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On the Road Again (to the National 8(a) Conference in New Orleans)

by Rich WilkinsonGovCon, Government Compliance

Nov 29, 2021

An Important Step Toward the New Normal Whether it’s “back to normal” or the “new normal,” our first in-person GovCon conference since the pandemic started just seemed like a step in the right direction. The last in-person conference we attended for GovCon was one put on by this very same organization in February of 2020. Sessions and booths and people milling about, talking and swapping business cards all seemed very familiar. Yet, things were different in a not so subtle way. It was hard to recognize even old friends behind the masks. And there were hand sanitizer stations everywhere you turned. Physically, everyone was further apart than at the last conference, and yet we seemed closer together as a group. And business got done – or at least discussed. What Kind of Business? A lot of this conference was about catching up – catching up on how companies have evolved and changed, catching up on how agencies like the SBA have changed their processes, and catching up on what’s going on in this strange and wonderful business we call GovCon. Of course, there was the obligatory exhibit hall with its tables, booths, handouts and giveaways, but the breakout sessions are where the magic happens. We did our part to help everyone catch up with what’s going on in GovCon with a session on our 2021 GAUGE Report. For those of you not familiar with GAUGE, it’s an industry-wide survey and a report of the survey responses. The GAUGE initiative is in its fifth year and some of the year-over-year data is beginning to show some interesting trends. In each report, we attempt to postulate some explanations for why things are changing – or, in some cases, why they aren’t. A Brief Recap First a little about the attendees. There were a dozen or so vendor/sponsors there and another five or ten contractors looking for opportunities or partners and several representatives from government agencies – notably the SBA and the Department of State. But the attendees were mostly from the 8(a) contractor community. The GAUGE report is much too extensive to present in the 50 minutes they allow in a breakout session, so we hit the highlights we thought would be most of interest to the small business GovCon segment. Taking the Temperature of the Industry This year’s report starts out by trying to measure the attitude of GovCon firms about their prospects for the 2022 appropriation and procurement cycle. We were delighted to report that 71% of all survey respondents were optimistic about the industry and only 8% were out and out pessimistic. That said, the number one issue of concern for GovCons was the potential for budgeting and funding constraints. We pointed out that to some extent, this is cyclical and occurs whenever there is a change of administration, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The concern colors everything that happens from targeting of opportunities to hiring and recruiting. Coming in at numbers two and three were the “cost of compliance” and “lack of qualified talent.” The only other concern that made the cut statistically was “lack of integrated project management/accounting tools” and that was a distant fourth. It’s probably also noteworthy that the top three are so tightly clustered that there is no statistically significant difference. There are all top of mind for just about everyone. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/1b343/8a-image-govcon-concerns.png","srcSet":"/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/78301/8a-image-govcon-concerns.png 75w,\n/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/f2a43/8a-image-govcon-concerns.png 150w,\n/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/1b343/8a-image-govcon-concerns.png 300w","sizes":"(min-width: 300px) 300px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/2a4a1/8a-image-govcon-concerns.webp 75w,\n/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/6f82c/8a-image-govcon-concerns.webp 150w,\n/static/52cc13bdad0dbdbf4cfd67ad40c88f23/f33ca/8a-image-govcon-concerns.webp 300w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 300px) 300px, 100vw"}]},"width":300,"height":175},"alt":"","className":"alignnone size-medium wp-image-42463 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} Finding and Hiring Talent The small businesses that dominated the audience in the GAUGE breakout session were also very interested in our findings on recruiting and retaining qualified talent to fuel growth. Based on this year’s survey, over three-quarters of GovCon firms plan to increase the size of their workforce in the coming year; only four percent have any plans to cut back resources. If this seems to contradict the concern expressed over budgeting and funding growth, remember the optimistic outlook. It is possible to be both concerned and, at the same time, to plan for growth. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/f2b6c/8a-workforce-change.png","srcSet":"/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/de42b/8a-workforce-change.png 43w,\n/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/9eb86/8a-workforce-change.png 87w,\n/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/f2b6c/8a-workforce-change.png 173w","sizes":"(min-width: 173px) 173px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/56341/8a-workforce-change.webp 43w,\n/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/258f1/8a-workforce-change.webp 87w,\n/static/1f06723a9be5dc235e4c9805403bd141/071c8/8a-workforce-change.webp 173w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 173px) 173px, 100vw"}]},"width":173,"height":182},"alt":"","className":"alignnone size-full wp-image-42473 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"2"} Competing More Effectively Of course, no self-respecting survey would ever ask a question just one way. Hot on the heels of the top concerns question, we asked “What keeps you up at night?” You will notice that recruiting and retention was highly ranked this time as well, but the number one issue when we asked the question this way was all about competition and winning. Increasing Competition for Contracts was ranked either number one or number two by almost half of all respondents. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/4dca1/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.png","srcSet":"/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/e0852/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.png 67w,\n/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/f4df5/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.png 135w,\n/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/4dca1/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.png 269w","sizes":"(min-width: 269px) 269px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/219f2/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.webp 67w,\n/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/36b8e/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.webp 135w,\n/static/a76477619d8fd90ffffbd841952265a3/21645/8a-issues-that-keep-you-up-at-night.webp 269w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 269px) 269px, 100vw"}]},"width":269,"height":210.00000000000003},"alt":"","className":"alignnone size-full wp-image-42471 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"3"} There was also a lot of interest in our in our breakout session around our findings on win rates. This year’s survey points to what the firms in the room already knew –opportunities are plentiful, but winning new business is hard. Three quarters of all respondents reported winning less than half the government proposals they submitted; almost a third won less than one-quarter of the work they competed for. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/e42cb/8a-win-rate.png","srcSet":"/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/a9a99/8a-win-rate.png 75w,\n/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/505c5/8a-win-rate.png 150w,\n/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/e42cb/8a-win-rate.png 300w","sizes":"(min-width: 300px) 300px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/470c6/8a-win-rate.webp 75w,\n/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/8885c/8a-win-rate.webp 150w,\n/static/3f242d6d1420ba6317492047bf7604e7/b05b2/8a-win-rate.webp 300w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 300px) 300px, 100vw"}]},"width":300,"height":241},"alt":"","className":"alignnone size-medium wp-image-42469 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"4"} That’s not as bad as it might seem. Business Development professionals view win rates that are very high as generally indicative of “cherry picking.” And if you only go after the “sure things” it will definitely inhibit growth. They tend to view very low win rates as a sign that the firm’s pursuit process lacks focus. So, in the middle is not necessarily a bad thing, but most principals in small firms, especially the 8(a) firms that made up most of the audience for this conference, want a win rate that is significantly better than a coin toss. Despite this, at least 1 in 3 GovCons don’t have a formalized gate or capture process for new opportunities. By show of hands, in the audience for our breakout sessions at the National 8(a) conference, it was slightly more. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/e1059/8a-formalized-capture-process.png","srcSet":"/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/24b24/8a-formalized-capture-process.png 75w,\n/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/13888/8a-formalized-capture-process.png 150w,\n/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/e1059/8a-formalized-capture-process.png 300w","sizes":"(min-width: 300px) 300px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/cb4e4/8a-formalized-capture-process.webp 75w,\n/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/11a0f/8a-formalized-capture-process.webp 150w,\n/static/da0f9579b09ca2a9f743e9d4d20ef996/0c62e/8a-formalized-capture-process.webp 300w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 300px) 300px, 100vw"}]},"width":300,"height":281},"alt":"","className":"alignnone size-medium wp-image-42467 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"5"} In the highly competitive GovCon environment, the disciplined processes and assessments that make up a formal capture process are critical to ensuring that key requirements are addressed accurately and completely, and positioned to improve win rates. Without them, the proposal process tends to be ad-hoc, repeatability and efficiency suffer and the opportunity to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack are easily missed. Growing to ensure future viability For the attendees at this conference, like most readers of the 2021 Report, all of these factors point to a clear focus on growth to fuel success. And despite optimism in the industry, organic growth and uncertain federal spending are top financial concerns for most GovCons. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#f8f8f8","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/d949e/8a-sig-financial-challenge.png","srcSet":"/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/17ea3/8a-sig-financial-challenge.png 71w,\n/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/0f598/8a-sig-financial-challenge.png 142w,\n/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/d949e/8a-sig-financial-challenge.png 283w","sizes":"(min-width: 283px) 283px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/79083/8a-sig-financial-challenge.webp 71w,\n/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/9033e/8a-sig-financial-challenge.webp 142w,\n/static/ce9808769252476fd99b39ec9e89e1d4/fc0ae/8a-sig-financial-challenge.webp 283w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 283px) 283px, 100vw"}]},"width":283,"height":222.99999999999997},"alt":"","className":"alignnone size-full wp-image-42465 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"6"} This is what led us to this year’s theme for the GAUGE Report: Winning In GovCon. Of course, winning is a lot more than just writing a good proposal. To win consistently, you have to know your customer, know your competition and know yourself. Of those, knowing your competition is probably the hardest, but knowing yourself can be just as difficult. To get the full extent of the information available in the 2021 GAUGE report, download a copy here. We have also built a benchmarking web site where you can compare your metrics to those of your competition or other firms like yourself. You will find that here. Of course, if you just want to know more about Unanet, visit us at www.unanet.com. Rich Wilkinson works for Unanet and is an expert in government contracting, specializing in compliance.  He has spent the last 25 years in executive roles with prominent GovCon accounting software companies. Prior to that he worked in the controllership of Washington DC area government contractors implementing accounting systems and managing financial operations and compliance functions and before that, he served as a contracting officer with the Naval Air Systems Command.

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Why We Chose Unanet: Hixson Architecture, Engineering and Interiors

by Lucas HaydenA/E, News and Announcements

Nov 18, 2021

Why We Chose Unanet: Hixson Architecture, Engineering and Interiors                                                        The Firm: Hixson Architecture, Engineering and Interiors is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based firm that has built a national reputation in four areas of specialization: food + beverage, workplace, retail and science + technology. Founded in 1948, Hixson partners with some of the most well-recognized brands in the world, delivering insight, advocacy and intelligent project execution through 16 integrated in-house design and technical disciplines, supported by the expertise of 120 associates. This year, Hixson ranked #8 on ENR’s Food and Beverage Design Firms List, and among ENR’s Top 30 for Industrial Design, while also landing on Commercial Construction & Renovation (CCR) Magazine’s annual Top Engineering and Architecture Firms lists. When executives at the architecture, engineering, and interior design firm Hixson received word that their ERP system would soon be sunset, it wasn’t exactly the kind of news that a fast-growing company in the midst of digital transformation and recovering from a deep economic recession wants to hear. “We were going to lose support for the [ERP] system we were using,” recalls Christian Fasso, billing manager and project accountant at Hixson, “so we had to decide, do we stay with that unsupported system and keep our fingers crossed that something within the system wouldn’t blow up, or do we see what else is out there? Ultimately, we decided we didn’t want to go with a system that was unsupported.” That decision continues to pay significant dividends for Hixson — dividends that firm decisionmakers like Fasso hardly could have foreseen when they opted to go with an ERP software solution from Unanet. Rather than sticking with the bigger-name provider and its soon-to-be-orphaned legacy system, they chose Unanet’s modern software to reinvigorate their operations. Since implementing Unanet ERP AE, Hixson has taken full advantage of its expanding array of capabilities, functionalities, and automations, including: Automated paperless invoicing; Analytics dashboards for real-time visibility into project status and resource deployment; Resource scheduling capabilities to manage people and their workloads more efficiently; Interactive Actions, wizard-style tools to help quickly and easily add projects and clients, streamline workflows, and automate data across the firm; and, Integrated extensive customizations that complement the firm’s unique department-centric structure and workflows. In Unanet, Hixson has a long-term ERP solution that delivers a range of benefits to the firm and its project, HR, accounting, and finance teams. Highlights include: BETTER HIRING, GROWTH AND RESOURCE DECISION-MAKING. Real-time project insight and resource scheduling tools enable project managers and departmental decision-makers to see how projects are tracking from a resource standpoint relative to budget, then scale project teams accordingly. A CLEARER, MORE ACCURATE PICTURE OF PROJECTS IN PROGRESS. Dashboard-based analytics powered by real-time project data provide project decisionmakers and employees with a single easy-to-navigate way to track a huge range of project-specific and firm-wide data, including budget, production planning, and project labor, and then gauge it versus Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). EFFICIENCY GAINS ACROSS THE BUSINESS. Adding value to clients and increasing firm revenue without increasing headcount is the holy grail for an A/E business. With the ability to automate key functions like production planning, resource scheduling and invoicing that previously involved labor-intensive and often redundant paper-shuffling and data-entry, Hixson is saving 8 hours per week on average. To learn more about Unanet ERP AE and what it can do for your business, click here or contact us here.  

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Why It’s Time for AEC Firms to Get Serious About Agile Project Management Practices

by Lucas HaydenA/E, AEC, Budgeting & Forecasting, ERP Software Best Practices, Project Management, Resource Planning

Nov 15, 2021

As smoothly as many architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms have adapted to the realities of doing business during a pandemic, and as plentiful as the opportunities for project work are heading into the new year, there’s plenty of reason to believe that 2022 will be even better for AEC firms than 2021 was. The X factor in that outlook, of course, is the intense competition for new business. To capitalize on those opportunities, firms must find a competitive edge. Gaining that edge, and keeping the pipeline full and moving bottleneck-free in 2022 and beyond, could well come down to how a firm manages its project data, and specifically, its forecasting. To aggressively pursue new work in the current business environment, AEC firms need to be really good at resource management, project scheduling and forecasting. For many firms, however, that’s not necessarily a strong suit. In Unanet’s recently released AEC Inspire benchmarking report [available free to download here] 57% of firm decision-makers identified forecasting as their most difficult project management challenge. What this suggests is that AEC firms with strong forecasting, planning and resource-management chops — in short, those that are more agile in their approach to project management — will have an edge in the success of current work and the pursuit of new business. The more real-time insight that firm leaders have into project planning, and scheduling, and the resources required to complete their project backlog, the better equipped they will be to gauge resources, prioritize new business pursuits accordingly, and ultimately land the types of projects that their firm covets. Agile, data-driven project management practices (the Project Management Institute lately has elevated the athleticism of that metaphor to “gymnastic”) are the key to unlocking not only new business growth but also new efficiencies that go right to the bottom line. That agility comes from better forecasting and analysis in areas like budgeting, resource allocation and scheduling. Based on Unanet’s deep experience supporting AEC firms with the data-forward, insight-generating capabilities to implement agile project management practices, here are several guiding principles to point your firm in the right direction: Treat people as your most valuable resource. The common denominator for highly effective project teams is individual engagement with a common goal. To build project teams full of engaged people that function as an agile whole, firms and their PMs need to know their people and the specific hard and soft skills they bring to the mix, then leverage that knowledge to ensure they have the right resources on the right projects. Get started, then iterate. As an undertaking that spans all areas of an AEC business, achieving resource management maturity takes time. A good starting point for project managers is to adopt initial deliverables, then iterate from there, so they begin adding value to a project, teams and customers. For example, if you are not able to schedule your team out in detail, begin with higher-level month-by-month scheduling. Schedule for the quarter ahead, compare your scheduled to actuals worked, draw conclusions, then apply that learning to the next quarter. Wash, rinse, repeat! Collaborate around feedback. As you begin to leverage a more data-driven approach to project planning and resource scheduling, invite feedback early and regularly. Work with your internal customers first, then, as appropriate, engage your customers to ensure you are meeting their expectations from a service and deliverables perspective. Roll with the changes. Change is the one certainty in the AEC business. Change orders, reprioritizations, unanticipated leave or team-member departures, the weather — all these can impact a plan. A firm’s resource management and scheduling processes and systems should be flexible enough to readily accommodate changes on the fly. What does that mean in practice? Just like it’s easier to steer a moving car, once you are underway with your scheduling practice, you can ebb more easily, and flow as needed. And with a broader, more forward-looking view of your book of work, changes become easier to absorb. By embracing a data-centric approach to project planning and resource scheduling, firms and their project managers give themselves a distinct edge in forecasting, making better-informed, more agile decisions, greater ease in load-balancing resources with projected needs, and improved project performance overall. They also put themselves in a strong position to aggressively pursue new business and stay ahead of the hiring curve. While other firms with less forecasting savvy wrestle with unforeseen project overruns and issues with talent retention due to burn out, those with an agile approach to project management stand to capitalize on a surge in new AEC business that could sustain them for years to come. Thanks for reading the first post in Lucas’s blog series for AEC firms about translating agile project management practices into improved project outcomes, better pipeline management and more new business wins. Check back soon for the second post in the series.

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Podcast: Metrics that Matter to Growing GovCons

by Kim KosterGovCon, Government Compliance, News and Announcements

Nov 04, 2021

Our Director of Product Marketing, Rich Wilkinson, reveals financial metrics that matter to growing GovCons in the newest GovCon Untethered Podcast. Listen now to hear the episode and find out more about our latest GAUGE Report survey findings. const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#282818","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/62672/Rich-Wilkinson.jpg","srcSet":"/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/23275/Rich-Wilkinson.jpg 52w,\n/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/4efbf/Rich-Wilkinson.jpg 104w,\n/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/62672/Rich-Wilkinson.jpg 208w,\n/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/8b268/Rich-Wilkinson.jpg 416w","sizes":"(min-width: 208px) 208px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/9d17a/Rich-Wilkinson.webp 52w,\n/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/ba023/Rich-Wilkinson.webp 104w,\n/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/e7aea/Rich-Wilkinson.webp 208w,\n/static/6f3307d27e54aad56bcab3f838b5e145/7d458/Rich-Wilkinson.webp 416w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 208px) 208px, 100vw"}]},"width":208,"height":208},"alt":"","className":"alignnone wp-image-42183 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"1"} const t="undefined"!=typeof HTMLImageElement&&"loading"in HTMLImageElement.prototype;if(t){const t=document.querySelectorAll("img[data-main-image]");for(let e of t){e.dataset.src&&(e.setAttribute("src",e.dataset.src),e.removeAttribute("data-src")),e.dataset.srcset&&(e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset"));const t=e.parentNode.querySelectorAll("source[data-srcset]");for(let e of t)e.setAttribute("srcset",e.dataset.srcset),e.removeAttribute("data-srcset");e.complete&&(e.style.opacity=1)}}{"image":{"layout":"constrained","backgroundColor":"#080818","images":{"fallback":{"src":"/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/14989/New-Boost-Logo.png","srcSet":"/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/9a1f3/New-Boost-Logo.png 52w,\n/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/70446/New-Boost-Logo.png 104w,\n/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/14989/New-Boost-Logo.png 207w,\n/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/c7f4a/New-Boost-Logo.png 414w","sizes":"(min-width: 207px) 207px, 100vw"},"sources":[{"srcSet":"/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/9d17a/New-Boost-Logo.webp 52w,\n/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/ba023/New-Boost-Logo.webp 104w,\n/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/1fd0b/New-Boost-Logo.webp 207w,\n/static/1a58c58449b4e6d2573f5ce3c546070e/d5fcf/New-Boost-Logo.webp 414w","type":"image/webp","sizes":"(min-width: 207px) 207px, 100vw"}]},"width":207,"height":207},"alt":"","className":"alignnone wp-image-42185 inline-gatsby-image-wrapper","data-wp-inline-image":"2"}   Download our 2021 GAUGE Report here

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Architecture, engineering firms and government contractors benefit from customer-driven product upgrades in latest ERP and CRM release

by Kim KosterA/E, AEC, CRM, Product Releases

Oct 21, 2021

We’re never satisfied with the status quo and are constantly working with our customers to ensure Unanet meets their ever-evolving needs. Like all Unanet feature upgrades, customer input and feedback are at the core, and the latest release of our award-winning ERP and CRM solutions for A/E and GovCon customers delivers new functionality designed to offer a more insightful, streamlined experience for workers in or out of the office. New A/E Upgrades On the AE side, Unanet unveiled key enhancements to Unanet ERP AE’s Project Central Web, which is functional on any device. Project Central Web is designed to give project managers a centralized tool for real-time insights into the status and progress of their projects. With Project Central Web, project managers become more agile in their project planning and resource scheduling, can analyze KPIs across all projects, and can review billing, invoicing and financial data easily and efficiently. Architecture and engineering firms also gain enhanced mobile capabilities through the newest Unanet AE Mobile app, available November 6th. The new app will be available right from the iOS and Android app stores and allows employees to enter and track their time on the go anywhere, anytime. This helps A/E companies generate invoices more quickly with added functionality to send push notifications to employees for time entry reminders. The third major upgrade for A/E firms is the milestone billing capabilities in Unanet AE. With milestone billing, finance managers can schedule lump sum billing over a date range further automating the billing process. Operations also benefit from integrated bill review, and continued automation for invoice generation. Enhancements for GovCons For GovCon customers, Unanet unveiled new financial tools that enable multiple legal entity accounting. Users are now able to share resources across legal entities with robust resource planning and scheduling, accurate and automatic revenue attribution and cost assignment, and automatic consolidation and elimination, all while maintaining the integrity of the Balance Sheet and P&L. Additionally, GovCons using Unanet Analytics can access new automated ICE reports that simplifies annual incurred cost submissions. Users now have an easy way to produce the required data in formats designed schedule by schedule for input to the ICE model. On the expense and time management side, GovCons now have line-item approval to reduce the need for re-approvals of timesheets and expense reports. Unanet also unveiled mobile expense offline mode so employees can create and edit expense reports, upload images, and record expense receipts anywhere, anytime, even when internet connectivity is not available. CRM Updates Unanet’s A/E and GovCon customers using Unanet CRM for Web will enjoy a refreshed user interface providing business developers and marketers with a consistent experience to fuel their momentum in pursuing and winning more projects. Improvements to the CRM interface enable ease-of-use without disrupting the current workflows customers are already familiar with, ensuring it’s easier to adopt with greater accessibility.

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Why We Chose Unanet: NewFields

by Lucas HaydenA/E, News and Announcements

Sep 27, 2021

The latest in an ongoing series highlighting a new Unanet customer and why it selected Unanet’s ERP solution over other options The firm: NewFields (www.newfields.com), a global environmental, engineering and construction management consulting firm whose areas of specialization range from environmental engineering and renewable energy to mining design and construction management. Founded in 1995, the 350+-person firm is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., and has 19 offices in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. It serves clients in a variety of industries, including mining, oil & gas, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and transportation, and has completed projects in 70 countries. As intentional — and successful — as the leadership at NewFields has been in cultivating an empowered, less hierarchical structure and culture across its 19 offices, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that the firm has been using for the last nine years was undermining that effort at every turn. Rather than breaking down data siloes and enabling the free flow of information and insight across the enterprise, as the best ERP systems are designed to do, the system on which NewFields has been relying was doing the opposite, according to Eric Salnas, CPA, the firm’s Chief Financial Officer. The NewFields headquarters in Atlanta, he explains, functions primarily as a shared service center to support the firm’s local offices, ensuring they are coordinated and integrated from a systems and processes standpoint, while preserving their autonomy. But the ERP system was working at cross purposes, thwarting the headquarter office’s ability to integrate and coordinate, while at the same time hampering the autonomy of the firm’s local offices. From the headquarter office where Salnas works, “to get any sort of data easily from across our local offices was almost impossible,” he says, because of the rigid, siloed nature of the ERP system. Answering a request to provide a list of projects performed for a certain oil & gas client, for example, could require someone to pull 10 different reports from 10 different local offices. Meanwhile, when local office employees needed to access data or run a report, they had to submit a request to the headquarter office instead of simply accessing that information themselves. “That created friction between the central office and our local offices,” Salnas says. For he and the NewFields leadership team, finding a new ERP system was imperative. “Sticking with [the legacy system and provider] was never an option.” After casting a wide net for a successor and bringing a handful of candidates in for demos, the firm chose Unanet ERP AE for several reasons: The Unanet team treated the NewFields team like a true partner. “We wanted personal attention, not to be treated like a ticket number,” Salnas says. What’s more, “it felt like a great cultural fit.” Unanet’s expertise and experience in ERP for engineering firms are a resource for customers. Asked during the final interview to explain how they would troubleshoot a particularly complex billing issue, the Unanet team “blew us away” with its on-the-spot innovation. “That was the deciding factor,” he says. Unanet ERP AE integrates seamlessly with other go-to software. Via the Unanet Connect integrations marketplace, NewFields can access pre-built application connectors to build out a digital ecosystem. Its first integration is with Concur, the firm’s preferred travel and expense software. Having completed several rounds of staff training with Unanet ERP AE, NewFields is slated to go live with its new ERP solution in fall 2021. From both the headquarter office and local office perspectives, the implementation couldn’t come soon enough, Salnas says. “From Day One, we’ve told people they are going to finally be able to access their own data, that they can add a PO, update their budgets, or run a dashboard entirely on their own, and they’re thrilled about that. Our headquarter office can add much more value to the firm beyond running reports and editing documents.  Unanet gives us the opportunity to serve differently, helping our local offices execute projects, win more business, and be more profitable.” Instead of creating friction, Unanet ERP AE has become a cultural rallying point within the firm, says Salnas. “People see how data is going to be easier to find and they’re fired up about that. It’s harmony.” To learn more about Unanet ERP AE and what it can do for your business, click here, or contact us here.