How DLabs.AI got rid of 80% of its spreadsheets and increased its profits using more accurate data

In DLabs.AI, day-to-day management used to be based on spreadsheets. However, as the company grew bigger and bigger, its files were starting to overflow with data that constantly required manual updates, stopping the managers from delegating responsibilities and focusing on decision-making processes. DLabs.AI decided to change that with Primetric.

Planeamento de recursos
indústria
AI Software Development
Planeamento de recursos
Localização
Polónia
Planeamento de recursos
dimensão da empresa
0-50
Planeamento de recursos
tipo de projectos
Time and Material
Planeamento de recursos
software utilizado
Folhas de cálculo

Ewa Rajewska

Co-founder and CFOO

How DLabs.AI got rid of 80% of its spreadsheets and increased its profits using more accurate data

In DLabs.AI, day-to-day management used to be based on spreadsheets. However, as the company grew bigger and bigger, its files were starting to overflow with data that constantly required manual updates, stopping the managers from delegating responsibilities and focusing on decision-making processes. DLabs.AI decided to change that with Primetric. 

Neste estudo de caso, irá aprender: 

  • how DLabs.AI used to store all of its information in endless spreadsheets - and why that was not a way to go and grow for them, 
  • how Primetric collected all the data and turned the spreadsheet into a single, automatically updated source of truth, 
  • how the newly acquired transparency helped DLabs.AI spot inconsistencies in its operations and save thousands of dollars. 

Introdução

DLabs.AI is an AI software development company that harnesses the power of AI and machine learning to assist organizations in streamlining workflows, enhancing business outcomes, and boosting KPIs.

Established in 2015, their foundation is deeply rooted in the healthcare sector. The company was born out of a genuine need: to develop an AI-driven application that could profoundly improve the quality of life for diabetes patients.

Today, DLabs.AI demonstrates expertise across a vast range of artificial intelligence domains, from computer vision and natural language processing to the emerging areas of generative AI and expansive language models like the renowned GPT. Catering to a diverse clientele, from industry-leading retail behemoths and global educational platforms to agile startups, they are steadfast in their belief that AI holds transformative potential for businesses, irrespective of their size.

Their distinctiveness lies in their problem-centric approach. This methodology ensures a deep understanding of a client's challenges, aligning the most appropriate solution, and then harnessing the best technology to fulfill the business goals. Their unique AI-KPI engine model stands as a testament to this approach, enabling clients to pinpoint and scrutinize key performance indicators vital for their business acceleration.

Their expertise has been acknowledged by industry peers and experts. DLabs.AI has been honored with placements on the 'Top AI Companies' and 'Top Machine Learning Companies' lists by Clutch.

DLab.AI’s projects

DLabs.AI focuses on research and development processes using artificial intelligence to power up customers’ businesses and help them achieve their goals. Therefore, 90% of projects in DLabs.AI are Time and Material projects that allow the company to remain flexible in its budgeting, regardless of the sudden changes in their projects' direction.

DLabs.AI’s structure

In general, DLabs.AI tries to create a fixed team for the entire duration of the projects, making long-term allocations in its plans. 

However, part-time allocations are also needed for some employees with particular skills. Those are typically assigned to projects or their parts requiring specific skills that are only mastered by a limited number of people in the organization. That mostly includes tech leads or senior specialists. 

Ewa’s role in DLabs.AI

Back in 2015, Ewa was one of the co-founders of DLabs.AI, as well as the CFO of the business. 

Still, because the DLabs.AI is a relatively small company, Ewa needs to manage several other fields critical for the organization, too. Right now, she oversees legal matters, contracts, accounting, and more. She also ensures that the team’s morale stays high - and so do the profits. 

Challenges in DLabs.AI

Being with DLabs.AI since its inception, Ewa has seen its processes grow. Still, with the growing number of spreadsheets, she was under the impression that the business was slowly outgrowing its current management processes due to its problems with: 

Complicated financial planning scattered across numerous spreadsheets

Before DLabs decided to embrace some more advanced tools, it needed spreadsheets for monitoring its finances, both in detail and in general. 

Just a single project needed to have spreadsheets for: 

  • tracking the current use of the project budget
  • creating an outline of a project before it starts, 
  • analyze the budget after the project is over to draw conclusions and improve similar operations in the future. 

However, this was just the tip of the iceberg, as the further collection of information from the projects and the company as a whole required an even larger number of spreadsheets. Naturally, all of them required complicated algorithms and endless manual updates. 

With numerous projects at hand, managing the spreadsheets was becoming increasingly time-consuming and prone to mistakes. Ewa was determined to change that. 

Inability to delegate essential processes to managers

Managing so many spreadsheets was difficult for Ewa, even with her extensive knowledge in the field. Unfortunately, those who were less familiar with the charts than she was could not perform the actions she did successfully due to their multitude and comprehensiveness. 

Additionally, introducing other employees to the complicated Excel spreadsheet system was impossible. With so many documents, they could be more misleading than helpful. This caused Ewa to be stuck with endless tables she needed to handle alone. 

"I did not have any freedom to delegate such responsibilities to others. I did not have the means to explain such complicated Excel spreadsheets to other managers, so I could not rely on them to perform my duties."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Miscellaneous availability and capacity of key employees 

The workload management in DLabs.AI was also overly complicated. Just like the finances, the information on employee availability was also stored in Excel for every week of work. The resulting file was nearly endless and difficult to interpret and analyze, making it difficult for managers to make decisions based on the information provided in it. 

To make things worse, Ewa was also very sceptical about the accuracy of this file. As every change had to be made manually, she was never certain whether or not the spreadsheet has the latest data. Consequently, the whole resource management process was prone to human mistakes caused by insufficient information flow between the managers. 

Manually created reports taking hours to prepare

Calculating more advanced KPIs is not a piece of cake in an Excel spreadsheet. In case of DLabs.AI, such formulas were incorporated into humongous tables created over the years. However, the input data for these reports still needed to be collected manually, forcing Ewa to spend hours to provide other executives with information essential to running their business. 

"Dozens of variables needed to be gathered and added to yet another spreadsheet. Only then could I come up with a definitive result of the calculations. The entire path was pointless and time-consuming. [...] The reports also weren’t updated automatically and required constant alterations."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Solution: one source of information with advanced analytics and automatic processing of data

Finally, DLabs.AI decided to get rid of spreadsheets and try some more advanced tools. Eventually, Ewa has set her eyes on Primetric. She was primarily interested in its reporting features, as well as a complete overview of work in finances in projects.

"We have tested other tools, but they didn’t provide me with much of a value in terms of finance management. Other options were simply not good enough."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

However, she then saw Primetric bring many more benefits to her company. That included: 

A single source of truth about workload and finances reducing the number of spreadsheets by 80%

Initially, DLabs.AI has decided to export data from its last six months of operations to Primetric to see whether the data provided by the tool is sufficient enough. Long story short, it was more than that. 

"When I saw the numbers in Primetric, I simply stopped creating and updating our spreadsheets. As we became increasingly familiar with the tool, we discovered new ways to extract data from it and use it to our advantage."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

As Ewa noticed, Primetric immediately improved the information flow in the business. It connected all the managers, giving them the space to share essential information and use it to make critical decisions. They also no longer needed to update them - it happened automatically without them knowing it. 

"If everything is correct in Primetric, we are confident there are no errors in rates or tracked hours. It is a final confirmation that financial data is reliable and correct."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Delegating responsibilities in just seconds 

With newly discovered transparency in DLabs.AI, Ewa was finally free to share her responsibilities with other managers and allow them to oversee their project’s finances. In her mind, the system was straightforward, allowing her colleagues to familiarize themselves with all its features quickly. 

As a result, Ewa was no longer stuck in endless spreadsheets - she could simply oversee the financial results of the projects in Primetric. 

"With Primetric, I have a comprehensive solution that helped me go from being the person who prepares all the data to simply confirming and accepting them."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Additionally, Ewa also didn’t have to worry about any changes in key calculations or data. With all the formulas unified in a single system, the tool automatically came up with key KPIs. As a result, all the managers were always on the same page, regardless of the circumstances. 

"When defining the customer in Primetric, we can choose the options relevant to its billing and settlements. As a result, making a mistake in rates is impossible, as we do not have to copy and paste the data every month."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Automatically generated reports summarizing the key information

Still, this was not the end of Primetric’s crusade against spreadsheets. Soon enough, the tool also did its part in obliterating enormous Excel reports. Now, they were automatically created using the data provided by managers and employees daily. The only thing Ewa needed to do was to find the right report and share it with the right people. 

"Here I can show all the board members who are not working in the field of finances a few reports covering the most essential information. I do not even have to talk to them - they can simply browse the data live in the system."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Increased profits generated with improved utilization management 

Soon after implementing Primetric in DLabs.AI, we developed a utilization report, showing the managers the amount of billable and non-billable hours tracked in their project. For Ewa, it was quite an unexpected ally - but also a very profitable one. 

"It turned out that [the utilization report] could be used to see what percentage of people’s time is logged for internal and commercial assignments. It was determined that some employees were a bit more occupied with unprofitable things. We changed that, improving our profitability in the process."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Testing multiple scenarios for better project and finance planning 

Last but not least, DLabs.AI also used Primetric to take a sneak peek into the future and plan its projects better than ever before. With simulations and drafts, the company was able to test out various scenarios and decide which one was the best fit for them, both in terms of finances and time. 

"The simulations and drafts allow us to prepare offers, simulate the people’s involvement in a given perion and see what the project’s schedule and finances will look like."
Ewa Rajewska, Co-founder and CFOO in DLabs.AI

Naturally, the plans are also later used to control the project progress. Thanks to automatically updated information, any manager with the right access level can access the data on activities completed in a given operation and see whether or not anything can be improved. 

Vantagens do Primetric

  • intuitive UX which allows new hires to quickly familiarise themselves with the system, 
  • an advanced system of roles and access levels helping the managers and executives delegate their responsibilities, 
  • all the information are automatically gathered and updated in a single system whenever a change is made, 
  • extensive, automatically generated reports eliminating the need to create Excel spreadsheets manually, 
  • a wide range of financial features allowing Ewa to control the finances of each project, as well as the company as a whole, 
  • excellent customer service with exceptional response time and availability. 

Resumo

Together with Primetric, DLabs.AI was able to achieve more than it ever anticipated while completing all of the objectives of the implementation. The new tool allowed the business to scale and share responsibility, as well as monitor its current operations, regardless of their type. 

Naturally, this is not the end of the road for Primetric and DLabs.AI. Using the tools provided by Primetric, DLabs.AI is aiming to grow even further with the best practices included in the system. 

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