With offices across 12 states and the District of Columbia, Sebesta needed to consolidate and improve its billing processes.
“Billing used to be a very time-consuming process,” said Paula Smith, project accounting manager for Sebesta. “We needed to print pre-bills and get them electronically or physically to project managers to review and return. We had no handle on where bills were in the process. With a lot of employees traveling, we needed a more timely and efficient process.”
Sebesta originally billed once per month, but due to the inefficiencies, they expanded to once per week to speed the billing cycle. “Performance was hard to gauge,” continued Smith. “It was hard to analyze the performance of each of the PMs or PAs without seeing it on a grid.”
A better way
Sebesta employees met with EleVia Software consultants at a Deltek Insight conference and were impressed with what they learned about one of EleVia’s add-on products for Deltek Vision, EleVia Electronic Invoicing. “We knew we needed to move to an electronic system and EleVia Electronic Invoicing looked like exactly what we needed,” said Smith.
“We reduced the number of project accountants needed from five to three as a result of our improved billing efficiencies.”
“It was pretty much a no brainer for us. We could see a great benefit to reduce the filing requirements. The pre-bill markups did not need to be saved and the invoices were automated,“ she said. “Project coordinators were no longer needed in the billing process – it saved them time. That was really the performance issue – we were having a hard time getting to the info we needed.”
Quick and seamless transition
EleVia worked with a Sebesta team to achieve buy-in on process and to finalize the plans. The initial Sebesta office was deployed in January 2011, and the remaining offices a month later.
“I was surprised at how quickly we were able to train and implement,” said Smith. We actually trained and brought on 35 project managers at one shot.”
Improved efficiencies and visibility
“With EleVia Electronic Invoicing, Sebesta also has improved metrics and visibility across the billing system. “We reduced the number of project accountants needed from five to three as a result of our improved billing efficiencies,” said Smith. Our collection processes have improved and billings are up. With the new system, we do not have the calls into project managers asking why the bill was not completed.”
Sebesta, an NVS Company, is a national leader in lifecycle performance of built environments, providing full-service consulting and engineering services. It consistently ranks in Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms.