Blog

 

All posts in Profile

Meeting our users – fourth

fourth

 We’re talking to our customers to find out more about their business and about how they use ProWorkflow. Adrian Chalmers from Fourth joins us today. As the leading provider of cloud-based cost control solutions to the hospitality industry (no small feat!) they have processed over £6,000,000,000 of purchases and 7,100,000 payslips. ProWorkflow manages projects in the organisation located in London and Macclesfield. Fourth has used ProWorkflow for 1 year.

The Challenge…

How did you manage work before ProWorkflow?

Work was managed through a combination of MS Excel, Outlook, and Word. This gave inconsistent approaches to Project Management and allowed individuals to “personalise” their approaches. There was no central control over project volumes, time allocation or task management and no management view of the entire team picture.

What was it that you wanted from a project management tool?

A tool that would allow resource planning based on project tasks and project time allocation as well as an ability to track project performance against revenue realisation. It was important for the application to be SaaS and for it to have a mobile application. Strong and flexible reporting to allow management overview of entire teams together with statistical evaluation for board reporting were also key attributes.

The Solution…

Did you look at any other project management systems?

Yes, about 40!

What was it that made you choose ProWorkflow?

It met most of our requirements, the trial and support processes were good and gave confidence in the solution. Finally, the interface seemed the cleanest and easiest to use.

How did you manage the change to a new system?

It was not so much a change as a new way of working. The implementation was smooth and met with little resistance from the teams who now see the system as an invaluable tool.

How has ProWorkflow added value to your business?

Fixed number of staff despite an increase in the volume of projects and an improvement in the sales process as a result of greater understanding of the actual implementation times.

How do you regard PWF in terms of its importance to the running of your business today?

It is important and once integrated with our other key systems will strengthen our overall management suite of software.

The Day to Day…

What sort of work do you undertake?

Implementation of Hospitality Back Office software (SaaS) to the worldwide hospitality industry.

What is the most common way you access ProWorkflow?

Laptop or mobile device.

What benefits do you find from working in the cloud?

We produce and sell Web solutions; is there any other way!

From your experience using ProWorkflow is there any advice you could give to other users?

Implement it step by step, don’t try to do everything at once.

Adrian is a fantastic person to work with and the fourth team embraced the new system (and indeed ran away with it!). Membership renewed in the mutual admiration society.

Meeting our users – Sheffield Marketing

Sheffield Company

We’re talking to our customers to find out more about their business and about how they use ProWorkflow. Angelo Pileggi and Grace Reband are from Sheffield Marketing – a boutique marketing firm that specializes in visual storytelling. Their team of 19 in Downers Grove, IL have been using ProWorkflow for two years. They encompass accomplished writers, strategists, creatives, designers, illustrators, animators and video producers who work together to help organizations develop their core narrative.

The Challenge…

How did you manage work before ProWorkflow?

We managed our work through several Microsoft Word and Excel documents. As well as many folders, reports and documents.

What was it that you wanted from a project management tool?

We wanted a way to track many aspects of our business. We wanted to be able to see what projects were going under or over budget and which projects were being executed late or on time. We also wanted a way to predict workflow for the upcoming month and quarter.

The Solution…

Did you look at any other project management systems?

Yes we looked at several others. Ultimately we agreed that ProWorkflow would best fit our needs and budget.

What was it that made you choose ProWorkflow?

We choose ProWorkflow because it did everything that we needed it to without any extra maintenance. Good launch support, friendly team, responsive to questions/requests.

How did you manage the change to a new system?

It took us about six months until we were really using ProWorkflow to its capacity. The biggest change was agreeing how we should define the steps of our projects (hours/team or hours/milestone). It took us a while to get all of our new and existing projects into ProWorkflow as well as developing a seamless system as to how our company would facilitate the project management process moving forward. Once we had our system down, it was smooth sailing

How has ProWorkflow added value to your business?

The biggest time/money saver for us was the way we used to plan for upcoming work vs. how we plan for it now. We used to have an Excel spreadsheet where we housed everyone’s workload for the upcoming month by project. We would meet weekly with the various teams to plan what work was ahead. Now, we set up a completely custom report in ProWorkflow that does this for us. We can look ahead to see the workload of the company, by team or even by individual. This gives us a quick, high-level glance into the future that we didn’t have before. Overall, having this report feature in ProWorkflow saves us about 40 to 50 hours per week.

How do you regard PWF in terms of its importance to the running of your business today?

We NEED ProWorkflow. Our team lives in the system and has ProWorkflow open on their computers all day. They are logging their time, checking what projects they have coming up and planning ahead. All of our due dates, hour allocations by tasks and budget are housed in ProWorkflow and we wouldn’t be able to effectively do our jobs without it.

The Day to Day…

What sort of work do you undertake?

We are in the business of corporate story-telling. Our work generally revolves around design and video production.

What is the most common way you access ProWorkflow?

We usually access ProWorflow from laptops, sometimes from ipads and occasionally from cell phones.

What benefits do you find from working in the cloud?

We have a lot of different moving parts to our business, and as such we have employess all over the city or even country on a weekly basis. Having a cloud based platform makes checking in on projects seemless, from any location.

From your experience using ProWorkflow is there any advice you could give to other users?

Honestly, the most helpful aspects of ProWorkflow have been discovered for us simply by playing around in the system. We would think of something that we would like ProWorkflow to be able to do for us, and we would figure out a way to do it. ProWorkflow is a toolset, it doesn’t do your thinking for you. Also, the team at ProWorkflow has been very helpful and responsive in terms of helping us get ProWorkflow to work for our needs and our company.

Thanks to both Angelo and Grace for sharing their experiences with ProWorkflow.

Note – an employee of Sheffield has a place on our own wall of fame, Halloween as a PWF widget is it’s own level of dedication!

Meeting our users – Bio Connections

Vaniam Group logo final

 We’re talking to our customers to find out more about their business and about how they use ProWorkflow. Today we’re hearing from Erika at Bio Connections – they’re located throughout the United States. Medical Communications is a competitive and technical field in which they excel, the software is used to keep the geographically diverse team of 40 connected.

The Challenge…

How did you manage work before ProWorkflow?

Excel Spreadsheets with the help of online time tracking tools.

What was it that you wanted from a project management tool?

We needed a tool that could track time, keep our projects organized, as well as our tasks, clients and contractors.

The Solution…

Did you look at any other project management systems?

We did.

What was it that made you choose PWF?

We liked the ease of use with PWF, as well as all of the features, including Reporting.

How did you manage the change to a new system?

We did a few trainings internally, as well as created a PWF User Guide.

How has ProWorkflow added value to your business?

PWF has greatly improved our ease of tracking contractor hours and staff hours.

How do you regard PWF in terms of its importance to the running of your business today?

PWF is the system that we revolve everything around at this point in time. We utilize the system for inputting all of our projects and tasks within the project, contacts, client companies, contractor and staff hours, etc…It is the most important tool that we utilize within our company.

The Day to Day…

What sort of work do you undertake?

We are strategic experts in medical education, communications, and clinical and commercial development. We apply our unique, highly connected and informed approach to strategy and insight across clinical and commercial projects.

From your experience using ProWorkflow is there any advice you could give to other users?

If you ever have a question or an issue, please contact ProWorkflow. They are more than willing to help in any way possible, and are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and kind in the process.

Many thanks to Bio Connections for sharing their use case, in all my interactions with the team we see that they are a clever, confident and respectful group – it’s always a pleasure!

Meeting our users – NV Interactive

nv-interactive_logoWe’re talking to our customers to find out more about their business and about how they use ProWorkflow. Today we’re catching up with Grant Fife from digital agency NV Interactive in Christchurch, New Zealand. NV Interactive are specialists in Digital Strategy and Website/Application Development. ProWorkflow has been in their tool kit since 2011. They also write some of the best support requests around – I personally love to find out more about trips to Paris in 2005 😉

The Challenge…

How did you manage work before ProWorkflow?

We used a resource and time management system designed specifically for Agencies. The system did some things well but did not provide the level of Project Management and flexibility we required.

What was it that you wanted from a project management tool?

With offices in three cities and the aim to grow internationally we needed a system that could grow with us. Detailed Project and Task management, ease of use (including time tracking) and the ability to separate office workloads and understand capacity across the company were very high on our agenda. It also had to look good and work well – because if it didn’t then it wouldn’t get used.

The Solution…

Did you look at any other project management systems?

In true IT fashion we created a set of mandatory requirements and set about comparing many of the top Project Management solutions available. We produced a short list of 12 and allocated points based on features, customization and price.

The short list of 12 soon became 4. A few software trials later and a clear favorite emerged with the best blend of features verses ease of use. ProWorkflow met all our requirements and the best news was that V8 was just around the corner – the icing on the cake.

What was it that made you choose PWF?

There are many great systems out there – some simple and some massively complex. However, for us it came down to the system that did a lot in a straightforward manner. As developers of web sites and applications we understand how difficult it is to make complex seem simple.

Then there is the customer service – fast and accurate responses with a smile and a laugh. Lara and Emma are standout performers and who else can say they have had software supplier CEO give them a call just to see how things are going or to respond to a query?

How did you manage the change to a new system?

After running a trial of ProWorkflow we were hooked. That trial became a paid subscription and it was rolled out to everyone. Our Project Managers received training and watched many of the help videos. Armed with that knowledge we then created an internal workflow procedure, assigned responsibilities and set them free.

Experience tells us that the pain of running the old and new systems side by side for a short time is far easier than living with the compromise of trying to migrate data from one product to the other. Set a cut-off date for the old system and bite the bullet. It’s far less painful than you think it will be.

It is simple to customize staff permissions so we were able to control how users interacted with PWF and remove the clutter for those who just need to get on with the job. A desktop widget or drag and drop time sheets were certainly a vast improvement and very well received. Now there is no excuse for time sheets not being up to date.

We believe it is really important to map out what you are going to do and understand how you are going to achieve it. But equally there is no such thing as a perfect migration. As time goes by we are always reviewing our processes and that includes how we use ProWorkflow. Luckily with custom fields, custom reports and a developer API we can change and grow when required.

How has ProWorkflow added value to your business?

One of the biggest issues we were facing was a dramatic increase in work – what a problem to have! The reality was that capacity planning and transparency throughout the company became a major issue with Account Managers vying for resource.

ProWorkflow gave easy access for staff to see workload. Now when an Account Manager is put on the spot in a meeting out comes the Smartphone and there are the answers.

Has ProWorkflow improved our business, profitability and resource planning? You bet. By how much? Well that’s a secret, but the ROI is a no-brainer and the boss is smiling.

How do you regard PWF in terms of its importance to the running of your business today?

PWF is a serious business tool to plan and run projects. It is the tool which our Project and Studio Managers live and breathe by.

The Day to Day…

What sort of work do you undertake?

We build bespoke and world class websites and applications – and we have the awards to back that statement up. Our work includes digital branding, information architecture and user experience design as well as web and mobile development, app development and online marketing. In short, we craft digital experiences.

What is the most common way you access ProWorkflow?

The majority of PWF access is via web browser on a PC or tablet. However, the ability to access PWF on a smartphone from anywhere certainly is a major advantage when a client asks the question “Can we make this impossible deadline?”

What benefits do you find from working in the cloud?

Access anywhere, anytime without having to install software or buy hardware. Our main office is in Christchurch, New Zealand and in 2011 we were rocked by devastating earthquakes which meant we got out with a few laptops and never went back in our office building again.

Because all our major services are cloud based not one website went down and no data was lost. Within days the Christchurch office was back up and running (from various homes throughout the city) and our other offices never skipped a beat and picked up our slack. You can only get that flexibility working in the cloud.

From your experience using ProWorkflow is there any advice you could give to other users?

Whether replacing an existing system or implementing a new solution the important thing is to decide how to get the best out of the software. Start with a trial, it costs nothing and takes very little effort. Once you are up and running click help and the solutions to all your initial queries are likely just a quick video overview away. Give yourself some time to really understand how it works and use real world data because it is in the real world where all those edge cases occur.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions because I don’t keep Lara, Emma, Julian and the PWF team busy enough on my own!

Cheers Grant, its great to get the insights from an award winning agency – looking forward to seeing more on the wall!

Disclaimer: I am a fan of some of NV’s sites