As a certified SAP partner with a focus on business intelligence, Infocient Consulting advises companies in the upper midmarket as well as large international corporations that use SAP as their company-wide ERP system. With almost 20 employees by now, the company from Mannheim supports its customers in creating reports and analyses, cockpits and dashboards as well as planning applications based on the SAP software solutions SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI), SAP BusinessObjects (SAP BO), SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) and SAP HANA. For the recording and billing of project times, the company uses the solution ZEP - Time Recording for Projects by provantis IT Solutions.
The partners and managing directors of Infocient Consulting GmbH are Jochen Weintz and Dr Armin Elbert. "In the early days, Microsoft Excel was sufficient to create the corresponding activity sheets for the project work done, and standard invoicing software was used to write the invoice. The client then received the invoice plus the printed Excel list as proof of activity," Mr Weintz recalls of the company's early days. "With only a few client projects per month, the effort was kept within limits".
However, as the company continued to expand in the following years, this approach reached its limits. Jochen Weintz explains:
"The previous largely manual workflow for time recording and accounting proved to be no longer feasible against the background of an ever-increasing project volume and an ever-increasing number of employees. Soon it 'felt' like it was costing us a whole day just to gather the documents required for accounting."
For this reason, it quickly became clear: A "sensible solution" is needed!
From his professional past, Jochen Weintz was familiar with various solutions for time recording, but from his point of view they had a central disadvantage. A separate software solution had to be used to record travel expenses. "Two different systems mean entering data twice, which inevitably leads to more effort and greater susceptibility to errors," is how the Infocient Consulting Managing Director sums up the dilemma. For this reason, the first key point in the requirements profile was: Integration of time recording and recording of travel expenses in one system must be ensured.
A second key point in the requirements profile for the new application was the operating model. Jochen Weintz explains:
"Most of our work takes place on site with our clients. No one wants to have to make an extra trip to the office just to record their project times and travel expenses.
Web-based access to the solution, independent of location and time, was therefore an absolute 'must', especially as our employees are also equipped with a notebook and WLAN ticket at the customer's site in order to record their project times promptly." Through a targeted search for a solution that fulfilled the above-mentioned requirements, and through a tip from a company friend, Infocient Consulting finally came across the ZEP solution from provantis IT Solutions. 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.
In addition to the integration of time recording and travel expenses specified in the requirements profile, ZEP offers an integrated invoicing module. Based on the project times recorded in the system as well as the hourly and daily rates stored, the module enables the automatic creation of invoices from ZEP. Via a special notification function, the system reminds the user when he should issue an invoice or whether expenses have been incurred for which no invoice has yet been planned. Further functions are an integrated turnover forecast and a control function for incoming payments. Jochen Weintz confirms:
"The invoicing module makes things 'round' for us, because we can transfer the data recorded in the time recording directly into the invoicing. The activity record for our customers is then automatically attached to the invoice without any additional manual work being required."
Infocient Consulting is also very satisfied with the daily use of ZEP. Jochen Weintz explains:
"ZEP makes our work much easier.
"ZEP makes our work much easier. The solution is web-based and can be used by all our employees regardless of location and time. The use in the cloud computing model also has the advantage that we don't have to worry about the operation of the application and don't have to maintain our own IT resources. A big plus with ZEP is that we don't have to record project times on a project- or client-specific basis, but can intuitively track the course of the day. Our employees often have the same weekly schedule over a longer period of time. It's extremely practical to be able to simply transfer the data from the previous week and only have to adjust it accordingly."Conclusion: Infocient Consulting is well equipped for further company growth - also thanks to ZEP.
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