Notch knew exactly what would make their growth simpler to manage: a single source of truth about utilization, finances, and planning. Instead of using spreadsheets and minor tools, they were used to when there were 50 of them, it was time to take on a new challenge. Primetric was tailored to the needs of an IT service company - and it could offer processes that would help them optimize their growth even better and prevent them from feeling any effects of the global economic crisis in today's IT world.
Chief Operating Officer
In this case study, you will learn:
Notch is a software development company delivering challenging digital products for start-ups, global enterprises, and tech disruptors. Experts in Java and fluent in Agile, they are focused on being a global role model for technical excellence. Notch's reputation has grown since day one - delivery being the main drive, so getting the job done, making the change client needs, and outwitting any challenge until they get the solution right is at the core of the team. Their solutions are focused on scaling clients' businesses but are also impactful, attractive, intuitive, and easy to use. Every step of Notch process is human-centric - thinking about the person who will use the product and ensuring a seamless experience.
Their solutions are implemented in various industries, ranging from banking, fintech, and government to oil and energy, healthcare, and construction, to name a few. Companies like Strabag, digital.ai, Atrify, and Nexxiot have cooperated with Notch for over a few years now and continue improving their product, following the newest technologies with experts from Notch who adapt quickly to the ever-changing technology environment.
Already recognized by Deloitte as the Laureate of the Impact Category in 2023 and Technology Fast EM 50 and 500 EMEA in 2019 and 2020, and with constant growth in the number of data engineers, developers, designers, strategists, offices in Zagreb and Split, this is just the beginning of their engineering excellence journey.
Notch has proven itself in completing numerous types of projects. With experience in fields such as Telco, banking, agro-fintech, and system integration, the company has the enormous experience it uses to complete even the most complex projects - including those for the Croatian government.
Regardless of the type of project, Notch focuses on long-term projects. Therefore, the company builds stable relationships with its customers, providing them with bespoke software of the highest quality.
Dragan Eldic is a Chief Operating Officer at Notch. He oversees all the projects in the company, as well as factors influencing them, such as people, finances, and market demand.
Importantly, Dragan is also responsible for the operations' success. He must ensure the project's profitability by keeping the utilization rates high and managing people's skills precisely and accurately - all while keeping the key processes scalable regardless of the company's size. Therefore, he is Notch’s first line of defence in being profitable, no matter in which state the market is today.
Of course, in a dynamically growing company, managing all those processes took much work. Dragan needed to:
In other words, he needed to keep the company running, profitable, and with high utilization in any circumstances, as these indicators were the key to the company's continuing growth.
However, Dragan's job wasn't easy. At the time, Notch used various tools that could not be integrated. To add an insult to injury, they were also not tailored to the needs of the IT industry, and it was difficult to replicate the company's structure there. As a result, Dragan was stuck with insufficient information and unable to improve the processes he was responsible for.
As Notch grew, so did its need for scalable processes and seamless information flow. Still, the problems with scaling operations and ensuring seamless information flow through integrations affected not only Dragan, but also the company as a whole, and it needed a better solution to monitor its operations in detail.
As a result, Notch faced numerous pressing challenges that were the key to the further growth of the entire enterprise. It was also losing precious opportunities that could put the company further ahead and prepare it for whatever future holds.
With rapid growth, Notch gained numerous exciting projects. Still, controlling them was a highly complex task - all the information needed for the process were stored in separate spreadsheets and tools. For example, the company could not see the impact of utilization on profitability, as the information was processes separately.
"Getting profitability data from the projects was tough, as it was a lot of manual work. We were also getting data from different tools, and it was difficult to merge them.
The sheets would be gathered, and their data would be transferred to other sheets that aggregated them in a different context. It was a lot of manual work. Additionally, financials and timesheets were kept separately, making the bigger picture unclear."
Gathering the information from different sources was a challenging process; it was also causing numerous avoidable mistakes that often interfered with plans and assumptions. With numerous sources of information, even calculating the profitability itself could lead to numerous errors, leaving the company at risk of being partially unprofitable - and not knowing about it on time.
Additionally, managers could also have very different data on the same issues. This, on the other hand, led tosome uncertainty.
"Having the data in different sheets doesn’t make the data consistent, so we couldn’t validate insights from other people and roles. There was no single source of truth."
Having a number of experienced managers on board, Notch was aware of the importance of constant optimization of processes and its impact on the success of the company.
"If we want to be successful, we need to optimize our processes. With our growth, we need to have a well-oiled machine; that is why we need to see any types of deviations in our plans. We want to be as accurate as possible, and we want to ensure that our company thrives regardless of the circumstances."
However, even though Notch had quite high utilization levels, it was hard to directly connect those data with finances. The main reasons for that were:
As a result, Notch’s managers - including Dragan himself - had troubles staying on top of the monitoring profitability and utilization, and they wanted to immediately react to any arising problems.
"When we do the scheduling, we want to see as little deviation as possible and be quick to react to the changes. We want to base our decisions on real time data to be competitive and optimize."
Notch’s team was also eager to plan utilization for the future projects and periods. However, that, too, was challenging without a single source of truth. As a result, both planning and monitoring processes were quite slow and time-consuming, causing enormous frustration in all the parties involved.
As a company focused on its growth, Notch constantly ensured that new projects were about to begin when the others were completed. Still, assigning people to these operations was not a piece of cake, as there wasn’t a reliable overview of who had which skills, and when was that person available. This was also crucial for managing employee bench which could become an enormous financial burden.
"Over time, managing the skills became impossible, as we had more and more people. We had to distribute the knowledge, and we needed reliable information. [...] We also find integrating the skills into sales processes challenging. This is a particularly important aspect, as we want to develop our people and give them a space to grow. We want the sales department to see that, too. "
Just like any growing organization, Notch also wanted to monitor its operations and key indicators in detail. Still, with so many different documents and programs storing valuable information, it was not an easy task. It was important step to make, as challenging times were seen on the IT market horizon.
"We were using other tools and spreadsheets, but it simply didn’t live within the organization. "
Timesheet, utilization and profitability reports, as well as some smaller summaries, had to be prepared manually, equation after equation. Naturally, the process was taking hours of managers’ time, forcing them to abandon their other duties.
Additionally, their efforts did not guarantee producing a correct report. Just like every other process with human factors involved, this one was also prone to mistakes. Therefore, creating accurate and consistent reports was nothing short of a miracle.
"We were struggling with the reporting and keeping the data consistent, and we knew that we would need a reporting system."
As the problems were becoming more and more challenging as their number grew, Notch went on to find other solutions, more suited to the standards of the IT industry.
"Primetric is a perfect tool for a software company. It is a complete solution that bought us right away. We see quite a lot of simpler solutions, but they simply couldn’t meet our needs. For a company of our size (51-200), it was the best choice. "
Naturally, Notch didn’t have to get rid of all of its former solutions. Primetric offered the company an opportunity to integrate with external systems, facilitating a better information flow in all the tools at once and creating a single source of truth for all the people in the company.
"Possibility to integrate the system with different applications was also a great advantage for us. "
The implementation was also made easier by Primetric's support. Individual consultants, practical process and flexible approach helped Notch to quickly transfer their data and began working with it in real-life cases.
"We had really great support during the implementation. Primetric team was always responsive and proactive. Even if Primetric didn’t have an exact feature we thought about, you were always happy to provide some workarounds. Our impression was that Primetric really cared about us. We required some flexibility, as well as some technical knowledge, and we got that. "
As Primetric offered a comprehensive approach to managing people and projects, Notch has decided to make the most of it.
First, the company has decided to implement Primetric’s time tracking system. By doing so, the employees gained an access to the details of their long-term allocations and could better manage their time. Managers were also happy with the change - as people began to track their time, the supervisors were automatically provided with the information on project progress, and they could act on the information when necessary. This helped them to spot problems before they became serious risks and took a toll on company’s profitability.
Further on, the information on the plans and their progress has been used by Primetric to automatically calculate the utilization of each and every employee. This change resulted in better control of people’s work and improved use of their time - and profits from it.
Importantly, the system was also able to combine utilization with costs of work, providing the managers with a comprehensive overview of all the major spendings in a project. As a result, they could forecast the expenses even before the project began and choose the best opportunities at their reach.
"Primetric can support both Time and Material and Fixed Price projects, and it covers everything a software company might need."
When Notch first began using Primetric, it discovered that the system was perfectly suited to handling operations typical for IT service companies, such as different types of project settlements, tentative projects and dynamic allocations. This allowed the business to control them better, and make the most of each working hour.
As Notch’s team was also able to track time in Primetric, it also gained some valuable insights on utilization and planning. The system also combined the timesheets with financial information, automatically creating reports of both time and finances - all in the real time. As a result, both executives and managers can familiarize themselves with all the project details whenever they need such information. There’s no need to ask someone else to provide it!
"I regularly go to all the projects to jump into the details of the operations and get the information I need. I don’t have to ask other managers for it. "
Looking for the right people for the job - and matching the job with their ambitions - also became much easier with Primetric.
Thanks to the employees’ profiles, the managers could look for the people with certain skills and experience, and match them with the right projects - whether tentative or not. They could also browse additional information on the specialists, guaranteed by the seamless integration with other internal tools. Thanks to that solution, plans could be tailored not only to the availability of specific people, but also their ambitions.
"We see Primetric as a reporting tool for the competences and skills. In Primetric, we have a quick view of them, and we can easily access the information."
As a result of all of these changes, Primetric powered up the sales processes and helped the managers create accurate plans regardless of the circumstances. Importantly, all the parties involved were satisfied with the change!
With Primetric in place, preparing plans for the future became a piece of cake - even though the future of the market was becoming more uncertain by the day. Tools such as tentative projects, utilization calculations and skill management simplified the time management, allowing the managers to create accurate plans even with operations constantly changing.
This was also possible thanks to smart notifications included in the system. With them at hand, managers were aware of schedule conflicts and other issues, and they could act on the information.
"Our planning is better. [...] Primetric enabled us to be more precise [in our plans], and quantify them later on with all the indicators."
Using features included in the tool, Dragan could create accurate plans, test them and monitor them without spending hours calculating the key indicators. To add to that, Primetric also gathered all the necessary information for him, saving countless hours of his and his managers’ time. As a result, he could prepare for all kinds of scenarios - and act according to them quickly if needed.
Further on, as Primetric stored the information on both current and future endeavors in Notch, it could also be used to compare the two. With such an option, Dragan, as well as his colleagues, were able to see the differences between plans and reality, and optimize the work even further. In other words, they have gained access to automated monitoring that allows them to create scalable processes and generate additional profits.
"I can get a report in a few clicks in Primetric. I tend to ask myself a lot of questions, and I can get an answer to them in seconds."
Last but not least, Notch and its managers do not have to waste any more time on merging endless spreadsheets - Primetric does it for them.
"Dealing with complex spreadsheets and comparing it to simply opening Primetric makes a huge difference; it’s like going to the moon! [...] Primetric doesn’t spread out everything. As a result, it helps us manage our information."
Thanks to the integrations and wide scope of options, Primetric combines resource management with finances and monitoring, gathering the necessary information in the real time. Consequently, it can merge the data and calculate key performance indicators without needing a single click from any of the managers.
"We solved the problem with data consistency and gained a single source of truth. We will also integrate other tools with the system to improve transparency even more."
Additionally, Primetric eliminated the human error in the calculations and unified the formulas in the company. Thanks to such a solution, all the employees are always on the same page and they do not need to rely on word of mouth while making critical decisions.
Thanks to Primetric, Notch and its managers can:
"Implementing a system such as Primetric helps the company with sustainable growth of the company. "
After a few months of working with Primetric, Notch was able to scale its processes further while keeping an eye on all the key business details. As a result, the company improved its planning, management and monitoring processes - all while drastically reducing their time and chance that projects may occur unprofitable at some point.
Because of that, the future of Notch looks bright, and it will look bright regardless of the number of employees and projects.
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