May, 2016

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Excel shortcuts don’t cut it

We all know the feeling. It’s 4:30 PM on a Friday and your Government program manager needs to see your NASA 533.  You were ahead of the game.  Early this week you tracked down all your task managers, had them email you their spreadsheets so you could consolidate the data and roll it up into one tidy report for your customer.

There is just one problem. You have been pulling your hair out trying to figure out why your data is not lining up. One of your task managers must have their data wrong. Who was it that didn’t complete their excel training? Or did you transpose numbers or skip a cell? Is one of the formulas corrupted?

You have visions of spending your weekend trying to identify the issue (and double checking the 6 months of prior reports to make sure those were accurate).

The reality is that we are all humans and we will make mistakes and there is no better solution than setting up process automation to help keep you sane.

Automation allows you to bypass costs associated with errors.

Automation ensures predictable quality.

Automation makes you more efficient.

Automation gets you out of the door at 4 PM on a Friday because, well, your rock.

The folks over at Lifehack have some useful tips on automating your personal life and check out iSite’s automation features to see how we can help automate your work life.

Trend Alert: Increase your efficiency

As a business owner, you hear all the time that you need to stay ahead of the curve, find new ways to secure your competitive edge, increase your profits, succeed.

You’ve read all the books, you’ve attended the seminars and you have scoured social media. You even made your way to this post where we are going to let you in on a not so big secret.

In order to succeed, you need to find ways to continuously increase your efficiencies.

The good news is that we are not talking about increasing efficiencies at Moore’s law’s pace, but rather we are suggesting that you focus on two keywords every time you evaluate an existing system or consider implementing a new one: automation and integration.

Will this new system automate a process or will it just add to the long list of sources you need to review in order to calculate yet another metric?

Does this new system integrate with your existing systems or does it just give you yet another password to remember?

Is there a tool out there that will run your metrics (and the metrics your bosses or clients need) automatically and in real time?

Is there a tool out there that will finally give you the birds-eye-view of all of your on-going contracts or projects?

Increasing efficiencies is a trend that is never going to go away and by asking yourself if the new technologies, tools, and ideas that come across your desk help automate and integrate you are going to stay well ahead of this curve.

 

 

I Had No Idea iSite did that!

Welcome to our series on how iSite works and how you can make it work harder for you! The best and worst thing about building an agnostic contract management tool is that it can be tailored to fit any contractor or Government agency need.  All our clients love what iSite does for them on a regular basis, but we have found that once folks get settled into their iSite routine they sometimes forget that there is more….

For this post, we are going to dig deeper into our cost analysis functionality.  At the basic level, this feature allows you to expose your financials for assessment without direct access to your home office accounting system.

Your Task Managers will be able to check near real time costs for each task allowing them to track the financial health of each task. This happens without task managers having to wait for data from accounting and without you needing to add expensive licenses so they can access the data themselves.

By using iSite’s cost analysis functionality you are effectively breaking down a data silo that has Task Managers relying on secondary systems which reduce visibility.

Let’s see, near real-time access plus cost savings plus increased visibility?  Sounds like the best kind of financial equation.

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Emergency Fund(ing)

47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover the expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all.

 

Talk about shocking or don’t talk about it at all because it is taboo.

We all know that some of the most uncomfortable conversations center around money and financial health.

And financial health is not just a topic that impacts your personal life.

Tracking task funding for your Government contract is critical for your Contract Management Team. If your team is not hyper-aware of funding levels or inflated burn rates you will not be able to approach changing funding levels in a proactive manner.

Using an integrated tool to track all funding data will keep your costs down and keep you ahead of the game.

Top 5 reasons your contract data should be centralized

5. Transparency, the way you like it

When your contract data is centralized in a permission based system you control who sees what, who can edit what, and who needs to be alerted.  We are not talking about telling everyone everything, but rather making sure that those who need to know, know.

4.  Insight without Impact

The ability to upload data from any other existing and siloed system into a central location allows task managers to analyze without impacting the systems of record. And believe us when we say your accountants will do a rare happy dance when they hear this news.

3.  Version Control

Enough said, but we will add a few more thoughts.  Knowing, we mean really knowing, that you are working from the correct version of estimates, funding, or other contract related data is critical for contract management success.

2. Save Time

Having one location for all your contract data reduces the number of clicks, searches, and inquires you have to execute which not only saves you time but also gets you to our number one reason….

1. Save Money

Centralizing your contract data increases efficiencies and the more efficiently you are able to execute your task management the more you shine as a money-saving contract manager.

 

iSite Responds to RFI for ESSCA ATOMS

We won’t bore you with the actual response here, but we did want to let our community know the good news.

To help those who are not as familiar with ESSCA ATOMS here is the decoded version: Engineering Services and Science Capability Augmentation (ESSCA) Automated Task Order Management System (ATOMS) and it all falls under NASA (we assume everyone knows that bit of alphabet soup!).

Automation, task management, financial management, and funding process management were at the top of their wish list; and for those of you who know us well you can easily see why we were excited to participate.