Dynamics AX addresses industry requirements for IT Consulting firms
Having just left a meeting with an IT Consulting firm that is evaluating new ERP software solutions, we thought we’d recap a few key business issues that this particular firm has and how our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) industry solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX can help address their business requirements.
Of course, there were the standard requirements around general accounting functionality and managing the full lifecycle of their client-facing projects. But there were a few key areas within the project accounting and management processes that stood out as critical business drivers for this firm.
Project Estimating and Planning – Having a tool to build up an accurate estimate of project costs, sometimes down to the specific resource, is an important tool for them. Ensuring that the current and accurate cost and price rates are used in the estimate, as well as having some visibility into the resourcing process in order to select the proper resources, are also important. Our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX includes a comprehensive Project Quoting module that allows users to specify the project hierarchy (including phases and tasks if desired), and then build up an estimate for labor (hours), expenses, fees, and any items that are included in the project. These quotation lines all feed from the underlying rate tables in Dynamics AX, which means that you’re always using accurate cost and price rates, thereby giving you a good picture of the expected margin and profitability of the project.
Resourcing – This firm needs a comprehensive resourcing tool that can help them find and schedule the most appropriate resources for their projects. They manage the capacities of their resources and need to know what a particular resource’s availability is prior to scheduling them onto a project. Their scheduling is done at the weekly level as well as at the daily level in some cases. Our ProjAX (now known as Projects+) solution for Dynamics AX introduces an industry standard resourcing module that takes on the format of the standard resourcing grid. The project activities that need scheduled will appear on the left side of the screen, and the weekly scheduling buckets appear across the top of the screen. You can then schedule a resource group or a specific resource to a project or project task, and break down the allotment of hours by week. Support for daily scheduling is coming in a future version.
Project Billing for NTE (Not To Exceed) Projects – This firm does a lot of T&M projects with Not To Exceed caps. As a result, they need to know when doing their billing how much time is left in the NTE amount for each project. They need to make sure that they aren’t exceeding the NTE amount, and to figure out what to do with any overage from an accounting standpoint. Dynamics AX has full support for tracking and billing projects that have NTE caps . At the time of invoicing, the system will tell you when you’ve reached the NTE cap, and will separate out what’s billable and what’s not, highlighting in yellow the non-billable amount. If you’re able to get an extension on the NTE amount, you can come back later and bill that additional time. Otherwise, it will be written off as unbillable time and get booked to the ledger account that you have established in the system for this.