Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
A Case Study on Selecting Contract Management Software > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

A Case Study on Selecting Contract Management Software

Professional services firm cuts costs and improves productivity with integrated software system.

"I could satisfy the government, but I couldn't give managers the information they needed to do their jobs," says Shannon Winston, Controller for Apex Environmental.

Apex Environmental, like many professional services firms with a competitive edge, offers a widely diverse group of services to both government and commercial clients. Managing and accessing data is critical with every contract. Recently ? after years of using multiple software systems, supplemental spreadsheets, and manually transferring data from one incompatible system to another ? Apex Environmental purchased and deployed a single software system (developed by Wind2 Software ? www.wind2.com) that handles the entire operation and serves both public and private sector clients with an integrated package. The new system streamlines planning, management, and reporting requirements for the entire company. It also helps contract managers win more contracts, manage them more efficiently, and make them more profitable because it automates the entire process ? addressing everything from the initial technical proposal to the DCAA close-out audit with greater efficiency and reliability.

Business Complexities:

As a comprehensive health, safety, and environmental services firm, Apex Environmental specializes in consulting and remediation work. The firm's professional, technical, and field experts are located in 10 offices across 25 states, and services include compliance, environmental assessments, remediation, health and safety, program management, energy management, and information technology.

All clients, of course, require careful tracking, reporting, and invoicing of actual labor and direct project expenses. The company's government clients, however, also demand strict adherence to a host of requirements as defined by CAS, FAR and DCAA. In working with their government contracts, Apex staff members must meticulously account for allowable overhead expense (which can vary considerably from contract to contract); they must follow strict guidelines for time and expense entry; and they must report project direct and overhead charges on pre-approved government forms.

In addition to being an environmental consultancy, simply charging fees for professional services, Apex also has a $6 million construction division that performs actual remediation work in the field. In support of this division, Apex staff must also handle construction-related activities -- generating purchase orders, managing subcontractors, and hiring and paying construction workers.

Searching for Solutions:

Apex Environmental has attempted to handle this complex mix of data tracking and reporting requirements in a variety of ways over the years. During its first few years in business, the firm used a manual record-keeping system. Quickly outgrowing the manual system, company leaders purchased a basic accounting program in an effort to automate the operation. That program managed the financial aspects of the business, but it offered no support for the governmental reporting requirements.

Thinking they had found the answer, Apex purchased an accounting system designed specifically for government contractors. While this program did a better job of managing information needed for government reporting, its project management and general reporting capabilities were weak. In an attempt to make up for the lack of functionality in the accounting software, office personnel used several spreadsheet and word processing programs to generate reports and other documents in the formats they needed. As a result, staff members were constantly re-entering data from the accounting system into these supplementary programs ? a time-consuming and frustrating duplication of effort.

"I could satisfy the government, but I couldn't give managers the information they needed to do their jobs," says Shannon Winston, Controller for Apex Environmental.

When the firm decided to replace this piece-meal system with a more powerful and useful software system, the most important requirement for the new software was flexibility.

"We didn't want different software for different types of work," explains Winston. "The software we were looking for had to have the flexibility to do everything we needed it to do on both private and government-sector work."

Cost was another consideration. Apex leaders wanted a system that could meet all current needs, expand its functionality to meet future needs, and still sell for a reasonable price. The company simply did not want to spend $100,000 for a software system, even one that could handle their needs.

Meeting Contract Requirements and Business Goals:

After extensive investigation and product comparisons, Apex Environmental decision-makers chose a business system from Wind2 Software that fully integrates general accounting functions with project invoicing and reporting, budget control, profit analysis, employee management, cost proposal development, accounts receivable tracking, and government contract management. The system is flexible enough to handle the company's mix of clients and activities today, and its scalability makes it capable of doing more as the company grows.

"We needed an application that would let us focus on being a smart business first, while still handling our government contract specific needs completely," says Winston. "Wind2 enables us to efficiently handle all of the requirements of our federal, state and local government projects, without sacrificing good, solid and simple business practices. That flexibility is really what makes this program so well suited to a company like ours that has so many different activities and a mix of government and private sector work."

Like all government contractors, Apex Environmental must comply with all government accounting requirements (e.g., FAR, CAS, Incurred Cost proposals, DCAA guidance) and prepare for government audits. According to Winston, the company is saving hundreds of man-hours every month by eliminating the use of spreadsheets and simple accounting software to meet the stringent audit and reporting requirements of their government contracts. These resources are now freed to support ongoing work and to land new contracts.

Apex's new software is fully equipped to meet the 17 contract and billing types defined by DCAA, including fixed price, cost-plus, and time and materials. It addresses "Other Transaction Authority" (OTA) contracts and handles timekeeping practices, direct and indirect costs, overhead and G&A rates, unallowable costs, pre-award costs, incurred cost proposals and invoicing properly.

Within two months of installing the new software, Apex was able to reduce its accounts payable staff through attrition from six people to five. Staff members no longer need to manually calculate expense rates or enter data into two systems to prepare reports. And they have immediate access to financial and project data that has been unavailable to them in the past.

Winston explains it this way: "When a vendor calls asking about a payment, staff members can now query the database to find the answer. Instead of searching through old hard copy reports and files, we simply find the vendor record and drill down into the database to see all the related invoices and payments."

According to Winston, Apex Environmental now has the system it needs to handle its complex spectrum of government and private sector work. And company leaders know that as their business continues to grow and evolve, the Wind2 system's inherent flexibility and scalability will let them expand its functionality in any direction they chose to go.

Case study provided by Wind2 Software, Inc. in conjunction with Virtual Contract Manager, LLC (www.virtualcontractmanager.com). Wind2 has more than 3,000 client companies in North America, Wind2 delivers software solutions for government contract management, timekeeping, contract costing, billing, project management, financial accounting, customer relationship management, and marketing automation. Contact: Nicholas T. Bettis, Tel: 800-779-4632. Fax: 970-493-4578. E-mail: nbettis@wind2.com. www.wind2.com

Virtual Contract Manager, LLC is a one-stop "information" shop for and about Contract Managers. We provide a suite of FREE locator tools for contract management software solutions, attorneys, consultants, software escrow services and a whole lot more! Let us help you find a Contract Management software solution by saving you weeks, if not months, of preliminary market research. Contact Lisa DeMaio at 508-668-2811 or lisa@virtualcontractmanger.com or visit us at http://www.virtualcontractmanager.com

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

TechCrunch

Investment advisory software developer SigFig raises $50 million ...
TechCrunch
SigFig, the developer of an automated wealth management toolkit, has raised $50 million in a new round of funding. The company said the new money would be ...

and more »

Engadget

GitHub Education is a free software development package for schools
Engadget
GitHub, the online, open-source code repository recently acquired by Microsoft, has already made big moves to support future software developers. In 2012 it launched the Student Developer Pack, in 2015 it built the GitHub Classroom for teachers, and ...

and more »

Clarkson prof in Potsdam leading team to evaluate DNA software
North Country Now
POTSDAM -- A Clarkson University professor is working with a $75,000 grant to lead a team in evaluating differences in the results given by a variety of software programs used to analyze mixed DNA samples. Clarkson University Associate Computer Science ...


Investor's Business Daily

Red Hat Downgraded, Cloud Computing Growth May Hit Legacy Software
Investor's Business Daily
The enterprise software maker reports fiscal first-quarter earnings late Thursday. Analysts estimate profit growth of 21% to 68 cents a share, with revenue rising 19% to $897 million. At its analyst day in May, the company said its emerging technology ...
Oracle, Micron, FedEx and More Earnings Coming This Week24/7 Wall St.
The Week Ahead: Pharma IPOs Galore, Blackberry Earnings And MoreBenzinga
Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For June 19, 2018Benzinga
Zacks -GlobeNewswire
all 123 news articles »

ZDNet

Two weeks with the OnePlus 6: Useful buttons, gorgeous design, stellar software, and reasonable price
ZDNet
Speed and updates: OxygenOS provides nearly a stock Android experience with software customizations that make the device even better than stock. The software screams and in the short couple of weeks of using it I have seen updates so the default ...


hcanews.com

AI Diabetes Tech Continues FDA's Software Push
hcanews.com
Last year, the agency announced the launch of a precertification pilot program, with the goal of approving and bringing potentially life-saving software to market more quickly. Major names like Johnson & Johnson, Apple, and Fitbit signed on as ...

and more »

GeekWire

Owl Insights raises cash for mental health treatment software platform
GeekWire
The company, which is incorporated under the name Mental Health Data Services, makes software that supports mental health treatment in a variety of settings. GeekWire has reached out to Owl Insights for more information on the funding and will update ...


Award-Winning ONYX 18 Software Now Shipping
What They Think
Salt Lake City, Utah – Today, Onyx Graphics, Inc., announced global availability of ONYX 18, the newest version release of the company's award-winning wide- and grand-format software that includes new color technologies for color accuracy, consistency, ...


WPRI 12 Eyewitness News

Major UHIP software upgrade delayed again
WPRI 12 Eyewitness News
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - A major software upgrade for Rhode Island's troubled UHIP computer system that was scheduled for this weekend has been delayed again. Ashley O'Shea, a spokesperson for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, ...
State delays software upgrade of UHIP systemTurn to 10

all 34 news articles »

512tech.com

Austin logistics software firm Convey lands $10 million to break into new markets
512tech.com
Convey, whose software platform helps online retailers manage shipping logistics, has raised $10 million to break into new markets. The Austin-based company received the funding from Silverton Partners, Techstars Venture Capital Fund, RPM Ventures, ...

and more »
Google News

Software Piracy - Global Increase

Pirated software is on the increase and now accounts for... Read More

Off The Record - Tips For Picking Recording Software

Need software to record your voice, streaming audio or musical... Read More

Groupware as a Document Manager: Collaboration Series #3

This article is the third of a series of articles... Read More

Software Piracy

SOFTWARE PIRACY We regularly hear reports... Read More

Getting Patched with Windows Service Pack

Are you one of those people that keeps track of... Read More

Great Plains DOS Support ? Notes for Consultant

Great Plains Accounting, accounting package for mid-size and small companies... Read More

A Guide To Purchasing Professional XP Icons Online And Enhancing Your Applications

Icons are used everywhere; right from software applications, to internet... Read More

Benefits of Integrating Online Chat Software with CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a strategy and processes used... Read More

Software Development in 2005 - Back to the Future

2005 ? Back to the Future.What does the future hold?... Read More

Change Your Word Docs in Record Time!

Anyone who has ever used Microsoft Word knows that it... Read More

Great Plains Dexterity Development: FAQ

Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains is Dexterity-written application and currently... Read More

Spyware: What It Is and How to Combat It

Spyware is software or hardware installed on a computer without... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains - Payroll & HR Inexpensive Solution? Not Any More

Microsoft Great Plains is main Microsoft Business Solutions accounting package... Read More

Microsoft CRM and Great Plains Implementation: Freight Forwarding Business Automation Example

Microsoft Business Solutions offers several ERP applications: Great Plains, Navision,... Read More

Unofficial Windows 98 SE Service Pack 2.0 RC2

Microsoft has never released a service pack for Windows98 SE,... Read More

Selecting Microsoft Great Plains Partner/VAR/Reseller: ERP Implementation & Customization ? Overview

In the case when you represent mid-size or mid-size-to-large business,... Read More

Understanding Document Management

The term "document management" and "paperless office" is the subject... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains: Interest Calculation Example ? Stored Procedure for Crystal Report

This is intermediate level SQL scripting article for DB Administrator,... Read More

Most Common Ways to Accumulate Spyware (where It is Downloaded to Your PC)

It is possible that if one avoided all sources of... Read More

How To Make Good Use of Spreadsheets

Most computer users use spreadsheets software such as Microsoft Excel... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains ? Licensing & Product Versions

Current Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains has more that 10... Read More

How To Develop Software For Your Business

Software development is a risky business.Many software developers are barely... Read More

Lotus Domino: Reports and Connectors ? Crystal Reports, XML, ODBC/JDBC, OLE

Lotus Notes Domino is very efficient in electronic document workflow... Read More

Microsoft CRM Customization

Microsoft CRM customization techniques are very diversified and based on... Read More

Microsoft Great Plains Chemicals & Paint Industry Implementation & Customization Notes

Microsoft Great Plains fits to majority of industries, in the... Read More