By Paul Skurpski, PVBS Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Government contractors are striving to find ways to make their executives and program managers become more self-sufficient to access the reporting they need in order to make the best business decisions. There is also great interest in automating time entry and invoice generation to reduce costs and streamline operations. This can only happen if they’re using business software that has these components well-integrated and built with automation in mind.
Government contractors have told us for years that they want to automate the production of all types of reports. For example, dashboards for executives are in high demand. Unfortunately, we see a lot of companies where the accounting team has to create the dashboards manually for each executive every single month. They’ll take data from their accounting system and manually copy it into Excel or some other tool to create this dashboard. It can take days to get it just right. It’s a huge waste of time and is very cumbersome.
Dynamics NAV for Government Contractors has automated that process. The underlying SQL Server database and data cubes provided by PVBS saves government contractors many steps in producing the critical reports executives and program managers need. These reports help to measure critical items that relate to program profitability. Creation of these reports can be customized and viewing can happen with the simple click of a button.
Automated Reporting, Time Entry and Invoicing are integrated in Dynamics NAV
Looking back a few decades ago, software developers were mainly focused on automating time entry for government contractors and, as a result, there are many time entry systems available. However, one of the advantages government contractors have is that Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Government Contractors was designed specifically and built around the entire government contractor workflow. The solution was built from the start with the needed integration to automate these processes and reduce the amount of extra grunt work that has historically been needed.
For example, when you set up an employee in the system, NAV automatically creates that record in the time entry system so additional steps are not needed to record the data. And when you add labor workforce to a project, it automatically puts it onto the timesheet. Items like that, from a timesheet perspective, help to reduce the time and effort administrators use to maintain the system.
The deep integration between time entry, labor distribution, and invoice automation is another capability that reduces a lot of costs. Many companies have not been able to automate invoice creation for two reasons. First, the system cannot support the invoicing rules, and second, the system cannot support multiple invoicing formats. From an invoicing rules perspective, Dynamics NAV handles many different scenarios for clients. We provide different format options to meet unique requirements, because it seems that every contracting officer in the US government requires a different invoice format. NAV provides standard government formats, such as the government public voucher SF 1034, 1035 and the DD 250, the material inspection form.
We are not stopping there because we realize that everyone has these unique format requirements. We can enhance the invoice format for clients but we also give them tools to be able to create their own on their own timetable. We’ve introduced some revolutionary capabilities related to invoice formats, where people can more easily design their own formats and not need IT support. That’s going to help business leaders be more efficient and do more themselves.
PVBS has been committed to developing more self-service reporting options for our customers that they can leverage without needing advanced IT support. An early approach using Excel as the front end has been tremendously successful. Adding on to that, end users can build ad hoc analyses with the ability to drill down from a higher level, such as a divisional level down to a contract or a project manager portfolio.
Stay tuned for more to come.