[Mini case study written for Replicon blog]
At centeractive ag — a swiss IT staff outsourcing and product development company — delivering consistently high-quality solutions is their number one priority. For their customers in software, integration, and business process automation, they strive to provide immediate and sustainable added value that also reflects the need of each client. In addition to helping customers develop lean and effective IT systems, the centeractive team manifests their passion for software engineering by empowering employees to work on in-house software — like their log analyser Retrospective — when not out on a project.
As a company at the cutting edge of a rapidly-evolving and competitive sector, centeractive differentiates itself by proactively seeking out potential market gaps that need to be filled, training and investing in first-rate staff, and seamlessly transforming their technology know-how into actionable, business-relevant solutions.
Rapid company growth highlights need for superior project and client billing
Like most in the professional services space, centeractive employees work on a variety of different contracts at any given time, and thus need to keep a careful record of hours worked. Employees fill out a time report every day, indicating whether they were with a customer or doing support on internal software and projects, and how many hours were worked on different contracts. In the past, they used Excel spreadsheets to keep track of time, but daily reports quickly piled up for centeractive office manager Helen Buerki, and she found herself spending far too much time attempting to manually compile all the data and run basic reports.
“centeractive started small — but as the business continued to grow, we quickly realized we needed to get ahold of our time information and the processes by which we collect it,” says Buerki. “As a company that deals in the business of agile, effective solutions, we immediately were able to recognize those same qualities in the Replicon solution, which made the decision-making process easy.”
A few qualities that stood out for centeractive:
Consolidated, holistic view of hours worked and project status
By eliminating their highly-manual Excel time tracking process and replacing it with an automated, cloud-based system, centeractive can now easily aggregate all relevant hours worked data, viewing it both holistically and by project. If Buerki wants a top-level view to assess the health of the company, she has it. And if Buerki wants to dig into more granular, real-time data for any specific ongoing project, she has that too.
Aside from accessing an overview of how many hours have been worked on which projects, who needs to be billed for what work, who is working where, and so on, centeractive has also effectively used real-time data to better inform their resource utilization.
“The system definitely allows for enhanced employee utilization,” says Buerki, “At any given time I can see who is working on what, who has a full workload, and who has some available time to come into the office and work on internal software.”
Ability to quickly run reports and access specific metrics
With access to all their data consolidated into Replicon, Buerki was able to utilize the highly-configurable system to create several different reports that were useful to centeractive specifically. Now Buerki need only look to one place to access data regarding employee time off, real-time project status, hours worked, overtime hours worked, and so on. And the best part? All of this data is aggregated automatically, so Buerki saves a substantial amount of time by forgoing the manual data input process required of their former recordkeeping in Excel.
Easy-to-use mobile app
With full schedules and busy days, employees are often rushing out the door to catch a bus or a train and head home. Thanks to the Replicon mobile app, employees can now fill out their daily timesheets while heading home on the train, instead of having to carve out time at the end of the day.
Real support from real people
“The support team is absolutely brilliant,” says Buerki, “They’re so quick and polite — I never think twice about calling support.”
She continues: “One of the main reasons we wouldn’t change from Replicon is the support team alone. They’re incredibly helpful, patient with questions, and seem to truly understand the importance of fostering a meaningful and mutually-beneficial partnership.”