For more than 30 years, Northeast Technical Services (NTS), a full-service engineering firm, has provided environmental services to their clients. Today, 50 employees provide consulting, engineering and data management to industrial and governmental clients. To better understand and track the utilization of its employees, NTS implemented Baker Tilly’s Project Intelligence to better analyze projects and employee performance as well as improve decision-making.
We used to perform numerous calculations outside of Intacct using Excel, resulting in delays in obtaining information. The data wasn't current due to manual steps, leading to challenges when different team members calculated it differently. Project Intelligence has streamlined the process, providing us with real-time accurate information. This saves us time and enhances communication with our staff, enabling more effective collaboration moving forward.Mike S., Business Manager, NTS
NTS struggled with a lack of accurate and customizable metrics for managing employee utilization and project profitability. More specifically, NTS’s metrics were being tracked and calculated in Excel because it wasn’t possible to calculate and report on them directly out of Sage Intacct. Because these metrics were kept in multiple Excel files with manual calculations, the company had no single source of truth, and employees would sometimes be working with different sets of numbers. This made it difficult to have effective conversations about performance and goal setting.
While NTS used an employee utilization dashboard, it only showed estimates because Sage Intacct couldn’t factor in certain utilization variables, such as expected employee hours per day and different utilization targets by employee. That caused even more work in Excel and more questions about accurate metrics. Staff saw employee utilization against a utilization target that wasn’t always accurate. This made it challenging to discuss performance with staff and led to a lot of time validating the numbers. If someone was trying to hit a target, it created a less than ideal situation when the data was called into question.
Overall, too much time was spent compiling metrics, doing calculations and trying to discover why employees were seeing different numbers in different places instead of spending that time making decisions based on accurate data.
Baker Tilly has been very, very pleasant to work with, and you guys have really gone the extra mile and beyond to make this successful, and I can’t thank you enough.Mike S., Business Manager, NTS
With help from the Baker Tilly team, NTS implemented Baker Tilly’s Project Intelligence. This provided NTS the reports they needed out of the box, and they no longer need to use the error-prone, out-of-date processes tied to Excel spreadsheets. By implementing Project Intelligence, NTS no longer needs to waste time figuring out who has the right numbers on which spreadsheet. NTS now has real-time, accurate information and has the entire team working with the same data. Not only are all processes taking place within Intacct sparing them the headache of jumping to different applications, NTS estimates Project Intelligence is saving them one to two days of preparation time each month.
Meetings at NTS are now about finding solutions instead of getting bogged down in data accuracy and calculations. In fact, the Project Intelligence dashboards have become integral to NTS’s monthly meetings with project managers and staff. By including Project Intelligence, there is better understanding across the team, as there’s no longer any guesswork about the accuracy of the data they’re using to set the next goal. Project Intelligence also gives NTS leadership the opportunity to be transparent and ensure everyone is on the same page. Project Intelligence has also allowed the team to have more deliberate goals and clear business objectives, and the use of the Project Intelligence dashboards have helped communicate that information to the staff.