Late last year, Florence & Hutcheson – a civil engineering firm primarily serving state Departments of Transportation – realized the time had come to upgrade its existing computers and software. This upgrade would necessitate migrating a sizable database of customer and job information from its current project management software system (called AEMAS) developed by Data-Basics, Inc. Ultimately, Florence & Hutcheson decided that the best course of action of the 150-person firm would be to convert its current database to a newer product offered by Data-Basics called SAMPro Enterprise.
"We were familiar with Data-Basics and their service and support," said Suzanne Sanders, Treasurer/CFO of Florence & Hutcheson. "We felt that they were in a unique position to convert the vast amount of data we had to upgrade."
Upgrading to SAMPro Enterprise allowed Florence & Hutcheson to retain its historical data in a Windows-based system while taking advantage of new features of the software. Specifically, the company instantly recognized SAMPro Enterprise's remote time entry component, TimeAnywhere, as a significant time saver over its current process.
"The component with the biggest impact has been TimeAnywhere, which allowed us to progress from manual data entry at corporate headquarters to data entry by employees and supervisors at our outlying locations," said Sanders.
This time information feeds into the rest of the accounting software – a system that includes job costing, AP, AR, the general ledger and payroll – and eliminates a great deal of data entry over paper-based systems. To help streamline the back office further, the firm also uses ReportAnywhere, an automated feature in SAMPro Enterprise that enables the distribution of reports via e-mails, fax or pager.
Sanders continued, "ReportAnyhwere has enabled our project managers to better track hours charged to projects." The benefits of this feature have prompted the company to expand its use of this reporting tool, something it plans to do in the coming months.
Since upgrading to SAMPro Enterprise, Florence & Hutcheson has improved back office efficiency. "It has allowed us to access data more quickly and use less time processing the information," said Sanders. And because the company stayed with a vendor with whom it had an established track record, Data-Basics' customer service staff has continued to provide support that is familiar with the engineering firm's unique needs.