CONSULTANCY DOUBLES IN SIZE IN THREE YEARS
Many thanks to Tim Knowles, Finance & Commercial Director of EDP (The Environmental Dimension Partnership Ltd), and Julie Cole, their Financial Controller, for their input.
EDP provides independent environmental planning and design advice to landowner, property and energy sector clients throughout the UK from offices in the Cotswolds, Shrewsbury and Cardiff.
We have doubled in size in the last 3 years. We now have 75 people, across three offices.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
1. “We aim to give exceptional client care. It’s a key focus for us. Our clients want us to be both responsive and proactive when managing their interests, so we put that at the forefront of everything we do.
2. “EDP is a multi-disciplinary consultancy. Every consultant has their own expertise: Landscape Planning, Ecology, Archaeology, Arboriculture and so on, but we ensure that all consultants develop skills across all aspects of environmental planning so that we can provide the client with a ‘one-stop shop’. Clients value this because it can greatly simplify their project – otherwise they would have to work with many consultants at once.
THE CHALLENGE THEY FACED
"Before Synergist we used spreadsheets.
“We have a great many projects to track here, and some of them are long term. Some projects are on hold for years and then picked up again. And any one project could have a dozen different consultants working on it.
“Lead times for new business can be long. Clients of ten need more time to get the green light for projects – at which point everything is needed quickly...”
WHY THEY CHOSE SYNERGIST
EDP decided to install Synergist to gain the following benefits:
• faster and timely production of sales invoices, resulting in better cash flow, and freeing up time for chargeable work, thereby improving productivity and efficiency.
• improved time and expense recording facilities leading to more accurate recording of costs and an accurate WIP figure to be used in the production of monthly management accounts.
• have seamless interaction with Sage accounting.
• various key performance indicator reports that would aid management decision making e.g. consultant utilisation of chargeable/non-chargeable hours.
• The entire team can now connect to the same project, time and expenses information.
• Complete Timesheet and Expense Capture has been gained.
• The drafting of invoices is now quickly produced by the project managers.
• Project financials are fully tracked (Fee, Costing, WIP).
• Detailed reporting, including time and utilisation reports.
• Accounts system integration, seamlessly.
• Post-project reviews are facilitated.
“Consultant Utilisation reports have proved particularly useful as a key indicator in monitoring the business performance as a whole and indeed for individual consultants.
“Project reports are available to Project Managers, analysing chargeable work against fee proposals, and showing variations in pounds and percentage.
“The implementation of Synergist has proved to be successful in reducing the Project Managers’ invoicing time dramatically and providing timely data.”
“Costings can now be analysed and lessons learned, leading to better project management in the future. Similar project work can be costed more accurately for future work.
“We have so much more information at our finger tips with Synergist. And without it we would need double the number of people to administer.”
“The integration with Sage accounts has assisted with recording sales, leading to quicker debtor analysis and debt chasing, therefore improving cash flow for the business.
“Invoicing is a lot easier now, such as pulling together all the time that has gone into the projects, doing the calculations, creating the drafts and so on. It’s a great deal faster.
“Compared with our previous processes, the seamless way that timesheets are automatically uploaded into the system is appreciated.”
“There’s no way you could run a business like this only on spreadsheets.
“Synergist has proven adaptable to the varied project reports and analysis required by EDP.
“Perhaps the single biggest benefit of all is the instant way we now get the over view of al l the projects summarised together at any one time, showing values and work in progress.
“We have three offices and they are all linked together in the one system. We manage the projects from here, accessing all the remote resources that the offices create. Everything is pulled into one.”
“We are also very happy with Synergist’s support. I would happily recommend Synergist to another consultancy firm.”
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