How Cadcraft took control of its business and boosted profitability
The Swedish IT consultancy company Cadcraft has experienced a real boost in profitability over the past three years – due in no small part to the use of TimeLog.
We have incredibly tight control of our business today. We’re not losing money any more – this one of the giant benefits of TimeLog.Cadcraft
The digital transformation in both construction and manufacturing industries has really picked up pace in recent years. Cadcraft supplies software and expertise to assist clients on their digitalization journey, based on computer-aided design (CAD). Processes and information flows are streamlined through integration solutions, for example, along with the right methodology and the sharing of information and data.
“A large part of my role as Operation Manager has to do with collecting information about our consultants, where following up on services plays a major part. Have we delivered a given hour – and have we been paid for it? And if we haven’t been paid, we need to check if this is due to customer dissatisfaction or some other reason,” explains Mattias Jernström.
The previous system killed traceability
Before Cadcraft switched to TimeLog, the company used a different online solution for reporting hours and preparing invoices.
“Unfortunately, the system we used previously killed traceability in our invoicing process. We had little control of which of the hours we had delivered had and hadn’t been invoiced – there was no link between the hour registered and the one invoiced,” relates Mattias.
Cadcraft therefore decided to find a better solution for reporting hours and preparing invoices.
“We needed to have control of our business, and we simply didn’t. So my colleagues checked out what was available on the market and did their research. I was then involved in assessing the different systems,” says Mattias.
Greatly improved profitability over the past three years
The decision finally went to TimeLog as the system is simple to work with and supports the majority of the scenarios in Cadcraft’s business. For example, TimeLog features functionality for handling revenue recognition and a variety of payment models.
“We work with fixed price contracts, ongoing operating agreements, ongoing services and projects that use combinations of all these payment models,” says Mattias.
Today, he is absolutely delighted that the company chose TimeLog.
“We have incredibly tight control of our business today. We’re not losing money any more – this is one of the giant benefits of TimeLog. I’m convinced that we actually lost a lot of money over the years until we switched to TimeLog, but it’s hard to put my finger on exactly where, because we couldn’t track it. We’re more profitable today, and while this isn’t exclusively down to TimeLog, our profitability over the past three years has been better than in the 20 years before that.”
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Full control of all hours and all projects with TimeLog
According to Mattias, there were probably two main reasons why Cadcraft was losing money before switching to TimeLog. One was that sales staff simply chose not to invoice all hours if a customer was dissatisfied with something.
“If an uncomfortable situation arises with a customer, the easiest solution can be not to invoice, but it’s no longer possible to take shortcuts because we have full control of what we actually get done and can break down each and every hour. This means we’re obliged to deal with problem issues; if we don’t get paid, we haven’t done our job properly. So what do we need to change?”
Mattias goes on to explain that the other probable reason why Cadcraft was losing money before switching to TimeLog was that it was difficult to tell how profitable – or not – a project actually was. Using TimeLog, Cadcraft can see in black and white exactly how the project finances are developing.
“We now know which projects aren’t performing well and can do something about it. Taking control of the project is simply crucial if you want to rectify the situation. We can then take a look at the figures and learn from them for the next project,” he says.
Integrated with the ERP system, payroll system and analysis tool
TimeLog is connected to Cadcraft’s ERP system (Microsoft Dynamics NAV) as well as the company’s payroll system (Crona Lön) via TimeLog’s standard integrations.
“Both integrations run extremely smoothly. We simply export the data and we’re done. For example, our sales staff prepare their invoices in TimeLog, and the invoices are then issued from NAV.”
Using TimeLog’s API, Cadcraft has also integrated the software with the analysis tool Microsoft Power BI.
Power BI visualizes the figures from TimeLog in a series of bespoke views. Mattias finds this a real help in his work, and other areas of the company also use Power BI to a greater or lesser extent.
“For example, we have a graph in our intranet that looks like a speedometer. It shows our invoicing level and is updated continuously as the month progresses; at the end of the month it shows our invoicing percentage.”
The team managers primarily use Power BI’s visualizations to follow up on budgets, while the consultants working on commission each have an individual graph to check.
Cadcraft happy to recommend TimeLog to other companies
“We’re going to have to upgrade our ERP system soon, and in that regard we’ve been looking at options to our existing solution. If TimeLog doesn’t have an integration ready for the ERP system we choose, we’re considering using our own integration engine, iConnect. We’ve prepared all kinds of integration solutions for our customers who use a variety of ERP systems,” says Mattias.
He is quick to emphasize that replacing TimeLog simply isn’t an option in any respect.
Would you recommend TimeLog to other companies?
“Absolutely – in fact, I’ve already done so,” concludes Mattias Jernström.