Xoomworks – a niche consulting and outsourcing company with offices in the United Kingdom, Romania and Bulgaria – assists clients around the globe in deriving greater value from their technology investments, predominantly in procurement, business intelligence, technology outsourcing and IT-enabled services.
- Manual time tracking systems supported by complex legacy software
- Lack of visibility into all time and expense data to understand project costs and status
- Ad hoc reports from IT department on request
- Inability for employees to capture time when offsite
- Resource allocation and recruitment decisions based on instinct and discussions with project managers
- Lack of insights into variable rates based on employee roles, and part-days or full days worked
- Slow time to reimbursement and invoicing
- Speedy implementation- within three weeks, with 90-100 percent user adoption within one month
- Employees empowered to enter and access data against time and projects worked from anywhere, anytime
- Full visibility into time off requests, resource allocation and utilization across all projects
- Seamless integration with CRM system for improved planning and recruitment decisions
- Easy to compare estimates of CRM estimates of revenue and actuals to get better at forecasting
- Ability to assess historical estimates on statements of work and deliver more accurate proposals
- Increased transparency on project time and costs to better manage fixed price projects and negotiate changes with clients if needed
- Improved workforce management and visibility into team hours and productivity
"In the professional services industry, time, expenses and resource data is our lifeblood to ensure we support our teams, we exceed expectations with our clients and we grow our business. Polaris plays an intrinsic role at Xoomworks."
Consulting Managing Director, Xoomworks
Previously, Xoomworks used manual spreadsheets and an internally built and hosted system to track employee and contractor time across variable projects and clients. However, employees couldn’t access the system while offsite, so entries – including time off requests – were sometimes inaccurate, which led to late approvals and payments.
Xoomworks needed a flexible system that could track variable rates based on employee role, department and project, as well as half-days or full-days worked, overtime hours, and time off requests.
In addition, the company was looking to more quickly and accurately understand project status and profitability. Accountability for project costs and approvals occurred at the line of business level, but teams had limited visibility in allocating time to a task or tracking time to client budgets. Xoomworks’ IT department pulled one-off reports to support future planning, track profit on fixed price projects and overall cash flow improvement, but obtaining these insights was often a long-winded and manual process.
“Xoomworks needed a flexible system that could track variable rates based on employee role, department and project, as well as half-days or full-days worked, overtime hours, and time off requests.”
Xoomworks looked at several time tracking software vendors and ranked them on an extensive set of criteria, including mobility, speed, cost, reporting, security, user experience, system uptime and holiday planning. In the final comparison scoring, Polaris came out on top.
Xoomworks needed the following capabilities:
- Time off management – streamlines time off requests, helping Xoomworks to manage time off balances and liabilities, and more accurately forecast resource needs
- Expense tracking – delivers an immediate update of all costs incurred for a particular project, as well as employee reimbursements
- Project and resource management – details billable time and project costs to ensure fast and accurate invoices, while providing a holistic picture of Xoomworks’ employee base, including availability and skills, to support resource utilization, resource planning, future recruitment and reduce project costs
From instinctive actions to data-driven decisions
A key driver for choosing Polaris’ resource management solution was its ability to integrate with Xoomworks’ customer relationship management system, SugarCRM. This integration would help validate resourcing decisions, particularly when tracking new business opportunities or projects.
According to Jamie Holmes, Managing Director – Consulting at Xoomworks, “Before, I’d set up a conversation with our line of business heads to pull together a rudimentary spreadsheet of our resources versus existing or upcoming projects. It was virtually impossible to maintain the spreadsheet, let alone gain a true picture of our business – particularly when we needed to overlay that with tentative projects and estimate when they may start.”
In addition, Polaris’ resource management solution can cross check data regularly and further improve workforce management and project profitability.
“It’s typical in the professional services industry for employees to enter hours much lower than they worked, because they have certain expectations of how long they should take to complete a task. However, this discrepancy can contribute to them to becoming overworked and overwhelmed. Now, project managers have more insightful conversations with their staff on their workloads – and we’ve also improved our scope of work documents to clients. We can use our data-driven insights to be transparent to our clients without jeopardizing our margins,” Holmes said.
An extensible source of truth
Another benefit for Xoomworks is more streamlined time to reimbursement and client billing. For example, third parties can upload copies of receipts and submit invoices to Xoomworks for approval, which integrates with Xoomworks’ financial system and distinguishes between paid/unpaid invoices, estimated versus actual hours and multiple currencies. This has improved invoicing turnaround by 30-40 percent.
“Because all our time, expense and resource information is so tightly aggregated, we can easily measure performance and quickly reset if necessary. In the professional services industry, this data is our lifeblood to ensure we support our teams, we exceed expectations with our clients and we grow our business. Polaris plays an intrinsic role at Xoomworks.”
“Because all our time, expense and resource information is so tightly aggregated, we can easily measure performance and quickly reset if necessary.”