Key Features & Benefits
Following our success creating Dot Telecoms Invoicing and project management tool, they asked us a question surrounding their projects and their profitability... "How do we know if we're actually making money?" Though this is more of an accountancy question on the surface, it is none the less something we can help them calculate. We already knew how they were calculating the turnover for each of their projects & ultimately their clients. This doesn't mean they are profiting however, it just means we know they are due money in.
To start calculating the costs, we first had to understand what kind of costs went into a project. Like most other companies, the main culprits were labour, travel and accommodation. Sounds pretty simple, but these things never are as simple as we want them to be! One of the complexities we had to incorporate into the new costings section of the Dot Telecom System was the ability to assign labour costs between consultants who work for various rates and percentages and full-time equivalents who are on an hourly rate.
Client Project Management - Using Working Data
Once again, the challenge had been set, the next step was to head back to the Kaber Helm HQ and start pulling together the ideas that would form the basis of this new system expansion.
Over the course of a 12 week period, the team took many of these ideas from concept to completion in order to give the Dot team all the help they needed from the system. This included automated costing assignment on known expenditure & prompting the appropriate members of staff to record expenses at each stage.
One of the easier pieces of this project expansion was to add the general overheads - which could be controlled by Admins at Dot Telecom. This allowed them to add their own applicable cost centres and assign them to projects.
Now that the so-called easy pieces of the expansion had been added, it was time to deal with the more complex piece, labour costings.
First, we dealt with the full-time members of staff. Our approach was actually to implement a module that acted as a timesheet recording clocking in, clocking out and included clocking times for going to a site. From an analytical perspective, this data will be useful when reviewing business performance!
When it came to consultants, we went with a relatively simple method for recording this information. On the set-up of specific actions, we have to add values for completion etc. At this point, we added the ability to assign costings based on a flat rate or based on a percentage of the completion of the milestones.
Looking at Individual Milestones in the system
Now that we had all the data from their projects & invoicing, as well as their costings data, we could start to form a more accurate picture of their profitability within the system. Working out their actual profit is obviously still their accountants' job, however, with these new tools and reports, it should be a much easier and quicker task and give quick indicators if there are projects running losses.
As with all of our projects, we like to look at them as foundations required to support a continual development process. Dot Telecom, through these projects, has been able to change the way the business operates and drive efficiency through what they do, however, improvements can still be made and should be made!
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