Silversoft is delighted to announce that The Whalley Collective has chosen Deltek WorkBook to assist their agency in their next phase of growth.

The Whalley Collective, an independent agency centred in Durban, South Africa have grown their client base and with an evolved collective and semi-remote working structure approached Silversoft to assist in implementing a robust agency system to assist in aligning their operations, finance and client service teams.

“The Whalley team needed a solution that aligns their internal teams, and has a fully integrated finance platform. Deltek WorkBook ticked all these boxes for them, with some added features such as real time communication on briefs, jobs and quotes” say Charlie Mossop, Global Account Manager at Silversoft.

Paul Whalley, Director of Business Operations explains that “internal communications are very important for us, and WorkBook’s powerful inbox feature will allow our teams to collaborate on one job management system, as opposed to using third-party applications”.

“The Silversoft team has been incredibly hands-on throughout the process, guiding us on process enhancements to ensure that while implementing a new platform, we also enhance our process to enable growth” continues Whalley.

“The Silversoft team was most excited to hear that The Whalley Collective had been considering various tools but chose Silversoft and Deltek WorkBook for the love of our ecosystem and excellent support,” says Dan Marcus, Director: Agency Solutions at Silversoft. “We are looking forward to a long partnership with their dynamic team,” continues Marcus.

About The Whalley Collective

The Whalley Collective has Durban and Cape Town offices serving clients across southern Africa. Driven by their vision of ‘Ideas with Soul’ this independent group of strategic and creative mavericks value fearless thinking, diverse perspectives, and the power of collaborative relationships to do meaningful work that improves lives and builds brands that loyal customers love.

About Silversoft

For 15 years, Silversoft has been delivering enterprise solutions to people and project-centric firms, supporting over 50,000 users across South Africa and beyond. Silversoft has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is the local Platinum Partner for Deltek – the leading international provider of software to the Professional Services industry.

With WorkBook by Deltek, Silversoft delivers beautiful Agency Management technology that will help your firm win the best accounts, deliver the greatest projects, delight your clients and be more profitable. Workbook looks good. Lifts heavy.

Find out how Deltek WorkBook can transform the way your agency performs here.

 

The choice is yours: the collaboration between your agency and your client on the latest campaign can either be a pain point or a productive process. It all depends on the briefing process, how you allow your client to get involved and what system you have in place to help manage this communication.

The importance of the creative brief

The brief is a vital part of the project-management process, as it helps you, your team and the client clearly understand the goals and constraints of the campaign. When you get the briefing process right, your agency benefits in a number of ways:

  • Saving time and money – a clear brief means fewer revisions and changes at a later stage
  • Inspiration – a good brief will get your team thinking out of the box to bring it to life
  • A reference point – when reviewing the project at any point, you should always be able to check if it’s reflecting the requirements of the brief

Collaboration with the client is key…but also a lot of work  

Naturally, the client will be the one to hand you the brief explaining what they want achieved. The problem here is that, although some clients provide a detailed brief of what they want, many clients only turn in a half-thought-out brief or a confusing concept they’re unable to explain. But because the brief is the foundation of any creative project or campaign, it’s crucial that the client is given more agency to collaborate with the team until the brief is as clear and detailed as it can be.

However, managing a project is a time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming process – having to juggle the expectations and needs of everyone from executive management to the creative team – so, it may seem that going back and forth on emails with the client to gain clarity on a brief might just be asking too much.

This is why every project manager or project lead should be using a management system that not only helps you to track your projects and handle the financial side of things but is also a collaboration tool – designed to help you prioritise your communication with clients and make better strategic decisions about projects.

Using a management system to make your creative workflow, well, flow

Raise your hand if you’ve got more than three apps or programs on your computer or phone that help you to manage various functions of the project. Most project managers end up having one tool for communication purposes, one tool for task-planning, one for document sharing and so on. Most of them don’t have anything to help with the initial briefing process and client collaboration. In a recent poll we took during a webinar, we found that 67% of those surveyed don’t currently use a software system for briefing.

But imagine you had one system that did it all and, most importantly, allowed you to have better alignment with your clients at the beginning of the project process. You’d no longer have to worry about remembering the login details for the 10 different management programs you’ve been using, but instead would reap the benefits of using the right software, such as being able to:

  • streamline projects, people and finance from end to end in one best practice solution designed to help you grow;
  • boost productivity and optimise utilisation through better project and resource planning; and
  • increase profitability and control costs by scoping accurately, increasing efficiency and reducing delays.

Power your agency’s success with Deltek WorkBook

Built by agency veterans, Deltek WorkBook is a total agency management system that provides best practice solutions to help your agency grow. WorkBook makes it easier to focus on your clients and make strategic decisions for the future by streamlining projects, people and finance from end to end, giving you better control, insight and visibility at any time.

 

WorkBook’s client portal feature, enables you to:

  • Streamline the briefing process between the client and internal teams
  • Provide clients with an easy login to the system and determine whether they can create a new brief or just view current briefs
  • Give client contacts access to new jobs created by the studio as well as remove client access to jobs that have been closed or cancelled
  • Easily liaise with clients, using the cleverly designed customer portal

Want to ensure your project process starts with a clear brief and is streamlined with helpful collaboration with your client?

Book a demo of Deltek WorkBook by completing the below form

 

 

99c chooses Deltek WorkBook to digitise manual and disparate systems, and create a single agency workflow to enhance visibility into workload, capacity and overall business operations.

The firm has partnered closely with Silversoft to implement Deltek WorkBook’s best-of-suite agency platform to transform the way in which the agency manages resources, in an optimal manner to drive client success.

“I’m incredibly proud to call 99c a client. After 5 years of close partnership in working through their key requirements, Hylton and the team have chosen Silversoft and Deltek WorkBook to reimagine the workflow of the firm and implement innovative technology to streamline their processes” Says Dan Marcus, Director: Agency Solutions at Silversoft.

“99c has over 400 staff with many moving parts and processes. Having a single agency solution suite in place has been a game changer for our firm and the team at Silversoft were instrumental in partnering with our firm to transform the way in which we work and optimize our workflow. Says Janci Prinsloo, Business Process Manager at 99c.

Hylton Heather, Director of Production at 99c adds “Having live actionable analytics at our fingertips has allowed the firm to focus on the key metrics that turn the needle, which is a massive driving factor in improving the agencies margin. Our firm is consistently investing in improving efficiency and having a platform in place like WorkBook is core to our long-term success.”

About 99c

99c is an independent, full-service, integrated advertising and communications agency, providing creative solutions for a wide variety of clients across many fields and industries.

Taking the time to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients and fully engage in their businesses has stood us in good stead, often leading to our own organic growth, starting with one brand and gaining others from within a client’s group portfolio. So too have the lessons we’ve learned, the systems we’ve implemented, the structures we’ve developed and the culture we’ve created; all of which allow us to provide creative solutions for a wide variety of clients across many fields. The proof? Today, we’re almost 300-staff strong and still growing.

About Silversoft

For 15 years, Silversoft has been delivering enterprise solutions to people and project-centric firms, supporting over 50,000 users across South Africa and beyond. Silversoft has offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is the local Platinum Partner for Deltek – the leading international provider of software to the Professional Services industry.

With WorkBook by Deltek, Silversoft delivers beautiful Agency Management technology that will help your firm win the best accounts, deliver the greatest projects, delight your clients and be more profitable. Workbook looks good. Lifts heavy.

Find out how Deltek WorkBook can transform the way your agency performs here.

 

How to motivate your team to produce good work, even during a global pandemic

We all know what it’s like to dig deep on a Monday morning, trying to find the smallest bit of motivation to get out of bed and dress for work. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, it sort of threw the world into a permanent “Monday morning” situation. Along with the increased levels of stress and anxiety it brought to agencies and businesses all over the globe, came an adjustment to remote working and a struggle amongst employees to find motivation to be innovative and creative. 

Research conducted in partnership with Microsoft and the Boston Consulting Group, involving 9,000 managers and employees from firms across 15 European countries, revealed that, “It’s a challenge to feel connected, confident and communicate effectively with the team, and we know from a lot of research that creativity and innovation largely happen through collaboration.” A healthy team culture is achieved when employees feel motivated to be creative and productive. 

But, how do you implement this type of work environment when employees are unable to get together in the office for a good, old-fashioned creative brainstorming session?

Fortunately there are a number of effective strategies you can implement within your teams now to ensure you can harness that collaborative mentality, and motivate your team to produce creative work, at a distance. 

Ensure an effective briefing process

According to Denise Blasevick, CEO of The S3 Agency, providing a clear creative brief, a day or two before an online brainstorming sessions, is key because it “allows people to digest the information, do research, and come armed with questions along with any potential thought starters that can start the brainstorm out with a burst of energy.”

Download a helpful Creative Brief Checklist

Use virtual whiteboards for collaboration

Traditional brainstorming whiteboards are found to actually limit creativity because often one individual is responsible for recording all thoughts, whereas virtual whiteboards allow everyone to contribute, show and record their ideas. Visual collaboration in a virtual space also means you can loop in other team members who may work in different country offices. You could even use this process to encourage healthy competition, circling the “winning ideas” on the virtual whiteboard and challenging your team to suggest better ideas.

Here are a few virtual whiteboards we recommend checking out: 

Source: https://www.innovationtraining.org/what-is-mural-and-how-to-use-mural-for-design-thinking/

Encourage individual work 

Grace Judson, a leadership consultant, advises that you provide your team with limited solo brainstorming time, using a ripple effect: The first team member starts and is given 5 minutes to write out their ideas. Once they are done, the second team member goes, either coming up with new ideas, or using the ideas of the previous team member as inspiration, still on the 5-minute clock. This continues until all team members have contributed and then the results are up for discussion. 

Equip your team with a helpful brainstorming activity sheet

For many, the best way to tackle those Monday morning blues is to grab hold of a big cup of coffee. And for us, giving our team tools to help get their creative juices flowing while working from home, is the equivalent to a shot of espresso. 

Which is why we’ve developed a free, downloadable, Idea Generation Workbook that you can share with your team today – either for them to complete alone or for you to work through it with them. 

This sheet offers a few out-of-the-box ideas for brainstorming effectively, as well as formal processes they can follow to keep them focused and motivated. Before long, your team will be producing such good work, and solving every problem thrown at them, you will have forgotten remote working was ever a struggle in the first place. 

Ready to see your team’s innovative thinking thrive? Get your free Idea Generation Workbook by completing the below form.

 

A Quick Guide for Keeping Your Firm Healthy in 2021

2020 was a big learning curve for businesses all around the world. Many engineering firms had to learn to adjust to remote working, while still maintaining a positive and motivational workplace culture, and implementing systems and processes to navigate the “new normal” way of working.

All of this change can have an impact on a firm’s organisational health, and so we decided to create a practical guide for your firm that can be a resource to;

  • Highlight the four key learnings that indicate a healthy engineering firm
  • Provide guidelines for maintaining optimal organisational health in the four areas
  • Share practical tools you can implement to improve your processes today
  • Help to equip your firm for any future unexpected challenges

Download the full guide by completing the form below.

Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?

Silversoft is offering Engineering Consulting firms a free health check to determine how they compare to others in the industry in terms of the 4 key learnings from 2020.

This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.

Take the health check survey

MPAMOT GROUP drives innovation AND OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY THROUGH implementation of WORLDCLASS business management system, RESULTING IN ALIGNMENT OF group AND subsidiary OPERATIONS, AND POSITIONING MPAMOT GROUP to scale and grow operations in Africa.

Leading, 100% black women-owned and managed engineering and development consulting firm, MPAMOT (Pty) Ltd selected Deltek and Silversoft as partners to drive innovation and streamline business processes for the group and subsidiaries through the implementation of an industry leading business management system.

MPAMOT GROUP researched various options to align and optimise group and subsidiary business systems that will streamline and drive workplace efficiency, promote organisational collaboration, information storage, and simplify decision making, through a single industry-focused business management suite that delivers best practice for Consulting Engineers.

Johannesburg, South Africa – 26 March 2021

Silversoft, a Platinum Deltek partner, today announced that Consulting Engineering and development firm MPAMOT (Pty) Ltd  has selected Deltek Vantagepoint and Deltek Talent in the Cloud. MPAMOT will partner with Silversoft South Africa to implement the Deltek tailor-made business management suite for the MPAMOT group and subsidiaries.

MPAMOT is a multidisciplinary consulting engineering and development firm specialising in large-scale catalytic infrastructure and development projects. The MPAMOT Group consists of a holding company and two subsidiaries in South Africa and Lesotho. There are plans to expand into Africa.

Following a rigorous selection process, MPAMOT selected Deltek’s Best of Suite enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Talent Management solutions to streamline and optimise business processes, promote organisational collaboration throughout their excellent talent pool, and ultimately increase efficiency. Allowing MPAMOT to achieve its ultimate strategic goal. MPAMOT will enhance innovation by utilising leading cloud technology to automate and enhance the entire project lifecycle.

MPAMOT GROUP partnered with Deltek & Silversoft to optimise service delivery, people engagement, project, and operations management, further cementing the firm’s reputation for being an innovator in the consulting engineering industry.

Malani Padayachee, chief executive officer of MPAMOT GROUP and subsidiaries says “we are fully committed to not only investing in our firm for long term sustainability, but also innovation within the engineering consulting industry, and believe that in implementing Deltek solutions, we will be taking a big step in the right direction. It is vital to have visibility into the entire business if you want to ensure successful project delivery and our investment into leading cloud technology will ensure that we become a fully integrated organisation with cutting-edge platforms in place.”

“The Silversoft team is exceptionally proud to partner with MPAMOT in their implementation of the Deltek Vantagepoint and Deltek Talent solutions.  We believe that their excellent leadership and vision for the firm, combined with our industry-leading technology platform will help drive their business forward,” says Jacques Du Buisson, Managing Director of Silversoft.

 

About MPAMOT

MPAMOT GROUP and subsidiaries MPAMOT Africa and MPAMOT Lesotho provide engineering and development solutions to a range of private and public sector clients.  With nearly 200 highly competent engineering and corporate team members, MPAMOT Group is well placed to provide solutions to clients in the infrastructure, transport, water, energy, health, education, agriculture, and other sectors. MPAMOT values partnerships and collaboration and as such continues to explore opportunities to spearhead development in the engineering and built environment.

 

About Deltek
Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 30,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success by helping firms achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue. www.deltek.com

Request a demo to find out how Silversoft can streamline your firm.

We’re living in a time when the word “health” is on everyone’s lips and the age of Covid has brought with it a greater focus on, and prioritisation of, both mental health and physical wellbeing. As a result, we’ve all tried to take steps towards improving our health: we take vitamins and supplements, do more exercise, eat healthier, wash our hands, and wear a mask. But in order for us to know what we need to do to improve our health, we have to visit a doctor, be aware of potential risks,  or take note of our symptoms.

Are you approaching the health of your organisation with the same level of maintenance and evaluation as you do yourself?

Perhaps you’re reading this thinking, “Well, we are a top performing company so obviously we are in good health.” But the reality is, even top-performing businesses have times – could be a day, could be a week, could be a month – when their productivity is not where it should be and a few cracks start to show. A regular health check ensures you’ll be able to notice any possible flaws in your systems and processes, and implement strategies or practices to ensure the cracks don’t become permanently damaging.

Or, maybe you’re from a smaller organisation, still trying to find your feet. Mckinsey & Co found companies that work on their health demonstrate tangible performance gains in as little as 6 to 12 months. They define healthy organisations as being “high functioning and highly successful over long periods of time”. So getting a health check while your business is still growing its potential could be the kickstarter you need to boost your competitive edge.

Organisational health is not only about employee engagement and workplace culture

Don’t get us wrong – those two factors are really important. In fact,  of our 4 key learnings from 2020, two of them had to do with employee engagement and team culture. But the health of your organisation is also dependent on other factors, such as its ability to continuously innovate, benchmark against industry trends and implement smooth operational and reporting processes.

Scott Keller & Colin Price, authors of Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage,  define organisational health as “the ability of an organization to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition to sustain exceptional performance over time”.

So what does an organisational health check entail?

It’s vital that you’re routinely checking in on your engineering firm’s functionality, systems, and culture, and don’t just trust in your financial metrics as the determining factor of organisational health.

Although it may seem like financial success should be the determining factor in your organisation’s performance,  the top quartile of publicly traded companies in McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index (OHI) delivers roughly three times the returns to shareholders as those in the bottom quartile. In the words of Jon Wolske, the culture evangelist at Zappos, “Your financial metrics can be great, but if dragons are all over your organization, eventually the village will burn.”

An organisational health check is an external assessment at the organisational level that evaluates your company’s systems, processes, operational structure, and workplace culture, compares how you fare against others in your industry, and highlights areas where you could implement strategies for improvement.

A healthy organisation is one that has:

  • internal alignment across departments;
  • clear and consistent innovation strategies;
  • an effective operational workplace system everyone is onboard with;
  • leadership that models the values of the company through their behaviour and attitude;
  • employees who feel valued, engaged, and inspired;
  • an environment that encourages open communication and feedback;
  • efficient communication systems for remote workers;
  • and more.

Want to ensure your engineering firm is staying successful in a competitive SA market?

Silversoft is offering Engineering Consulting firms a free health check to determine how they compare to others in the industry in terms of the 4 key learnings from 2020.

This involves your completing a simple 10-minute survey, followed by a call with one of our experienced Account Managers. You will be provided with a concise report highlighting your firm’s strengths and areas of improvement in our new working environment as well as a mini-guide on how to implement improvements in the 4 key areas.

Take the health check survey

 

Deltek annually recognises innovation and achievements of their partners, and this week announced the winners of their Global Partner Awards Program for 2020.

Herndon, VA – March 9, 2021 – Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, today announces its esteemed winners of The Deltek Global Partner Awards Program for their outstanding accomplishments in 2020. Silversoft is proud to accept the award of International Reseller Partner of the Year, for the fourth year in a row. Jonathan Eisner, Vice President of Global Partner Sales and Alliances says, “despite the challenges 2020 presented, Silversoft delivered exceptional performance, innovation and commitment to the Deltek Solutions Partner Program through the past year.”

The Deltek Partner Network amplifies Deltek’s cloud-based enterprise software offering for project-based businesses and expands the Deltek customer base around the world. Through Deltek partners, more companies can experience better project intelligence enabling them to make better decisions about their business and manage their unique projects in a collaborative and end-to-end platform.

This year, Deltek recognises the accomplishments of the following partners, which represent the program’s systems integrators, value-added resellers, independent software vendors, accounting firms and consulting firms:

International Reseller Partner of the Year

Silversoft

Global Systems Integrator Partner of the Year

Baker Tilly

GovCon Partner of the Year

Infotek Consulting

North America Reseller Partner of the Year

Full Sail Partners

Services Excellence Partner of the Year

Central Consulting Group

Customer Satisfaction Partner of the Year

BDO

Top New Customer Acquisition Partner of the Year

ConstructConnect

New Partner of the Year

Tangram

Excellence in Marketing Innovation Partner of the Year

Premier Consulting & Integration

“2020 has been a year like no other and Deltek’s deep partner network enabled thousands of customers to quickly pivot and strengthen their businesses during these uncertain times,” said Jonathan Eisner, Vice President of Global Partner Sales and Alliances. “It is an honor to recognize the outstanding achievements and innovation of these partners. We look forward to a fantastic and successful 2021 with our Deltek Project Nation partners as we continue to expand this program around the world.”

About Deltek
Better software means better projects. Deltek is the leading global provider of enterprise software and information solutions for project-based businesses. More than 30,000 organizations and millions of users in over 80 countries around the world rely on Deltek for superior levels of project intelligence, management and collaboration. Our industry-focused expertise powers project success by helping firms achieve performance that maximizes productivity and revenue. www.deltek.com

Source: Silversoft

How Does Your Firm Stack Up?

AEC firms have most definitely had to either pivot or fold during a challenging 2020. From remote working, lack of travel, and client’s scaling down many firms have truly seen and experienced it all, and through the chaos, have persevered.

There are four main key learnings that have surfaced from the COVID pandemic, and there surely will be many more to come as we continue to navigate through the changed business landscape.

Here’s four key learnings that hold true for AEC firms:

1. Keep Up On Industry Trends
It is vital to keep a pulse on the industry within which your firm operates. Follow reliable external sources of information and be agile enough to adapt your KPIs based on performer benchmarks that you are following.

2. Work Smarter
Save time where possible. Identify areas in your organisation that are keeping your employees from working optimally, and ensure these are addressed.

3. Maintain a Team Culture
It is vital to maintain your culture, even when interacting with employees virtually. It protects your organisation’s identity, and helps to motivate employees.

4. Connect Your Remote Employees
Consider cloud solutions that create a safe and secure working environment for remote employees.

Compare your firm to others in the industry globally by downloading your A&E Industry Report Scorecard below:

“86% of organizations see failure to digitize and automate business inputs as a key transformation bottleneck.” 

There is no denying that 2020 has been a year for the books. Within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry, project managers, engineers, surveyors and more have shifted their processes to accompany a more diverse, remote way of working. Creating and processing information may have been a struggle prior to 2020, and now with a workforce that can be partially or even fully remote, inefficiencies with project information management can certainly come to the forefront.

In this whitepaper, you’ll discover solutions to some of the AEC industry’s most common challenges with managing project information, particularly when managing information remotely.

How to tackle project information management:

    • Identify process holes within your organisation
    • Review your data management approach
    • Take stock of on-site practices
    • Have the hard conversations