The combination of Dynamics NAV and TopSolutions delivers a solution that ensures your resources spend most of their time working on projects and as little time as possible on administration.
TopSolutions builds on the basic function in Dynamics NAV to provide extra processing power that gives users functionality not available in the standard product – functions such as project creation and budgeting, resource allocation and scheduling, complex billing and payment arrangements, online timesheet and expense entry and planning using a graphical planning tool for easy drag-and-drop management of projects.
The TopSolutions suite of products, powered by Dynamics NAV, is specifically designed to manage the processes of all types of organisations involved in the booking, planning and delivering of professional services.
TopSolutions offers a powerful solution for those carrying out projects, offering services or providing consultancy in the following industries.
- Management and finance
- Marketing and advertising
- Telecommunications and IT
- Architecture and engineering
- Government and not-for-profit
- Life sciences and energy
- Off-shore and maritime
The product consists of three main sets that are totally integrated to offer the complete solution.
- Project Management
- Graphical Planning
- Project Management Web
Project Management is designed to deliver a flexible and functional solution for the efficient management of projects, activities and resources to provide the lowest cost, highest revenue and most effective project delivery possible.
Project Creation and Project Plan Project Management offers users two ways to create projects. You can set them up using the function contained within each area of the system or utilise the incredibly efficient project creation wizard. The built in wizard offers quick and easy creation of projects with the right information populated automatically by the system saving you time and hassle.
The use of project templates for different types of project makes budgeting, planning and rolling-out projects very easy to achieve.
In the project plan, users are able to monitor multiple types of activity against any project. The plan provides a quick overview of the project’s finance position, allowing you to act quickly to correct any issue with costs and revenues or to prevent the project getting out of control.
The plan shows the budget for each of the elements in a project, spread across the project’s various phases, and compares it to the usage of resources, products and cost.
From a single screen it is possible to see the payment schedule, the remaining hours, the total budget, the percentage of the budget that has been used etc.
These are just some of the many columns available to include in your view of the project plan.
Some Service Industry Clients
Scandpower is a leading risk management company providing consulting services and software. They cover health and safety risk analysis, quality, environment, reliability and maintenance and flow assurance. They successfully manage projects for oil and gas, nuclear power, process, shipping and transport industries, service companies and research institutions.
2H Offshore is a global engineering contractor specialising in the design, structural analysis and integrity management of riser and conductor systems used in the drilling and production of offshore oil and gas reserves. With offices around the world, experienced riser engineers and industry-leading process, they aim to provide the “best in class” service to customers
Amnesty International is a world renowned campaigning organisation whose aim is to protect people wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied. They world on lots of issues- from human rights to poverty, from children’s rights to campaigning against torture.
Alert, founded in 1999 develops, implements and maintains healthcare software solutions. Alert is a comprehensive suite of software that covers all healthcare needs, from the point of care to the patient’s home and everything in-between- including EMR, HIE, PHR and CRM
An end to end Service Management ERP
A realistic budget is essential for profitable projects. The budget journal gives the user a complete overview of the revenues, time, resource and costs involved in the project.
You can create multiple versions of the budget for a project to allow you to update the budget as the project progresses whilst still able to compare the final outcome back to the original budget.
The user-friendly budget journal has InfoPaths associated with both the project and any resources to give a dynamic view of the trends in the budget.
The budget function in TopSolutions is so easy to use – copy and reuse data, add to, delete or modify existing budget data.
Users can export the budget to Excel for editing and then reimport it into the project.
Budgets can be updated in part or in whole – delete or edit, add new budget entries – all in a single workflow.
Allocation and Outlook Integration
The overview of resource capacity and the allocation of resources to a project is an essential part of the job for any project manager.
It is important that the project manager is able to easily and quickly obtain an overview of the resource capacity, resource budget and resource allocation – all standard in TopSolutions.
Project Management is fully integrated to Outlook, to allow the project manager to create calendar bookings in the resource’s Outlook calendar directly from Dynamics NAV.
In a calendar appointment in Outlook you add the project and activity number plus a description of the task by linking directly from the NAV database.
A calendar booking may be completed and transferred to the resource time entry in Dynamics NAV and this can then be used as the basis for a time sheet.
Time and Expense Recording
Time recording is an important process in many companies. Time recording generates an accurate picture of how the resources are spent. Quick and accurate recording of employee hours is a necessity for all companies as it instantly updates the project.
Time recording from TopSolutions is an advanced, yet simple tool that addresses all requirements and fits all types of businesses.
Hours can be registered on all projects and all activities and these form the basis for rapid and accurate billing of customers. This ensures that no billings are missed or lost due to poor record keeping.
Each employee has their own individual time sheet with their own projects and activities shown ready for completion.
Time recording can be set for daily, weekly or monthly input. Employees may also enter on the time sheet any expenses that are directly related to a time recording.
The recording offers a text description, optional currency for the expense and an indication of whether the expense must be re-charged.
Time and expense recording can be made directly in Dynamics NAV or through Internet Explorer.
If a user has access to a browser, information can be entered from anywhere or at any time. The system also handles overtime, weekend pay, flexitime, vacation bookings and illness or non-working time of any kind.
The system can be set to offer different types of approval, either at project manager or line manager level. The project manager can approve, query or edit the entered lines – directly in Dynamics NAV or through the Internet.
Time and expense entries are displayed in a user friendly format with various filter options available to allow users to sort and display. This means that you can quickly correct and approve each employee’s hours and expenses.
Purchasing for the Project
Project Management supports the purchasing of external services and items directly to the project. It supports non-stock or stock item purchases and offers multiple delivery addresses for shipping items directly to a project site.
Users can create a purchase order and then see this instantly as a commitment on the project. When items are received or services consumed, they become part of the actual cost of the project.
In fixed-price projects a contract value is typically agreed with the customer. In Project Management a payment plan is established showing the individual payments that can be triggered by a range of criteria.
The payment triggers are defined by you and can include simple due dates, milestone dates or activity completed dates.
With all the information available on the project, invoicing is an automatic process without the need for outside intervention.
Project Management will look across all your projects, based on your entered invoice date, and create invoices that are due based on the triggers you have set up.
It can even create the invoices on projects from recorded billable consumption. It is possible to define the type of consumption you want to invoice, to postpone entries for later invoicing, to edit the value that has been generated by the automatic process, to group entries together and to add specific text to help explain the invoice entries for the customer.
The format of the invoice is completely under your control. You decide the level of detail on the actual invoice according to your client’s requirements.
This means quick and easy invoicing, which can be done as often as you wish, helping to improve cash flow.
Project Follow up
Project Management provides you with a complete picture of the costs, revenues and profit margins on a project or group of linked projects at any point in time.
The detailed project plan and the built-in drilldown functionality make it possible to follow the project’s progress and to identify the activities you need to monitor and control to ensure a successful outcome.
Key Performance Indicators
Project Management comes with built-in formulae to calculate the customer rate, the earnings rate and the efficiency rate. These all help to optimise your business and to make sure you use your valuable resources in the right way on the right projects.
One example is the use of the employee forecast. This is held alongside the actuals from their time and billing entries. This means you can always see their current and forecast billable rate.
In addition, an employee can see their own billable rate in several places within the system, helping them to influence their activities to generate a better billable performance.
The calculation of the customer rate and earning rate uses information about the percentage of client hours and hours billed in relation to the budget. The efficiency rate shows the usage of a resource compared to its budget, individually or in relation to the project’s total usage and budget.
Within Project Management the company can incorporate all work in progress in order to form a true picture of the financial situation of a project. This is especially useful when dealing with long-running projects.
With the bookkeeping view the user gets a simple overview of the accounts where work in progress is applicable. Furthermore, the user can see the financial impact shown in the form of debits and credits on the respective accounts.
Project Management includes various advanced work in progress calculation methods. This means that the company can choose the method according to the budget or recordings on the types of resources, items and expenses. WIP can be shown with or without the completion percentage, using the cost value or the sale price.
Income Analysis is a powerful tool to forecast the revenue that allows users to forecast the revenue that should flow from any project.
The data used for a forecast can be chosen using filters, which may be saved in order to make it possible to reuse the same basis for your income analysis at a later date.
Projects may be joined together under the banner of a main project. For example, a series of projects for a single client that are related, or a series of projects from one department in your organisation.
The underlying project data can be displayed as a single line or exploded out to show all the projects under the main project header. It is also possible to invoice directly from the main project rather than the sub-project.
The Graphical Planning Tool offers users a graphical overview of their resources, projects and activities.
The Gant Screen
Projects are shown in a Gantt window that allows users to add resources to tasks, individually or in resource groups. It is also possible to see the resources presented in a Gantt window where the user can quickly get an overview of capacity as well as overbooked periods.
With the built-in drag-and-drop functionality the user can easily move budgets around between different resources and resource groups.
The Graphical Planning tool provides a unique overview of resources, projects and tasks for total project control and planning by managers and project personnel.
You can add resources to projects and, at the same time, drag-and-drop already budgeted resources onto different projects.
This makes the administrative work on projects easy and transparent.
Using the built-in filters, the project manager can easily jump from one resource or project to another. This allows them to very quickly form an overview of a new project.
By zooming in or out on the screen, you can choose whether you want to see your projects and resources on a general level or on a detailed level and by hour, day, week or month.
The project screen will typically be used by a project manager as they need a full overview of their projects.
On the left of the Graphical Planner screen you have a display of project data in columns where you can view the budgeted hours for resources and resource groups, showing an overview of the different phases of the project.
These can be flexed using the drag-and drop facility to achieve your preferred project plan and budgeted hours. In the Graphical Planner budgeted tasks appear as budget boxes – a green box indicates chargeable work, whilst blue is non-chargeable. In the Gantt window it is possible to use the drag-and-drop functionality so you can easily move the budget boxes back and forth, as well as change the budgeted number of hours.
On the right of the Graphical Planner screen is the resource window. This is typically used by managers to control resources. In this window you can see the projects that resources have been budgeted against and where there is available capacity resources. Using the availability graph that shows resource capacity at the bottom of the screen, you get an instant and clear graphical view of available resources as well as where resources are overbooked.
Apart from moving budgeted resource boxes back and forth between the periods, the drag-and-drop function in this window can be used for moving them up and down the screen between the different resources. This means that you can quickly and easily move and add a budget task to a different resource.
When you move the budget boxes to a new period or a different resource, the system will inform you if the period is available or not.
This prevents you from accidentally double booking resources whilst still optimising your use of the available capacity. This allows you to maintain a total overview of your resources as you edit the tasks, saving a lot of time and effort. For resource managers this feature in the Graphical Planning Tool is indispensable.
They can do everything from a single screen.
Project Management Web
The Project Management Web granule allows you to perform the main tasks available in the standard Dynamics NAV version, but through a web browser. Project Management Web is developed on the principle that both time recording and management of projects over the internet should be as simple and easy as possible. For employees who only need to record time or expenses on projects, and who don’t need access to the whole system, Project Management Web is a great alternative.