INTERNET APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
MID MARKET ERP DEVELOPMENT
by Hrayr Galoyan
In a previous blog post, I began explaining how to manage projects using Sage CRM and Intacct. Here are the next steps to take:
Step Three – Follow-up
In the most cases, clients let us know if they approve the project. The problem is, if the client decides to not proceed with the project, we usually don’t know about it, but the opportunity continues sitting in our pipeline. We want to maintain a clean and realistic pipeline, as it helps us with planning, and the only way we know to do it, is by following up with the clients. We know approximately what percentage of quotes we send get approved, so by looking at a realistic pipeline, we have an idea of how much work we are likely to get in the future.
Once we send a proposal, Sage CRM automatically assigns the next follow-up date for us. We use a report that shows all outstanding opportunities and what the next actions are, along with due dates. Some opportunities are approved quickly, others take a long time. We recently had one approved, which we quoted three years ago!
We print a report from Sage CRM that shows for each person which opportunities he/she is responsible for, what is the next date and the next step for each opportunity.
For some opportunities, we never get a response, even after several follow-up attempts. We usually wait several months, but eventually mark them as lost.
Step 4A – Lost
If we learn that the opportunity was lost, we simply mark it as such in CRM, and that’s the end of it. .
Step 4B – Approved
If a project is approved, there are several things that need to be done:
For fixed fee projects, we use Intacct’s revenue recognition functionality. As we record time against the project, Intacct recognizes the revenue in 10% increments. This way, we are allocating project revenue over the life of the project, rather then recognizing it all when the project gets approved. The costing is based on time entries, so it happens automatically when people enter time against a project. And since we have already captured the pre-sale time, it is automatically applies to the project, and we don’t need to do anything extra for it.
Here are the changes that take place in Intacct at the time of approval.
1. Project Status is set to “In Progress” indicating that the project is under development.
2. Observed % Complete is set to 30% to trigger billing for the prepayment (if it wasn’t made yet).
3. Resources are assigned on project level.
4. Resources are assigned on each task level, and allocated hours are specified for each resource.
We use the Start/End dates and hours estimated, and plan to keep track of resource utilization. We have a report in Intacct to print quickly the list of projects each employee is working on, along with the dates.
Step 5 – Delivered
Once the development and testing is complete, we deliver the project to the client, and now it’s the time for user acceptance testing. We have a 30-day free support period, during which we fix all issues for free. Once again, CRM plays a key role in helping us keep track of support periods. If the user purchased extended implementation support, CRM keeps track of that as well.
We also update % complete in Intacct to trigger billing.
Once the project goes live, we update CRM to indicate that we finished the project. We also update Intacct % Complete Field to 100%, and that triggers the billing for the remaining part of the project.