As a management consultancy, bpExperts GmbH from Dreieich supports companies from the manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceutical industries in the design and implementation of business transformation initiatives. Led by the three partners Markus Wolf, Dr Jochen König and Dr Russell Gomersall, a team of 30 consultants works for clients throughout the German-speaking world. For time recording, invoicing as well as project controlling, the consultancy uses ZEP, the web-based software solution of the company provantis IT Solutions.
Shortly after the company was founded in 2012, bpExperts decided to use a special software solution for time recording and project controlling. In January 2013, a corresponding solution was implemented with ZEP.
"The steps to enter the times are logically sequenced so that only a small amount of effort is required."
ZEP stands for Time Recording for Projects. The web-based solution has been on the market since 2000 and offers project-oriented companies a complete solution for time recording and verification, travel expenses, project management and controlling as well as invoicing.
"The help function of ZEP is really very good. The short info that appears when you click on the help button is usually enough to answer my question and help me further."
Katharina Bozem, who joined Business Prozess Experts in 2014, also used ZEP in the beginning as a "normal" project employee to record her project working hours and to account for her travel expenses. "ZEP's intuitive user interface makes it very easy to get started with the solution without much prior knowledge"she remembers the beginnings of her ZEP use. "The steps to enter the times are logically sequenced so that only a small amount of effort is required."
In the course of a staff change, Ms Bozem was then given additional responsibility for project controlling at Business Process Experts. In practice, this means that the individual employees continue to record their project times and travel expenses themselves, but Ms Bozem checks these entries against the specified project plans and is also responsible for invoicing. For this, she uses the optionally available invoicing module of ZEP. The system automatically takes over all the times entered in ZEP and combines them with the hourly and daily rates also stored in ZEP. The invoices are then also printed directly from ZEP.
The reminder function of the ZEP Invoice module informs Ms Bozem when invoices can be issued or when expenses have been incurred that have not yet been invoiced. So it cannot happen to Ms Bozem that she forgets to invoice recorded project times. Incoming payments are also recorded in ZEP. In addition, numerous evaluation functions are available, e.g. an overview of invoices issued, an open item list (invoices issued but not yet paid), an accrual of services on a key date based on billable booked working hours (unfinished services) or a turnover forecast.
Ms Bozem explains "It was only when I switched to the role of administrator for project controlling that I realised the full power and functionality of ZEP - especially in the areas of reporting and controlling. However, the solution is also very user-friendly in this area, so I was able to acquire most of the functions by 'learning by doing'."
But it is not only Ms Bozem who uses ZEP's project controlling functions; the management also regularly accesses them. She explains: "On the one hand, the evaluations at project level play a major role. In addition, the three partners also use the diverse reporting options at company level, such as forecasts on future business development."
bpExperts uses ZEP in a cloud computing model. It is operated in a high-security data centre, and bpExperts' employees access the solution via internet browser or app to record their project times. Ms Bozem explains: "As is the case with many project-oriented companies, our consultants are usually on-site at the client's premises." Furthermore, the company pursues a decentralised business strategy with the lowest possible administrative overhead. For this reason, employees are also allowed to work at home in a home office, for example. "Cloud computing simply makes senseMs Bozem is certain.
If Ms Bozem needs technical help working with ZEP, she usually just clicks on the help button. She confirms: "The help function of ZEP is really very good. The short info that appears when you click on the help button is usually enough to answer my question and help me further." And if there is still a question, ZEP Support is only a phone call away. However, according to Ms Bozem, such a call has only been necessary very rarely so far. "And when I did have to pick up the phone, my problem was solved very quickly".She is satisfied with her work with ZEP and provantis IT Solutions so far.
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