By Paul Skurpski, PVBS Vice President of Sales and Marketing
More profits are achievable for government contractors who invest in modern ERP solutions. First let’s take a look at how improved reporting can lead to richer profits.
We recently completed a series of webinars where we addressed how government contractors can become more profitable. Improving reporting across the enterprise was the number one factor by far. Nearly half of the government contractors who participated said that improved reporting is still a number one concern for them. As we’ll see, there are a number of reasons why this continues to be a challenge impeding profitability. The question becomes, “how can we improve the profitability of a business by improving reporting?” Sounds simple? Well, it is…and it isn’t.
First, we need to understand that there are several internal groups who benefit significantly by improved reporting capabilities within the organization:
- Project Management
The Finance team is focused on income statements, balance sheets, statements of indirect expenses, and cash flow reports. They also need reporting that helps manage indirect rates to ensure that they are fully recoverable and line up with the provisional rates that have been approved for billing. Fresh real-time reporting here ensures that you are not going to have an issue recovering your indirects.
The Big Opportunity to Help Project Managers
However, the biggest reporting trend I’ve seen, perhaps comparable with executive dashboard adoption, is the demand for specific, real-time reports for project managers. Companies are looking to empower project managers to make better decisions on their projects. To help with this, PMs are now expecting faster access to reports on task management and staff utilization. This is important to help them make good business decisions. For example, when making funding-related decisions to eliminate risk of going over the contract’s funded value or to ensure that money is not being left on the table.
A great example of this is with one of our existing clients that struggled to create a 20-page reporting package for the PMs every month using another well-known government contractor accounting application. This would take them about 3 or 4 days each month to complete. They did not want to hire additional back office staff to build the reports but they needed to get them into the PM’s hands quicker. After they purchased Microsoft Dynamics NAV, they were able to produce a series of project management views that mimicked what they were previously producing manually. These reports could now be viewed at the click of a button, and within a few minutes PMs could act on those new 10 to 12 project management schedules.
In today’s what have you done for me lately age, project managers don’t want to wait until the 15th day of the month to get information on last month’s projects. They expect real-time feedback. In order to keep your project managers engaged, you need to give them the tools to be successful. The whole concept of more real-time information for project managers has become critical, not only in terms of the success of the project, but also in terms of keeping your staff engaged and satisfied by giving them the right tools, so they can be successful. And help your projects become more profitable.