User Stories is a regular column on the WorkflowMax blog. Here, we get a company to walk us through their workflow process. Every company is different, and every firm has different methods and processes for managing their projects. Our hope is that by taking a look at what others do, you can gain an understanding of how WorkflowMax could work for your business.
Today we talk to Jodie and Greg Davey, directors of gdBI, a business intelligence and training consultancy based in Adelaide.
Tell us about your business, gdBI, and the kind of clients you work with:
Greg: gdBI has been running for over two years. We work in a field that’s generically called business intelligenceand analytics. We deliver training courses and develop a number of products, and we also do dashboard design for organisations.
What is business intelligence and analytics about? Well, if you’ve got data, we can show you how to get it into a graph or a table. We specialise, from a technical point of view, in two products. One is called Crystal Reports, and the other is Business Objects.
Jodie: We work mainly with corporates, government organisations and medium-sized businesses. The software we specialise in is designed for organisations that have large databases.
What challenges were you facing when it came to your workflow?
Greg: We were using spreadsheets for timesheets. That was fine when it was just one or two of us, but as we started to grow, that became unmanageable to do any sort of analysis on how much time has been spent on a job, and then carrying that time through to an invoice. The whole management of time at a job level became incredibly clunky prior to us implementing WorkflowMax.
What was most important to you when choosing workflow management software?
Jodie: We needed automation between timesheets into a job, and then between turning a job into an invoice. We also needed to know the profitability of jobs, which was previously very time consuming for me to calculate - so the job profitability reporting was very appealing to us.
The other criterion was lead management. Prior to WorkflowMax we were using a separate cloud-based tool, operating outside of our other systems. To be able to take a lead and then turn it into a job using one piece of software was an absolute bonus.
Walk us through the life of a project:
Greg: We use lead manager extensively. So the moment we’ve got a hint of a lead, we log that. We then progress through different phases of a lead - we make contact, meet them, determine our requirements, set up a proposal, and then we follow up. Once we’ve won the lead, we then turn that into a job.
Jodie: Our jobs are typically one of two categories - either a training job, where we deliver training to clients on how to use the software that we specialise in, or we develop reports for our clients in the software. We choose either one of those categories in WorkflowMax and allocate staff to it, allocate rates applicable to that particular job and add any costs for that project.
As we are working on the job, time is inputted in the timesheets, and we see how much we’ve spent - and determine whether it’s been profitable or not. The integration between WorkflowMax and Xero means there is no double-keying of data. Things just flow from one program to another for easy invoicing.
What kind of reports are you creating using WorkflowMax?
Jodie: I do our monthly payroll, so I will make sure that all the annual and sick leave line up with what has been inputted into Xero. I also measure hours spent on our training and software jobs - for example, I built a report so we can see how much time we’re spending on developing pieces of software. Now we can see whether the money that we’re spending on it is justifiable - do we get that back? Same thing with hours spent on product research - does anything come of that? Is it worth our time?
And our service lines - what’s more profitable? That’s something we’ve recently discovered. We always thought our training was a lot more profitable. But we’ve discovered that we actually get most of our income from development. So we’re able to tailor things according to our reports.
Has WorkflowMax helped you increase efficiency in your business?
Greg: For invoice creation, we reckon we save half an hour to an hour per invoice, which is huge. I’d say we save at least a day per month on managing jobs. Previously we had stuff in spreadsheets in MYOB, and now all that data is in one place. It also saves us a lot of angst, which is immeasurable!
What would you say makes WorkflowMax suitable for your specific industry?
Greg: The lead management, and (because we’re professional services) the timesheeting. That flow of the lead through to the job, then the job through to the timesheet and then to the invoice. Having worked for professional organisations for a long time, I see this automation as critical.
Thanks Greg and Jodie! If you’re running a company using WorkflowMax and want to talk workflow with us, then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can interview you for User Stories.