Industry Success Stories
Engineering & ConstructionYour expertise and technical capabilities create assets for your customers. Building strong Accounting & Finance, Risk & Compliance, and Business & Technology capabilities can help you manage your project costs and increase profitability.
Providing a CFO to quickly refinance working capital needs
Partners in a small construction company had split and the remaining owner needed assistance in managing the financial aspects of the business. He had committed to two large projects and was under time pressure to gain access to sufficient working capital to perform the contracts. Aventine Hill was recommended to the owner by one of his new investors.
We provided a CFO Advisory Partner who was experienced in the industry and in positioning small companies for access to financing. An initial assessment of the bookkeeping and balance sheet was performed to understand how the business was functioning and what assets would be available to support financing. The new contracts were reviewed to determine what level of working capital would be required.
It was judged that the company would not qualify for conventional bank financing. There was a factoring arrangement in place that was expensive and not easy to expand to meet the requirements of the new contracts. Our CFO Advisor recommended seeking an alternative factoring arrangement.
With an extensive network of financing sources, the CFO Advisor quickly met with multiple firms who could provide competitive proposals. The criteria used to make the decision included more than just the financing limits and pricing. Reviewing which firms would be easiest to work with was critical because the company did not have a sophisticated accounting team able to prepare complex financial reporting.
The CFO Advisor recommended a new factoring arrangement to the owner for final decision. Then, under time pressure because of the impending projects, coordinated the activities necessary to close the financing transaction.
The new factoring arrangement was put in place in time to support the new projects. The financing is materially less expensive than the prior arrangement, increasing the profitability of the projects. Thanks to Aventine Hill’s CFO Advisor, this company has the financing and accounting in place to grow. Read more about our CFO Advisory services.
Improving and training on financial statement processes
Energy & Construction | Aventine Hill Partners
Producing accurate financial statements can be a challenge for companies with limited or strained finance and accounting resources. A local masonry contractor was having difficulty producing financial reporting for both internal use and external use. Their bank referred them to Aventine Hill Partners for assistance.
Upon reviewing the situation, we found that the proper solution for this company was going to require more than the drafting of new reports and some process updates. Through our C-level Advisory services, we provided the company a CFO Advisor who trained existing employees on how to prepare financial statements and supporting work papers, educating them on best practices adapted to their situation. These changes were focused on re-establishing consistency and accuracy in preparing financial reporting required by the company's bank to monitor debt covenants.
While on site, our CFO Advisor also recognized other areas for improvement, most notably the lack of a financial forecast. This led to the creation of a 12-month rolling forecast that would improve the ability of the owner to run the business.
Aventine Hill Partners was able to help this company improve their financial reporting and planning capabilities. We improved both the tools and the performance of the staff to support continued growth. Bank reporting requirements were met and the owner could spend more time focused on the success of the business. Learn more about our Accounting and Finance capabilities.
Helping resolve finance and accounting issues to enable growth
Engineering and Construction | Aventine Hill Partners
An electrical contractor through the course of business identified a number of key issues with their finance and accounting function. They had difficulty generating financial reports and inconsistencies in their General Ledger. The growth of the company was at risk. Aventine Hill Partners was chosen to provide an overall solution using our C-level Advisory services.
A highly experienced CFO Advisor began collaborating with the owner to understand company operations. Next, an analysis of the general ledger was performed to see where inconsistencies existed that prevented accurate financial reporting and analysis. We cleaned up the ledger laying the foundation for an efficient and accurate financial reporting process.
Our CFO Advisor then defined new financial reports, created a repeatable, efficient reporting process, and trained existing staff. This provided a sustainable solution to the previous reporting issues the company was having.
Our CFO Advisor recognized several other opportunities to make important improvements. A Work in Progress Schedule and a financial forecast were created.
With financial reporting stabilized and effective, our CFO Advisor performed an auction with five banks to replace a prior credit union relationship with a commercial line of credit. The new financing provided greater working capital flexibility and better supported the company's growth opportunities.
By having access to a highly experienced CFO, the owner of this company received insight and guidance regarding financial management and operations. The enhancements to the finance and accounting function both improved the owner's understanding of business results and enabled growth. The new banking relationship provided better working capital management.
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Analyzing the unique needs of a company and choosing the right ERP system
A privately owned manufacturer of custom portable buildings was seeking an ERP system to replace QuickBooks and Excel spreadsheets. The business is operated as a hybrid of construction and manufacturing disciplines and a previous attempt to implement a manufacturing ERP had failed. The new CFO and IT leadership for the company sought assistance from Aventine Hill to select a different ERP that could be successfully implemented.
Because the company had many manual processes and new leaders in some critical functions, it was decided that certain key processes would be flowcharted as part of the software selection process.
- A CIO Advisor was deployed part-time to lead the software selection process and vendor negotiations.
- A Business Process Consultant was deployed to document "Level 1" diagrams for the business units and "Level 2" swim-lane flowcharts for key business functions. The flowcharting work was time-boxed to provide cost certainty for the company.
The CIO Advisor and Business Process Consultant initially did a two-day walk-through of the business, observing the life-cycle from sales through production, installation, servicing, and accounting. This resulted in the first draft of the Level 1 diagrams. The Business Process Consultant then conducted detail interviews to develop the Level 2 flowcharts over a period of a few weeks. Key pain points and requirements for the business were also captured.
As the flowcharting neared completion, the CIO Advisor conducted a workshop with senior leaders from all key functions to align on a Vision for how the company wanted to utilize an ERP. Strategic decisions were made regarding how to balance the company's desire to plan production and manage revenue and costs similar to a construction company while seeking certain purchasing and labor efficiencies more similar to manufacturing shop floor environments. The company also decided to seek a solution with an integrated CRM to replace Salesforce.com and to change its time collection process.
The workshop decisions were formalized into a presentation and shared with software vendors to identify which systems would be formally evaluated. Eight software vendors were spoken to about the company's needs and budget. Three vendors were excluded as not a good fit; two others were excluded based on the expected cost of licensing and implementation.
For the evaluation, the three remaining vendors were provided a desired agenda for an on-site workshop and customized software demonstration. The goals were to see how easy it was for each vendor to prepare for the workshop, and to allow them to specifically demonstrate how their software would meet the company's needs. The vendors were told not to do "canned" demos.
After the workshops, each vendor provided initial quotes for software licensing and the implementation. There were material differences for certain critical functionality and the proposed costs for the vendors. Detailed discussions were continued with two vendors to fine-tune their proposed scope, implementation approach, estimated hours, and rates.
A detailed report was prepared to compare and contrast the final two options. A workshop was conducted with company senior leadership to debate the reasons to choose one system over the other. Having two acceptable choices provided the company with more flexibility in prioritizing the benefits it sought. It also enhanced their negotiating leverage with the vendor the company concluded was the better fit. Specific advice was provided on licensing terms, negotiating strategies, and the statement of work scope.
Thanks to the support of Aventine Hill Partners, senior leadership for the company had the choice of two ERP systems they could be confident would meet their needs at an acceptable budget now and for the future. Negotiating leverage was maintained throughout the selection process. Detailed flowchart information is now available to help guide the implementation workshops. Senior and line management are excited to have a path forward to improve the company. IT leadership is confident that the problems experienced in the prior ERP implementation will be avoided. Learn more about our ERP Selection and Optimization capabilities.
Planning and managing an IT infrastructure roadmap
Engineering & Construction |Aventine Hill Partners
A rapidly growing pipeline construction and services company was making critical investments in IT but did not have a full-time IT staff. They needed an infrastructure plan to support a new ERP system plus assistance in putting an IT support model in place.
Through our CIO Advisory services, Aventine Hill Partners performed an IT infrastructure assessment generating a recommended roadmap for infrastructure upgrades to support the ERP implementation. One of our IT project management consultants was deployed to define network, server, and PC requirements and select a hardware vendor. The project manager oversaw the implementation of the infrastructure components with a high priority on minimizing cost. After the successful implementation, we assisted in the hiring of an IT Administrator so the infrastructure could be effectively maintained.
The end result was a cost-effective, sustainable IT infrastructure, which better positioned this company to continue their rapid growth. Learn more about our Process and Technology Roadmap services.
Project and Interim Solutions
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