Ralph Appelbaum Associates Employs Deltek Vantagepoint for Efficiency

March 18, 2024
Ralph Appelbaum Associates Employs Deltek Vantagepoint for Efficiency

In the world of museum exhibition and design, where creativity meets precision, managing projects efficiently is crucial for success. RAA, Inc., a firm with over 120 employees, is the world’s largest practice dedicated to the planning and design of museums and narrative environments and is known for its work on the National African American Museum of History & Culture and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum both in Washington, D.C., and more recently the newly opened Mignone Hall of Gems and Minerals and the Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The firm has headquarters in New York and offices in London, Berlin and Beijing.

As the firm juggles dozens of projects at any given time, they needed a better way to manage their resourcing. Achieving efficiencies became a reality with the implementation of Deltek Vantagepoint.

From Spreadsheet Challenges to Efficiency

Before adopting Vantagepoint's resource planning module, the firm worked with multiple spreadsheets, which did not always have up-to-date project information. The manual transfer of data and the worry of broken spreadsheets with fragile formulas posed challenges.

“Prior to Vantagepoint, the project managers were not able to access the most recent information,” said Nurzada Aaly, Project Controller. The implementation of Vantagepoint's resource planning module revolutionized this aspect, significantly reducing time consumption and providing real-time information to project managers. This has empowered project managers to make informed decisions promptly.


“I am proud we implemented Vantagepoint’s resource planning. Now, our project managers can access relevant project information every day to make sure everything is in order.”

– Steve Hohne, Corporate Controller


Streamlining Approval Workflows for Project Financials

Vantagepoint helps manage project and company financials by simplifying the approval workflows for Accounts Payable (AP) invoices. The automated creation of AP approvals streamlined the firm’s process, eliminating complications associated with tracking approvals through emails. The direct access to approve invoices within Vantagepoint centralizes the process and enhances overall financial transparency.


“I’ve been through a number of ERP transitions, if you are in the business of professional services, this platform does a great job of project accounting and capturing people’s time in a way that helps support the firm’s operations.”

– Matt Fowler, CFO


Keeping Projects on Track with More Visibility

The firm invested time in ensuring their employees were familiar with Vantagepoint software by holding weekly meetings with project managers to address any concerns or technical issues. In addition, to increase project visibility, employees were trained on a newly added project tracker tab. This tab allows managers to monitor projects more closely, enabling adjustments to project schedules when necessary. This proactive approach has not only increased staff engagement but also improved overall project health. Being on top of project details and hours has not only enhanced internal efficiency but also positively impacted client satisfaction, according to Nurzada, “Having detailed project information readily available enables better decision-making. This transparency fosters client relationships and ensures a smooth project delivery process.”

User Feedback Fuels Continuous Product Development

Steve Hohne, Corporate Controller, praises Vantagepoint's effectiveness in project accounting and capturing billable hours for professional services. “The platform's continuous updates and Deltek’s responsiveness to user feedback sets it apart, providing a robust solution for project-based businesses.” Nurzada also commended Deltek's commitment to implementing new features based on user ideas and showcasing a collaborative approach.

Matt Fowler, CFO, finds the vast user base of Vantagepoint helpful because there is a wealth of knowledge through online community support that can be tapped into at any time. “The user base is vast, so if you have any questions you don’t need to go to Deltek for your answers.” remarked Matt. He added, “I was able to ask questions to other controllers and CFOs in the user-group, which was very helpful.”

Matt continued, “Deltek software's longevity and adaptability to evolving business needs make it a reliable choice for firms invested in long-term success. The ongoing updates and Deltek's receptiveness to user needs ensure that Vantagepoint remains at the forefront of project management solutions and I don’t think there is anything more superior to the Vantagepoint product.”

Planning for the Future

Steve is planning to use Vantagepoint to configure their multi-currency financials. Once implemented, the team will be able to run reports and invoice clients in different currencies which is very valuable when doing VAT filings. In addition, Nurzada is looking forward to leveraging calendar periods for project plans, which will lead to better projections.

A Testament to Longevity and Adaptability

Ralph Appelbaum Associates has been a Deltek customer since 2012 and its latest Deltek upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint is a testament to the software's longevity, adaptability and commitment to user satisfaction. According to Matt, their firm’s decision to embrace the latest in ERP software in the cloud has not only streamlined internal processes but has also contributed to increased client satisfaction.

As technology continues to evolve, the partnership between Ralph Appelbaum Associates and Deltek stands as a shining example of how innovation can drive success in the current competitive landscape of design.


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