What Is Project ERP?
Project ERP is a form of enterprise resource planning that is specifically designed to meet the needs of a project-based business, helping them to identify, win, optimize and deliver successful projects time and time again.
Leveraging project management practices and features, project-based ERP provides a holistic view into processes, KPIs and other important metrics, project by project. By managing many functions in a single system, project ERP gathers and analyzes data, giving stakeholders the critical business information they need to operate and manage their individual business unit or department.
How Does Project ERP Differ From Traditional ERP?
- Project ERP software is built for the project lifecycle, integrating all business functions and encompassing all processes of a project-based organization into one solution.
- Traditional ERP solutions are built for product manufacturing, encompassing large, repetitive processes that drive economies of scale through repeatable, streamlined activities.
Who Uses Project ERP?
Project-based businesses use project ERP to power their business and enable success. Although these businesses can be found across a number of widely divergent industries, the common theme that unites them is deriving revenues and profits from the projects they manage for clients.
Project ERP for Architecture and Engineering (A&E) Firms
An architecture or engineering firm’s project lifecycle includes business development, project management, resource scheduling, talent management, document management and financial management. Whether your A&E firm is small and looking to grow or a larger sophisticated organization, a project ERP system can help you leap to the next level of success.
The M Group improves staff utilization and efficiency, streamlines invoicing and increases profits with Deltek Ajera, a project-based ERP solution for small business A&E firms.
Project ERP for Government Contractors
Government contractors operate in a highly competitive and regulated market and have unique and complicated accounting and reporting requirements that demand purpose-built solutions. Project ERP provides all-in-one project and accounting management across your project lifecycle, centralizing management of projects, people, finances and regulatory compliance.
International Medical Corps leverages Deltek Costpoint to manage programs, supplies, time, and expenses, enabling their mission of providing non-profit healthcare services around the globe.
Project ERP for Construction Firms
Projects are the lifeblood of construction companies and contractors, so precise, real-time accounting, job costing and project management are essential to success. Whether you’re a startup or a large organization, project-based ERP gives you the flexibility to use it in a way that best suits your needs.
Project ERP For Consulting Firms
Consulting firms face the challenges of winning the talent war, compensating and utilizing consultants correctly, delivering successful results and improving client satisfaction. By using a project-based ERP that encompasses the entire engagement lifecycle, you can meet those challenges head on and succeed.
Project ERP for Agencies
Marketing and creative agencies value project ERP because it makes managing their projects, people and finances easier. A Project ERP system takes care of the agency’s left-brain activities, leaving right-brained creatives free to do what they do best and deliver value for their clients.
Award-winning agency Media One uses Deltek Workbook to keep its video and motion media projects on time and on budget with resource management and accounting specifically for agencies.
Project ERP for Accounting Firms
The best accounting firms analyze data to deliver fresh insights and become trusted advisors to clients. Project ERP software helps accounting firms build this value into everything they do by giving them the visibility to make accurate plans, and the insight to improve resource utilization and profits.
Boulay leverages Deltek Maconomy to integrate its front and back offices and improve profitability.
What Is The Business Value of Project ERP Software?
Project-based organizations have distinct requirements, and they need to view their business in three dimensions: accounts, organizations (departments or business units), and projects.
Unfortunately, traditional ERP software can’t incorporate those dimensions unless it is customized to operate from a project-oriented point of view, which increases the total cost of ownership and takes longer to implement. Not only that—customization is risky and often doesn’t work well.
On the other hand, project ERP is purpose-built for project-centric organizations, so it does not require customization. That makes it less expensive and faster to implement than traditional ERP, and it eliminates risks that come with customization. By tying every transaction to an account, an organization and a project, project ERP makes it possible to produce accurate and timely insights that are essential to any business, including financial reports, invoices, payroll and project status reports.
Project ERP software helps you to maximize your productivity and revenue
When corporate information and project financials are tied together, you get the greatest return for your ERP investment, with unparalleled visibility and control of your business throughout every project. That enables decisions based on real-time information instead of managing through a rearview mirror. Project ERP software also helps businesses be more successful by streamlining business development, talent recruitment and development; optimizing utilization; and unearthing problem areas and opportunities.
What Are the Key Features of Project ERP?
Effective ERP for a project-based company includes these key features, many of which help to maximize productivity and revenue:
- Accounting provides reporting on project costs, revenues, profits and operations. You can quickly determine if a project is under-resourced, over budget or at risk in other ways.
- Project management centralizes and integrates multiple processes. Reports communicate project timelines vis-à-vis available resources, overlapping projects and milestones. They reveal budgets, activities and their logical order, resources to perform activities and other tasks they’ll complete concurrently. Tools manage time and expense entry, invoicing, billing, proposals and contracts to optimize the AR process by accommodating clients’ varying billing requirements.
- Human resource management (HRM) includes recruiting, training, resource planning and management, payroll and time and expense entry. HRM helps project managers delegate workloads and measure seasonal fluctuations for labor forecasting. This reduces resource issues and increases productivity.
- Business Intelligence turns a data-rich, knowledge-poor organization into a knowledge-rich organization by extracting information from data in multiple systems and converting it to actionable information. Project ERP is a one-stop shop for assessing results by project, department, account, customer, organization, vendor, and so forth. Each ERP dashboard is tied to a KPI or metric such as revenue, profit, backlog, labor utilization, proposal win rate, cash flow, days sales outstanding or projects at risk.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) helps manage, track, and forecast opportunities. Users create campaigns and track the progress of prospects and clients through the sales cycle. Identifying weak links in the sales cycle and the kinds of clients who tend to return is invaluable in planning future projects. Proposal automation streamlines the process of pursuing and winning projects to take cost out of the sales process and enhance proposal quality.
- Automated compliance: Accounting and business rules flow to the project, taking the guesswork out of compliance. Rules can be enforced up front, so violations are caught before reconciliation or audit. Project ERP built for compliance-heavy industries, such as government contracting, greatly reduce the risk of non-compliance and make it easy for auditors to assess and validate compliance.
- Supply chain management provides a single channel where you and business partners collaborate, analyze and forecast based on a holistic understanding of product lifecycles, inventory and equipment location tracking.
- Procurement: Purchase and track materials from planning to approval, purchase, shipment and receiving. When purchasing is part of your project system, you don’t need to enter POs in separate systems or reconcile them to the project system.
- Project-based manufacturing: Link shop floor activities with financial management, accounting, compliance and project management at detailed levels. Manufacturing tools provide instructions for complex product assembly or maintenance, repair and overhaul. They also collect important information like start and stop times for operations and quality inspection results. Project status and cost information is fed from the shop floor into the ERP.
How Is Project ERP Deployed, and Which Deployment Is Best for My Company?
When selecting an ERP for your project based business, a critical decision is whether to deploy it on-premises or in the cloud. Cloud ERP software may be best for businesses seeking lower up-front costs, system stability and ease of access. On-premises ERP may be best for larger businesses with a need to customize system operations and the existing infrastructure to host and maintain their own data. Here are factors to consider:
- On-premises ERP is installed on your company computers and servers, while cloud-based ERP is hosted on a vendor’s servers and accessed via a web browser
- On-premises ERP is usually priced as a one-time license fee (often based on the size of the organization or the number of concurrent users). Cloud-based ERP is priced as a monthly or annual subscription. In both cases, there are additional fees for support, training and updates.
- On-premises ERP is usually a capital expenditure, that is, one large investment up front. Cloud-based ERP is typically an operating expenditure, an overhead cost the organization will continue to pay.
- Because proprietary information is stored in an ERP, security is a top concern. Choosing a reputable cloud ERP vendor that has strict data security standards is key.
- One benefit of cloud ERP software is faster implementation times.
Six Tips for Choosing the Right Project-Based ERP
The ERP selection process is more important than ever, because you’re not just buying a tool; you’re choosing a trustworthy partner who will collaborate with you through the digital transformation of your business. Whether you’re seeking a new ERP system or re-evaluating ERP vendors for an upgrade, you can determine the right ERP for your business by considering these criteria:
- Vendor product accountability: Your ERP vendor should own and be accountable for the solution and its roadmap. If a vendor cannot be fully transparent, you may open your organization up to more risk.
- A comprehensive, purpose-built solution: Your ERP vendor’s solution should be designed with your industry in mind, not as a generic solution that needs to be customized to your specific requirements.
- Transparent total cost of ownership: All recurring costs should be clear from day one. All pricing models should be up front, outlining all details.
- Scalability: What are your company ambitions for the future? Look for a solution that can easily grow alongside your business.
- A respected industry reputation: Is your ERP vendor a respected leader in your industry? Look outside of the product and observe the vendor’s influence in the industry.
- Invested in customer care: Don’t forget to evaluate the level of customer care available. This is your main line of communication into the vendor post-implementation. Look for a vendor who has been independently recognized as having superior customer service and offers flexible plans.
How Do Deltek ERP Systems Power Project Success?
The Nucleus Research June 2020 ERP Technology Value Matrix named Deltek the premier choice for project-centric ERP—for the seventh time. In the value matrix, Deltek outranks many ERP competitors because its applications are purpose-built for businesses across a range of project-based industries
“Deltek…remains the premier choice for project-centric ERP”
Nucleus Research 2020 ERP Technology Value Matrix
At Deltek our mission is to deliver solutions that help our customers connect and automate the project lifecycle that fuels their business. We believe that better software means better projects. Our industry-focused expertise makes your projects successful and helps you achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue.