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UniPhi Blog

UniPhi for Pre-Sales

Mark Heath, 09 Nov 2021

UniPhi has two main purposes in life: 1) provider an umbrella application to unite all applications in an organisation or project ecosystem (one application to rule them all) and 2) provide software that people want to use.

This umbrella purpose has meant delving further and further upstream (i.e. pre-sales) and downstream (i.e. maintenance and operations) of a project's life. This blog post is all about pre-sales and the two methods UniPhi provides to support these activities. The first method is a "use UniPhi for your CRM" method. The second is "integrate UniPhi with your CRM Apps". And there will definitely be a little from column A and a little from column B for all organisations. 

The key to UniPhi being able to seamlessly integrate with numerous apps is the fact that we have data entry options for most of these things as well and hence the data mapping is already done. Then with both UniPhi and most CRM apps having fantastic RESTful APIs, we can glue them together in days rather than months and that means huge savings.

The power of UniPhi's REST API and broad interfaces

 

So what use cases are UniPhi capable of taking care of from within its own interfaces. Here's the list:

  • Source of truth for contacts
  • Have sign up forms from your website come directly to UniPhi's contacts database
  • Flag contacts with all sorts of meta data (e.g. sector, key target, blue sky revenue etc)
  • Export these contacts for campaign management to various apps via excel or API
  • Add prospect conversations to a contact
  • Create leads with actions and conversations linked back to the contact
  • Convert the lead to an opportunity or bid project
  • Assess that bid with go/no go decision support and documentation
  • Create the estimate
  • Forecast risk adjusted cash flows and resource profiles
  • Create the proposal document
  • Convert the bid to a project automatically updating the resource plan and cash flow.

You'll note from the above that you will need campaign management software to assist you to manage your digital and traditional marketing processes.  However, to support this, in coming months UniPhi will have direct API integration with the following applications:

  • Hub Spot
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Mailchimp

The main integration with these apps will be the synchronisation of contacts with the idea that both systems can merge contacts, UniPhi can be the source of truth and push distribution lists to these systems or the CRM can be the source of truth and push contacts to UniPhi. 

What else would you want to be communicated across these apps?

Are there any others you would like to see on this list?  

Contact us via email at info@uniphi.com.au to suggest an app.

 

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Significant success of UniPhi 17 - Additional AUD30bn worth of capital spend being supported

Mark Heath, 01 Oct 2021

UniPhi 17 success seen in the 100% growth rate since live

Firstly, we'd like to apologise for the radio silence these past couple of months. Our excuse? New business!

UniPhi 17 has proven to be a great success, with some bedding down of the new features (thanks bleeding edge clients, we love you). In addition to rolling out the software to dozens of new customers during August and September, we've also been coping (like many others) with all staff in lock down. However, being glass overflowing kind of people, the main focus of the past two months has been the exciting growth in the business.

UniPhi is supporting well over AUD100bn in infrastructure projects including some significantly high profile major works. In the last two months, 5 new major projects have been added to this list. In coming months we'll be publishing case studies on each of these as we work through the permissions process and pass enough time to be able to demonstrate the significant benefits we are bringing to these ventures.

Expanded use - collaboration across silos

Admittedly, our support for these projects traditionally has been niche. A bit of JV management here, design issues management there, but never all the features working together as designed. Due to UniPhi 17, four of the new deployments are finally being designed to leverage at least 50% of the functionality that exists in our application. One exciting example of this brings together a virtuous flow of issues management through to variation claim and invoice.

UniPhi's issues management module is the most value adding module in the system. Design teams on major projects are starting to realise this and are capturing their issues as an when they occur in UniPhi (with some even converting risks to issues as they trend to something that could lead to a variation). Collaboration and commentary on the issue, along with actions to resolve it are logged over time. Some get resolved, others become possible variations. 

These possible variations are added to UniPhi's contracts  module (now that this is being used by the JV for invoicing) and this surreptitiously updates the EAC. The issue is linked to this possible variation and the documents module documents the quote for the client to review. Comments will be maintained against the original issue but the information captured will be displayed contextually in no less than 7 places throughout the application. This goes a massive way to unlocking tacit knowledge as people in other silos start to learn about issues across the program and can input into their resolution. 

Finally, if approved, the variation status changes and is ready to be invoiced against. Resource loads can be applied against it and this variation will automatically appear in peoples time-sheets. As it is delivered, progress gets updated, the invoice goes out the door and should a dispute occur, all the information from day 1 to day 100 is there for review by anyone with a UniPhi license.

Overseas expansion

It is also exciting to announce 5 new deployments commencing in Europe. These major sales successes are the fruits of 2 years of sales effort including a fortuitous 2020 roadshow that completed in February of that year. More announcements will be forthcoming on these ventures soon.

Virtuous Circle Enterprise Resource Planning

We've also added dozens of enterprise deployments for small and medium enterprises to manage their businesses. UniPhi 17 finally delivers on our vision (18 years on) of a virtuous circle enterprise resource planning system that:

  1. Captures and tracks the conversion of prospects and leads 
  2. Assesses the go/no go opportunities of bids to these leads
  3. Facilitates the development of estimates for new bids
  4. Risk adjusts both the cash flow and resource effort profile of these bids
  5. Seamlessly converts these bids to wins or losses providing key CRM sales metrics automatically
  6. Baselines, cash flow, EAC and resource effort information
  7. Supports the updating of estimates to complete across all three elements above (i.e. cash flow, EAC and resource profiling)
  8. Captures time-sheet data with distributed data capture of progress through updated effort estimates and collaborative commentary
  9. Invoices for completed work as well as managing purchasing through to supplier payments
  10. Manage the assessment of earned value against effort and baseline
  11. Report profit to date and at completion
  12. Track backlog and booked to burn
  13. Consolidate all of the above into portfolio based information on any of the above matrices (e.g. total backlog, sector profitability, company booked to burn, corporate cash flow, over and under utilised staff etc).
  14. Use all of this information to generate new leads and the circle is complete.

Can anyone name a system that does all of the above and for under AUD1,000/user/year (excluding timesheet users which are considerably less).

How did we do it? The critical success item was realising that all this data supports each other. By developing cross functional software, you break down not only the silos of people but also the silos of systems. Time-sheet information is needed for invoicing, earned value and estimate to complete resource planning so why not have these systems along with your time-sheets so the data just flows to these modules automatically. A fee included in a bid should become the contract value post bid via the changing of its status, not the re-entering of it into the job system from the submission system. a project commences at opportunity stage and can be tracked pre-award through to completion.....etc etc.

One major benefit to this design that was not foreseen is the benefit of integrating time-sheets into an ERP and lead to the one thing our users could do to get even more value out of our product. Time-sheets have to be entered by everyone. This distributed data capture model is at the heart of our design but it has been difficult to challenge people to open the system up to the entire ecosystem of project participants. Time-sheets gives us that opportunity and once we realised this, we have added more and more features to it to coax the project controls community into using systems to gather information rather than meetings to do so. 

Try it out, it is an amazing productivity improver!




 

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UniPhi 17 is Live!

UniPhi Software, 05 Jul 2021

With our first round of clients upgraded over the weekend, UniPhi17 is now a production release! 

This new version has two main aspects, a complete re-write of our contracts module and the implementation of embedded charts throughout the application. Why were these two elements our investment focus? 

Contracts module 


The contracts module is the fourth most intensive data capture area of UniPhi, after timesheets, issues and  documents. What's more the data is numbers heavy as it is used to track the adjusted contract value and progress invoicing across all purchases within a business or for a program of works. Feedback from clients was that while it was a lifesaver in terms of tracking all the adjustments that need to be administered to an original contract, data entry was slow and clunky. So we decided we'd respond with a focus on quicker data entry, easier re-formatting and the ability to build and manage larger and larger contract values.

Additional features for contracts while we're at it 

Earned Value

As we were investing in this module, we decided some new features were in order as well. For a while now we're been supporting clients track earned value at a project level but our engineering clients wanted more. They battle to track performance against deliverables during design, building complex spreadsheets that are hard to maintain with actual data in an attempt to do so. Again, we felt responsible for delivering something more and so, we introduced earned values for contract deliverables. Three new screens were essential for supporting this: An earned value screen to measure progress via a stage gate methodology, comment threads against contract deliverables to validate the earned value claim and an effort schedule that provides a baseline at the WBS level for planned performance. 

 
Earned value webinar

Charts - In 2018 we released as part of UniPhi 14 a direct integration with Power BI and an embedded Power BI product that allows you to publish your own charts within the application, however, there are two issues with this: You need to have internal capability to build the dashboards and you can only view them in the embedded dashboard page. We wanted to support all our clients plus be able to give instant visual feedback to our users when they change budgets, add issues or risks, commit contracts and submit timesheets. These charts have generated significant interest from our user base and we plan to leverage this concept with more and more charts supported by drag and drop selection for users to get the visual that means most to them right where they need it.


 

The full webinar series for UniPhi 17 is in a playlist on YouTube.

So, if any of this has piqued your interest, give us a call or register for a demo. We'd love to show you our biggest and best release in years.

 


 

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UniPhi 17 - New scheduling sub module for cash flow and effort

UniPhi Software, 05 Jul 2021

UniPhi 17 has split out the phasing of a contracts deliverables into two. In prior versions, a user could cash flow a contract by scheduling the deliverables and then using linear monthly phasing across those dates to drive when the forecast of when invoices will be raised. This then consolidates across the portfolio of projects to generate a corporate cash flow profile that can be sliced into states, sectors or any other portfolio subset imaginable.

UniPhi 17 expands this functionality considerably by adding an additional "effort" phasing screen and expanding the phasing algorithms to include other linear methods (i.e. quarterly, half year and yearly) as well as a standard "s" curve for main building contracts.

New effort view for contract schedule


The effort screen is only available for revenue contracts and only when you have developed your contract values from a bottom up estimate of task and assignment. By assigning resources to tasks and phasing out the effort, the end user instantly has a baseline earned value profile for that project. Note we can then cash flow at a higher level for milestone claims and as these don't represent the effort profile, both are catered for.

Feedback to the end user is presented in the form of total contract hours estimated, current actual hours and forecast remaining. Updated schedules push out the remaining hours only.

A baseline function enables users to compare current forecast to the original profile and also is the trigger for the budgeted cost of work scheduled when assessing earned value on the deliverable.

Finally, the hours phased in the contract screen push to the resource planning module to provide a bottom up cumulative effort profile for each person on the project, enabling a virtuous circle from proposal estimate to project management to timesheets to invoicing to cash flow to profitability to resource planning and back to estimating at completion costs.

This to our knowledge, is the only system in the world capable of doing this.

 

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UniPhi 17 - New invoice sub-nav

UniPhi Software, 29 Jun 2021

UniPhi 17 simplifies various contract screens by moving components into their own sub-navigation. Included in this is the summary screen which displays summary information about the contract

Contract summary 

The edit details screen

Edit contract details 

The value screen which we have covered in several blog posts on UniPhi 17

Contract value screen The schedule screen which is the topic of our next blog post.

Contract schedule screen

And the Invoice screen which we're covering today. 

Contract invoice screen

Believe it or not, in UniPhi 16, all of this information was captured in the one screen!

Breaking these components (which are utilised at different stages of a projects life and by different users) has allowed for enhanced the features available. My personal favourite in the invoice screen is the "incomplete" filter that allows you to remove from view all line items that have been invoiced to 100%. This has made invoicing for our complex projects significantly simpler.

Recommendation view for progress recommendations

The recommendation view is a QS dream (actually not quite, we still need to incorporate the ability to add custom fields to this screen - The 20 columns there currently just aren't quite enough).

The colour coding represents the relevant sections of the recommendation including value, contractors claim, the QS assessment and reasons for variances to contractors assessment.

Instead of having all related templates for the contract in a panel in that one monster screen referenced earlier, each sub-nav has a new documents action button that contextualises the template list to that section of the system . For example, clicking new document in the cost contracts invoice screen presents you with the progress payment templates list:

Contextual templates 

Time in motion studies and our own assessment of time for month end invoicing has demonstrated these changes can save 50% over UniPhi 16 when preparing and processing invoices. 

 

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