With locations in Bremen, Bonn and Istanbul, the Uzuner Group describes itself as a "competence manufactory" for processes, project management and technology for the IT, management and business challenges of its customers. As a central component of the group of companies, Uzuner Consulting has been offering its customers a holistic range of consulting services since its founding in 2013, which are adapted to the needs of the customers in a manufactory process. The company's clients include well-known companies from a wide range of sectors such as healthcare, industry, logistics, financial services, trade and the public sector. For the precise recording of project times and for detailed project controlling of the diverse projects, Uzuner Consulting relies on the web-based solution ZEP from the company provantis IT Solutions.
"As with every newly founded company, time recording and invoicing of the recorded project times was also carried out manually at Uzuner Consulting in the initial phase with the help of the common Office applications Excel and Word".Andrea Renk, Senior Consultant at Uzuner Consulting, recalls the beginnings of the company in 2013. However, the rapid growth and the associated constant expansion of the workforce soon ensured that this manual effort increased to a level that Uzuner Consulting was no longer willing to bear. The accuracy of recording and billing project times also became more and more of a challenge.
"ZEP delivers a comprehensive range of functions and numerous modules that are very well integrated with each other. The solution enables simple and convenient, but precise recording and billing of project times and a wide range of possibilities for project controlling."
As early as 2014, the decision was therefore made to look for a special tool for time recording and project controlling. "The objective in the search for the new software solution was quite clear: higher efficiency and higher accuracy."Andrea Renk explains the initial situation.
Through a partner company and corresponding internet research, those responsible at Uzuner Consulting then came across the solution ZEP - time recording for projects - from the company provantis IT-Solutions. In order to make a decision, the company tested a number of different solutions, but then quickly decided on ZEP. Andrea Renk explains: "The solution simply fitted our requirements profile perfectly and so the decision was easy for us - even if ZEP was not the cheapest option of the solutions we tested."
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.
Since August 2014, ZEP has also been in use at Uzuner Consulting. In addition to pure time recording, the company uses the holiday and absence management module as well as the invoicing module.
The use of ZEP's invoicing module is also the result of Uzuner Consulting's objective, described at the beginning of this article, to automate originally manual processes and thus make them more efficient and accurate.
Andrea Renk confirms: "Thanks to ZEP, we now have a closed workflow from time recording to invoicing without any manual intervention. The data is simply transferred automatically from time recording to the billing module." In addition, this increases the precision of invoicing. "In the 'pre-ZEP' era, it happened from time to time that project times were not billed or only billed late," admits Andrea Renk. "With ZEP, this is a thing of the past"..
In the meantime, more than 50 employees of Uzuner Consulting use ZEP in their daily work. The use of the cloud computing model enables access to the solution independent of location and time. Apps for Android and iOS-based devices are available for mobile use. "For a project-oriented consulting company like us, the succinct motto is: 'It's best when the office is empty'"explains Andrea Renk with a smile. "Because then our consultants are on site with the customer. The possibility of being able to record the corresponding times while on the road or at home in the evening are a practical advantage of the solution." Furthermore, cloud computing as an operating model - the option of in-house operation of ZEP also exists - was a necessity at the beginning. Andrea Renk looks back: "Originally, the reason for sourcing ZEP from the cloud was simply that we had no IT infrastructure of our own at all. Even our Microsoft Office solution came from the cloud. In the meantime, this has changed, at least with regard to the Office solution. "By building our own IT infrastructure, we have also 'brought Office back' into the company." At ZEP, on the other hand, she does not see this change of operating model in the near future: "ZEP as a web-based solution has a great charm and there is no reason to change it."
In addition to pure time recording and accounting, the evaluation functions offered by ZEP for project controlling play a central role for Uzuner Consulting. The management regularly looks into the system to get an overview of the progress of the individual projects. For example, the question of how the proportion of billable and non-billable hours behaves in each project plays a role.
The employees at Uzuner Consulting, on the other hand, appreciate the intuitive user interface; new employees quickly find their way around the solution. "We have written a short introduction for our new employees on how time recording in ZEP should be done at Uzuner Consulting. This introduction is usually sufficient as a briefing".explains Andrea Renk.
Ms Renk's conclusion on the use of ZEP: "ZEP delivers a comprehensive range of functions and numerous modules that are very well integrated with each other. The solution enables simple and convenient, but precise recording and billing of project times and a wide range of possibilities for project controlling." Andrea Renk also gives good marks to the ZEP support: "The support for ZEP is competent, questions are answered quickly and comprehensively. Suggestions for improvements and changes are taken up and integrated into new updates/versions." For example, Uzuner Consulting's request for a specific evaluation option in ZEP made it into the new ZEP version 5.5, which was introduced in March 2017 - and thus benefits not only Uzuner Consulting, but all ZEP customers.