5 Ways To Be A Successful Finance Professional In A Project-Based Business

Posted by Chris Duddridge on January 29, 2018

Successful finance professional

Are you in charge of forecasting, managing project costs and ensuring your firm has the right margins? Do you struggle to manage expectations and workload?

If this sounds like you then read on to find out how you can be more effective and more efficient with five easy steps and a little help from Deltek.


 

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1. Treat Data As Gold

To forecast efficiently, you need to understand both past and current performance.

Project Data Quote

Collating information from as many historical projects as possible will give you deeper insights into where mistakes are being made and where your current estimations are failing. It will also reveal where your project managers are allocating resources incorrectly, affecting efficiency and profitability

Once you have collected the data, you can step back and analyse your past and present information to forecast more accurately. You should also implement a set of KPIs that will help you better manage business performance in the future.

This doesn’t need to be done manually either, by choosing to use a project-based ERP system, future bids can be informed by the insights gained from previous projects. This data will show you:

  • Where previous project timescales were underestimated
  • Where future efficiencies may cut costs or delivery timescales
  • Where you need to assign resources in the event that your bid is accepted.

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2. Track Scope And Costs At Every Step


Looking back at your data is a good start but you also need instant access to current project costs. 

In order to maximise profitability, you need to know the following:

  • Which resources are currently in use
  • Where those resources have been allocated
  • Which resources are being underused
  • Where resources need to be reallocated to ensure that capacity is not wasted.

With a full understanding of your capacity and available resources, you are now well-placed to better allocate them. However, with siloed solutions like spreadsheets and standalone systems, it can take days or weeks to pull together accurate information about schedules, costs, and profit by project or program.

A project-based ERP solution allows you to access all the information you need in a single place and avoid surprises around missed deadlines, cost overruns, and backlogs that can jeopardise individual projects — and potentially torpedo the profitability of your organisation.


 

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3. Drive Profit And Improve Cash Flow


In this competitive market, raising prices could be a downfall for your firm as well as a shock to your clients.

To avoid this, you must improve cash flow.

Project-based ERP will give you better data accuracy and visibility for benchmarking performance, bidding on projects, budgeting and managing resources, and streamlining time entry and billing processes. By improving operational efficiencies your organisation will be on a path of growth, better cash flow and higher profitability.

COWI Global Consulting, an Engineering Firm has increased its profit margins from 1.7% to 5.5% since implementing Deltek ERP system. They went on to mention “this is a huge step in an industry with very low margins.”


4. Optimise Resource Utilisation


Are your staff under used or over used? Do you know who works on what projects?


Project Risk Quote

A project-based ERP solution enables you to accurately track resource utilisation and forecast future needs with one system. This will ensure your firm’s resources are being used most effectively on revenue-generating work.

You will be able to create new efficiencies by resolving resource allocation issues such as instances where project estimates have underspecified resources or where there are too many specified resources.


5. Implement A Tailored, Project-Based ERP Solution


Your business will need a system that provides transparency across all projects and resources. 

A traditional ERP system, which will have been designed to manage manufacturing or transactional based activities, will be unable to cope with the management of resources across your entire organisation as you work to deliver on multiple projects simultaneously. Without this holistic management approach, you will be unable to maximise profitability.

Deltek’s reporting capabilities deliver granular analysis of each project, making it easy to see where deliverables are slipping and allowing for redeployment of resources to regain control.

Deltek ERP systems are configured to provide reporting functionality for users and their specific areas of the system, allowing everyone to identify new efficiency savings that will boost profit margins further.

To learn more about how Deltek ERP can help you become more efficient and increase profitability please visit our Project ERP overview page or contact us.

 

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