We no longer need to prepare offers and spend time planning for all possible eventualities. Installing TimeLog has given us the chance to try out the prepaid hours model. It’s been a massive success for us, and our customers love it.CrossMind Reklamebureau
The challenges that CrossMind Reklamebureau was battling with before starting to use TimeLog in 2016 will sound familiar to most people who have started an organically developing business.
“Back then, we were making offers, doing the work and then moving on to the next assignment. We had no historical overview of our jobs. When our staff expanded, we used hard copy timesheets for our work, but that wasn’t a viable solution in the long term as it involved a lot of manual input,” explains Christina Kvorning, project manager at CrossMind.
Three of the biggest challenges that TimeLog has helped CrossMind to tackle:
- Working with prepaid hours wasn’t an attractive option because the organisation had no overview of time consumption and lacked solid documentation
- Invoices had to be created line by line from timesheets – a process that typically took 1–2 days
- The agency had no overview of time consumption or of whether projects were remaining within budget
Martin Haar Kristensen adds:
“And when I held meetings with my advisory board, I couldn’t answer their questions about precisely what was happening in all the different areas of the company. I came up short when I needed an overview of our hours and invoicing.”
At the same time, the lack of insight into time consumption made it tough to administrate agreements based on prepaid hours.
Things look very different today.
A better overview has made it possible – and simple – to work with prepaid hours
“When the employees register time, they can add comments to explain precisely what they’ve been doing. We then pass these comments on to the customers when we invoice them, and they appreciate the extra information,” relates Martin Haar Kristensen.
Some customers were initially sceptical about prepaid hours because they couldn’t be sure what the hours were being used for.
Now, we simply do what needs to be done because we can show the associated documentation afterwards.
TimeLog also provides a solid overview of how much time has been used from the stock of prepaid hours, so Martin and Christina can see when it is time to sell a new batch of hours.
“Once confidence has been established, our customers know that we only use the time that the assignment demands. It’s an advantage for both parties: we receive payment for the hours we work, and the customer buys them at a reduced price,” says Martin Haar Kristensen.
Invoicing no longer takes 1–2 days of manual work
CrossMind uses TimeLog’s free integration with Visma e-conomic to automate and facilitate the entire invoicing process.
The invoicing process runs almost automatically today, but Martin Haar Kristensen used to have to devote 1–2 working days to the invoices.
“Previously, I collected the timesheets and then had to enter the details line by line in e-conomic for each and every customer. Today, the project managers set up invoice templates in TimeLog, which we then export directly to e-conomic. This has greatly simplified the work process,” affirms Martin Haar Kristensen
CrossMind integrates freelancers in its TimeLog solution
“It’s incredibly easy to link a freelancer to the team. When we land a large assignment and have to bring in extra freelancers, they are automatically made part of the team and can help out with other tasks. In this way, TimeLog has proved to be a great tool for registering freelancers’ hours and linking them to different phases in different projects.”
- Martin Haar Kristensen
Today, Martin spends about half a day on invoicing, where most of the work is simply checking the information that has been transferred automatically.
The agency has gained insight into time consumption and finance
“Our insight has moved up to a whole new level. We can now see how well a job has actually run, and we can check whether we stayed within our offer. The overarching structure is the big gain,” says Martin Haar Kristensen.
It is essential for an agency like CrossMind to be able to see what the employees spend their time doing – and to check how many of the hours are billable.
Every week, Christina Kvorning shares the overview from TimeLog with the company employees so that they, too, can check whether they are on track.
The information also allows them to trace the financial development of each customer and project.
When we make an offer, we set the project up in TimeLog and create budgets and phases. We can then track time consumption as the project progresses and keep an eye on developments – to see if we’re staying within budget, for example
Has TimeLog had an impact on your finances?
“Absolutely! It’s been really beneficial to our finances – no doubt about it. The past couple of years have, of course, been heavily marked by the Corona situation, but we have a good overview of what we spend our time doing. The hours we use for ourselves and for our customers ... It’s given us a huge boost.”
- Martin Haar Kristensen, Managing Director of CrossMind Reklamebureau
About CrossMind Reklamebureau
Based in Vejle, Denmark, the agency was founded in 2004 and primarily assists B2B customers and education institutions with all kinds of assignments in the field of communication.
The company’s creative team possesses the necessary competences to handle a comprehensive range of communication and marketing tasks, and the organisation has a fixed portfolio of external partners to call on when additional skills are required.
CrossMind places emphasis on long-term working relationships with customers, where mutual trust and decency are the defining factors.
“It’s important for us to be familiar with our customers’ DNA and to understand their needs and resources so that we can assist them in achieving their goals,” explains Martin Haar Kristensen.