When it comes to projects, sticking to your timeline is critical. That’s why we’ve built-in several reports to track your time spend on each task, as well as a running total. Flexible status fields also help track your tasks and milestones.
Built-in auto reminders make sure your team doesn’t drop the ball on follow-up activities.
Keep your project team up-to-date and connected using built-in reporting views. You can even organize discussions around key milestones or activities.
Several areas of Gannett Healthcare Group were burdened with ad-hoc, oftentimes manual and inconsistent approaches that needed to be optimized with a custom project management software solution.Read the Case Study
Phillips Edison & Company is a fully integrated retail real estate company which owns and operates over 250 neighborhood shopping centers. With so many properties under management, contractually enforcing leases is critically important.
When the company must take legal action, it turns to Denise Dyer, Litigation Manager, who is responsible for managing litigation matters for the entire PE&C portfolio. Dyer depends on a network of 30 outside law firms to execute the litigation across all 50 United States.
When she assumed the role, Dyer inherited a rudimentary system for tracking cases–a series of spreadsheets–that presented many challenges:
• Spreadsheets limit the amount and type of data users can input, so valuable information such as emails with outside firms could not be captured.
• Searching through various spreadsheets, each with their own various tabs, to obtain information for management or outside law firms was cumbersome and highly inefficient. In Dyer’s words, “Search was painful.”
• Preparing management reports and litigation packages (for delivery to outside law firms to ready them for their cases) was manual and time consuming.
Given these challenges, along with the knowledge that the number of defaults would increase dramatically in the near future due to the downturn in the U.S. economy, Dyer decided to replace the labyrinth of spreadsheets with an automated system capable of streamlining litigation workflow, as well as and internal/external communications.
Dyer was already familiar with traditional databases such as Microsoft Access and knew that they are neither simple to use, nor easy to share. According to her, “I have used Access in the past but never liked it because I couldn’t move the data around easily and validate its accuracy. Plus, it would require too much training, and perhaps bringing in a consultant, to get it up and running.”
Dyer also considered litigation workflow software but concluded that these solutions, in addition to being overbuilt and complex, are very expensive. Dyer would have needed “months to get the budget approved to purchase such a software package.”
“I had used databases in the past but had never set one up. Despite my inexperience, I was able to get TrackVia up and running in two days and actually had fun doing it. TrackVia is so intuitive that I was able to set up my database, forms, and views without reading a bunch of materials or taking a training course. Management and other departments requested access to TrackVia once they saw how simple and powerful it is.” — Denise Dyer, Litigation Manager, Phillips Edison & Company
The best solution for Dyer was TrackVia Professional Edition because of its robust functionality, cost effectiveness and ease of use.
TrackVia allows Phillips Edison & Company to manage litigation matters in the following ways:
• Set up the database, define the workflow, and import the data in two days–without help from IT or external consultants
• Summarize all data about a case into an automatically generated cover sheet that gets sent to a law firm, along with other documents, when they are assigned a case
• Define a dashboard of views and reports that is used throughout the day to search for litigation matters and update their status based on dialogue with outside law firms
• Easily cut and paste pertinent email dialogue from outside law firms and track within specific case records
• Provide access to other departments inside Phillips Edison–such as leasing, lease administration, and collections–that need to know the status of litigation matters
With TrackVia, Dyer was able to completely remake the litigation management workflow and has been able to withstand the tremendous growth in litigation matters that has happened over time.
Implementing TrackVia to manage its litigation workflow and communicate status to management and a nationwide network of law firms has been an unqualified success for Phillips Edison & Company. TrackVia enables Denise Dyer to manage litigation matters across 30 law firms, 50 states, and 250+ properties.
“I have used Access in the past but never liked it because I couldn’t move the data around easily and validate its accuracy. Plus, it would require too much training, and perhaps bringing in a consultant, to get it up and running.” — Denise Dyer, Litigation Manager, Phillips Edison & Company
About Phillips Edison & Company
Phillips Edison & Company is a fully integrated retail real estate company with a portfolio of more than 25 million square feet of neighborhood shopping centers across the country.
Its primary mission is purchasing under-performing, grocery anchored properties and maximizing their value through hands-on leasing, management, and redevelopment.
Because IPCybercrime offers full-service brand protection and investigative services, each case is a multi-tiered process with numerous steps involved. With over 1,000 cases taken on each year, IPCybercrime had a need for meticulous case management, scalable data storage and world-class security. After implementing TrackVia, IPCybercrime was able to transfer all its data and self-build a customer-specific application in less than two weeks–with no prior developing knowledge.
Although IPCybercrime is in the business of assisting major global brands in curtailing their counterfeiting problems, the company itself is fairly small with only five employees. As a result, there is no internal IT department, and Founder and CEO Rob Holmes had to tackle the task of data management himself. Because IPCybercrime operates in an industry that is small, relatively new, and very unique, no “ready-built” solutions existed that were specifically tailored to the company’s needs.
IPCybercrime operates using an extremely in-depth series of processes for every case, requiring each new client to have over 110 fields of data related to their file. In 2004, Holmes built a database using Microsoft Access. While it worked well for storing and organizing data, it was too cumbersome for the company and did not offer the portability IPCybercrime’s employees needed. Every client case had mission-critical data that was highly confidential, and when using Access, files had to be copied multiple times by different users, leaving room for error and copies of confidential information in multiple locations. Also, any time a change was made to data or the user interface, changes had to be made manually on each user’s computer, resulting in a loss of time and efficiency.
Holmes wanted a solution that was easier to use remotely and allowed for better collaboration among employees and clients without using a central server in the office, but still stored all of the mission-critical data in one secure location.
Holmes recognized the necessity to have an out-of-the-box solution that was secure, scalable, remotely accessible and user friendly. He began looking for online databases and sampled a number of different options, including QuickBase, Dabble DB and Zoho. According to Holmes, “QuickBase, Zoho and Dabble DB weren’t ready to go like TrackVia, with the powerful back end that TrackVia has. None of them were a product that a business man with my mid-level aptitude could actually integrate into his business.”
“I looked hard for a one-stop solution that would suit my company and its unique needs. TrackVia was the only provider that could do so.” — Rob Holmes, Founder and CEO, IPCybercrime
Holmes implemented TrackVia, and within two weeks, was able to create a custom app from scratch, and have it fully functional for a client. “That client is still paying today,” says Holmes.
Now TrackVia has become an invaluable asset to IPCybercrime. The team has better collaboration and is able to work from multiple locations. And less time is spent on data management and updating. Changes made to fields or entries are automatically updated on every user’s account, and Holmes is able to troubleshoot almost any issue remotely.
Security has vastly improved now that data is stored in one secure location, rather than having numerous copies of client information on multiple desktops, laptops, and USB storage devices. IPCybercrime is continuing to unlock the possibilities provided by TrackVia, including future plans for utilizing the map feature in coordinating field investigations and cataloging data.
Over the years that IPCybercrime has used TrackVia, Holmes and other users have occasionally looked to TrackVia for assistance in building custom applications for the business and its clients.
“It has always been a good experience, I would rate it as the highest level of customer support I’ve ever used” says Holmes. “I always get in touch with a high-level expert at TrackVia whenever I have any questions.” Holmes and other IPCybercrime team members have not only used the world-class phone support included with their Professional Edition Package, but also TrackVia’s online forum to have questions answered.
“TrackVia has given us a distinct advantage over our competitors. We use TrackVia to begin and operate every single case, every step of the way. TrackVia is open on all of our computers all day.” — Rob Holmes, Founder and CEO, IPCybercrime
IPCybercrime is a full-service brand protection agency that specializes in serving major global brands and their attorneys by offering a broad spectrum of services pertaining to the investigation of counterfeiters, unauthorized trademark use, copyrights and patents.
IPCybercrime is a fully licensed private investigation firm, as well as Internet venture company and currently handles over 1,000 cases every year.
Some of the services offered include: litigation support, major case consulting, test purchases, investigative buys, online auction monitoring and more. The investigations carried out by IPCybercrime have led to the seizure of over $2B in counterfeit goods, hundreds of arrests, and millions of dollars in recovered money.
1-888-JUNK-VAN began to experience unprecedented growth after only one year of operation. The business expanded from one man and a truck, to a multi-city, full-service junk removal provider. Founder and COO Marcus Kingo realized he needed to implement a fast and reliable system to run and organize his growing business. Within days after deploying TrackVia, 1-888-JUNK-VAN was able to roll out a series of fully customized apps to meet the company’s needs, ranging from marketing campaigns, reservation management, productivity measurement, payroll and more.
When Marcus Kingo founded 1-888-JUNK-VAN he had no need to manage numerous drivers, payroll, or be able to assess productivity. However, with his company’s quick surge of growth, there was suddenly a need to create a solution for all these tasks and more. In a short time, 1-888-JUNK-VAN was managing drivers, reservations, truck maintenance, bin rentals and more in three cities. Kingo and his operators began by using Microsoft Works, and were emailing the updated reports and data back and forth between each shift. “It was a nightmare,” according to Kingo.
It soon grew to a point where the daily frustrations of communicating mission-critical data, such as reservations and driver payroll were taking up most of the employees’ time and patience. 1-888-JUNK-VAN began receiving hundreds of calls a day for pick up and bin rental reservations, and it was no longer feasible to have the call operators contact the drivers via phone or email every time a new reservation was made. For reservations made in advance, distribution schedules were manually created and emailed out individually every night.
Payroll had become an arduous task. Drivers would manually log their hours, and then email them to a payroll coordinator. The data was organized and re-compiled, then sent to Kingo for approval and payment. It was a three-step process that required a huge amount of time and cross checking to ensure all the data was correct. As the company grew and the number of employees rose, the situation was further exacerbated.
Kingo began researching cloud databases and business management solutions that could be used to meet his needs. He looked at WebOffice but soon found that, “it just didn’t allow us the flexibility to make the changes we needed. It didn’t have enough features for us.” Intuit’s QuickBase also fell short. “I looked at QuickBase, but there were too many limitations, including tight restrictions and extra fees for records and users. Pricing was clearly going to be an issue, resulting in questionable ROI.”
“I don’t know how I did it before TrackVia. I would have never been able to achieve the goals we have. TrackVia is the backbone of our company.” — Marcus Kingo, Founder and COO, 1-888-JUNK-VAN
After researching different players in the cloud database market, Kingo decided to implement TrackVia. The first priority for the company was to improve communications between operators and drivers, making sure all reservations were recorded and sent to drivers with no errors and minimal effort. In days, Kingo successfully migrated all of his data to TrackVia and began sending accurate, time-sensitive reservation data to his geographically dispersed team.
Over time, Kingo further enhanced the reservation process by leveraging TrackVia’s mapping features to help drivers more efficiently plan routes through the addition of real-time Blackberry alerts to notify them of same-day reservations. In addition to the above, 1-888-JUNK-VAN uses TrackVia to quickly visualize and assess real-time productivity by region. The fleet of trucks is maintained through data captured in TrackVia, including VINs, driver usage, safety inspections and more. Online reservations, new employee applications, and franchisee requests for new supplies are all captured using TrackVia Web forms. And, employee time is directly entered into a TrackVia table, wages are calculated inside of TrackVia, and the output is automatically routed to payroll.
No longer is 1-888-JUNK-VANK reliant on emails or manual, error-prone processes. Now, the quickly growing franchisor uses TrackVia for virtually every facet of business operations. Says Kingo, “With TrackVia, 1-888-JUNK-VAN has vastly improved process efficiency, data accuracy, and execution confidence. We couldn’t imagine a better platform to help drive our growth.”
“Before TrackVia, my business was muddled by too many manual touches that were time-consuming and prone to error. With TrackVia, we have automated these workflows. The result: vastly improved efficiency, accuracy, and confidence that is helping to drive 1-888-JUNK-VAN’s growth.” — Marcus Kingo, Founder and COO, 1-888-JUNK-VAN
1-888-JUNK-VAN is a multi-faceted junk removal company whose goal is to offer removal solutions that are quick, flexible, and friendly. The company currently offers services in five cities and continues to experience rapid growth.
1-888-JUNK-VAN began as one man and a $500 truck, and has grown into a leading provider for removal services, with a fleet of drivers and ever-expanding offers, including junk bin rentals.
It continues to strive to be the most complete removal solutions provider in the market, while remaining customer oriented and retaining COO Marcus Kingo’s original vision.
Consumerization of IT is one of the fastest rising, and potentially most powerful, trends affecting the business world today. One of the most prominent aspects of that trend, the citizen developer movement, is showing no sign of slowing. In fact, a recent Gartner study estimated that by 2014, citizen developers will be responsible for creating at least 25 percent of all business applications. The reasons for this trend are numerous. At the most basic level, do-it-yourself business applications are gaining popularity because they empower workers while ensuring maximum efficiency and saving time and money.
Different organizations have drastically different needs when it comes to applications, including platforms for customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence (BI) and project management (PM). In spite of the exponential variables differing companies, departments and employees, traditional pre-packaged, IT-backed business software merely provides a static, one-size-fits-all solution. In many cases, the result of such a solution is that the organization is forced to adapt its processes to meet the particular functionality of whatever software it purchased, rather than creating applications that are molded to meet the specific industry and day-to-day requirements of the given company.
Today, many businesses recognize that this is a very backward approach to business application software. After all, it is the software that is supposed to be a tool to help the organization, not the other way around. If two organizations have drastically different structures, exist in different industries and have totally different objectives, it is extremely unlikely a given application will be best for both of them. A nonprofit that wants to improve communication between employees and members and a small business looking to find new customers may both benefit from a CRM system, but any application that is ideal for one of those objectives will almost certainly not be simultaneously optimized for the other.
A Gartner study estimated that by 2014, citizen developers will be responsible for creating at least 25 percent of all business applications.
This observation, that one-size-fits-all software doesn’t help individual businesses address their unique needs, is true within any given organization. While a particular project management application may be perfect for the sales team, it may not address the needs of the customer support staff. As a result, if the business has pursued a broad, IT-backed software solution, at least one set of employees will often be left frustrated by the sub-optimal application it is forced to use.
Incompatibility is a major contributing factor to business application failures. Despite the benefits they provide, many of these programs, when implemented, fail to yield a positive return on investment, or, even worse, can actually have a negative impact on a firm’s profits, customer satisfaction or other key measures. A 2009 Forrester Research report found that among participating businesses that had deployed CRM systems, the failure rate was 47 percent.
Instead of forcing a solution on its employees, a company can
entrust and empower workers to make the best decisions
to improve their job performance.
This means nearly half of those firms that attempted to leverage CRM programs to improve their operations were successful. There is no single, definitive answer as to why so many businesses struggle when it comes to effectively deploying business applications, but employee inability or refusal to utilize the system is definitely a significant contributing factor. If workers are not made to see the value in a CRM or other business application, or these programs are too difficult to learn or integrate into existing workflow, employees will resist incorporating such applications into their daily routines. As a result, the system will go unused, and the company will see no benefits from implementing the application.
Because DIY applications are customized to accommodate individual users, the benefits of the program become more readily apparent, increasing the likelihood that employees will embrace the system. Further, DIY applications are inherently built to enhance and accommodate an individual’s existing workflow, making it a solution rather than another complication to incorporate into a daily routine. The goal of creating an application that makes work easier, rather than more complicated, speaks directly to the heart of DIY business applications. With a DIY approach, users are empowered to develop applications that specifically apply to their day-today needs. DIY business applications provide the basic platform, and users are able to customize that existing framework to best match their workflow. Instead of forcing a solution on its employees, a company can entrust and empower workers to make the best decisions to improve their job performance.
In addition to the usage benefits–easier to use, more relevant programs that better meet employee needs—DIY business applications can yield powerful financial and time-saving advantages for organizations.
This cost and time savings are due to the simple fact that firms are able to purchase a single, basic solution package, which they can customize to meet the particular needs of the individual workers and departments within the organization, rather than buying disparate solutions for each situation, worker, department and so on.
Even greater than the cost benefits, however, are the time savings. Using a single software can significantly simplify the installation and implementation process. The IT department, rather than having to master a smorgasbord of different programs, will instead be responsible for a single system. The end users themselves can handle the bulk of the customization, limiting IT’s necessary involvement. This is a major benefit. Typically, IT departments must dedicate a significant portion of their time and energy to guiding users through the uses of various business applications. What’s more, the fact that these cookie-cutter applications aren’t good fits for the individual workers means usage issues and conflicts are more likely to arise.
With DIY applications, users will likely have fewer problems, as the tools they use will be designed to meet their personal specifications and needs. This frees the IT department to devote more of its time to bigger, more significant projects that can yield greater benefits for the organization as a whole.
DIY business apps provide the basic platform, and users are
able to customize the existing framework to best match their workflow.
Many business leaders see dependence on the IT department as a major drain on company resources. DIY applications are a powerful way to sever this dependence, leading to a more efficient company and a more effective workforce.
Greater independence from the IT department can yield enormous time benefits for an organization. Rather than waiting for IT to install and update a business application, DIY platforms encourage and enable users to handle such issues by themselves. This means workers will not need to passively wait around while IT finds time in its schedule to assist them, nor will they be forced to use an outdated version of a business application while waiting for an upgrade. And because all of the applications will be based on a single system, the learning curve will be less steep. This means employees can master their CRM, BI, PM and other tools much more quickly than when using a diverse range of systems.
Dice.com discusses the enormous nature of Enterprise Resource Planning projects and why they have failure rates of nearly 60 percent.
1. Few solutions are 'one-size-fits-all': TrackVia is a flexible, application platform that lets business users build solutions that are just right.
2. Understand the enterprise processes: With TrackVia you don't have to reinvent your processes; with big ERPs you do.
3. Understand your enterprise data: With TrackVia, businesses don't have to fit a square peg into a round hole. With big ERPs, you have to conform to their data models.
4. Disconnected life cycle management: TrackVia offers less headaches for IT than managing a big ERP. TrackVia is a user-driven and user-championed application platform.
5. Improper planning for incremental rollouts: TrackVia allows businesses to be agile; Big ERP systems make incremental rollouts difficult.
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TrackVia is a do-it-yourself online database and application platform for business users. TrackVia gives users the power to build custom applications with no programming required, and at a fraction of the cost of heavier enterprise applications.
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