”I went from acting as bookkeeper to CFO. Now I’m the one fine-tuning everything.”
About two years ago, CFO Jacob Olsen introduced TimeLog to his colleagues at Mølbak Landinspektører. Mølbak is a consultancy with about 70 employees in Denmark and more than 30 in Romania. Besides delivering technical solutions such as 3D scans of larger areas and roads, they help municipalities and contractors to optimum exploitation of plots and areas.
1,700 ongoing projects and opaque finance overview
The challenge was to keep track of the finances in the fast growing company’s 1,700 ongoing projects.
”We always have ongoing projects for about 12 million Danish kroner. And we could not get the overall financial overview on the projects before they completed. But some projects run for about 10 years. Then they become impossible to track”, Jacob Olsen tells.
Therefore, the vision was to gain transparency in the finances on ongoing projects, when Mølbak started to use TimeLog.
Earlier, we found out too late, if we weren’t making a profit on a project. Now we can react immediately. I can substitute employees for the project if it isn’t staffed properly.
Invoices are sent directly to e-conomic and provide an overview of the finances on work in progress
e-conomic is Mølbak’s financial system, and therefore it was important that it worked well with TimeLog. Today, project hours in TimeLog are transferred to e-conomic enabling seamless invoicing.
The vision: A dashboard driven company
Already before Jacob Olsen entered his job at Mølbak, the company wanted transparency in the project finances.
But in practice, it turned out to be a difficult exercise. And it was not clear where or how to get started.
One day, the IT consultants from Accobat paid them a visit and showed what Mølbak could get out of their registered data.
From that day, Jacob followed a vision about turning Mølbak into a dashboard driven company.
”We should have dashboards, so we can keep a finger on the pulse and react, when we have ill employees. Or if we can see falling hourly rates. I follow the dashboards every day”, Jacob Olsen says.
Business intelligence provides overview of the most important KPIs
Jacob Olsen gets the dashboards from Microsoft Power BI, which collects data directly from TimeLog.
Here data from the time registrations is gathered in an overview allowing him to follow the essential KPIs.
At least once a week, Jacob looks at the employees’ illness, utilisation coefficient and invoicing percentage for the ongoing projects.
At the same time, he keeps track of depreciations and sees the consultants’ actual value creation in real time.
”I see for which ongoing projects we make money, and for which we don’t.”
Accobat has delivered a customised Power BI integration
Mølbak’s integration to Power BI is delivered Accobat, which is an official TimeLog partner. Accobat offers an API integration to Power BI, which pulls data directly from TimeLog and present them in a clear overview.
”Accobat were really good in this setup. They deliver fantastic service and are a clear role model.”
– Jacob Olsen
Constant adjustments on ongoing projects
The ability to see the value creation on ongoing projects has enabled Mølbak Landinspektører to make ongoing adjustments.
This means that Mølbak increasingly can secure profits on the projects.
”Earlier, we found out too late, if we weren’t making profit on a project. Now we can react right away. I can e.g. add more employees to the project, if it isn’t staffed correctly”, Jacob Olsen tells.
”Or we can re-negotiate the price with the customer, if we early on catch that the scope for the task is extended.”
Control of internal time increases invoicing percentage with 10%
Even though it was the insights into the project finances which made Mølbak Landinspektører select TimeLog, the cooperation has given another financial benefit.
Better control of the internal time has enabled them to increase the invoicing percentage with 10%.
”In salary and pivot reports, I see which employees spend too much time on internal tasks. It could e.g. be on education. Or it may be internal project management, which should be billed to the customer”, Jacob Olsen explains.
Challenges in the cooperation called for new solutions
Not everything has been rosy in Mølbak’s experience of TimeLog.
Already from the beginning, Jacob Olsen was promised that TimeLog would be able to handle multiple customers on each project together with an update to the calculation method of work in progress. Features which should be developed, but to his big frustration have been pushed to the future more than once.
”I was promised multi customer projects (MCP) from the beginning, and I knew they were in the roadmap. But not that it would take years.”
This resulted in Mølbak joining TimeLog’s Customer Attention Board (T-CAB).
Special focus on users with challenges and needs
T-CAB is created to enter into dialogue with users having challenges or needs, which demand an extra focus.
An action plan is quickly laid out by TimeLog’s leadership team when a user joins the T-CAB.
Jacob Olsen was invited to a close dialogue with weekly meetings, and Mølbak was asked to be beta testers of the MCP feature. And finally, Jacob was invited to a dialogue about development of the method for work in progress.
Two features which are added to TimeLog’s updated roadmap.
The procedure has re-stablished trust
After three months, Jacob Olsen wished to be taken of TimeLog’s Customer Attention Board.
”We are very happy again and everything is stable. The communication was great, and we have re-established the trust in TimeLog. You have listened to our thoughts and needs, and that is the most important part; Communication, communication and communication”, he explains.
Mølbak has gained higher profits, and Jacob a more fun job
Even though there has been some challenges, it has been an overall good investment implementing TimeLog in the company.
Since Mølbak gained control of ongoing projects and the internal time, the profit has increased significantly according to Jacob Olsen.
How much exactly, remains a company secret.
”But it is much more fun to be CFO now. Everything is stable and I now have my focus on the details. And on all the little things you can fine-tune.”
Jacob has been CFO in Mølbak Landinspektører for 3½ years. His primary focus was from the beginning to get a clear overview of the company’s work in progress, and along the way he has increased his focus to optimise the company.
Jacob is a trained auditor, and he has worked as auditor at KPMG. Jacob has furthermore been CEO throughout 10 years for the contractor Johs. Olsen ApS.