In Minutes, Margin Reports for Managers

Professional Services
TimeBill
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Benefits
Profitability reporting provides critical insight for managers
Super-fast migration and implementation within hours
Excellent guidance and support

Sixteen years ago, Vancouver-based Communicopia started with a unique objective: help organizations advance their missions for social change. Since then, the firm has helped dozens of groups share their stories in new mediums, develop integrated online strategies, and design and build websites. The firm’s prestigious portfolio includes the “United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets” campaign, for which it won a Webby award, and conservation and sustainability-oriented online strategies for BC Hydro. Bringing its own passion for social change, Communicopia goes beyond an agency relationship with its clients. 

In the past, Communicopia used an internally developed program for employees and contractors to track time and activities. Yet, when the employee who created it left, so did support for that custom application. 

 

Communicopia needed more than just a way to track hours. The firm wanted easier, more comprehensive reporting in order to provide margins to managers and status to clients more quickly and accurately. 

 

“We knew what we were billing clients but we needed staff hours to see profitability.” Watson said. “We couldn’t get what we needed so we couldn’t trust the information.”

“We knew what we were billing clients but we needed staff hours to see profitability. We couldn’t get what we needed so we couldn’t trust the information. ”

Watson evaluated a number of different solutions. She chose to run a trial of Replicon Web TimeSheet Project & Billing using real data. 

 

With Web TimeSheet, employees and contractors record time on all projects with a straightforward, web-based interface. The program keeps track of bill rates for different employees and tasks, giving Communicopia a view of costs on projects at all times. 

 

Replicon stood out for its ease of use, making it a smoother sell to employees and contractors. Additionally, Replicon support during the trial gave Watson confidence in the vendor – dedication that didn’t end with the trial. “It’s so much about getting the support you need.” Watson said. “We got excellent support and someone who knew our situation walked me through it.” 

 

During implementation, Replicon representatives helped configure Web TimeSheet for the firm’s specific requirements and trained Watson on creating new projects and approval workflows in the software. 

 

Initially, Communicopia hosted Web TimeSheet internally but switched to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Replicon made the change in just a few hours, with no glitches, minimizing downtime for employees. “We discovered that Replicon is unexpectedly faster, so we’re glad we made the decision.” Watson said.

 

Employee-Friendly Project Tracking
Employees and contractors use Web TimeSheet Project & Billing Edition to record project time daily. Because it’s simpler to use than the homegrown application, Watson finds external contractors more open to inputting their time. 

 

Likewise, Watson notes that it’s easier to enforce internal policies. For example, the friendlier interface enables employees to enter their data quickly, encouraging them to do it daily. They also add comments for every single activity, giving the firm a detailed record for internal analysis and clients. 

 

From there, Watson has what she needs for reporting and billing, since Communicopia bills clients based on actual time spent. 

 

Reliable, Current Project Reporting
With Web TimeSheet, Watson uses built-in reports and customized several reports that give her the exact information she needs with a couple of key strokes – data she couldn’t readily produce before. Those include project status, client actuals, project margins and employee productivity. 

 

“I do really love the ability to create my own reports. It’s a very robust feature. I love the variety and templates.” she said. “I feel more confident now that the data I give managers is reliable.” 

 

Communicopia managers also have access to key reports on their own, allowing them to understand project loads, performance and profitability – and make decisions accordingly. If one employee has too much of a load, they can shift work to another team member. 

 

Transparent Client Relationships
An accurate, up-to-date record of project work contributes to the firm’s profitability and nurtures client relationships. Clients, focused on dedicating dollars to their missions, appreciate insight into how Communicopia contributes to projects. 

 

An accurate, up-to-date record of project work contributes to the firm’s profitability and nurtures client relationships. Clients, focused on dedicating dollars to their missions, appreciate insight into how Communicopia contributes to projects. 

 

On request, or with each invoice, Communicopia provides current status reports to clients. If clients want the additional detail behind the hours, the firm can send it in five minutes, reinforcing the firm’s role as a trusted partner. 

 

“If I talk to a client, I have all the information at my fingertips.” Watson added. “Replicon really helps us have transparency with clients. It helps with that constant collaboration.” 

“I do really love the ability to create my own reports. It’s a very robust feature...I feel more confident now that the data I give managers is reliable. ”
The Results
  • Accurate, up-to-date record of project work contributes to firm’s profitability and nurtures client relationships
  • Friendlier interface enables employees to enter data more quickly
  • Built-in and customized reports give project status, client actuals, project margins and employee productivity
"If I talk to a client, I have all the information at my fingertips. Replicon really helps us have transparency with clients. It helps with that constant collaboration."
Julia Watson
Director of Operations, Communicopia
Products Featured in this Case Study
TimeBill
Centralized Tracking and Billing
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