Grass Roots Marketing, or GRM, is a creative marketing agency that delivers comprehensive inbound marketing strategies. GRM is dedicated to understanding its clients brand to create the right marketing program for their specific set of goals. They have a number of retainer clients that make up about two-thirds of their business, while the other one-third of their work is purely project-based.
GRM knew they needed to make a change when their biggest client wanted to see more sophisticated reporting, including Gantt charts, to track the progress of a given project. They didn’t have the tools to create these kinds of reports, much less the data that would go into them.
At the time, GRM was using a combination of other systems for project management, time keeping, expense management, and billing. These systems were not integrated with one another, making it difficult for GRM to extract the data that they needed to. As GRM won more business, it became increasingly challenging to understand how much time each employee was spending on a certain project. This posed a problem when it came time to send an invoice, since in many cases GRM was billing by the hour. The end of the month demanded chasing people to enter their time, and reconciling timesheets with projects.
When GRM started looking around for a solution, they were motivated to find a system that could handle reporting for their biggest client. They needed to be able to understand in real time who was working on what, the progress made, and the estimated time to completion. They also had time and budget constraints to consider. Within 3 months, GRM wanted to be up and running on another system, and couldn’t spend any more than they were currently spending.
GRM’s Sr. Vice President, Koleen Singerline, led the search for a new system. When she came across iBE.net, she found that it was a very good fit for their needs. iBE.net had the reporting power they were after, and also had the ability to simplify the majority of their business processes. By using iBE.net for their project management, time and expenses, and billing, GRM was able to do away with several of their other systems. “I easily replaced several systems with just one, without spending a dollar more,” says Koleen. With one integrated system, GRM’s employees now booked their time and expenses directly to projects.
Prior to using iBE.net, GRM would manually send their information to a controller, who would send the final invoice. Many of their projects would be paid half up front, and half upon completion. “We just didn’t have the functionality to easily pull everything into one bill. We also didn’t have any mechanism in place to trigger the second half of the bill, or even to show you that the second half hadn’t been billed for. I wanted more control over our billing, and iBE.net gave it to me,” says Koleen. “You didn’t have to log into something else to get where you were going. Everything was right there. I could see what projects we were billing for, how much time had been spent and by whom.”
Since implementing iBE.net, GRM has visibility into their operations that they’ve never had before.