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R.G. Parkins & Partners Ltd

The Client

Since 1973, R.G. Parkins & Partners Ltd has worked closely with Architects, Developers and Contractors on a wide range of civil and structural engineering projects, and within many sectors: retail; business parks; leisure; education; industrial; housing; historic/listed buildings; and maritime.
While much of the company’s income is generated in the United Kingdom, this company has also spread its wings into global markets. For instance, the company’s expertise in the small-scale renewable energy sector has allowed it to undertake hydroelectric projects in diverse geographic locations including Alaska.
The range of its capabilities has resulted in high levels of project activity: each year, R.G. Parkins & Partners Ltd undertakes over six hundred separate civil and structural engineering projects. In order to help efficiently manage this scale of activity, and to also help ensure that each individual job meets profit expectations, Company Director and Secretary, David Heron chose to use the Sage-Coretime timesheet, expense, billing and project management software from Onesys.


The Problem

‘Originally, we tracked individual project budgets and costs using a paper-based management system,’ David observes, ‘but we knew that this system was somewhat flimsy, potentially error-prone, and open to abuse. Due to the manual nature of this system, and because of the number of projects that we take on each year, we were not able to quickly access financial data on a specific job, nor were we able to efficiently compare actual costs to budgets.
‘Through Coretime from Sage, we have been able to increase our efficiency, ensure higher levels of accuracy, thereby maximising project profitability.’

The Solution

Project Information Made Easy
Coretime from Sage is a powerful and easy to use time recording and project management software solution. Coretime allows users of the system to quickly and accurately enter individual project-related costs and data, including time, expenses, and third party costs, via a PC network or over the Internet.
As importantly, Coretime enables managers to easily access cost information on a job-by-job basis, and generates timely analyses and reports that help to keep those managers abreast of critical cost information.
‘At the end of the day, R.G. Parkins & Partners is selling its professional expertise through time spent on each project,’ David continues. ‘If we are not able to accurately track that time on a project-by-project basis, we risk our profitability. To track that time, seventeen staff members within the company now use Coretime. All time spent by our engineering teams is entered into Coretime and allocated to the relevant project. The system therefore streamlines our accounting system, ensuring that we don’t lose valuable time and profitability.’
Time costs inputted into Coretime are totalled and outputted prior to invoicing. This time and cost data, including any third party costs, are then used to accurately invoice each project.
‘Coretime also helps us to maintain constructive customer relationships,’ David states. ‘For instance, in the event of any dispute, we are able to accurately track the history of any job. Detailed job summaries and time spent can be provided to the client as a comprehensive backup to invoices that have been generated.
‘The system also helps to track third party costs. While our company doesn’t incur many of those types of costs, third party costs that are incurred are also tracked and allocated to specific projects using the Coretime system. This facility allows us to protect profits even further.’
Building Accurate Budgets and Histories
Coretime also helps companies to protect profits by allowing actual costs incurred on any project to be compared quickly to budgets.
‘Coretime enables us to compare actual costs incurred to project-specific budgets quickly and efficiently,’ David continues. ‘This means that we are able to take required actions in order to preserve budgeted profitability, while preventing cost overruns.
‘Moreover, the software system also means that we can easily access information from any historical project that we have completed. Coretime archives past projects within its database, as well as the time costing details that have been recorded against those projects. Its Search facility allows company management to quickly look through the many projects that we have on file, and access specific past projects, in the event that we need to locate historical project data. Prior to using Coretime, such a search would have been done manually, an inefficient and time-consuming process.’

The Outcome

Coretime from Sage has not only helped R.G Parkins & Partners Ltd to protect its profits, but has also enabled it to manage its hundreds of projects more efficiently
R.G Parkins & Partners receive comprehensive support for Sage Coretime from the UK’s primary Coretime supplier onesys. With offices in York and London, onesys prides itself in delivering professional service support and training for those software solutions that it provides.
‘Onesys has been superb,’ David states. ‘Its support team is always on the ball and does everything possible to resolve any query or issue as soon as possible.’
Onesys, a Certified Sage Business Partner, is now accredited to also provide other Sage Software Solutions and support for products including Sage 50 Accounts and the Sage 50 ACT! customer relationship management system.
‘The Coretime system is easy to use, accurate, and has helped to increase our efficiencies,’ David concludes. ‘We would absolutely recommend it to other companies in that we find it invaluable.
‘At the end of the day, Coretime helps us to achieve a very critical objective: cutting down on time lost, thereby maximising our profitability.’