For more than 30 years, KEK Anwendungssysteme GmbH from Munich has been supporting medium-sized companies with the introduction of ERP, and KEK has been an SAP partner since 2014. The support ranges from planning to implementation to the support of the SAP system in daily operation. For time recording and project controlling, the company has been using the software solution ZEP - Time Recording for Projects from provantis IT Solutions since 2013.
Before KEK Anwendungssysteme looked for a third-party tool for time recording, project working hours were recorded using a system developed in-house. Over time, this application reached its limits. Stefanie Lechner, Head of Administration Commercial at KEK Anwendungssysteme, remembers:
"For pure time recording, the existing solution was OK. However, the user-friendliness diminished over time. Moreover, adding necessary new functions always meant that colleagues had to sit down to develop these functions themselves."
KEK Anwendungssysteme then searched the Internet for a suitable alternative to the system they had developed themselves. In the end, according to Ms Lechner, two or three solutions made it to the shortlist. The decision was finally made in favour of ZEP. ZEP stands for Time Recording for Projects and was developed specifically for the requirements of companies in project-oriented industries. The particular challenge for these companies is not only to record working hours as accurately as possible ("time clock"), but also to allocate these working hours to different projects as quickly and precisely as possible, in order to then promptly prove and invoice them to the client.
At KEK Anwendungssysteme, the complete time recording for the various projects has been done via ZEP since 2013. There, the recorded working times are then linked to the stored hourly and daily rates and can be settled immediately. ZEP is also used to manage absences and holidays.
The ZEP add-on module Invoice is then used for invoicing, which automatically takes over all data to be invoiced (times, hourly/daily rates) from the time recording and aggregates them in an invoice that can be printed out immediately or sent by e-mail. External costs and expenses associated with the projects can be recorded as receipts directly in ZEP and assigned to the respective projects. As Ms Lechner confirms from her daily work, the workflow of time recording, cost allocation and automatic invoicing integrated in one solution accelerates and simplifies the work process and eliminates sources of error in manual data transfer.
At KEK, special attention is paid to contemporary working. For time recording, this means the possibility of also being able to record working hours via smartphone.
"For our younger employees, smartphones and apps are part of everyday life. The fact that ZEP has mobile apps for all popular mobile operating systems has contributed to very high acceptance among this target group."
But also regardless of age and smartphone use, all employees benefit from being able to enter their working hours regardless of location and time via an intuitive user interface.
"User-friendliness was originally one of the main objectives for us to look for a third-party solution. With ZEP, we have definitely achieved this goal.
A ZEP add-on module that is currently being evaluated at KEK Anwendungssysteme is the Resource Planning & Staff Scheduling module. "The aim is to be able to get an overview at any time of which consultant is involved in which project and what the workload of the individual consultants is," explains Stefanie Lechner. For this purpose, ZEP offers the possibility to assign so-called work packages to the employees on which they are to work. Each work package defines the time period and the amount of work to be done. The ZEP user interface can then be used at any time to check how long work has already been done on a work package. In addition, ZEP shows whether an employee can complete his or her work package at all by accessing the data from the holiday and absence management module. In addition, the module provides information on the extent to which an employee is overloaded or overworked by a project (or overall). Stefanie Lechner explains the current status: "We are currently in the process of creating the internal organisational requirements in order to be able to use the module as efficiently as possible.
After using ZEP for several years, Ms Lechner is convinced that the original decision to "buy" instead of "make" was the right one. She is impressed by the provider's availability:
"provantis is always there for us with advice and support. In addition, it is nice to see that customer wishes are incorporated into the further development of the software and are made available relatively promptly within the framework of new releases."
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