Project Management for Consulting Services

Continental Enterprises

"Probably the biggest difference Project Insight's project software made is greatly increasing transparency. We're now able to accurately track projects so they don't fall between the cracks, and we know almost immediately when a problem arises."
- VP of Operations

Main Challenges

Continental Enterprises may have hundreds of cases or projects ongoing at any one time, all in various stages of completion. This is complicated by several different people touching the case, from support staff to investigators and attorneys.

  • No transparency into the portfolio of projects or cases
  • Lacked an effective method for accurately tracking billing
  • Unable to keep accurate tabs on all cases, which caused disruptions

"The company really didn't have a good gauge on what we had in the pipeline, which made it difficult to forecast our resource workloads," explains the vice president of operations. "Our cases are so varied, so different, they can take hours to task." The company's billing cycle was based on time slips that included all billing information, which could make it difficult to track cases as the method was not easily organized into individual tasks. Occasionally a project or case might be suspended until the staff got more information from law enforcement or from clients, and it could take a while before someone found the reason for the suspension. "We began kicking around the idea of using project management software around January of 2012," says the systems and project manager. "We tried a couple of solutions that didn't work out. One of the major challenges facing any project management software was integrating with QuickBooks. A lot of programs couldn't. Others could connect to our billing system, but they required buying another program to link the two."

Continental Enterprises tried using Microsoft Project Server, but it was too complex for the company's needs. The staff wanted project management software with easy-to-understand functionality so they didn't have to contact the vendor every time they ran into an issue. "We did a Google search and reviewed ten different vendors," the project manager continues. "We even set up trials with a third of them, but all of them lacked a key feature, or they wouldn't integrate with QuickBooks. When we found Project Insight and found that it integrates with QuickBooks, we started a conversation."

Why Project Insight

Project Insight cloud-based project management software contained the features Continental Enterprises wanted, plus, the software worked with QuickBooks, so the company didn't have to add another program to track time and expenses.

  • Rapid implementation and easily adopted by the team
  • Delivered all the project and billing features needed
  • Integrated with QuickBooks
  • Responsive staff that answered questions and solved problems quickly

"Project Insight's sales team was excellent," the project manager states. "Their people were always responsive whenever we had a question or an issue. I especially liked their honesty. If they couldn't help us, they didn't try to bluff their way out of it. They told us upfront they couldn't do it, which gave us increased confidence in their advice." "Implementation took some time to do it right," the VP of Operations adds. "There was a lot of legwork to enter information and re-create projects before we could move forward. Fortunately, the project management software was set up quickly, and it's very user friendly. Our team took to it easily."

The Results

  • Made operations transparent
  • Cut the project billing cycle in half
  • Allowed the team to identify problems early in the project cycle
  • Smoothed operations

"Probably the biggest difference Project Insight's project software made is greatly increasing transparency," The VP points out. "We're now able to accurately track projects so they don't fall between the cracks, and we know almost immediately when a problem arises. "Thanks to the new transparency our billing cycle -from reviewing time and expenses to actually billing the client- has been cut by half because everything is in one place. By billing faster, we get our money faster." The project management software also helps with the task load. With the ability to track tasks daily, weekly and monthly, the project team has up-to-the-minute billing information to make better financial decisions. "Previously we were using time slips with all the billing information, but we had no way to manage them," he says. "Other project solutions reported financials in hour or half-hour increments.

Project Insight's software provides more precise time increments and data instantly, which helps us understand how we're doing so we can make more accurate forecasts." The software also benefits the company's clients. "Our cases move at a deliberate pace," the project manager explains. "Often cases are interrupted because we're waiting for additional information from law enforcement or from our clients. Project Insight project management software has smoothed out the process and allows us to make sure things are done efficiently and effectively." "The bottom line? Project Insight's software is truly effective. It's really helped our business."