Pulsar Surveying and Engineering Firm - Customer Case Study

PULSAR: CUSTOMER CASE STUDY

500 person firm realizes 2.0% improvement in staff utilization, 1.5% increase in project profitability and benefit from detailed multi-company financial reporting.

KEY ROI METRICS

+ 2.0%


INCREASE IN STAFF UTILIZATION


Resulting from significantly streamlined workflow processes enabled by the Ajera solution.

100 +


ADDITIONAL BILLABLE PROFESSIONALS WITHOUT ADDING TO ADMIN STAFF


Ajera drives paperless invoicing and seamless in-house payroll, easing strain on back office staff leading to increased scalability.

+ 1.5%


INCREASE IN AVERAGE
PROJECT PROFITABILITY


Resulting from the real-time information provided in Ajera's project management functionality.


"Every day I look at my Project Command Center to get the status of our projects. I love the real-time reporting in Ajera." - Will Harnisch, CEO


Customer Details

Pulsar Surveying and Engineering Firms

Company: Pulsar
Industry: Surveying and Engineering
Size: 500 employees
Location: Lakewood, CO

Background on Pulsar

Pulsar Operational Boundary, Inc. was formed as holding company for the purpose of expanding our engineering, survey and other business units which provide a multitude of services throughout North America and other parts of the world. Pulsar's first company was formed in 1998 and today the company employs approximately 500 people worldwide in various capacities in the engineering and survey sectors.

Summary of the Challenges Prior to Ajera

  • No visibility into real-time project profitability. Project managers did not have an effective tool to monitor, control and drive project profitability. There were often "surprises" at project completion after all the hours and costs were recorded.
  • Pulsar's previous software, Great Plains™, was unable to effectively handle multiple business units and intercompany transactions leading to distrust of financials.
  • Time sheet approvals and client invoicing took days or weeks to process. There were many wasted hours and errors.

Summary of the Benefits of Ajera

  • Pulsar realized 2.0% increase in staff utilization resulting from significantly streamlined workflow processes enabled by Ajera
  • Pulsar increased their project profitability by 1.5% as a result of the real-time information provided in Ajera's project management functionality.
  • Ability to confidently perform and report multi-company financial reporting.
  • Seamless integration of newly acquired or start-up entities.
  • Scalability: added over 100 billable professional employees without having to increase full-time administrative staff.
  • Streamlined workflow: significantly improved process of time entry and approval of hours and expenses.

Before Ajera

Fueled by both organic and acquisitive growth, Pulsar was experiencing significant challenges with its existing accounting and project management solution. The management team knew as they scaled beyond 500 employees, they needed a solution that could handle many of the challenges they faced including: enhanced management of all aspects of project revenue and costs, consolidating financials for multiple business units and efficiently integrating acquisitions.

Absence of information to manage project profitability. There was no real-time project management visibility and reporting. "Project management" was done after the end of the month once the client invoices were generated. By the time the project manager received the monthly data for review, it was often too late to take corrective action. The absence of real-time, actionable information resulted in subpar project profitability.

Difficulty consolidating financials for multiple companies. Pulsar has multiple business units resulting in numerous intercompany transactions. Its existing software, Great Plains™, could not provide trusted consolidated financials. As Pulsar acquired additional companies, it struggled to integrate them into its previous system creating significant financial management challenges.

Administrative staff pushed to the limit. The existing solution made frequent time entry difficult, requiring the administrative staff to print, scan and email or fax information to project managers for approval. The project managers would then submit the information back to the administrative staff who would then manually enter it. Due to this time-consuming and arduous process, Pulsar's management team lost confidence in the key performance indicators such as utilization.

Results

Ajera provides the ability for project managers to view their project status quickly and easily. They have access to a real-time snapshot of information they need to make critical decisions without the need to interpret data or view multiple reports. They can view, and therefore have more control over performance and profitability of their projects including: project performance, earned value analysis, accounts receivables, resource management and scheduling. Because the project managers have this real-time information and are able to better manage their projects, Pulsar experienced an average 1.5% increase on project profitability. This followed the old adage "what gets measured, gets managed, what gets managed, gets better."

Ajera's multi-company functionality combined with the Financial Statement Designer provides Pulsar's team with the peace of mind in knowing that the consolidated reporting for their multiple business units is accurate. Pulsar now also has the ability to seamlessly integrate new acquisitions without disrupting the company. Ajera has allowed them to effectively oversee companies remotely and provide individual business units with timely KPIs to manage their teams.

"The biggest return on investment we have realized is in peace of mind and trusting our data and financial reporting in Ajera." - Will Harnisch, CEO

Ajera has enabled Pulsar to move from biweekly to daily time entry for its 500 employees. By reviewing timesheets directly in the software, project managers can now resolve issues quickly instead of days or weeks after they are identified. This increased accuracy in reported hours provided Pulsar's management team with the confidence that they were billing clients the correct number of hours on the right projects.

Pulsar set and was able to achieve an ambitious goal when it licensed and implemented Ajera. They wanted to add 100 billable professionals without having to add administrative support staff. Post implementation Pulsar has added over 100 new billable professional employees, and has only had to draw upon an additional 1/4 administrative resource.

Ajera has provided Pulsar with a significant return on investment that will continue to benefit the firm well into the future. Ajera has also provided Pulsar's management team the confidence to continue to aggressively scale their business both organically and through acquisitions.

"When evaluating a new company for acquisition, we prefer to work with one that is using Ajera, because we know we can trust the integrity of Ajera and can validate financial and accounting data in more timely and cost effective manner."- Will Harnisch, CEO


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