Reduced workload thanks to project monitoring
Bechtle-Comsoft benefits from more clarity and agility
Bechtle-Comsoft GmbH is an IT service and distribution company specializing in the implementation of software asset management (SAM) solutions. The company is a 100% subsidiary of Bechtle AG, which has made a name for itself as a provider of system solutions and IT distribution. The core business of Bechtle-Comsoft is consulting projects around software asset management as well as the distribution of the corresponding solutions. As a rule, numerous projects involving different Bechtle-Comsoft employees are carried out in parallel. With 70-80 projects running in tandem, there was a lack of transparency and communication, and document exchange via e-mail had reached its limits. Lars Reifegerste, Senior SAM Consultant at Bechtle-Comsoft: "There was no longer a clear overview of the software asset management projects - not even of the consultants involved, including their respective time spent. The manual entry of the hours spent on consulting projects was also time-consuming - but had to be done, because these hours form the basis of our invoicing."
The Outlook integration is decisive
To change this situation, Reifegerste and his colleagues defined a precise requirements for a software solution that would form the future basis of the individual projects and serve as a central platform for the exchange of documents and information. It turned out that a solution was needed that was as deeply integrated as possible in Microsoft Office, ideally into Outlook. They also wanted to be able to adapt the software to the needs of Bechtle-Comsoft without much effort.
When researching, Reifegerste came across InLoox and quickly found the features, ease of use, individual configuration options and, above all, integration in Outlook appealing. Together with the head of SAM Consultants, Stefan Arets, and the management, he took a close look at InLoox and finally decided on a real test run, which he carried out with a total of 18 consultants and two colleagues from internal processing. However, the test was not carried out in an isolated environment, but within the framework of a specific customer project. Reifegerste remembers that they wanted to see immediately whether InLoox met the requirements in practice. To the delight of all involved, the test went without a hitch. All in all, the testers were convinced by the solution, not only because InLoox makes it very easy to record working hours and assign them to projects, but also because the project status and employee utilization can be seen at the click of a button. They were particularly impressed by the effects that can be achieved by entering information and documents into the system. SAM manager Stefan Arets says: " Ressource planning and project management is easier to realize due to the workload display and reduces not only the overload of the employees but also the waiting times for the customers".
Real-time reporting ensures planning reliability
After this positive initial result, InLoox was rolled out within three months. Eight SAM consultants now use the software to plan, implement, analyze, control and document their projects. In most cases, the tool is used to visualize and document the individual work packages and the colleagues involved. Time recording and document filing play an important role here. In order to ensure consistent documentation for the projects, Reifegerste and his colleagues increasingly use the list overview of the documentation. In addition, InLoox is used for the entire contract management - from the offer and contract generation to the conclusion and renewal of contracts. In this context, the report designer is used, but Bechtle-Comsoft would like to see a few more advanced features.
It is now common for several consultants to work together on a project, enter their data individually, document their work and thus provide the basis for reliable invoicing. In addition, there is positive feedback from the management: they can call up the status of the projects in real time and are thus always informed about the progress of the project. The project managers, in turn, can see at a glance which consultant still has capacities or is overloaded and can proactively initiate appropriate measures.
Noticeable time savings and less stress
InLoox brings the greatest benefit to the SAM consultants. In the past, they were responsible for both project management and project documentation. This created the risk of overload and lack of transparency. With InLoox, the SAM consultants can set up agile project management for the first time. As a result, Bechtle-Comsoft is able to react at short notice and move resources between projects - simply and clearly comprehensible in InLoox. In this way, errors are avoided, employees are relieved and projects are completed on time.
In addition, leading consultants no longer have to enter project working hours in various lists and spreadsheets. They now enter the effort they have invested directly in the project.
In the past, invoicing took between 4-5 hours, but after the introduction of InLoox, it only took 20 minutes. Reifegerste: "With InLoox, we are able to recognize overloads at an early stage, can react flexibly to short-term changes, require less time for time tracking and thus provide noticeable relief in many areas." In the meantime, Bechtle-Comsoft has even gone one step further and is using InLoox now! - the cloud version of the proven solution. With this solution it is now possible to work even more flexibly and data security is also guaranteed. InLoox now! is hosted in the Microsoft Germany Cloud.
"Workforce planning and project management is easier to implement thanks to the workload display, reducing both, work overload for employees and waiting times for customers".
Stefan Arets, Head of SAM, Bechtle-Comsoft GmbH
"The time spent on billing for projects has been reduced from 4-5 hours to about 20 minutes."
Lars Reifegerste, Senior SAM Consultant, Bechtle-Comsoft GmbH
At Bechtle-Comsoft, between 70 and 80 SAM customer projects are handled simultaneously. Since each project has different requirements, the consultants are often involved in several projects at the same time. In order to avoid bottlenecks and to allocate resources more effectively, it is important to keep an overview of the workload of the individual employees as precisely as possible.
The company was looking for a solution that could not only be seamlessly integrated into the consultants' tool landscape, but that could also be operated intuitively and caused as little additional effort as possible. Due to the deep integration of the InLoox project management solution in Microsoft Outlook, this solution offers the best possible cost-benefit ratio.
Since Bechtle-Comsoft began planning and managing its projects in InLoox, resource planning has become much more transparent. It is possible to see in real time who is involved in which project and what the current workload is. In this way, the large number of projects can be controlled more specifically and individual employees can be freed up. In addition, reports can be created at any time at the click of a button without additional effort.