THE JDI GROUP: CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
Everything is better with Ajera: project profitability, project win rate, and staff utilization.
KEY ROI METRICS
INCREASE IN AVERAGE
Real-time information allows project managers to know exactly where projects stand and proactively take action when needed.
INCREASE IN WIN RATE ON NEW PURSUITS
Using Ajera's Business Development capabilities, JDI has achieved a higher win rate by using historical win rate data to focus project pursuit.
INCREASE IN BILLABLE UTILIZATION
Schedule Manager allows JDI visibility into workloads which helps keep its staff on task with less down time.
"Ajera's schedule manager is the centerpiece for how we staff and execute our jobs. Every Monday, our project managers meet to discuss how we will allocate resources for the next several weeks and months." - Bryan Autullo, Project Manager
Company: The JDI Group
Industry: Architecture and Planning
Size: 100 employees
Location: Maumee, OH
Background on The JDI Group
Founded in 2002, the JDI group is an Ohio-based AE firm specializing in multi-discipline engineering, 3D modeling and LEED. The team at JDI focuses on commercial, institutional and manufacturing facility design and engineering.
Summary of the Challenges Prior to Ajera
- Resource management was done in excel and not tied to project budgets or actual time entry. The administrative burden to maintain the spreadsheets was high and JDI received little benefit from the information. It was often dated by the time they finished filling out the spreadsheets.
- JDI drove much of their business development work through email and excel. This made running analytics on these disparate documents impossible with no clear understanding of which project managers were most effective on winning the "best" business.
- Quickbooks lack of project management functionality forced JDI to run all project management through excel causing poor collaboration and lack of confidence in the numbers project managers tracked.
Summary of the Benefits of Ajera
- Ajera's Schedule Manager delivers fully integrated resource management capabilities that tie together resources and financial budgets. This information provides clarity to managers regarding the total budget remaining and resources available for work. Schedule Manager empowered JDI's teams to achieve a best-in-class utilization of 83%.
- Ajera's Business Development functionality provided JDI the visibility to drive fact based decisions in their marketing efforts, allowing them to concentrate on the jobs they need to win and cut out high-risk, low reward prospects, resulting in a 10% increase in proposal win rate.
- JDI increased project profitability by an average of 5.0% through real-time project management reporting. The Snapshot report provides instant understanding of where a project stands through earned value analysis (EVA). Project managers are now proactive in their decision making, reducing scope creep and increasing customer satisfaction.
In order to continue successfully scaling their business, JDI Group needed real-time visibility into projects, resource scheduling, and business development in order to handle the influx of incoming jobs. QuickBooks was unable to provide this information leading to lower profits margins due to uninformed decisions being made throughout projects.
Project managers had no visibility into their projects. Since QuickBooks lacked integrated project management functionality, JDI was forced to track their projects in Excel. This resulted in static information which provided little visibility into the real-time financial status of their projects. The lack of integration with projects and financials also caused heartache for principals as they typically found out about troubled projects weeks too late in the process to effectively intervene.
Resource management was done in Excel and was labor intensive. As JDI scaled their organization, they found managing their resource scheduling in Excel too cumbersome. Frequently, project managers did not bother updating this as it quickly became outdated and was not worth the time or aggravation to keep up to date.
There was very little business development tracking. JDI had no idea how much their business development efforts was costing their firm and who the problem prospects were. They also struggled to track their win rate and progress on proposals effectively through a combination of excel and email.
JDI chose the Ajera solution to give their team real-time project information. The real-time information provided their project managers with the information they need to make informed decisions about their projects and enhanced their bottom line. According to Bryan Autullo, project manager, Ajera's Snapshot report has been a key feature of this success. The Snapshot report provides JDI's project managers with an instant picture of where their projects stand and give them one click access to the details they need.
"I sit at my desk and the Snapshot Report is open all day long. I have up to the minute information that I can act on instantly." - Bryan Autullo, Project Manager
Before switching to Ajera, JDI's billing process was exceptionally taxing on their staff. The arduous process of printing and faxing invoices for project managers' review led to a prolonged billing process which often took at least 8 days for review coupled with the additional time due to mailing these invoices to customers. With Ajera, JDI has decreased this key business process from 10+ days to just 3 and has the confidence that project managers can act quickly when problems arise.
"I wish you could put a dollar value on the amount of stress Ajera's billing process has reduced."- Sue Fry, Accounting Manager
Schedule Manager was also a critical tool in JDI's success. It provides department managers and project managers with a fully integrated resource management offering that compares budgets to actual hours. JDI uses Schedule Manager at every Monday planning meeting so they can easily see how much budget is left and who is available to work on the project.
"Our project managers are so much more informed about their jobs. Schedule Manager has been critical to our success driving an 83% utilization rate." - Sue Fry, Accounting Manager
With Ajera's business development features, JDI now has detailed visibility into their marketing efforts, allowing them to track and manage new business as well as analyze their prior project performance by client, project manager or market sector. Now armed with the right information JDI is able to focus their business development on the right jobs and the right clients.
JDI has seen dramatic improvement across their organization post implementation of Ajera including a 5.0% increase in average project profitability, a 10.0% increase in business development win rate and more than a 3.0% increase in utilization. Ajera's full complement of firm management tools provides JDI with a streamlined platform to effectively manage their entire business.
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