How Elevation Architecture saved 4,302 hours per year with Deltek

Posted by Deltek on October 15, 2020

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Elevation Architecture sought a new software system to overcome multiple challenges across the practice, ranging from project-related and client-facing tasks to financial management processes. In the course of finding the right technological solution, Office Manager Rachel Tilleyshort identified the following issues:

  • Siloed information;
  • Unscalable processes;
  • Lack of version control of designs and critical documentation;
  • Files being lost or duplicated;
  • Incorrect revisions being sent to clients;
  • Inefficiencies around issuing invoices and resulting high DSO figures
  • Out-of-date and onerous reporting data;
  • Timesheets lacking useful information;
  • Double and triple entry of some data;
  • Systems that didn’t integrate with each other;
  • Problems stemming from incorrect use of transmittals; and
  • The fact that practice information wasn’t readily accessible from remote locations.

The practice currently handles approximately 150 projects per year, each of which requires 100 drawings, and Tilleyshort discovered that Elevation’s 18 production staff were hindered by an average of 20 issues per project. These may seem minor in isolation, but across the practice they added up to significant time and productivity losses each year.

“We wanted a system that was customisable and scalable; something that we could make work for us and the way we did things,” Rachel Tilleyshort said. “We also wanted the flexibility of a system that we could access anywhere, because we have remote workers in our office. What we really needed was a single source of truth, instead of things being doubled up, or repeated three or four times.”

It took Tilleyshort several years to research and scope the firm’s needs, review various product offerings, benchmark existing performance standards, and identify the right expert partner to guide Elevation’s transformation. “That process of looking at alternative products was overwhelming, but we kept coming back to Deltek,” she says.

Elevation implemented Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) in 2016, and has achieved significant time and money savings on project tasks since then. These include:

  • 10 minutes per day saved searching for files = 734 hours / per year
  • 10 minutes per day saved searching for emails = 734 hours / year
  • 10 minutes per day saved filing emails = 734 hours / year
  • 1 hour saved per project setting up transmittals = 150 hours / year
  • 5 minutes per drawing saved filing & updating drawings = 1200 hours / year
  • 15 minutes saved per drawing Issue = 750 hours / year

minutes per day

Together, these savings represent 4,302 saved hours each year for the firm’s project teams, Tilleyshort says.

Saved Hours 

For us, it is all about efficiency; it's all about having access to data and not having to repeat the same task four times over,” she explained. “We can see the benefits in that, and we're actually realising those benefits in increased revenue as well.

The practice multiplied these time savings by its average charge-out rate ($158 per hour) and average utilisation rate (75%) to arrive at a total annual saving of $509,787, or an increased production revenue of $28,321 for each team member.

Annual Savings 

Elevation achieved additional timesavings in its administration team too, including: 

  • 1 day per month saved on monthly invoicing run = 12 days saved per year
  • 1 day per month saved tracking down timesheet information = 12 days / year
  • 15 minutes per project saved setting up new projects = 4.6 days / year

day per month 

These admin savings add up to 28.7 days each year, and while they are not recoverable through production billing, this saved time is utilised in new ways to deliver greater efficiencies and value for the practice.

As well as measuring the time and financial returns it achieved after adopting Deltek PIM, Elevation has realised other key benefits, such as:

  • Spending less time organising and more time executing projects;
  • Consolidating hundreds of files across multiple departments into one single location;
  • Proactively managing emails to improve productivity;
  • Quickly finding critical files and documents;
  • Improving collaboration and efficiency thanks to streamlined file sharing internally and externally;
  • Securing project files and intellectual property; and
  • Streamlining project accounting, time and expense management, invoice processing, and project and financial reporting.

In addition to delivering significant ROI for Elevation Architecture, Deltek was recently named the top Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for project-centric businesses in 2020. Andrew MacMillen from Project Nation – which conducted the research – said: “Deltek is a leader in the 2020 ERP Value Matrix, as it remains the premier choice for project-centric ERP.”

For more information about Elevation Architecture visit:, or to find out how Deltek can help guide your practice’s digital transformation, download our new eGuide here.

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