Digital communication agency Prophets has used Yadera for the management of their planning, invoicing, projects, timesheets and reporting since the beginning of 2018. Client service director Johan De Backer told us why this tool was chosen and what its effect is on daily operations.
Johan De Backer: “Yadera makes my job easier because it allows me to quickly see how projects are doing, how billable people are and what capacities are required in the next months.”
How did you go about office management and customer management in the past?
Previously, we used Eurojob together with MS Project for planning. Eurojob was our financial management system in which we drew up budgets and created invoices. That was connected to accountancy. After a while we stopped using MS Project in exchange for online tool Hubplanner.
Why did you change?
For a variety of reasons. On the one hand, because we have become larger and were increasingly in need of an analysis of our working volume and the required capacities, as well as a prospect thereof. On the other hand, we didn’t have a good link between the timesheets and the projects’ budgets. Moreover, we had to draw up budgets and make a planning separately, because nothing was connected. We wanted to be sure to use the latest online technology and Yadera offers that in combination with more features, contrary to our previous tool.All things considered we had many reasons to change.
How did you find Yadera?
We looked around based on our needs. We already knew Yadera for a while, but we also investigated other tools. Eventually, it took two years before we decided to switch, but as soon as the decision was made, things went fast.
So why did you choose Yadera?
Ultimately, there didn’t seem to be a better tool on the market. We were particularly convinced because it integrates everything: planning, timesheets, budgets and reporting. Precisely because everything is integrated, you quickly get a reporting of the profitability. Furthermore, it quickly provides an overview of the capacities which will be required in the next months, which facilitates management tremendously. Finally, Yadera is exceptionally user-friendly. We looked at a number of other tools, but we quickly selected Yadera because we strongly felt it was made by people who know the industry and are aware what’s important to us. They know our business and that makes a huge difference.
When did you switch to Yadera?
We made the decision in September 2017 and started using Yadera in January 2018.
Which Yadera features do you use?
Primarily the modules for planning, invoices, timesheets, projects and reporting. Everything that has to do with communication, such as Discussion and Ticketing, are currently not used because there’s no need for it. Perhaps that will change in the future. We’ll have to see. It’s up to our employees whether or not they want to use Boards to organise their work. I actually don’t know how many people use it at the moment.
Which steps did you take to prepare for Yadera’s implementation?
Given the fact that the new programme is integrated with accountancy, we first had to install a new accountancy tool. Step one was to figure out what could be plugged in. That decision was made very quickly because there are a few links between Yadera and the accounting systems. Then, we followed Yadera’s instructions to map out which steps had to be taken next. They gave us a list for that purpose. The most important step was to chart which projects had to make the transition. Subsequently, we worked out a number of key parameters for the configuration, such as rate cards, usability, lay-out of a number of documents, and so forth. Those were the general setup affairs that first needed to be defined.
Finally, we trained the accounts so they could start setting up projects, which had to be transferred to Yadera, in December. In January we provided training on how to use Yadera, for everyone at the agency. Our new planner started early January and was immediately trained.
How did the transition process go?
The transition went relatively smoothly without any large obstacles or difficulties. Yadera was ready to be implemented after a month. Early January, we started with the timesheets and invoices and two weeks later, planning. Overall, we needed two months to fully implement Yadera. It was a lot of work, but it was certainly worth the effort. During that term we were in direct contact with Yadera’s people, who followed up closely and regularly visited us. I think that we met on a weekly basis during this setup and start phase.
Now that Yadera has been operational for a while, what’s your experience?
We’re actually very pleased. I noticed a general enthusiasm, particularly our accounts because they have been using it the most. They’re happy that they no longer have to deal with the previous system. Yadera offers so many more possibilities and a much better overview. In the past there were a lot of complaints about those type of systems, but that’s no longer the case. It’s a huge difference.
Could you tell us something about the adoption?
The adoption went very swiftly. We work with online tools a lot, so our people are used to it. But it all went smoothly. The accounts got accustomed very quickly.
What are the noticeable benefits now that you use Yadera?
The main benefits are that we now have a clear overview of finances and a very good overview of the capacity which is required for the next months. In the past, making a proper capacity planning could easily consume a few days. Now, it has become so much easier because it’s actually provided from the beginning. By entering the budgets of our new projects and the continuous analysis of the existing projects, we immediately get to see how much budget is provided for each profile. In turn, we can create overviews for the coming months so that we know what kind of profiles need to be hired. There is a direct link between budgets and capacity planning. That helps us enormously. Moreover, the accounts can now follow up how many hours have been performed, planned and are left for each budget line. That’s a great step forward.
What about results?
The system immediately provides results as soon as you implement and use it. It changes the way you operate, how you plan, how you make budgets, how you evaluate projects, etc. It influences the way we work in its entirety. The main result is an increase in efficiency and a better overview of running business.
Can you attach an amount to that? For example, what kind of influence does it have on turnover now that you gain extra time?
It’s impossible to tell at this point. Also, it’s difficult to map that out. We’re not going to look at that in great detail.
Would you recommend Yadera to other agencies?
Without a doubt. I think that few tools are as comprehensive as this one. On top of that, the system keeps evolving. New features are added all the time, it’s continuously under development. The tool is not ‘as it is’, but tailored to how it’s employed. Also, the excellent availability of Yadera’s people is a huge advantage. There is a lot of collaboration in the first couple of months, in any case. But after that they also remain available for new features or solutions in case new issues arise. In other words, we are very pleased with Yadera.