Internet Broadcasting Company Uses Microsoft Dynamics® GP + Olympic Project Cost to Increase Profitability of Projects
|Customer: BroadcastMed, Inc. (formerly ORLive)
Location: West Hartford, CT
Former System: Data 2000
Industry: Professional Services
BroadcastMed is the world’s leading surgical broadcasting company. Its broadcasting network provides an intimate look at over 650 live and on-demand surgeries to a global audience, streaming over 50,000 hours of programming each month.
Richard Meyer, Vice President-Finance
BroadcastMed used a DOS-based accounting software called Data 2000. However, this system had limited project accounting features. This successful company would manage as many as 160 projects simultaneously – each with long timelines and complicated contracts that affected its ability to invoice for its services. Yet, all its project cost information was being tracked in spreadsheets. BroadcastMed had a large number of people entering time that was not accurately linked to specific projects, and it also had difficulty tracking the individual costs associated with each project. All of this made it difficult to determine the contribution margin of individual projects. BroadcastMed wanted to upgrade its system to include project costing functionality as well as integration to other Microsoft tools such as Microsoft SharePoint that were used within the organization.
Based on a personal recommendation from its trusted business partner, Connecticut Computer Services, BroadcastMed chose to work with CAL Business Solutions. CAL Business Solutions implemented Microsoft Dynamics GP with Olympic Project Cost. This system gave BroadcastMed strong financial functionality with easy-to-use project accounting features without being overly complicated or expensive.
“Revenue Recognition Used to Take Three Days. Now It Takes One Hour”
A key part of the project was a crucial revenue recognition report. The billing for each project was on a set payment schedule that was outlined in the contract – but each was unique. Previously, BroadcastMed used a massive, unwieldy 40-page spreadsheet that was built by its CPA firm. The team at CAL Business Solutions did an in-depth analysis to fully understand the process at BroadcastMed, and recreated the revenue recognition report within Microsoft Dynamics GP. Now the system automates the collection of time, status of projects, and percentage of completion, and figures out how much to bill the client. “We access this report right from our main menu using a shortcut. It is now seamless for us,” says Richard
Meyer, Vice President – Finance. “It used to take the finance team three days to go through contracts, events, and contract revenue, and manually enter the data into a spreadsheet. Because of the time involved, this was done only at the year-end. Now, using Microsoft Dynamics GP, the process takes no more than an hour and is done once a month.”
“Tracking Project Costs Makes Us More Profitable”
BroadcastMed employees now use the time tracker function in Olympic Project Cost as the primary time clock. What used to be a manual process is now automated, and people on the road can enter their time remotely. Using Olympic Project Cost with Microsoft Dynamics GP makes it easy for BroadcastMed to drill down into the details of each project.
BroadcastMed can determine not just the time associated with a project, but all the costs and tasks related to it that affect the final bottom line. Reports generated by Olympic Project Cost are used by the management team to make strategic decisions. “By using Dynamics GP with Olympic Project Cost, we now know the profitability of each project, whereas before we only knew the profitability of the entire company. Having a complete view of project costs has improved our ability to price new projects for profit and manage individual projects more closely,” says Richard Meyer.
“Easily Move Information into Excel”
BroadcastMed appreciates that it has the ability to easily move information from Microsoft Dynamics GP and Olympic Project Cost to Microsoft Excel. “I am a big advocate of the SmartList feature in GP. Using SmartList, I can drop information from Dynamics GP into Excel where I have built calculations, metrics and comparisons. I can produce professional-looking financial statements in different versions for different people. If they have questions on a specific GL item, I can send them the item detail they need using SmartList,” says Richard Meyer. “The reporting and budgeting features within Microsoft Dynamics GP are very strong. The system is easy to use. I can quickly identify issues and correct them.”
“A Business Partner We Can Rely On”
Richard Meyer comments, “Working with CAL has been a very positive experience. The staff is responsive. When we have unique problems or request modifications, these are generally researched and fixed within 48 hours.” Because of its strong development experience, the team at CAL Business Solutions was able create the custom reports BroadcastMed required and successfully connect Olympic Project Cost. In the future, with the help of CAL and Connecticut Computer Services, BroadcastMed plans to connect its Microsoft Dynamics GP system to Microsoft SharePoint for a complete project management solution.
BroadcastMed now has a completely integrated Accounting and Project Management system that allows it to manage projects more effectively and have access to information to make informed decisions to drive growth for the company.
-Richard Meyer, Vice President-Finance, BroadcastMed
If you are a professional services company that is looking for a new ERP system, contact CAL Business Solutions.