Electrical Contractor Integrates Accounting and Project Management for Growth

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1 Microsoft Dynamics Customer Solution Case Study Electrical Contractor Integrates Accounting and Project Management for Growth Overview Country or Region: United States Industry: Construction specialty trade contractors Customer Profile Texeleco provides electrical installation and audio-video systems design and installation for high-end residences throughout central Texas. Business Situation To accommodate a rapidly growing business, Texeleco needed to integrate project-management and projectaccounting tools and bring processes online. Solution Texeleco worked with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner New Vision Consulting Group to implement Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Office Project Server 2003, simplifying financial and projectmanagement processes. Benefits More confident decision making Streamlined processes Increased customer satisfaction Microsoft Dynamics SL integrates with Microsoft Office Project Server and provides information I need when I need it so that I can focus on the part of my job that I enjoy most. Rod Mueller, CEO, Texeleco Texeleco has provided electrical services and audio-video solutions for new and existing homes since The company s Sage Master Builder project-accounting software required too much paperwork and manual intervention. To support its growing client base, Texeleco needed more efficient processes, simplified accounting tasks, and better access to up-to-date information. With help from Microsoft Gold Certified Partner New Vision Consulting Group, Texeleco implemented Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 for integrated accounting and project management. The new solution provides decision makers with real-time information and reduces paperwork by bringing processes online. Today, Texeleco efficiently manages multimilliondollar projects with greater customer satisfaction and lower overhead.

2 Situation Since 1964, Texeleco has steadily grown its business by establishing itself as the most reliable electrical specialist in central Texas. Today, Texeleco provides design and installation services for electrical, lighting, and home control systems in high-end residences. In 2000, Texeleco created a division focused entirely on high-end audiovideo systems. Since then, the company s annual revenue has grown from U.S.$250,000 to more than U.S.$4 million, representing 1,600-percent growth over an eight-year period. Texeleco CEO Rod Mueller spends much of his time overseeing operations. Project managers meet with him daily at the company s central offices to assess incoming deliveries and evaluate new design plans. To protect the company s reputation as a reliable contractor, Mueller relies on up-todate project information to ensure adequate staffing levels and timely installation of entertainment systems. Texeleco used Master Builder software from Intuit to manage their projects and finances, but the system did not offer a way for project managers to enter information while in the field. As a result, project managers and other staff had to fill out approximately 30 types of documents and either fax them to the central office or take them back to the central office at the end of the day. Texeleco employed two administrative assistants just to enter all the data from these documents into the system. Managing paper documents was a big hassle, especially as our business continued to grow. We needed a system that would automate processes to reduce the burden on our office staff. At the same time, we wanted something that would empower our project managers in the field to focus on things that mattered and not have to worry about lost documents or design drawings they had forgotten to bring out, says Mueller. Figure 1. Texeleco helps to design and install audio-video systems such as the home theater shown here.

3 We initially considered some less expensive software packages, but in the end, we felt that Microsoft Dynamics SL was a better investment in the future of the company. Rod Mueller, CEO, Texeleco The paper-based systems slowed processes, such as billing, and made it difficult for managers to gauge business performance and plan scheduling. To efficiently plan for the next few days, we needed to see what had been accomplished, what equipment and materials had arrived, and what resources we had on hand. When we were a smaller operation, this might not have been so difficult, explains Mueller. Managing around 40 projects at one time many of them for multimillion-dollar homes became difficult. Information was too scattered and often came too late. Moreover, the office could only provide business performance reports at the end of the month, after the accounts closed in Master Builder. After Sage Software bought Master Builder in 2006, Mueller found that the annual maintenance cost would increase fourfold. Mueller knew several peers who had successfully switched from Master Builder, and so decided to begin searching for a more powerful system. Solution The ideal system would need to disseminate project information in real time so that project managers could efficiently deploy crews, track projects, and gain insight into budget status. Texeleco looked into several software packages, including Deltek Vision and Microsoft Dynamics SL. Texeleco eventually chose Microsoft Dynamics SL because of its superior project-tracking capabilities, online accessibility, and potential to integrate with Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 and Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003, which Texeleco project managers already relied on to plan their projects. project-driven firms, such as Texeleco, helping them understand how to optimize both project accounting and project management by using Microsoft Dynamics SL and Office Project Server. We gave New Vision all our old paper forms which represented our previous way of doing business and they eliminated redundancies and found ways that we could streamline processes by taking them online, says Mueller. Connecting with Field Operations New Vision tailored Microsoft Office Project Web Access to provide Texeleco employees with a simple, customizable single-page view of all their assigned projects and tasks. With this customization, whenever technicians in the field update status on a particular task, that change is automatically reflected in project accounting in Microsoft Dynamics SL. Microsoft Dynamics SL and Office Project Web Access also help streamline processes that formerly required tedious paperwork and data entry. In the past, a licensed electrician or audio-video installer in charge of each crew filled out field reports detailing the used material, completed jobs, and crew s hours. Now, office staff document and charge equipment to the appropriate projects before the materials reach each crew. Similarly, crew managers no longer need to collect timesheets and turn them in at the end of the week for processing. Employees enter their regular timesheet details in a form that New Vision created in Microsoft Dynamics SL, including how long they worked on each project and whom they worked with, and those details are updated in project accounting. To deploy the solution and integrate it with Office Project Server, Texeleco worked with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner New Vision Consulting Group. New Vision focuses on Office Project Server 2003 also provides Texeleco employees with access to important documents online. Technicians use laptops with wireless connections to view design

4 We can easily provide a greater level of detail in our bills than what was feasible before, which helps put customers at ease. Now, they can see what they re paying for. Anne Phares, Office Manager, Texeleco drawings and other relevant documents from the job site. Informing Managers Mueller and Texeleco project managers use the online information about project status and financial costs to plan schedules and track actual project costs against budget. Information is accessible online either through Office Project Web Access or Business Portal in Microsoft Dynamics SL. Managers can easily check status on equipment deliveries, project tasks, and logged hours. With the integration between Office Project Server 2003 and Microsoft Dynamics SL, costs are committed on the books much faster than with our old paperbased system. I can go online to check the status of any project at any time and from any place, says Mueller. Simplifying Financial Accounting and Reporting In the Texeleco office, Microsoft Dynamics SL helps Anne Phares, Office Manager at Texeleco, to more effectively manage accounting for the growing company. I m the only one in the company who regularly uses all the modules in Microsoft Dynamics SL, so I appreciate the consistency between various modules. When I need to adjust an invoice for payables or make a billing change in receivables, it works in a familiar way, says Phares. Microsoft Dynamics SL is much more flexible than Master Builder in terms of closing monthly financial accounts. The closeout process in Master Builder required everything to be reconciled before you could consider anything complete, says Phares. In Microsoft Dynamics SL, I can close out each module individually without having to wait for everything. This makes it easier for our employees because I can close payables and receivables at the end of the month so that they don t have to remember which month they are working in when entering data. With Master Builder, Phares could only create reports at the end of the period after all the accounts closed, which was sometimes more than two weeks into the next month. Microsoft Dynamics SL enables managers to generate reports at any time. Benefits Texeleco now enjoys an integrated projectmanagement and project-accounting system that empowers decision makers, helps increase customer satisfaction, and supports future growth. We initially considered some less expensive software packages, but in the end, we felt that Microsoft Dynamics SL was a better investment in the future of the company, says Mueller. Because this offering came from Microsoft, we had confidence that the software would continue to evolve and that it would work well with our other technology. More Confident Decision Making Integrating Microsoft Dynamics SL and Office Project Server 2003 provides Mueller and Texeleco project managers with an accurate, real-time view of operations, enabling them to make informed decisions about how to best allocate resources. Now, our project managers know what time equipment arrives at our offices during the day, which helps them plan their schedules more accurately, says Mueller. In the same way, Office Project Web Access gives us consolidated views of all our current and upcoming projects so that we can more effectively plan resources on a company level. The up-to-date information also helps Texeleco anticipate and troubleshoot problems while they are still manageable. Whereas our previous system produced reports three or four weeks after an activity, Microsoft Dynamics SL enables us to run new

5 reports as needed. We can check status of our projects every day if we need to so that we can avoid problems, says Mueller. Streamlined Processes Texeleco field employees use Business Portal in Microsoft Dynamics SL and Office Project Web Access to submit hours worked, update task status, and access important projectrelated documents from any Internetconnected computer. This frees project managers from faxing paperwork or driving to and from the office to retrieve documents. Moving processes online has helped our company save approximately one-fourth of our fuel costs and given our project managers several hours each week to spend on other tasks, says Mueller. I like to be on site, helping to figure out the technical aspects of our projects. Microsoft Dynamics SL integrates with Microsoft Office Project Server and provides information I need when I need it so that I can focus on the part of my job that I enjoy most. Increased Customer Satisfaction With automated processes in Microsoft Dynamics SL, Texeleco now can provide customers with detailed bills of work much faster than before. We ve been able to reduce our billing cycle by seven days so that the details of the work are often fresh in the customer s mind, says Phares. Customers of Texeleco often employ personal assistants who appreciate the detailed documentation that Texeleco can offer from Microsoft Dynamics SL. We can easily provide a greater level of detail in our bills than was feasible before, which helps put customers at ease. Now, they can see what they re paying for, says Phares. Automated processes also help the Texeleco office operate more smoothly. The two administrative assistants who performed data entry moved to operations positions, reducing office staff by one-third. At the same time, employees in the office are more productive. Microsoft Dynamics SL takes care of a lot of the details that used to complicate my job. I m able to focus on managing the office instead of dealing with clerical tasks, explains Phares.

6 For More Information For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) Customers who are deaf or hard-ofhearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) in the United States or (905) in Canada. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to: For more information about Texeleco products and services, call (512) or visit the Web site at: For more information about New Vision Consulting Group products and services, call (888) or visit the Web site at: Microsoft Dynamics Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what s most important. And because it is from Microsoft, it easily works with the systems that your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, increasing the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics, go to: Software and Services Microsoft Dynamics Microsoft Dynamics SL 6.5 Microsoft Office Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003 Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Microsoft Office Project Web Access Partners New Vision Consulting Group This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published May 2008

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