased, along with the ability for staff to view their project data and hours, as well as schedule vacation and project related events. “The ability for our project managers to now see their project data in a simple format and assign staff has improved efficiencies for our company,” says Askew.
Empower Project Managers and Increase Visibility
“Our goal is to provide our project managers with quick access to project information and the ability to process invoices faster for both clients and consultants. The increased accessibility to project information is a huge benefit to our team," Askew noted.
Before Deltek Vantagepoint, Moody Nolan would spend the first week of every month finding out what the project managers wanted to bill. They would upload it all into a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet, export it, and then send it to Accounting.
"Our legacy billing process was very cumbersome, it wasn’t efficient, and the project managers never knew if the invoices got sent or not. Unfortunately, sometimes they got missed."
– Aaron Askew, Associate Principal, Moody Nolan
But now, with Deltek Vantagepoint, the project managers get notified when invoices are ready for review, and then they then mark them up and send them back to Accounting electronically. After the invoices go to the client, the project managers also get a notification. This streamlined process saves a lot of time, keeps everyone in the loop, and ensures invoices are paid faster.
Share Information and Celebrate Milestones
One unexpected benefit of Moody Nolan’s upgrade to Vantagepoint is having one place to share information. “It’s more than just an accounting system or just a place to do your timesheet,” explains Askew. “It’s an internal gathering place to share information and celebrate employee milestones.”
Moody Nolan is using Deltek Vantagepoint to keep track of registrations, corporate certifications, employee counts, anniversary dates, partner registration renewals, and more. The person who managed all of the company information before used five large filing cabinets and a notepad. If someone needed a copy of a registration or certificate, it would get sent in the mail.
"Now, everyone has digital access to the most current information at all times, even if it’s the weekend or after hours."
– Aaron Askew, Associate Principal, Moody Nolan
Firms Are Becoming Digitally Advanced
Like Moody Nolan, one in four architecture and engineering firms have already transitioned to a digitally mature business, according to the Deltek Clarity Architecture and Engineering Study, and 76% of firms anticipate their firms will be there in the next five years. And while most firms are in various stages of digital maturity and are working to better align their business and IT initiatives, the adoption of emerging technology trends will continue to grow as the industry has yet to realize their full impact.
For this futuristic firm, this is just the beginning. With Deltek Vantagepoint, Moody Nolan continues to automate their processes and increase efficiencies – and are excited to see what this industry-leading solution can do for its project-based business in the years to come!
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About the Author
Moody Nolan is the country’s largest African American-owned and managed architecture firm and recipient of the 2021 Architecture Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, this award-winning firm was founded in 1982 and has grown to more than 200 employees across 12 offices. Moody Nolan specializes in designing corporate, education, sports and recreation, collegiate, healthcare, housing and public service facilities..
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