For the last 20 years, our team has been developing custom software solutions and websites for a diverse range of clients. Each client was extremely different and required detailed notes and coordination to effectively create solutions. This is a well known problem and one that has spurred numerous customer relationship management (CRM) software tools. The issue for us was that CRM’s typically handled customers from a marketing perspective. Whereas, we needed a more unified marketing and project management perspective. We also needed to be able to track how much time we spent on each customers projects and tasks for billing and administrative purposes. Then, we needed a way to support those customers with their various technical support needs.
Managing Multiple Tools
To solve these needs, we began subscribing to a variety of online software tools like Trello, Jira, Freshdesk, and TimeCamp. These software tools were pretty good at handling their specific field. However, managing all of these tools across multiple people quickly became cumbersome. We could have spent a bit of time trying to unify these platforms with things like SAML. But in the end, we would be investing money in a solution that we didn’t own. If any of the software tools we were using changed drastically, stopped working, or increased their prices, we would be out of luck. We would also have to continue to train users how to use each system independently and manage access to each system. This is why we built Enterprise Hero.
Customer Focused Project Management
After using tools like Jira and Trello, it seemed like every software solution for project management was focused on projects and tasks alone. In other words, the development team was concerned only with check off tasks. We’ve always felt that developers could be much more effective if they had the context of the customer. However, most project management tools had a strong separation or complete lack of customer context. So we built Enterprise Hero with the customer as the core module.
The customer module in Enterprise Hero integrates with virtually every other module. That is, Customers can have projects, tasks, tickets, time logs, notes, contact history, contacts, and more directly associated. This allows a sales person to have a high level overview of what is going on with the customer at any given moment. It also allows the developer to understand the context of a request and to better build a solution to solve the problem. It provides the information for professional teams to come up with better solutions.
Projects, Tasks, and Time Tracking
If customers are the primary module of Enterprise Hero, then the Projects and Time Tracking modules are battling for second. We make extensive use of the project management features to build and manage customer projects. We use notes to describe in detail the issues and solutions we come up with. We are almost always running timers to track the amount of effort spent on specific tasks or projects. We then use these time logs to automatically generate invoices for our customer. This drastically cuts down on our administrative costs and provides a reassuring, detailed log of work for clients.
Boards and More
Projects and tasks are generally either complete or not. But there can be a lot more statuses that apply. That’s why we built the boards modules. The boards module works to allow quick and custom statusing to each and every other module. A board can have a customer, project, ticket, or task.
Wrapping It Up
So, how do we use Enterprise Hero? We use the customer module as the core for the rest of the modules. We heavily use the integrated projects and time tracking modules. We use the tickets module to provide support and use boards to manage project and customer status.
Stay tuned to future posts where we will dive into more detail on using the boards and ticket modules!