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."