CherryRoad Technologies use of Unanet Featured in Projects@Work Case Study
CherryRoad Technologies is getting bang for its buck in three major areas with Unanet’s Professional Services Automation (PSA) system providing time tracking, revenue forecasting and expense reporting.
CherryRoad is a classic professional services company. The New Jersey-based firm specializes in software implementation and Web development. So it seems only natural that it would seek a PSA solution.
CherryRoad, formed when DataStudy bought Kinetic Technologies, had a paper system to track work hours, but it was wearing thin. "Over time, we weren't going to be able to handle the timesheets coming in and still push out invoices on a timely basis," says Lisa Druckman, director of accounting. So executives went shopping and settled on a system some employees already knew. Prior to the acquisition, Kinetic Technologies folks recorded their work in Unanet’s Web-based timesheet program. All 300 CherryRoad employees and consultants began doing the same. "It was highly accepted and extremely easy to use" Druckman says. "We rolled it out via e-mail. That's how easy it was."
With the time reporting problem solved, CherryRoad executives tackled their next biggest challenge -- planning work and forecasting revenue. Five regional managers had handled all resource management manually and in Excel spreadsheets. But because the schedules weren't tied together, it was difficult to determine projected revenue for the company. "Scheduling was a pain in the neck, especially if you were going out of your region for a consultant with a specific skill set," says Gino Benevenga, Northeast resource manager. "You'd have to call around to every region."
More than the scheduling hassles, the lack of accurate revenue forecasts pushed CherryRoad toward implementing additional PSA functionality. "Upper management needed to be able to hit a button and see what the revenue was for a week, a month, three months, a year," says Benevenga, who took the lead in finding a solution. He settled on Unanet’s resource management capabilities. Benevenga tested it, and then introduced it during a one-day training session with the other resource managers.
"We have much clearer visibility of our revenue and can plan more effectively," Benevenga says. For example, the firm knew in June that September looked like a weak month. Benevenga sent an e-mail advising the salespeople. "I told them we need to hit that month, or we are going to have a lot of consultants on the beach." The system is delivering for management as well. Benevenga says CherryRoad's president is using it regularly to generate the revenue forecasts he needs.
Because Druckman needed to streamline the processing of 200 expense reports a week, she spearheaded the adoption of Unanet’s online expense reporting. Electronic reports are approved by e-mail and reimbursed automatically every Wednesday. The change was designed to prevent foot-dragging on expense reporting and reduce work in accounting. "Now that employees are doing it online, they are doing it more quickly," Druckman says. "All the accounting associates do is verify that receipts match up with expenses. It gives them time for other duties."
Although CherryRoad didn't intentionally set out to buy three capabilities from the same vendor, Druckman and Benevenga say executives and employees are pleased with the choice. The software capabilities were adopted readily and have proven easy to use. "In the business we are in, we see a lot of companies investing a lot of money in applications and not utilizing 90 percent of the capabilities because they are just too complicated," Benevenga says. "If an application is so complicated that no one uses it, what good is it?"