Next Phase Solutions and Services is an IT services company that works primarily on government contracts. Like many services companies, Next Phase uses a professional services automation (PSA) system to manage its projects. However, there were several gaps that neither the PSA system nor the company’s accounting system could address.
For example, Next Phase wanted a system that could input a new contract as a booking that created backlog, then manage burning off the backlog items as work is completed and invoices are sent. Essentially Next Phase needed an efficient order fulfillment system for its projects.
"PSA systems allow you to enter a single number that represents the total value of the project, and report how much of that value you have burned off. But none of our projects are that simple. They are subdivided into many smaller parts that all must be managed individually," says Mike Uveges, COO, Next Phase.
It’s a common issue for many companies, who find themselves struggling to connect multiple systems that run individual functions. For Next Phase, the solution was to build a program management office (PMO) app on the Intuit QuickBase platform. The app tracks and reports on key project data in a way that matches Next Phase's processes and bridges the gaps between the PSA and accounting.
The QuickBase app transforms documents into records tagged with attributes that make posting and locating easy. Contracts, for example, include client names, starting and end dates, dollar values, time budgets and document numbers. Next Phase staff can easily generate reports to sort or group on those attributes, or create a graphical display of subtotaled values by date range. Now, the staff has a system they want to use instead of one they have to use, says Uveges.
"I did more in two days with QuickBase as a non-programmer than my last company's IT team did in a year with SharePoint," he says.
Nine months after launching the PMO app, 100% of Next Phase projects are using it to automate contract workflows. It is as essential to the operation of the company as the PSA and accounting systems. The app saves time by storing all contract terms and deadlines in a central database that is accessible and easily searchable.
Next Phase is also better able to predict and manage revenue, as team members can bill customers at the right time thanks to automated status update notifications, and can see impending funding issues in time to take action. Senior managers benefit from relevant, easy to use reports and charts that they can generate themselves, rather than waiting for IT or a business analyst.
Finally, the staff is able to respond to clients more quickly thanks to the overall reduction in administrative overhead. Staff can also respond to changing business requirements thanks to the ease of modifying the app design in QuickBase.
"We do more with 20 people than other companies our size, thanks to QuickBase," says Uveges. "We have automation and functionality that our peers simply don't have."
Intuit QuickBase is a low-code platform for building, customizing, and integrating custom business applications. With more than 5,600 customers and 500,000 active users, QuickBase is the technology of choice for companies that want to empower business users to solve their own challenges while maintaining the governance and security of an enterprise-quality app development system.